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Upcoming and Recent IASH Events

April 30, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
The Deathly Erotics of the Eighteenth-Century Novel
The concept of the sexed body - the idea that male and female bodies constitute separate, even "opposite" categories - began to dominate scientific, philosophical, and literary thought in the eighteenth century. Sex was now used to anchor essentialized gender differences; if women and men were fundamentally different in their bodies, it was argued, they must also have different sexual tempers and characteristics. Thus it could be claimed that the proper nature of women was to have little sexual desire, and any expression of female sexuality became increasingly pathologized: in place of erotic experiences, women have illnesses. This presentation will address how the eighteenth-century novel engages with the problematic ideology of "naturally" passionless femininity. In consistently aligning women's experiences of their own erotic desires with death, the novels discussed both reproduce this ideology and offer insight into its psychological implications. Presented by Doctoral Fellow Kristine Jennings (Comparative Literature). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

April 9, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Identity, Alterity, and Abstract Opera: Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach (1976–2012) 
Presented by Paul Schleuse Associate Professor (Music). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

April 2, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: 
Conceptualizing Aldo Tambellini's Black TV: Intermedia, Process Perception, and the Network Subject
Aldo Tambellini, Italian American filmmaker and multimedia artist, chose the color black to act as a base concept and metaphor for hundreds of political projects in the 1960's and 70's, including sculpture, poetry, film, and television. By mixing televisual technologies with site-specific performance, Tambellini's aesthetic influenced political collectives like the 1960's Manhattan-based Black Mask as well as the expanded cinema movement abroad. Tambellini's techniques and political lineage extend into the present as well. In this presentation Matt Applegate situates Tambellini's work as a historical and theoretical precursor to the analysis of digital media and film, most succinctly captured in Steven Shaviro's work the "cinematic body" and "post-cinematic affect." He is particularly concerned with the creation of mediated subjects and the extension of Tambellini's "black metaphor" into the production of technologically mediated anonymity. Presented by Doctoral Fellow Matt Applegate (Comparative Literature). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

March 19, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Capital, Nation-state and Nature: Oil and Reproducing Mosul in the Modern World Economy
Mosul presents a specific articulation of the historically and geographically distinctive relationship between capitalist development and nation-state formation. For centuries, Mosul was developed as a part of an ecologically embedded agro-pastoral regional economy. The incorporation of the Mosul province of the Ottoman Empire into Iraq, as a modern nation-state form, in the early twentieth century was internally linked to the reproduction of Mosul as an oil economy and ecology integrated in the world-market. This work explores how the abstraction and exploitation of Mosul oil became a process that reproduced Mosul and nation-state in the image of the cycle of oil production. Presented by Zehra Tasdemir, Doctoral Fellow (Sociology). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

March 12, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Exilic Spaces and the World-Economy: Territorial and Structural Escape
From the earliest development of proto-states, groups of people attempted to escape from central control and to establish self-governed communities. As capitalism developed, and particularly as new regions were incorporated into the emerging capitalist world-system, the problem was not simply how to escape states but also how to escape capitalist relations and processes of accumulation that were bundled up with state control. Well-known historical examples of escape include Cossacks, pirates, and escaped slaves or maroons. Contemporary examples of territorial escape include the Zapatistas in Mexico and even political prisoners. Structural escape has been identified in urban communities in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica and on the outskirts of large South American cities.  Thus, "exilic spaces and practices" are made by people who are expelled from or voluntarily attempt to leave the spaces, structures, and/or processes of world capitalism. Research questions include: How do they try to accomplish this? Who do they identify as "the enemy"? Do they practice mutual aid and solidarity in larger communities or organize mainly on a household basis? Are there rules of entry and exit? How are their practices located geographically and structurally with respect to states, nation-states, the interstate system, and to structures of world capitalist accumulation including the reproduction of labor? What kinds of bargains do exiles make with states and how does this dynamically affect their ability to sustain political and economic autonomy? And, finally, how are the outcomes of these questions affected by the rhythms and developments of the capitalist world-system, including economic cycles, processes of incorporation and peripheralization, changing hegemony, the rise of new leading sectors and world-wide divisions of labor, and the changing presence and experiences of anti-systemic movements?  Presented by Sociology Professor Denis O'Hearn. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

March 5, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: 
Gods of Becoming
Randy Friedman, Associate Professor (Judaic Studies) will be speaking about the philosophical methodology of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, a leading 20th century American Jewish thinker. Kaplan's theology is influenced by the work of the Classical American Pragmatists, specifically William James and John Dewey. The research is part of a book project entitled 'Gods of Becoming'. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

February 26, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: 
Political Documents and Bureaucratic Entrepreneurs: Lobbying the European Parliament during Turkey's EU Integration
The European Parliament is a modern marketplace wherein interests, information, and influence exchange hands. Fine negotiations over what is important to European publics, which are revealed in amendments and compromises to parliamentary reports, do not take place in committee meetings but through informal channels. EU enlargement and accession negotiations with Turkey attract a lot of attention and informal exchange of influence from all over Europe. This paper elucidates how the EU's democratic deficit and Turkey's bureaucratic politics are successfully mediated through and accommodated in parliamentary documents, which serve as means and ends of supra/national power politics. Presented by Bilge Firat O'Hearn, Visiting Fellow (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Istanbul Technical University). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

February 12, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Reproducing the Food/Body Regime
There are two tracks of the production side of the corporate food regime: "food from somewhere" and "food from nowhere". "Food from somewhere" is high quality food with packaging and labelling that includes the place of origin. "Food from nowhere" is highly produced food with relatively lower nutritional value, the ingredients of which come from varied sources and are inherently global. This paper focuses on the consumers of each track. Which people are buying and eating 'food from somewhere' and 'food from nowhere? How have buying and eating patterns changed during the current food price crisis? How do these tracks and changes solidify the corporate food regime? Presented by Diana Gildea (Dean's Research Fellow). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

February 5, 2014
(Rescheduled for February 19, 2014)
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Aetas Horatiana: Reading Horace's Odes in Twelfth-Century England and France 
Presented by Tina Chronopoulos Assistant Professor (Classical & Near Eastern Studies), this project centres on a twelfth-century school-room commentary on the lyric poetry of the Classical Roman author Horace. Chronopoulos examines this commentary, akin to contemporary CliffsNotes, to tease out what it can tell us about its students but also its writer. Specifically, the talk will concentrate on what the commentator/teacher is trying to teach his students, the ways in which he interprets Horace's 1,200-year old poetry for his charges in a way that makes sense to them.
12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

January 29, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: From Demons to Ducklings: Travels of the Buddha in Medieval Tuscany
This talk is a circumscribed part of my larger research project on how Giovanni Boccaccio's fourteenth-century framed story-collection, the Decameron, transmits and transforms the inherited narratives that were its source materials. The Decameron draws on a wide array of didactic story-telling traditions, including Aesopic fables, collections of historical anecdotes, saints' lives, and example-collections for preachers, also modeling its frame-tale on those of eastern story-collections. One such narrative with embedded stories that Boccaccio plundered was a Christianized version of the life of Buddha that circulated widely in medieval Europe as the Legend of Saints Barlaam and Josaphat, in which the monk Barlaam tells prince Josaphat (a corruption of Sanscript bodhisattva) a series of nine moral tales or apologues. Some of the embedded tales enjoyed independent circulation, one in particular as a sort of iconographic emblem of the folly of unthinking delight in the pleasures of the world. Boccaccio specifically engages two of the stories, the tale of the caskets, later made famous by Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, and a transgressive tenth apologue told by an evil sorcerer about the power of carnal desire. Boccaccio incorporates the latter into an authorial digression in defense of both his female audience and his choice of amorous subject matter, changing the word "demons" to "ducklings" in it, however, and reversing the tale's usual ideological charge. Presented by Olivia Holmes, Associate Professor (English). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

December 4, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Global Food Shocks & the Crisis of Socio-Ecological Reproduction 
The current distribution and market pricing system serve to price food outside the reach of millions. Unique to this food price crisis is the widely held belief that it harkens the end of cheap food altogether. The conjuncture of these food price shocks with other crises (economic, environmental) have led to transformed, new, and emergent, forms of food consumption and household reproduction. If it is the end of cheap food, then families must find new ways to cope with the "new normal". This presentation discusses these global and national processes, explores how they play out in New York's Southern Tier, and sketches how these experiences illuminate the unfolding crisis of socio-ecological reproduction. Presented by Diana Gildea, Dean's Research Fellow. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

November 20, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Lordship and Commune: A Comparative Study of Building and Decorating in Reims and Amiens
This project is a comparative study of two cathedrals built competitively in very different circumstances: Reims (ca.1211- ca.1260), the coronation cathedral, a premier archdiocese ruled by an archbishop-count, and his suffragan cathedral, Amiens (ca.1220- ca.1264), a self-ruled commune, independent of episcopal jurisdiction for one hundred years before the new cathedral was begun. It assesses this history in the modern era as well. Churches are either affirmed or understood as consensual, but in both cases tremendous resistance can be detected. My aim is also to bring locals into these histories. Presented by Barbara Abou El Haj, Associate Professor (Art History). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

November 13, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Becoming "Authentic" Iban within "Contagious" Iban Culture: Young Women's Same Sex Relationship in South Korea
Fan-costume-play, or fan-cos, emerged and become popular in the early 2000s as teenage women perform as popular boy-band singers. Focusing on the aspects of fan-cos as performance of masculinity and as liberating space for teenage female ibans (lesbians), I examine how the young women mobilize and constitute themselves as masculine fan-cospers and also as sexually desiring of and desirable to other young women. The paper is divided into three sections. In "Performing Masculinity," I examine the object of performance and the meaning of masculinity that fan-cospers understand, revealing that drag is not only about gender but also about positive self-construction. I argue that masculinity in fan-cos does not mean patriarchal oppression but also it becomes complicated because of their modeling themselves on gay men image in fan-fiction. The second section, "Becoming Authentic Iban" discusses how the teenage female ibans designate themselves positively, differentiating them from both "lesbian" and "fan-fic iban". It shows how the young women understand their desire interrelated with the representation of male same-sex sexuality, fan-fiction. Through this, it reveals how "authenticity" in sexual desire and identity becomes the focus of discussion and the importance of alternative representation of sexuality. The third section, "Contagious Iban Community," examines another factor which teenage female ibans report as influential in their self-constituting process such as girls' schools and fan-cos groups, since the spaces are liberating place for them to come out freely without worrying about discrimination different from outside world. Presented by Layoung Shin, Doctoral Fellow (Anthropology). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

November 6, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
The Sixth Crusade: Antichrist, Fredrick II, and Muslims in Western Eschatology
Presented by Ilana Ben-Ezra, Undergraduate Fellow (History and Political Science). In this talk, Ben-Ezra will examine how Christian understandings of Muslims' roles in the apocalypse changed following Emperor Fredrick II's Sixth Crusade in 1229. The presentation will discuss how Fredrick's Sixth Crusade tied into complicated thirteenth-century politics that pitted the emperor against the papacy, and led to propaganda campaigns against Fredrick's legitimacy as emperor. Fredrick acquisition of Jerusalem through a lease with Al-Kamil, instead of conquering the city like an ideal crusader, Muslims became proof of Fredrick's Antichrist-like nature for the papacy and its allies. On the other hand, pro-imperial authors avoided connecting Muslims and Fredrick II because Fredrick's enemies were using that association in the propaganda campaign against him. Ben-Ezra will argue that Muslims were significant because of their associations and connotations, not because of their independent actions. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

October 30, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
In the Neighborhood of Empire: Baku Communities in the Interwar Period
Presented by Heather DeHaan, Associate Professor (History). DeHaan's project examines neighborhood life in Baku between the first and second world wars. It attempts to explore Soviet ethnic relations through a horizontal, neighbor-to-neighbor prism rather than through the vertical state-society prism that dominates Soviet studies. This talk will grapple with the research challenge posed by a topic that defies the organizational logic of Soviet governance (and, thus, of the Soviet archives). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

October 23, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Infrastructure and Regional Integration around the Bosphorus: Material Futures or Political Dreamscapes?
The construction of railroads, highways, pipelines, tunnels, canals and bridges come as a result of a specific imagination and construction of an integrated region. Critics of the role of technological advancement in fostering social, economic, political and cultural integration between the centers and peripheries argue that many such projects remain as political dreamscapes instead of serving successful examples of transregional integration. Today, the idea of fostering region-wide transnational integration by means of infrastructural projects interconnecting states and peoples operates beyond sheer political economic calculation. Despite criticisms querying the viability of infrastructural regionalism as a working means for transnational regional integration, novel political dreamscapes are open to new client networks from the European-Asian peripheries but their implications remain uncharted. Infrastructure and Regional Integration around the Bosphorus: Material Futures or Political Dreamscapes?, explores whether deeper integration between Turkey and Europe might come about by means of material infrastructures in fields like energy and transport. Currently being promoted as a bridge and energy hub between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Turkey champions infrastructural integration in order to further its position as a strong trade partner and political ally of states in these regions. Turkey's economic, political and culturally nationalist policies towards former Soviet Turkic Republics, its imperial history in the Middle East, and more recently its pending membership in the EU are seen as opportunities by political and economic elites. This research examines Turkey's materially existing and planned integration with Europe by querying the role of and connection between materiality and culture. We will look into some of these projects of "political dreamscape" on energy and transport infrastructures already exiting and under construction connecting Turkey, from the East to the West, to its adjacent regions. Presented by Bilge Firat O'Hearn, Visiting Fellow (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Istanbul Technical University). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

October 16, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Access to Essential Medicines: Why We Should Support the Global Health Impact Campaign
The problems of global health are truly terrible. Millions suffer and die from diseases like tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria. One way of addressing these problems is via a Global Health Impact labeling campaign. The idea is to use a newly developed rating system for pharmaceutical companies' key impacts on global health to incentivize positive change. The best companies, in a given year, can be given a license to use a Global Health Impact label on all of their products – everything from lip balm to food supplements. Highly rated companies will have an incentive to use the label to garner a larger share of the market. If even a small percentage of consumers promote global health by purchasing Global Health Impact products, the incentive to use this label will be substantial. If consumption of Global Health Impact goods reaches one percent of the market in generic and over the-counter medications, alone, that will create about US $360 million-worth of incentives for pharmaceutical companies to become Global Health Impact certified by expanding access to effective medicines needed by the global poor. Companies will have a large incentive to improve their global health impact. If Global Health Impact labeling is successful, it will give companies a reason to produce drugs that will save millions of lives. One might wonder, however, whether consumers have any moral obligation to purchase Global Health Impact certified goods or whether doing so is even morally permissible. This paper suggests that if the proposal is implemented, purchasing Global Health Impact certified goods is at least morally permissible, if not morally required. Very roughly, this paper defends the following argument:

1. Pharmaceutical companies have violated, or at least failed to live up to, their obligations.

2. It is at least permissible, if not morally required, for consumers to withdraw their economic support from companies that have violated, or failed to live up to, their obligations.

C. So it is at least permissible, if not morally required, for consumers to withdraw their economic support from pharmaceutical companies.

If this argument is successful, it might be extended to support purchasing other kinds of ethically labeled products as well. Presented by Nicole Hassoun, Associate Professor (Philosophy). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

October 9, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
Narcissistic Sensibilities: The Erotics of an Imagined Self in English and German Novels of the Eighteenth Century
In both England and Germany, the age of sensibility and the literature it produced could be seen as symptoms of a newly conceptualized sex-gender system whose far-reaching consequences are still felt today. The emerging polarization of public and private spheres and the gendered division of labor reinforced changing definitions of masculinity and femininity while the emphasis on the bourgeois family made heterosexuality almost compulsory. A new scientific discourse marked men's and women's bodies as incommensurate opposites, grounding both essential gender differences and male-female desire in "nature." It also effectively desexualized women, claiming that their libidos were much less developed and removing sexual pleasure from their role in procreation. While the culture of sensibility can be seen as the logical outgrowth of these dominant discourses in its emphasis both on idealized (passive, chaste, and modest) femininity and romanticized love (between men and women), it also revealed the repressions inherent in these constructions and offered new ways of expressing desire and sexuality. Women's normatively greater sensibility, i.e. emotional sensitivity and impressionability, can also be understood as a greater capacity for imagination. Fears about women's sexuality were thus displaced to the private spaces of fantasy and the dangerous pleasures of the imagination, and this issue is taken up in much of the period's literature. In many of the novels produced by women in the latter half of the eighteenth century, I suggest, women's erotic experiences become directed inwards and are centered on fantasies of the self that disrupt or resist these conventions of gender and the heteronormative dictates of desire. Presented by Doctoral Fellow, Kristine Jennings (Comparative Literature).  12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

October 2, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: 
What Cinema Isn't: Will and Blindness in Fritz Lang
The idea of cinema as manipulation has a history that extends from its beginnings to the present. In Lang's Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (1922), the titular super villain claims, "There is no fortune—there is only the Will-to-Power"; and he asserts his will via his hypnotic gaze, a gaze that allegorizes film as a medium, even suggesting its own will-to-power. Cinema here seems less a representation of reality than an intervention within it, as it lays claim to the ability to pull strings both psychic and social and so shape the world. But if this is so, what then do Lang's assorted blind characters come to suggest about the will, the gaze, and especially about cinema itself? The balloon vendor in M (1931), the spy on the train in Cloak and Dagger (1946), and the medium Cornelius in Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse (1960) cannot see us: they refuse to mark a place for the spectator, and so seem to disdain the hypnotic and indeed even visual purview of the cinematic apparatus. Equally unconcerned with realism and manipulation, these blind figures evoke a confounding negative ontology I wish to explore: what is a cinema without mimesis, gaze, will, or audience? Presented by Brian Wall, Associate Professor, Cinema Department. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

September 25, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
'To Wage the Peace': The 1965 Immigration Act and the Cold War Politics of Immigration Reform
Presented by Wendy Wall (Associate Professor, History).  This project explores the Cold War politics that produced and shaped the Immigration Act of 1965.  Both scholarly and popular works have dealt extensively with the consequences of that act, but the politics that led to its passage have received surprisingly little attention.  Scholars have often portrayed the act as the inevitable product of a postwar liberal consensus without exploring how that consensus was forged or shaped by religious groups, ethnic and civic organizations, academics, State Department officials, and even key members of Congress.   This project attempts to change that by restoring a sense of contingency and a multiplicity of voices to the story of postwar immigration reform.  Along the way, it explores the factors that led to two key policy decisions embedded in the act (beyond the abandonment of national origins quotas): the extension of an immigration cap to the Western hemisphere and the prioritization of family reunification over skills.  In addressing these issues, this project looks to America's Cold War foreign policy concerns, as well as to the era's emphasis on religious nationalism and domestic ideology. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

September 18, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: 
"Up Against the Wall: Guerrilla Discourse and DIY Media in 1960's Manhattan"
This presentation surveys and situates the media, art, and propaganda of the Manhattan based art collective Black Mask/Up Against the Wall Motherfucker in a short history of guerrilla discourse and tactics in the United States. I have two explicit goals here. First, I outline Black Mask's aesthetic interventions in political discourse and underscore the collective's departure from mass political movements in the 1960's. Thinking and working at a remove from organizations like the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), or anti-Vietnam struggles more generally, Black Mask dubbed itself a "street gang with an analysis," favoring anonymous and clandestine acts of resistance to state power and the capitalist mode of production. Second, I work to situate the aesthetic and conceptual work of the collective as precursors to contemporary forms of resistance that deploy digital technologies to achieve similar forms of anonymity and secrecy. Where contemporary groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec share similar political desires to that of Black Mask, I am explicitly interested in how Black Mask's aesthetic categories prefigure the contemporary digital turn. Presented by Doctoral Fellow Matt Applegate (Comparative Literature). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

September 11, 2013
T
he 2013-14 IASH Fellows' Speaker Series will begin with a presentation by Adam Laats, Assistant Professor in Binghamton University's Graduate School of Education, entitled "Democracy" and American Education, 1930-1960.
What should America's schools be teaching its young people? We might all believe in teaching the good, the beautiful, and the true, but the devil has always been in the details. For example, do we need to believe in God? We might politely agree to disagree, but in public schools, Americans have long been forced to hammer out awkward compromises about it.
These debates often swirl around contested definition of keywords. Politically, for instance, it is difficult to contest the notion that America's public school should teach the values of "democracy." Yet, as this talk explores, conservative activists have often brandished sometimes-idiosyncratic definitions of "democracy" as central elements of school reform. During the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, conservatives often insisted that "teaching democracy" meant instilling the traditions of American society and government. Unlike progressive educators and social scientists, who insisted that "democracy" required the questioning of received wisdom, conservatives fought for a vision of "democracy" that hoped to pass along that wisdom. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated: 4/24/14