IASH Fellows' Speaker Series for the Spring 2015 Semester

March 4, 2015

IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: John Cheng, (Department of Asian & Asian American Studies. [DAAAS]) When (East) Indians Were White, Then Not: Racial Formation and Naturalization Law in the Early 20th-Century United States

For a brief period in the early 20th century, immigrants from India — or "Hindus" as they were referred to at the time — were allowed to become naturalized U.S. citizens using the logic that they were Caucasian and therefore "white." The Supreme Court, however, ruled in 1923 that Hindus were not white and not eligible for naturalization. When the United States then revoked their citizenship, these previously American Indian immigrants and their families learned firsthand that race in practice was not based on biology or common ancestry; instead through the law, popular social discourse about Asiatic difference hardened into — and validated — exclusionary and discriminatory practices against anyone falling within the emergent category, "alien ineligible for citizenship."

March 4, 2015, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


February 18, 2015

IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Lysioidia: 'Transgendering' Actresses/Actors in Hellenistic Greek and Roman Republican Theater'

Presented by: John Starks (CLASSICS) Analysis of the few fragments of extant commentary on a lost genre of dramatic song whose female and male actors captivated their audiences with a virtuoso display of re-/transgendered identity and ambiguity. Using comparative evidence (visual and textual) from modern dramatic forms, particularly Weimar cabaret, Elizabethan theater, kabuki, and baroque opera, I posit a reconstruction of the theatrical effects lysiodes presented to their symposium audiences, as I also explain the continuing influence of lysioidia and similar song genres in late Hellenistic and republican theater. 

February 18, 2015, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


February 11, 2015

IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: 'Reinventing Working Class: "Dignity Politics" and Social Entrepreneurship in a Chinese Migrant Workers' Community in Beijing

Presented by Yang Zhan (Anthropology), Just as China comes to be the site of "world factory" in the global system, relying on its huge supply of cheap labor, it is becoming oblivious to the Marxist concepts such as labor and class, which were once its dominant discourse. Believing that those political economic terms are more relevant today than any time in the past, some have tried to reintroduce these terms in a critical analysis of China's society, even though this effort has been confined to a fringe of the academia. It remains to be a question how the framework of class analysis can be combined with the practice of labor organizing and radical politics in contemporary China.

February 11, 2015, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


February 4, 2015
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:
'Pushkin' is our Everything: Delimiting the Referentiality of the Monument in Tatyana Tolstaya's Slynx

Presented by Sidney Dement (German/Russian Studies), In the post-apocalyptic Moscow of Tatyana Tolstaya's dystopian novel Slynx (2000), a nuclear Blast has disfigured every aspect of Russian civilization. The absence of Moscow's treasured monument to the Romantic poet Alexander Pushkin most tellingly represents the magnitude of traumatic loss. The rebuilding of this monument by the novel's hero, structures the narrative's subversive treatment of literature, authorship, authority, and referentiality after the dual catastrophes of Chernobyl' (1986) and the breakup of the Soviet Union (1991).

February 4, 2015, 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN1106)

Last Updated: 2/25/15