IASH Fellows' Speaker Series for the Fall 2016 Semester

"Duties of Beneficence, Obligatory Aid, And What Any of This has to do with Helping the Global Poor"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Anja Karnein (Philosophy.) 

Abstract: How can some aid be obligatory if there is generally latitude with regard to duties of beneficence? I offer a new reading of the duty of beneficence proposing that, counter to prevalent voices in the literature, genuine cases of obligatory aid are not instances of beneficence. Instead, they are situated in the realm of respect, the other imperfect duty Kant describes, and which permits significantly less latitude. This (more narrow) reading of beneficence solves the problem of obligatory aid and, more generally, shows that cases, such as aid to the global poor, are not best described as cases of beneficence.


“Violence in Interreligious Thought: The Logic of Abrogation and its Alternatives”

Wednesday September 21, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Barbara Meyer

Abstract: I seek to rethink the role of abrogation in theoretical works on relations between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Abrogation - whereby a religion presents itself as abrogating previous revelations – has been a key issue in recent discussions of Jewish-Christian relations, yet scholars have not analyzed it in relation to the dynamics between Christians, Jews and Muslims. I will examine the role that law has played in abrogation thought and constructively develop an alternative of interreligious recognition based on a revised status of religious law.


"The Little Grandmother of the Russian Revolution: Catherine Breshkovsky in the United States, 1904-1920"

Wednesday October 5, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Chelsea Gibson (History)

Summary: My project explains how the Russian revolutionary, Catherine Breshkovsky, became a national celebrity in the U.S. between her two visits in 1904 and 1919. Breshkovsky’s dramatic life and grandmotherly image captured the attention of reform-minded women in 1904 who became deeply invested in Breshkovsky’s attempts to change Russia.  Utilizing their personal letters, public speeches, and press coverage, I show how these American women used their public influence to craft Breshkovsky’s gendered image as the Revolution’s “Grandmother,” in the years before 1917, and reveals how her popularity in America influenced American ideas about the new Bolshevik government, which Breshkovsky ardently opposed.


"The Pen and the Pan: Maryse Condé’s Victoire, My Mother’s Mother and Mets et merveilles [Dishes and Wonders]"

Wednesday October 19, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Robyn Cope, (Romance Language & Lit)

Abstract: The recent heightened scholarly and popular interest in intersectionality highlights the continued need to examine the unique ways in which systems of oppression manifest themselves in individual lives. This project argues that in her two works of culinary fiction, Maryse Condé explores the relationship between writing and cooking in order to address the tensions between abstract theory and concrete experience, between individual characteristics and various forms of group belonging, and most especially between historically determined trajectory and (especially artistic) self-determination, all of which are especially acute for women of color.


"Ethno-Religious Conflict and Political Change at the Turkish-Syrian Border"

Wednesday October 26, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Sule Can (Anthropology)

Abstract: The Syrian Civil War has drastically changed the lives of both the Syrians and those in the Turkish-Syrian borderlands since 2011. This project focuses on first, increasing sectarian and ethnic polarizations in the historically contested border province, Antakya, in Turkey by looking at how the Syrian refugees and local ethno-religious minorities grapple with the transformation of the city since the beginning of the Syrian Conflict. Second, it explores the shift in the political landscape as ethno-religious identities become more politicized through an examination of the ways in which ‘Syrianness’ and sectarianism are manifested in the public life of Antakya.


"Social Stratification in the Eastern Sephardi Diaspora: The Case of Ottoman Izmir”

Wednesday November 9, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Dina Danon (Judaic Studies )

Abstract: Drawing on previously unexplored Ladino archival material, this project reconstructs the poverty that plagued so many of Izmir’s Jews in the late Ottoman period and recovers the charitable initiatives communal leaders mobilized to remedy it. Through this Sephardi case-study, the project challenges prevailing interpretations of modern Jewish history rooted in the European experience that narrate it as a series of battles between the “universal” and “particular.” The view from the Islamic world, where Jewish cultural and religious particularism was continuously affirmed, offers a contrasting perspective, pointing instead to the centrality of socioeconomic class as a venue of modern change.


Encountering el Extranjero: The Poetry of the Humanismo Solidario Movement Challenging the Ethics of Cultural Exchange in a Globalized World.

Wednesday November 16, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Danielle Nash (Comp Lit)

Summary: This project focuses on the poetry of the Humanismo Solidario movement in Spain which criticizes the current ethical paradigms of globalization. Through translating and analysing the central poems, the aim is to introduce new perspectives concerning the treatment of the foreign and the asymmetrical power relationships present between dominant western ideology and subordinate cultures. This project addresses two objectives: firstly, to examine their claim that poetry plays a critical role in addressing issues of social injustice resulting from globalization and secondly, how the lack of wider recognition the movement has thus far received illustrates the very imbalances the works address.


“The Problem of Progress in 1810”

Wednesday November 30, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Jessie Reader ( English)

Abstract: This talk examines the cataclysm of Latin American revolution in the context of Atlantic narratives of progress. I will compare writing by British Romantic poet Anna Barbauld and Venezuelan revolutionary Simón Bolívar to show how on both sides of the ocean, onlookers understood Latin American independence as a challenge to the formal structures of the traditional imperial progress narrative.


“Passions and the Peaceable Kingdom: Religious and Civic Emotions in Early Modern Augsburg”

Wednesday December 7, 2016, 12:00 p.m., IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Presented by: Sean Dunwoody, (Medieval and Renaissance Studies/History)

"In the sixteenth century in the German city of Augsburg, Protestants and Catholics lived side-by-side in peace, at a moment in European history that witnessed large-scale and widespread religious violence elsewhere. As part of a larger study into the social practices enabling this peace, I propose to use an IASH faculty fellowship to explore how emotions figured into Augsburg’s surprising success. Specifically, I shall examine the ways in which the emotions of religious practices were shaped by the various Protestant and Catholic theologies and were adapted to the particular pastoral context of multi-denominational Augsburg."

Last Updated: 9/27/16