Past IASH Events
December 3, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: The Coolie Specter: A Ghost of Primitive Accumulations Past, Present and Futures
Presented by Ana Candela (Sociology). From 1849 to 1874 nearly 100,000 Chinese migrated to Peru to work as contracted coolie laborers on sugar and cotton plantations. During the late 19th century and the early 20th century, they died both a physical and a social death which involved their erasure from historical memory. Chinese coolies subsequently reappeared as subjects of historical narration during the 1970s and again in the 2000s, periods that corresponded to new phases of rural economic development. The project explores how the coolie has been refigured from a laboring subject into a cultural form whose periodic re-emergence serves as a haunting reminder of the human costs of capitalist development and its effects on the rural.
12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 19, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Making It: Scottish Experiences in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire
Presented by Erin Annis (History). The eighteenth century was a time of great changes for Scots. The Union of 1707, the last Jacobite Rising in 1745, and the expansion of the British Empire in India, the West Indies, and America led to closer integration between Scotland and England. These changes, however, also raised questions of identity in Scotland. Were they still Scottish or were they British, and what did that mean? This project examines the experiences of the members of four Scottish families to understand the ways in which they dealt with these questions, and argues that the eighteenth century provided some Scots with profound opportunities of self-definition. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 12, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Testimonies and Debates of Coolie Trafficking: The Colonial Past and the Global Present
Presented by Lisa Yun (English). Relatively little is known of the story of imported Asian coolies who arrived as migrant labor to the Americas in the 19th century. This talk examines a literary and historical "coolie narrative" of yesterday that contains profound themes related to a new form of slavery today. How might this hidden history of the past offer questions and insights for contemporary debates over global migrant labor, exploitation, freedom, and rights.
12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 5, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Purgatories of the Mind: Punishment and Self-Knowledge in Fourteenth-Century Middle English Texts
Presented by Deirdre Riley (English). The medieval mind understood that Purgatory is not an otherworldly realm in the way that Heaven and Hell are; Purgatory was seen as something related to the living temporally, spatially, and even physically. This project argues that purgatory—rather than the more formal, doctrinal, and geographical Purgatory—is a cognitive template, a tool simultaneously personal and universal, used to effect self-awareness and self-initiated amendment while alive. The texts that this study looks at use purgatorial imagery, penitential tropes, and the language of confession in ways that make evident the inescapable human desire to understand the self through punishment. Surprisingly, these purgatorial trappings resist religious dogma even while they participate in religious discourse.
12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 29, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Making a Public Currency/Call it Fascism
Presented by Doug Holmes (Anthropology). In April 2013, Janet Yellen noted, "For the first time [in 2003], the [Federal Open Market] Committee was using communication—mere words—as its primary monetary policy tool....The FOMC had journeyed from 'never explain' to a point where sometimes the explanation is the policy" (emphasis in the original). For more than a decade Holmes has sought to elaborate on the transformation to which Yellen alluded. Working in five central banks—the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Swedish Riksbank, and the Bank of England—Holmes has analyzed an emerging monetary regime in which "mere words" play a decisive role. Holmes addresses at length how this regime—which Holmes terms a "public currency"— works in theory and practice (Holmes 2014a, 2014b). At the heart of this regime is a far-reaching premise: the public broadly must be recruited to collaborate with central banks in achieving the ends of monetary policy, namely "stable prices and confidence in the currency" (King 2004). 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 22, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Can there be Government without a State?
Presented by Rochelle DuFord (Philosophy). The paper from which this presentation derives, argues that it is not only possible, but necessary, to develop a concept of government. Generally, 'government' is taken to be interchangeable with 'state.' However, this creates confusion about the roles and functions of distinct political institutions--notably, it creates a false dichotomy for possible global political institutions. The elision of state and government generates the appearance that the only options for global political organization are global governance (a loosely connected set of government networks) or a world state. DuFord challenges this dichotomy in this paper, arguing that it is possible to develop a 'global government' that neither relies on individual governments for functioning, but is also not a world state.
12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 15, 2014
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Thomas Adès and the Dilemmas of Musical Surrealism
Presented by Drew Massey (Music). Few scholars of Adès's music would debate the significance of surrealism in the forging of his public image over the course of the last 25 years. Yet the essentially unquestioned absorption of surrealism as a meaningful discursive frame for Adès's music ought to give us pause, and it is the goal of this presentation to explain why that is the case.First, Massey suggests that surrealism has achieved such purchase in the critical conversation surrounding Adès because of its ability to work so effectively as a proxy vocabulary for other debates. In the first part of this presentation, Massey considers how the idea of surrealism has provided a means to discuss various degrees of "queerness" in Adès's music (including but not limited to gender and sexuality) while avoiding a rhetoric which uses alterity and identity politics as its primary argumentative fulcra. Although Adès is hardly the only openly gay composer writing today, Massey suggests that critics' preoccupation with Adès's relationship to surrealism has served a powerful symbolic role in depicting Adès as a gay composer who simultaneously avoids conspicuous markers of difference.In the second half of this presentation, Massey considers the historiographic work that is performed by the rhetoric of surrealism that has swirled around Adès and his music. Adès's surrealist works close off an apparent "problem" in the history of modernism insofar as surrealism – unlike other component movements in modernism like futurism and impressionism – has struggled to find its proper corollary in music, and hence enjoy status as a fully realized dimension of modernism with active practices across the arts. Yet such a situation is not without its historiographic dilemmas. On the one hand, the reliance on surrealism vis-à-vis Adès is a somewhat anachronistic approach, situating a large part of Adès's significance in terms of a movement that has mostly run its course. On the other hand, it provides an aesthetic and historical basis for Adès's prominence today, while being ambiguous enough to leave him plenty of room to maneuver in the future without shedding this marker of canonical belonging.
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Historical Transformations and the Rise of a New-Consciousness Novel in Egypt
Presented by Mary Youssef (Classical & Near Eastern Studies), this talk examines a recent trend in contemporary Egyptian novels that exhibits, what Youssef identifies as a new consciousness and a critical sensibility towards difference and the complexity of the Egyptian population amidst various political, socio-economic, and cultural instabilities. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Ganymede in the Twelfth-century Classroom: Two Odes by Horace
In this presentation, Tina Chronopoulos (Classical and Near Eastern Studies) will talk about a couple of Horatian poems that contain what can arguable be called 'homoerotic situations' and how these poems were presented to pupils at medieval schools. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: Translating the Works of Zenta Maurina: A Reading
Presented by Zoja Pavlovskis-Petit (Comparative Literature). Zenta Maurina, a Latvian writer whose career spanned the 29th Century, was an incisive critic of European culture especially popular in Germany and Sweden. Aside from collections of essays she was the author of novels as well as a slightly fictionalized account of her own life. The latter is particularly interesting because of the historic events in which she was embroiled. Professor Pavlovskis-Petit is translating this work and planning, during this presentation, to read a chapter of the translation.
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
The 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)
April 24, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Sonic Color-Line: Race and The Cultural Politics of Listening in America" Presented by Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, Assistant Professor (English) In this talk, Stoever-Ackerman argues that there is a sonic dimension to W.E.B. Du Bois's concept of the color-line that has long gone unheard. She amplifies the aurality of Du Bois's thought to better understand the continued potency of race over one hundred years after his prophetic proclamation that 'the problem of the twentieth-century is the problem of the color-line.' Because the color-line has been so often viewed in terms of visible differences—skin color, hair texture and lip contour—and the power differentials resulting from the racialized 'gaze,' race has continued to register in other less-examined sensory dimensions, the sonic in particular. While Stoever-Ackerman does not deny that vision is a powerful influence in the construction of race, she uses Du Bois's work to think through the complex ways in which sound has acted both alone and in concert with visual racial discourses. Rather than reifying vision as totalizing, she points out its epistemological gaps and stake a claim for the importance of sound as a critical modality through which the structures of racist violence are (re)produced, apprehended, and resisted. Influenced by Du Bois, she has termed the aural dimension of race 'the sonic color-line.' The sonic color-line is a socially constructed boundary where racial difference is produced, coded, and policed. It insulates and preserves the logic of white supremacy, while sounding out the perimeters that supremacist thought places on black freedom, identity, mobility, and citizenship. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 17, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Disciplines and the University, Today and Tomorrow: Social Humanities, Historical Social Science, and What Kind of Science" Presented by Richard E. Lee, Professor (Sociology) and Director of Fernand Braudel Center - Academic disciplines and the departments that house them did not drop out of the sky or spring fully-formed from the head of Zeus. They came into being part and parcel with specific historical conditions and just as they came into existence as human products, they can likewise expire. It will be the argument of this presentation that our inherited disciplinary complex has already lost its intellectual grounding and survives primarily as an increasingly counterproductive set of bounded institutional spaces. As one might expect, there are already efforts afoot to investigate alternative, more useful, ways of organizing knowledge, its production, that is research, and its reproduction, that is teaching. Two concrete undertakings, social humanities and historical social science, will be considered, as will the impact of collapsing foundations on the sciences. How we answer the question of the future of the disciplines has implications for universities. There are a limited number of possible patterns of (re)organization. The "winners," and not all will even survive, will be those institutions that seek, with cool-headed reflection, not necessarily to approximate the best the twentieth century had to offer, but rather to find ways to capitalize on their unique historical strengths in reinventing themselves in the context of a radically altered cognitive space. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 10, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Social Production of Meaning: Parallelism as a Semiotic Principle" Presented by Douglas Glick, Associate Professor (Anthropology) This paper explores a widespread semiotic principle grounding the social production of meaning by example. It looks at the operation of parallelism in the televised acceptance speech through which Barak Obama accepted his first term presidency. More specifically, the paper analyzes the way in which President-Elect Obama ritually transformed himself into America's first African-American President. It begins with a simple question. How did Obama's performance of the speech enact a balanced transformation of Obama from a minority candidate, with known blocks of liberal supporters, into a President-Elect worthy of the entire country's support? In exploring how this was done, both verbally and visually, the paper details the speech's reliance on a powerful parallelism within Obama's acceptance speech. A semiotic analysis explores how repeating clusters of verbal and non-verbal signs work together around the phrase, "Yes we can". Through their varied intonation and discursive location in different narrative framings, Obama shifts his identity subtly back and forth between different aspects of his identity. The movement across the real-time delivery of these parallel sign-complexes indexes identities and ideologies that appeal to different constituencies. By the speech's close, they have ritually transformed him in real time into an identity that (in line with dominant political ideologies) unites all Americans around him. In addition, the televised nature of the event allows analysis of non-verbal signs that played a role in the coherent efficacy of the ritual. For example, overlapping with Obama's words, it is interesting to note when and how the camera cuts to shots of particular groups or individuals such as African-Americans (from 'local' Chicago), average White Americans and even a crying Jesse Jackson. In general then the paper investigates the process by which political change is enacted in and through ritualized events. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 3, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Future and Once: Community and Affiliation in King Arthur's Court" Presented by Kara Maloney, Graduate Fellow (English) In this paper, Maloney will provide a post-colonial reading of one of King Arthur's knights, taking into consideration his textual origins as well as shifts in characterization across the ninth through fifteenth centuries. The textual tradition of King Arthur and his knights spans over a millennium and a half, and while the tradition originated in the British Isles in the 6th century, it has since spread to encompass literature throughout the world. As such, the texts of the Arthurian canon are one of the contact zones where multiple sociopolitical entities interact to create a new community. Maloney examines the numerous cross-cultural interactions and interplays of power that took place within medieval Western Europe by looking at the Arthurian canon through the lens of the character as both knight of the Round Table as well as Arthur's traditional antagonist. If we trace how that character's imaginary affiliations have shifted, we can establish the importance of contemporary geographical affiliation and how this was established on the basis of a regional community, rather than being based on the political influence of a larger kingdom. Maloney would like to explore the character's connections to identity based on this characterization, and how regional and ethnic identities intersect and were portrayed in the medieval West. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
March 13, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Politics of the Soul: Passions, Factions, Akrasia" Presented by Carlos Cortissoz, Graduate Fellow (Philosophy-SPEL) Departing from Plato's "City-Soul Analogy" Cortissoz will explore a notion of the individual mind as a political structure, that is, as a web of mental states in a political relation with each other and with the collective mental states they are linked to. Cortissoz shows how this understanding sheds light on common problems in moral psychology such as the problem of akrasia or weakness of the will. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 27, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Sugar, Slavery and Landscape in 19th Century Cuba: A Visual History" Presented by Dale Tomich, Professor (Sociology) During the first half of the 19th century, Cuba pioneered the industrialization of cane sugar production and dominated the world sugar market while employing a slave labor force. Tomich will analyze the relation between technological innovation, space and slavery in the formation of the Cuban sugar frontier through the use of a variety of visual sources including lithographs, maps, technical drawings and photographs. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 20, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Renaissance: Inter-Disciplinary Approaches" Presented by Richard MacKenney, Professor (History) The project explores the potential of the Renaissance in Italy and Europe for interdisciplinary study at graduate level. There are four notional components: the classical tradition, humanism, the visual arts and architecture, the Shakespearean stage. The presentation will set out some of the possibilities across the humanities, and will invite suggestions and guidance from specialists who may care to attend. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 13, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Food Regime Transitions, Then and Now" Presented by Diana Gildea, Dean's Research Fellow This presentation takes a first cut at an integrated comparison of the transitional period of food regimes – British to the United States in the 1930s and the decline of the US food regime as illustrated by the current food crisis. Using a world-ecology perspective, Gildea will look at the parallels, linkages, and differences in national policies, interstate politics, food production practices, and household strategies for surviving in both eras. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
December 5, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Nietzsche on Truth and Politics" Presented by Robert Guay, Associate Professor (Philosophy) Nietzsche's account of truth is usually taken as an offering a radical form of skepticism or relativism. Guay will argue that Nietzsche's main interest in truth was in identifying a conflict between a transcendent sense of truth and a sense of truth required to govern linguistic and epistemic practices; Nietzsche's concern was that a common conflation of these senses leads to harmful effects on a variety of social practices. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 28, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Herzog Ernst B: An Experiment in Narration and Nation Building" Presented by Rosmarie Morewedge, Associate Professor (German & Russian Studies) Morewedge shall address the literary transformations of the pre-courtly historical minstrel epic (aka Spielmannsepos) Herzog Ernst B, tracing these transformations back to various genres that emerged in 12th century narration in medieval Germany. Heroic song, legend, the fabulous journey, the journey to the other world, chanson de geste, crusading tale, chronicle, folk tale, romance—all these genres have left their traces in this historical medieval epic. They demonstrate on the one hand the fluidity of genres, but on the other hand also the experimentation with genres in the attempt to develop shared political power. Morewedge shall turn especially to the instrumentalization of narrative motifs in the service of political ideology that focused on the interaction of the sacred and the secular order to bring about just government. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 14, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Islands of the Rational: Race, Decolonization and the Dialogics of Modernity in Richard Wright's late work" Presented by Joseph Keith, Assistant Professor (English) This talk focuses on the political, epistemological and formal dimensions of the cosmopolitanproject that the writer Richard Wright fashioned out of his self-exile from the U.S. during the Cold War, especially in a number of non-fiction works on the decolonizing world (Black Power, White Man Listen! and The Color Curtain). Keith will explore in particular the paradoxical position of race within Wright's cosmopolitan vision. On one hand, Wright's self-declared condition of "unbelonging" lays claim to the position of"citizen of the world" and inheritor of modernity's ideals of universal freedom. At the same time, his enforced racialized un-belonging testifies to the limits of modernity's ideals – that is, it emerges explicitly out of modernity's failure. This paradox, Keith argues, is one that haunts these later works – namely how to diagnose the ills of modernity while still hanging on to its implicit and emancipatory project. That is, how to lay claim to modernity's libratory standpoint while animating the logics of disavowal (of racial and colonial violence) upon which those principles were founded. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 7, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "From Pole to Pole Resounding: Epideictic, Performativity, and Musical Rhetoric in John Dryden's "Albion and Albanius" Presented by Andrew Walkling, Dean's Assistant Professor (Early Modern Studies) John Dryden and Louis Grabu's 1685 operatic extravaganza Albion and Albanius constitutes the high-water mark of multimedia theatrical spectacle in the English Restoration period. At the same time, it has long been denigrated -- by contemporary critics and modern scholars alike -- for its alleged literary and musical superficiality. Yet the work in fact represents a significant contribution to the operatic form, offering innovative approaches to musical characterization, structural articulation, and the establishment of overlapping but complementary systems of allegoresis. Through an exploration of these factors, this paper seeks to reposition Albion and Albanius as a generically and politically pioneering work -- offered up by two of the leading artistic figures of the day -- whose importance in the history of English opera has not hitherto been fully appreciated. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 31, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Psychology of the State: Plato, Virtue Politics and the Collective Mind" Presented by Carlos Cortissoz, Graduate Fellow (Philosophy-SPEL) Departing from Plato's so called "City-Soul Analogy" Cortissoz will explore the conceptual possibility to conceive of a collective mind, bearer of genuinely collective mental states. There really are desires, beliefs, fears, etc. that we hold as a group, and are not reducible to a function of the individual ones. Political communities are to be conceived of as complex fabrics of collective mental states and not as sets of conventional institutions. Justice is then not a virtue of interpersonal relationships (enforced upon individuals through institutional arrangements), but the fundamental virtue of a group agent. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 24, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Patient Rights and the Mentally Ill: Deinstitutionalization in the Late 1960s" Presented by Amanda Levine, Undergraduate Fellow (Philosophy, Politics and Law) The concept of patient rights for the mentally ill was extremely limited until the middle of the 20th Century. These patients were often considered a public health risk due to the symptoms of their illnesses and were often placed into long-term institutions to isolate them from the community. In the 1960s, mental health treatment moved away from the institutional model in a process known as deinstitutionalization. This movement provided new treatment options that focused on greater freedom and choice for the patients. However, it is not clear how much of a role patient rights played in the decision to deinstitutionalize. Levine will analyze the role that patients' rights played into this decision by examining a variety of primary source documents for evidence indicating the prominence of patient rights arguments. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 10, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Censorship and Cooperation in Salt of the Earth" Presented by Scott Henkel, Assistant Professor (English) Henkel's paper focuses on the struggles of the Latina protagonists in Herbert Biberman's suppressed film Salt of the Earth, a fictional retelling of a miners' strike in New Mexico in which the spouses and sisters of the miners take over the strike after the men have been threatened with arrest. The characters in the film face a choice: to maintain a traditional gender hierarchy and lose the strike, or to adopt a more horizontal gender relationship, and have the potential to win. By reading the content and context of the film—Biberman was one of the "Hollywood Ten" blacklistees—Henkel argues that, contrary to much recent research on the topic, free speech is linked to problems of cooperation, and moments when that cooperation reaches its limits. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 3, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "House of Dreams: The Story of L. M. Montgomery, author of "Anne of Green Gables" Liz Rosenberg, Professor (English) will be reading from and speaking about her new biography of L M Montgomery, HOUSE OF DREAMS, to be published by Candlewick Press in 2014. L M Montgomery is the most popular writer in Canadian Literature, author of the children's classic ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, as well as more than thirty other books. A poet, memoirist, short story writer, biographer and novelist, her own life was a checkered existence of light and dark. Rosenberg will be speaking about Montgomery's struggle to make her own tale of abandonment into one of rescue. Open to questions and lively discussion. Fans of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES welcome. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
September 19, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Articulations of Homes in Literatures of South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora: Coloniality, Partition, and 9/11" Presented by Diviani Chaudhuri, Graduate Fellow (Comparative Literature) This project examines representations of home--in terms of belonging, place, metaphor and materiality--in a set of counter-commemorative narratives arising from South Asia and the South Asian diaspora that seek to engage with and (re-)write three historical moments of violent crises: the colonial encounter of Britain and British India at the moment of the partition of the British Indian province of Bengal in 1905 and the concomitant rise of militant 'Hindu Nationalism' mobilised especially via the swadeshi movement; the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 at the moment of decolonisation and its legacy of the 'national trauma' of ethnic cleansing and communal violence; and the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 at the moment of rising and unevenly distributed globalisms, hybridisms and fundamentalisms. Chaudhuri will argue that these narratives--Rabindranath Tagore's The Home and the World (1915-16), Bapsi Sidhwa's Ice-Candy-Man (1988), and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) -- articulate a home-formation at the intersection of discourses on nationalism, masculinity and domesticity while at the same time providing a critique of and exceptions to the same. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
September 12, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Mecca of the American Syphilitic: Doctors, Patients and Disease Identity in Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1890-1940" Presented by Elliott Bowen, Graduate Fellow (History) Between the 1890s and 1940s, the city of Hot Springs brandished a reputation as the "Mecca of the American Syphilitic." Throughout these five decades, the thousands of syphilis-stricken individuals who yearly journeyed to Hot Springs exerted a powerful impact on the ways in which medical authorities dealt with venereal disease. Bringing the experiences of the city's venereal voyagers to the fore, this study offers a uniquely "bottom-up" approach to the history of sexually-transmitted diseases, contending that those who suffered from syphilis played a much greater role in shaping responses to the early twentieth-century's "venereal peril" than has hither to been recognized. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
May 9, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Other Side of Abolition" Presented by Lisa Yun, Associate Professor (English, AAAS) While a significant body of literature and scholarship exists on the African slave passage, slaveholders, and masters, comparatively little has been studied about the Asian coolie passage and their American and European masters. This paper examines period maritime literature and documents, such as ship journals, captain's letters, crew testimonies, newspaper and novel accounts, with particular attention to the backdrop of abolition and slavery that shadows the traffic. What might these materials reveal about the masters of new slavery and their role in the hierarchies of power? The discussion of these materials expands our understandings of coercion, slavery, and racialization. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
May 2, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "From Regionalism to Programmatic Competition: Korean Political Parties Under Transformation" Presented by Yoonkyung Lee, Assistant Professor (Sociology, AAAS) This study examines how Korean parties have changed regarding their nature of partisan competition in recent elections and explains how these changes were made possible. The paper demonstrates it is not simply Korean voters' mounting socioeconomic grievances that generated political parties' move from regionalism to programmatic competition but the growing interactions between political parties and social movement actors that enabled the career politicians with social movement background to become responsive to the growing pressure from the politically dissatisfied voters. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 25, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Translating Rigoberta Menchú and (Re)Constructing the Story of All Poor Guatemalans" Presented by Erin Riddle, Graduate Fellow (Comparative Literature) The book "Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia" (1983) was written by Elizabeth Burgos, who recorded Menchu's testimonio, transcribed the recordings and edited the text, dividing it into chapters and adding and deleting information. The text was then translated into English by Ann Wright and published as I, Rigoberta Menchú (1984). Even though Burgos is recognized in her role as a co-writer of Menchú's life and her community's history, little recognition is given to the role that that Wright played in reconstructing this life narrative and history for an English-reading audience. I will argue that scholarship based on this translated text cannot ignore the role of translation in constructing Menchu's life narrative for the target community. The English text is the product of Menchú, Burgos, and Wright, and therefore a text that offers a different understanding of Menchú, her agenda, and the community that she claims to represent. In addition, Wright's translation is often cited in English language scholarship as the model Latin American testimonio as a genre and is has been at the center of controversy and debate over the truthfulness of Menchú's narrative. The way this translation was transformed to appeal the emerging interest in subaltern studies, as Riddle will argue, and an emerging North American postcolonial approach to "history" told from the perspective of the "native informant" and a subsequent desire for the subaltern to "speak" is often not part of the discourse, however. In addition, Riddle will review some of the existing literature related to the controversy over Menchú's testimony and how those participating in the discussion often do not acknowledge the role of the translator and translation in constructing this text and the life story of Menchú, as well as Guatemalans as a collective foreign community. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 18, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Process Gives Way to Product: A Theory of Grading Student Writing" Presented by Kelly Kinney, Assistant Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric and Director of the Writing Initiative, winner of the Conference on College Composition and Communication's 2011 Writing Program Certificate of Excellence. Coauthored with Roger Gilles and Daniel Royer, "Process Gives Way to Product" examines how rhetoric and writing studies has sidestepped issues of quality in student writing: Instead of grading writing on the merits of a final product, the field has embraced grading systems that honor engagement in a writing process. Our approach to grading is premised on the notion that process gives way to product. Although we remain committed to process pedagogies, we argue that it is time to acknowledge the inevitability of evaluating student writing, and the possibility that grading—practiced as a transparent, public, and communal act—can help students and teachers improve their writing and teaching. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 11, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Homo Rationalis: Self-Interested Rationality in the Context of Psychological Realism" Presented by Leonard Simmons, Undergraduate Fellow (PPL & Political Science) Homo Economicus is a model of an individual who is rational, self interested, and makes decisions without fault. However, for those who are interested in bettering their decision making, it may be fruitful to adopt a model that is similarly rational and self interested, but in a psychologically realistic context. When we examine this, we see trends in decision making behavior that divide between low and high stakes situations, each with their own benefits for avoiding cognitive biases associated with decision making. This new model, Homo Rationalis, serves to represent how we can use our psychological deficits to our advantage, and make decisions in various scenarios that can outperform the perfect decision maker, Homo Economicus. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
March 28, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Structural Justice and the Objects of Responsibility" Presented by Jessica Payson, Graduate Fellow (Philosophy) Structural injustice presents unique problems for determining what individuals can be said to carry responsible for. In the most straightforward applications of a causal responsibility model, what individuals are responsible for can be determined by calculating deviations from a given baseline. An individual who causes a certain amount of harm is thought to owe that much in return. In a role-based responsibility model, the content of individuals' responsibilities can be specified by reference to the tasks and expectations associated with the role. An individual's responsibility is determined by reference to her position in a structure, and the content of the responsibility is typically meant to perpetuate this structural framework. Both causal and role-based models of responsibility suggest that the meaning of individuals' responsibilities is self-contained: what an individual is responsible for can be explained only in reference to the individual's own doings or positioning, as measured against either a stable baseline or given structural framework. Efforts towards structural justice, in contrast, aim to question and amend such background structures. Additionally, changes to this background are not brought about by individuals acting discretely, but instead by individuals acting together. The meaning of individual responsibilities is not entirely self-contained, but instead is explicable only through reference to what others are doing to collectively intervene in structural functioning. The topic of this paper is to explain the content of individual responsibilities in this context. If an individual, despite her limited causal effects, can do something meaningful towards justice, what is the "something" that can appropriately be said to carry value? How does an individual contribution become meaningful? 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
March 21, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Towers of Faith: Eighteenth Century Philippine Fortress Churches" Presented by Lalaine Little, Graduate Fellow (Art History) In 1573, King Philip II of Spain issued the Laws of the Indies, which prescribed the standards of city planning for all of Spain's overseas holdings in the Americas and the Philippines. This included the specification that church buildings should serve as a means of military defense. By 1773, Philippine churches had endured not only attacks by neighboring kingdoms south of the archipelago, but also by Spain's European rivals. Further destruction resulted from urban revolt and natural disaster. Lack of manpower and Spain's drained resources from her involvement in international conflicts showed the Philippines to be an unaffordable venture. King Carlos III was advised to prioritize the Philippines' economic potential and physical security over its religious mission through reforms in the governance of the islands. Reforms affected immigration, intercolonial trade, and preemptive military strategies. This presentation will explore the extent to which Philippine church architecture in the late eighteenth century diverged from its earlier European models as the focus of Spanish administration expanded from the primary impetus of saving souls to rescuing Spain's political and commercial interests in Asia. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
March 7, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Critically Theorizing African Heterosexuality" Presented by Nkiru Nzegwu, Professor (Africana) Heterosexuality remains the norm in Africa despite two pivotal developments – the disproportionate funding of same-sex research by Western donors; and the increasing transformation of same-sex issue into Africa's new cause célèbre. Meanwhile, the combined forces of the two Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Islam), eugenists' racist fears of African sexuality, Western-derived legal codes in most African nations, and feminist theories of women's universal subjugation, have successfully enthroned a moral framework that upholds a notion of heterosexuality that publicly constrains black female agency. In problematizing this alien notion of heterosexuality, this paper explores a different sexual framework, with deep roots in Africa's ontological scheme. The underlying moral values of this scheme accords sexual agency to both sexes; and uncouples African women's sexuality from the restrictive psychological anxieties of purity and decency used to bind it in the last 100 years. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 29, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "C. L. R. James' Challenge to the Enlightenment Tradition" Presented by Scott Henkel, Assistant Professor (English) As David Scott explains in Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment, "most of all," C. L. R. James' history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins, is "the political biography of this enlightened and inspiring leader, Toussaint L'Ouverture" (10). To make this argument, Scott illustrates the ways in which L'Ouverture was drawn into the Enlightenment tradition, co-opting it at times and resisting it at others. This paper argues that James' other focus in The Black Jacobins, namely the swarmlike behavior of the mass of slaves in revolt, draws upon non-Western conceptions of emancipation, community, and mutual aid which cannot be adequately understood by appeals to the Enlightenment tradition. If The Black Jacobins is the biography of an enlightened and inspiring leader, one whom James calls the "black Spartacus" (250), it is not only that. It is also about that leader's limitations, and the contributions made by the mass of insurgent slaves fighting for their freedom. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 15, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Ethics of Care and Military Humanitarian Intervention" Presented by Jessica Kyle, Graduate Fellow (Philosophy) Cases of military humanitarian intervention (MHI) suggest that values promoted by an ethic of care at times take center stage in public policy debates, whatever their general political marginalization. Yet the very appeals to care values used to justify MHI also encourage exceptionalist attitudes toward international law when they hold that the moral urgency of certain humanitarian crises demands unauthorized or otherwise illegal military action. Kyle considers the extent to which the approaches of two prominent care theorists, Virginia Held and Joan Tronto, can address this issue of legal exceptionalism in name of care. Kyle argues that both approaches ultimately contribute to what she calls the problem of global worldlessness—the loss or erosion of the relatively recently emergent global space of politics—and she turns to the Arendtian care value of "amor mundi" or care for the world as a potential counterbalance to other care values during policy deliberations. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 8, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "vox feminae, vox populi (A Woman's Voice, The People's Voice): Demand for Actresses in the Roman World" John Starks, Assistant Professor, Classical and Near Eastern Studies presents a chronological and topical overview of the most important primary texts, inscriptions, graffiti, and artifacts at the center of his comprehensive research on actresses in the Greek and Roman worlds. Starks' assembly of these very scattered pieces of evidence viewed through various sociological, historical, and performative lenses will offer insights into the personal and professional lives of these fascinating, and largely forgotten, non-élite women in ancient Mediterranean cultures. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 1, 2012
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Object of and in Film Theory: The Maltese Falcon (1941)" Presented by Brian Wall, Assistant Professor (Cinema) Film theory's history might be charted according to its various stances in relation to subject and object. In the heyday of the classical film theory of Bazin and Kracauer, film seemed to promise the redemption of the world of objects by virtue of its technological status, but since it has come to seem more urgent to think of film's object status in terms of the commodity; and in between the classical and contemporary, phenomenology, psychoanalysis and reception studies shifted the focus to subjectivities both on and off-screen. In Wall's presentation he will consider John Houston's seminal film noir as evoking some of the conflicts that arise from these often opposed interpretive modes to very specific ends: what does Sam Spade's relation to the Falcon suggest about our relation to film? 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
December 7, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Translating Memory: Jana Hensel's Zonenkinder and the American Anticommunist Framework"
Presented by Graduate Fellow, Erin Riddle (Comparative Literature). Recent thinking on the concepts of travel and diaspora, especially with regard to constructing a "hybridized" identity within the diaspora, have shifted the focus from what is "lost" as people travel and enter new communities to how people negotiate and reconstruct their identities in order to be understood and survive. Such an approach can also be productive in rethinking how translated texts are read and critiqued. As texts "travel" as result of translation, they must be adapted to the conventions of the target linguistic and cultural community to be understood and survive in the new context. In addition, such an adaptation reveals differences between the "original" and translating communities and these differences can serve as the foundation for a productive study of the relationship between these two communities. Thus, Riddle's presentation will not focus on what is "lost," but instead on cultural differences and the relationship between the two communities that are made more explicit as a result of translation. A translated memoir—a text that can be described as a personal narrative comprised of observations about others' behavior within a particular social, historical, or political context—in comparison with its "original" reveal the differences in how events are remembered and how such remembering is influenced by what Maurice Halbwachs referred to as the "social frameworks for memory" (38). As an example, Riddle will offer some observations about After the Wall: Confessions of an East German Childhood and the Life that Came Next, the English translation by the American journalist Jefferson Chase of Jana Hensel's German language memoir Zonenkinder. Chase's translation conforms to an American anticommunist discourse that presents East Germans as victims of the Soviet Union who benefitted from the pressure and intervention of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. This approach to Chase's translation confirms to and also reinforces the existing construction of East German history from the American perspective. Furthermore, Riddle will show how Hensel's text in German was polemic and generated much public debate about how East Germany was "remembered," but in the United States the text is often read as a definitive account of the essential East German experience. Based on these observations, Riddle will argue that this approach to studying translated texts can offer an opportunity for the domestic community to reflect on how the memory and history of the foreign is constructed. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
November 30, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Living with Pop: Mass Media Imagery and American Influence in the Art of 1960s West Germany"
Undergraduate Fellow, Tracy Stuber (Department's of Art History and German Studies will present case studies of three artists working in West Germany in the 1960s - Sigmar Polke and Hans-Peter Feldmann in Dusseldorf and Peter Roehr in Frankfurt – who utilized mass media imagery in their work. The visual similarities of their work to contemporary American Pop Art reveal their awareness of such artistic practices and their West German reception. However, Stuber will show these artists to be less concerned with consumer culture than with the reproduced image itself, particularly as it functioned, and could function, in the political, artistic and intellectual conditions characterizing the tumultuous decade in which the artists worked. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
November 16, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "From Coolies to Model Minorities: Retelling the Pacific Passage"
Lisa Yun, Associate Professor in the Departments of English and of Asian and Asian American Studies, will discuss the transformation of popular discourses regarding Asians as "coolies" to Asians as "model minorities." Her talk includes discussion of Asian diasporic passages that complicate this trajectory of liberal progress.12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
November 9, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "A deeper breath": From Body to Spirit in Kiss Me Deadly" (1955)
Presented by Brian Wall, Assistant Professor (Cinema). Film noir has typically been construed as one of the most materially inflected genres or styles of Hollywood film, speaking to issues arising out of postwar economic and psychic malaise, contested gender and class positions, and new and changing contours of urban space. As such noir has been taken up enthusiastically by a film studies that has whole-heartedly embraced the methods and politics of cultural studies. It has pointedly done so in order to reject the so-called "high theory" of an earlier generation, and thick empirical description now replaces what are thought to be the abstract excesses of a Lacan or Althusser. But Robert Aldrich's film has some sobering surprises in store for the materialist historiographer: through a close reading of some key scenes of the film Wall wishes to trace the ways in which we are compelled to think beyond the seemingly self-evident materiality of bodies and commodities, and even to confront some of the cultural historian's unthought philosophical commitments--how finally we might conceive of material and philosophical interpretation as dialectically entwined. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
November 2, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Ernst Jünger's Total Moment: 'Das Abenteuerliche Herz' and 20th century European Aesthetics"
Presented by Harald Zils, Assistant Professor, German and Russian Studies. Ernst Jünger's collection of prose miniatures "Das Abenteuerliche Herz" (1929/38) is a rare example of surrealism in German literature. Its short pieces try to apprehend a "meaning" that can only be communicated to some, and only as allusions. The presentation focuses on two aspects of the work: on the epistemological grip on the world that the text suggests, and on privileged readings as a critical method. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
October 26, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "DVD Compilations of Hindi Film Songs: (Re) Shuffling Sound, Stardom and Cinephilia "
Presented by Monika Mehta, Associate Professor, English Department. DVD compilations of Hindi film music offer a particularly rich site for exploring how DVD technology has re-structured sound, stardom and cinephilia as the songs are untethered from the filmic narrative and re-classified. Exploiting the flexibility of the DVD technology as well as its storage potential, these song and dance sequences are often extracted, re-packaged, and sold separately from films. These compilations mobilize established pleasures and affections by offering audiences songs of a favorite star, director, playback singer, production house or use popular themes such as weddings and love to entice them. While audio technologies only offered sound, DVDs lured audiences with the additional promise of high quality visual images. As these compilations compete and jostle with old and new technologies, how do they define stardom and cinephilia? What kinds of affective relationships do they foster? My points of inquiry into these questions will be Yash Raj Films, The Legend Shah Rukh Khan and Lata A Journey as well as Vanilla Music's The Best of Madhuri Dixit and The Best of King Khan Shahrukh Khan. The compilations, produced by the famed and established Yash Raj Films, generate stable star images of the actor Shah Rukh Khan and the playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, aligned with the persona of the production house. In contrast, the little-known, Vanilla Music's unofficial compilations, by providing more songs than Yash Raj Films, unwittingly, present more complex histories of stardom. By (re)shuffling the histories of "visual" and "aural" stars, (un)official compilations promote intergenerational audiophilia and cinephilia. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
October 19, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Moral Failure"
Presented by Lisa Tessman, Associate Professor in Binghamton University's Philosophy Department. Tessman's aim is (i) to bring to light the experience of the unavoidable moral failure that takes place when the needs or vulnerabilities of others generate impossible moral requirements, and (ii) to reconsider the question of moral demandingness given such moral requirements. That there is "inescapable moral wrongdoing"[i] has been recognized in some of the literature on moral dilemmas. Tessman argues that there can be inescapable moral failures even outside of dilemmatic situations, and that these failures can be revealed within a "vulnerability model" of moral requirement. The vulnerability model, which has been proposed by Robert Goodin and adapted into a feminist form by Eva Kittay, locates a source of moral requirements in vulnerability. Tessman suggests a revised version of the vulnerability model that makes some assumptions that are contrary to those of Goodin and Kittay: specifically, she defends a vulnerability model that (1) assumes that there is moral luck, and (2) assumes that there are genuine moral dilemmas, and furthermore that (3) rejects the principle that "ought implies can" for vulnerability-responsive moral requirements. This revised vulnerability model illuminates two ways in which inevitable moral failures arise: (1) they arise whenever moral requirements generated from vulnerability conflict with each other or with other moral requirements such that they cannot all/both be satisfied; and (2) they arise whenever the basic needs of others are bottomless, such as in cases where past trauma has rendered a person "unrepairable." Rather than assume that requirements to "protect the vulnerable" or care for dependents are, like deontic moral requirements, limited to what is possible, Tessman contends that moral requirements arising from others' vulnerabilities are not bounded by the possibility of their fulfillment. Finally, Tessman considers whether her position is subject to the critical claim that morality is "over-demanding," a critique that is often directed at consequentialist ethical theories, namely theories in which the consequences of actions exclusively determine whether or not the actions are morally right. Some consequentialist theories are accused of being over-demanding because they require that moral agents perform those actions that optimize or maximize good consequences. Tessman thinks that there is a non-action-guiding moral requirement that is even more demanding than what has been construed as the over-demanding consequentialist requirement to do one's best. She argues that so-called over-demanding consequentialist theories respond to the wrong problem and that these theories suffer not from demanding too much, but rather from wrongly representing the nature of the demands; Tessman argues for the recognition of impossible moral demands, which, because they are impossible, cannot guide action, and become instead cases of unavoidable moral failure. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
October 12, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Wounded Healer: The Liminal Body and Trauma Narrative in Richard Selzer's Raising the Dead"
In light of liminality studies, presenter Jiena Sun's dissertation studies the burgeoning field of physician writing, in which medical doctors write about their embodied experiences in medicine. Sun's talk is an excerpt from this project. Sun will use surgeon writer Richard Selzer's Raising the Dead as an example to illustrate the liminal situation of the ailing physician and explore how the recognition of liminality makes healing possible. Selzer's examination of the haunting effects of his traumatic illness experience is positioned within an enigmatic network created together by the narrating-I as the writer, the observing-I as the surgeon and the experiencing-I as the patient. The tension of this triangulated relationship suspends Selzer in a liminal space where his split selves contend, negotiate, and finally collaborate to make the unknowable traumatic experience of coma more accessible. Jiena Sun is Graduate Fellow with the English Department at Binghamton University. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
October 5, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Pagan's Progress: Christian Visual Culture in Early Modern Philippines"
In her dissertation, Lalaine Little, Graduate Fellow (Art History) considers the multiple roles that visual images played in the transmission of religious culture in and around the Philippine Islands during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. To uniformly inculcate Spanish colonial subjects around the globe with loyalty to the Crown and Church, governors and missionaries commissioned the production of images that engaged the skills of a multi-ethnic group of craftsmen and traders. To see how these objects inform and are simultaneously informed by cultural interaction and exchange that took place along the trade networks, Little considers the influence of Mexico as the geographical and administrative intermediary between the Philippines and Spain. Ambitions to increase trade with China and Japan and the cultural diversity of the missionaries who served in Asia further complicate the interpretation and reception of religious visual culture in the Philippines. Little's discussion in IASH will focus more specifically on representations of Other and what W.H Scott termed, "History of the Inarticulate." 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
September 21, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Predicting Revolutions Through Cinema"
In November 2009 Sariel Birnbaum (Visiting Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies at Binghamton University) published an article in "East Wind", the e-journal of the Middle East & Islamic Studies Association of Israel under the title "Get ready to the revolution of the hungry in Egypt 2013 ?". The current presentation is intended to revise that former article and thus examine the abilities of cinema to outlook revolutionary future events. Prof. Birnbaum will include various theories, from S. Kracauer to Israeli authors like Eldad Pardo (Iranian cinema) and Ofer Ashkenazi (GermanWeimarRepubliccinema). And what can (and can't), be applied from these theories about Egyptian Cinema and Revolution. Understanding censorship is crucial. In terms related to censorship,Egyptis a middle-case. Egyptian cinema was never controlled by the government to the level that one can say that every message comes from above, even not when Egyptian cinema was nationalized underNasserregime. In totalitarian countries the control over cinema is absolute, and Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR are prominent examples. In these two last cases, analyzing prominent films can give us excellent view into the ideas of the leadership, but too little about the views of population. On the other hand, cinema in Egyptnever enjoyed full freedom of expression, like in western democracies. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403 )
September 14, 2011 - To Be Rescheduled
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Problem of Global Worldlessness: Competing Care Values in Military Humanitarian Intervention Debates"
Cases of military humanitarian intervention (MHI) suggest that values promoted by an ethic of care at times take center stage in public policy debates, whatever their general political marginalization. Yet the very appeals to care values used to justify MHI also encourage exceptionalist attitudes toward international law when they hold that the moral urgency of certain humanitarian crises demands unauthorized or otherwise illegal military action. Kyle considers the extent to which the approaches of two prominent care theorists, Virginia Held and Joan Tronto, can address this issue of legal exceptionalism in name of care. She argues that both approaches ultimately contribute to what she calls the problem of global worldlessness—the loss or erosion of the relatively recently emergent global space of politics—and she turns to the Arendtian care value of "amor mundi" or care for the world as a potential counterbalance to other care values during policy deliberations. Presented by Jessica Kyle, Graduate Fellow (Philosophy). 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
September 7, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Individual Responsibilities for Global Justice"
Presentedby Graduate Fellow Jessica Payson, Philosophy Department, this talk contrasts Thomas Pogge's and Iris Young's accounts of global justice. While Payson agrees with Pogge's institutional understanding of justice, she disagrees with Pogge's construal of institutions as primary responsible agents. Young's contrasting work on institutional justice serves as a critique of Pogge's position. Institutions, for Young, do not replace the agency of individuals; rather, they provide background conditions for individuals' agency. While both theorists aim to establish responsibilities to promote just institutions, for Young, the responsibilities attach to individuals and are more qualitatively expansive than they are for Pogge. However, because individuals can typically do very little in their everyday lives, Young's account may seem overburdening. Payson wishes, therefore, to add to Young's account by paying attention to individuals' roles in groups. Individuals may incur responsibilities as individuals, but they do not need to fulfill these responsibilities in isolation. In fact, becoming a part of a group can expand individuals' agency, enabling new capabilities and so increasing the range of actions for which individuals can be said to take responsibility. The sorts of responsibilities individuals can undertake as they create and maintain groups can enable individuals to meet more of their responsibilities for global justice and expand the limits of what is possible to demand in terms of institutional change. Presented by Graduate Fellow Jessica Payson of the Philosophy Department at Binghamton University. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
August 31, 2011
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Kafka and His Readers"
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is arguably the most famous writer of German Modernism. His influence has been so great as to inspire an idiom in English (and other languages), the "Kafkaesque." Kafka's life and work continue to inspire contemporary cultural productions, ranging from the graphic/comic work of R.Crumb to the installation art of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, the musical compositions of Carsten Nicolai and Poul Ruders, the films of Woody Allen, Steven Soderbergh and Michael Haneke, and the literary texts of authors like Jonathan Franzen, Haruki Murakami and J.M. Coetzee. The translation of Kafka's texts provokes heated debates as does the management of his literary and material legacy. From the tourists in Prague's Old Town to the Israeli government to scholarly disciplines and other disciples, diverse constituencies claim and appropriate "Kafka." This presentation will address in broad terms the function of "Kafka" as an object of scholarly and pedagogical investment and consider the way the Kafkan text works in the classroom and beyond. Presented by Neil Christian Pages, Associate Professor in the Departments of German & Russian Studies and of Comparative Literature at Binghamton University. 12:00 pm, Harpur Dean's Conference Room (LN 2403)
May 4, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "(Un)Common Blood: The Alienation of Rome's Italian Allies 200-87 BCE"
This presentation will examine the relationship between Rome and the Italian Allies and the ways in which it changed between the end of the Second Punic War and the Social War. Presented by Jan Dewitt, IASH Graduate Student Fellow in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at Binghamton University. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 27, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "Postmemory and Reconciliation in Argentine Postdictatorship"
In this presentation, Ana Ros, Assistant Professor in the Romance Languages and Literatures Department at Binghamton University, explores how the generation of sons and daughters of “disappeared” prisoners, from the last Argentine dictatorship, relate to the idea of reconciliation. “Disappearance” impacted the life of at least three different age groups in society connected to the victims of such act of cruelty: their parents and older relatives, their coetaneous contacts (spouses, friends and comrades) and their children. In fact, many of the 30,000 young “disappeared” men and woman had children who become orphans—without father, mother or both—at a very young age. Following Derrida’s reflections on forgiveness and reconciliation Professor Ros argues that, although forgiveness is impossible for these groups, modes of mourning and reconciliation become easier for the younger ones since they inherited several decades of working though the traumatic events individually and collectively. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 15th-16th, 2011
Crossing the Boundaries: “Conflict”
Cosponsored by IASH, Crossing the Boundaries is an annual interdisciplinary graduate student conference organized by the Art History Graduate Student Organization at Binghamton University who are honored to have as guest keynote speaker Elizabeth Otto, Assistant Professor in the department of Visual Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Professor Otto will give a talk on her recent work for The New Woman International, a forthcoming book which is a collection of essays on representations of New Womanhood as it developed from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth century. As editor and co-author of the text's introduction, Professor Otto's work focuses on the ways in which the concept of the New Woman generated conflicting notions of femininity and how the transgressive nature of this gender construction has informed visual culture, particularly the practices of photography and film. Otto's talk entitled, “The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s,” will be presented on Friday, April 15th and will be followed the next day with a faculty keynote talk given by SUNY Binghamton's Thomas McDonough, Associate Professor and Chair of the Art History Department. Please visit http://pods.binghamton.edu/~ctbconf/index.htm for locations and schedule.
April 13, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: “Return Migration to Eastern Anatolia 1890-1908”
This presentation focuses on the criminalization of return migration, the status of returnees, and the intersection of return migration with questions of citizenship and sovereignty. Presented by David Gutman, IASH Graduate Student Fellow in the History Department at Binghamton University. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 6, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "Corruption Politics and Neoliberalism"
Leslie Gates, Sociology professor at Binghamton University, will present on her current research on public support for neoliberal market reforms in Mexico and its relationship to public debates regarding corruption and corporate ethics. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
March 30, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "Sedition and the Slave Narrative"
Sedition has traditionally been defined as speech that criticizes the state, but “Sedition and the Slave Narrative” examines instances when it has also been used as a tool to critique economic and racial injustices. Through a reading of the narratives that came out of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion and the sedition laws passed in its wake, this presentation examines the ways in which the state and the slavocracy attempted to check further rebellions. Presented by Scott Henkel, English professor at Binghamton University. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
March 9, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "The Animal/Human Divide: Brantôme’s Dames Galantes and the Woman Question"
One of the most prolific chroniclers of his time, Brantôme (c.1540-1614) offers us an intimate view of life in the Valois court. With everything filtered through a comic lens, his most well-known work, Vies des dames galantes (Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies) provides a unique vantage point on all things erotic. It is arguably one of the earliest discourses on female sexuality written from a perspective other than theological or medical. But how is female desire figured when an author’s goal is to elicit laughter? What kind of creature is woman? Dora Polachek’s presentation will have a tri-partite goal: first to examine the narrative techniques that Brantôme mobilizes as he works to offer us a seemingly light-hearted vision of male and female bodies in sexual motion; next, to analyze the animal imagery he deploys so that we can better understand the defining features of a male fantasy of gender-based hierarchical relationships and concomitant issues of power and control; and finally to delve into the undercurrents of anxiety that the preoccupation with the nuts and bolts of male-female erotic encounters reveals. Dora Polachek is Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Binghamton University. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 23, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "Judicial Identity and Judicial Choice."
The identity of a decision maker affects the decision that is made; so, too, do the identities of those with whom an actor is making a decision. In this presentation, Wendy Martinek, professor in the Political Science Department at Binghamton University, focuses on how the individual identities of members of a particular small group -- three-judge panels on the U.S. courts of appeals -- matters for understanding the ultimate decisions made. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 16, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: “On the Foundations of Platonic Theology.”
Recent accounts of Plato's theology have argued that Plato's Laws presents us with a version of the cosmological argument for the existence of god. My account radically challenges this interpretation by examining how Plato treats empirical evidence for the existence of god. Against recent treads in the scholarship, presenter Lewis Trelawny-Cassity shows how an adequate account of Plato's theology needs to begin from his analysis of the orientation that human beings take towards the world when they act as political and ethical agents. Lewis Trelawny-Cassity is an IASH Graduate Student Fellow in the Philosophy Department at Binghamton University. 10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
February 9, 2011
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "Gender and Sexuality in an Anti-AIDS Organization: An Intersectional Perspective."
In this presentation, Benita Roth, professor in Binghamton University’s Department of Sociology, considers moments of gendered conflict that influenced the trajectory of ACT UP/LA (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power/Los Angeles), an anti-AIDS organization that organized from 1987 to 1997. Using a feminist intersectional perspective, she argues that the outcomes of organizing cannot be understood without understanding gender dynamics within organizations.
10:00 am, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
December 6, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: Nachtrauer: Lou Andreas-Salome's Rilke Book
In 1928, two years after the death of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Lou Andreas-Salome, a writer, critic and one of the first women psychoanalysts who studied with Freud, published a sensitively and intelligently crafted tribute to her beloved friend with whom she had shared a close relationship and a lifelong correspondence. The focus of the presentation is Andreas-Salome’s creation of what could be called a new genre of psycho-biography based on her concept of Nachtrauer (post-mourning), which modifies Freud’s understanding of “mourning” in his seminal essay “Memory and Melancholia” (1915). Nachtrauer brings forth the departed in a new visibility by a unique poetic and subtle writing style and dialogue of a “final being together.” The discussion will include the first translation of the Rilke book by Angela von der Lippe (2004). Presented by Gisela Brinker-Gabler, Professor & Chair of the Comparative Literature Department at Binghamton University. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 29, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata No. 9 and the year 1948
In this presentation, a Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 9 and its unusual standing in Soviet cultural politics of 1940s will be discussed. Censorship based on socialist realism as well as the composer's political naivete will be the major part of the presentation, and evidences proving why the music was neglected despite its outstanding content will be discussed. Presented by Jieun Jang, Undergraduate IASH Fellow. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 22, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: The Journalism of Cecília Meireles: Debates on Education in the thirties and forties
Cecília Meireles (1901-1964) is a well known and much admired poet in her native Brazil. Yet Meireles was also an educator committed to liberal reforms, and a journalist whose forceful and satirical voice was at the center of the public debates on education in the early 1930s. This presentation focuses on a later phase of her journalism. In the 1940s, Meireles was responsible for the section on Education of the Rio de Janeiro newspaper A Manhã (Morning), the official newspaper of the dictatorship led by Getúlio Vargas between 1937 and 1945. A discussion of her journalism in this later period shows that she remains committed to educational reform and her prose has not lost its satirical edge, even if now she avoids criticizing the government directly. In particular, Meireles remains an intelligent and often very funny advocate of greater equality in the education of boys and girls." Presented by Luiza Moreira Professor/Director of Graduate Studies in the Comparative Literature Department at Binghamton University. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 8, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: The Middle-Grade Civil Servant: Masculinity, Englishness, and James Bond
This talk examines Ian Fleming's James Bond as a threshold masculine figure in an expansive fantasy global setting. As secret agent and professional, Bond emblematizes the ideal of governance that defines both the gentleman and the post-war Welfare state subject. As a “blunt instrument” of the state, Bond’s masculinity, Englishness, and even humanity are repeatedly called into question. Even as he metonymically represents and protects the Janus-faced nation-state, Bond as bureaucratic spy lies outside the boundaries of citizenship. Presented by Praseeda Gopinath, Assistant Professor Department of English at Binghamton University.12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
November 1, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: Reading Rosenzweig Reading Torah
There are any number of Biblical and Rabbinic texts which modern Jewish thinkers draw upon in support of their own philosophies: Cohen and Ezekiel and other prophets, Kaplan and Exodus, Buber and Isaiah, Levinas and Talmud. Rosenzweig’s idiosyncratic choice of Song of Songs exemplifies his approach to theology and his explicit critiques of Idealism, historicism, and 19th century liberal Jewish thought. Presented by Randy L. Friedman, Assistant Professor in the Philosophy and Judaic Studies Departments at Binghamton University. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 25, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: On Mourning, Inheritance, Arts and Politics: Films by/on Sons and Daughters of Disappeared Prisoners During the Argentine Dictatorship This presentation is part of a larger research project on memory transmission between generations and inheritance of the political past in the Southern Cone. In it, Ana Ros, Assistant Professor in the Romance Languages and Literatures Department at Binghamton University, reflects on how sons and daughters of disappeared prisoners deal with the image of the parents conveyed by the collective memory of human rights associations, how they experience the close connection between national history and personal life, and how they face the challenge of taking their parents' activism as a model in a political context quite different from the sixties. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 18, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: Agents of Mobility: The Emergence of a Migration Industry in Eastern Anatolia, 1885-1915
This presentation will analyze the various unequal social and economic relationships that resulted from the illegal smuggling of North America-bound migrants from Eastern Anatolia in the late nineteen and early twentieth centuries. Presented by David Gutman,IASH Graduate Student Fellow in the History Department at Binghamton University. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
October 15-16 2010
Genocide and Collective Memory: Challenging Disciplines, Questioning Approaches
An Interdisciplinary Workshop which will explore the dynamics of commemorative practices and social memory in the wake of genocides. For academics and public policy analysts interested in the study of genocide, the status of commemorative practices, and the relation between these practices and the comparative study of genocide raise a host of difficult questions. Moreover, if the very broad disciplinary terrain that is encompassed by contemporary genocide and holocaust studies is taken into consideration, it becomes clear that memory of genocide is surely not a constellation of questions that can be adequately addressed from within the boundaries of a single discipline. Memory studies is of course not confinable to a single academic discipline, nor to a single area of policy analysis. The goal of this workshop, therefore, is to support a sustained, intensive, and largely unstructured conversation in and across disciplines. Panelists: Daniel Levy, Associate Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University, The State University of New York; Wulf Kansteiner, Associate Professor of History at Binghamton University; Bat-Ami Bar On, Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at Binghamton University; Max Pensky, Professor of Philosophy at Binghamton University; James E. Waller, Professor and Cohen Chair of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College (NH). Co-sponsored by The State University of New York’s Conversation in the Disciplines, and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, the Office of the Dean of Harpur College, and the Departments of Philosophy, History, Comparative Literature and Judaic Studies, Binghamton University. This workshop is open to the public and will be held in Room LN 1324C (Room "C") in the PSPC. Times: October 15, 2010, 12:00 pm-6:00 pm; October 16, 8:30am-5:00pm.
October 15, 2010
Binghamton University’s Art History Department presents Olubukola Gbádégesin, Consortium for Faculty Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellow, Bowdoin College
Spectacle and Critique in the Portrait Photographs of Yinka Shonibare, Neils Walwin Holm, and the Yoruba Ibeji/Twins
“Emerging scholarship on African arts and culture has just begun to reconsider the potential of early artistic production in conversation with current trends in contemporary art practices and criticism. In this talk, I attempt to push this development further by engaging with varied practices of photographic portraiture from three different time periods and milieus that share connections with Nigeria. Looking at contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare, colonial photographer Neils Walwin Holm, and portraits of Yoruba ibeji/twins, this talk explores how these works converge around ideas of spectacle, materialism, self-reflexivity, and composite techniques. These portraits function as visual rebuttals that critique the notion of representational conservatism that is often dismissively ascribed to the visual arts of the continent and challenge the presumption of aesthetic stagnancy in the trajectories of African art.” 5:15 P.M. in FA-218
October 14, 2010
Diversity and Strong Objectivity in Scientific Research
Binghamton University Graduate Community of Scholars with the help of Women Studies and Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities is proud to present Dr. Sandra Harding for the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Science speaker series. Dr. Harding is an American philosopher and Professor in Social Sciences and Comparative Education division at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Harding’s research interests are feminist and postcolonial theory, epistemology, research methodology, and the philosophy of science. Over the course of her career, Harding has produced a substantial body of published work including Sciences from Below: Feminisms, Postcolonialities, Modernities, Science and Social Inequality: Feminist and Postcolonial Issues; The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies; Science and Other Cultures: Issues in Philosophies of Science and Technology (coedited with Robert Figueroa); Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies, Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women’s Lives. Harding was the director of the Center for the Study of Women from 1996 to 1999, and she coedited Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. This event is open to the public and will be held in Room UU 120, 6pm - 7pm.
October 9, 2010
Enigmatic Experiences: Jewish Thinkers and the Holocaust
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Discussion
The Holocaust has remained enigmatic - at least in the sense that, despite the fact that there are many ways to explain what happened, we tend to remain dissatisfied and wonder about how it could have happened. This panel will not attempt to resolve the enigma but rather assume it while examining some of the ways a few Jewish thinkers whose lives were directly touched by the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust responded to their needs to make sense of their experiences. Panelists: Ami Bar-On, professor of philosophy and women's studies and director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities; Randy Friedman, assistant professor of philosophy and Judaic studies; Max Pensky, professor of philosophy and chair of the philosophy department. 10:00 - 11:30 am IASH Conference Room, Library Tower, First Floor, Room 1106 (next to elevators)
October 4, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: "'A Tale Completed in the Mind': The Theatrical Origin and Recreational Function of Orazio Vecchi's L'Amfiparnaso (1597)."
Presented by Paul Schleuse, Assistant Professor of Musicology and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Music at Binghamton University. By examining L'Amfiparnaso as a book created and sold for domestic recreational use rather than as a "script" for quasi-theatrical performance, Professor Schleuse will propose a reading of the music, the printed texts, and the highly unusual woodcut illustrations that reveals a plot both more complex and more fragmentary than previously recognized. This reading will help to reposition Vecchi as an innovative participant in the progressive literary and musical trends of the late cinquecento. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
September 27, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: “The Messiness of Activist Spaces.”
In this presentation, Benita Roth, Professor in Binghamton University’s Department of Sociology, will examine how understandings of “grassroots” social movement politics -- past and present -- are changing as we confront what Professor Roth calls an increasingly “messy” conceptual landscape of activist spaces. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
September 24-25, 2010
IASH is co-sponsoring the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference, Negotiating Trade, an interdisciplinary conference exploring institutions that facilitated and accommodated long-distance trade and the globalizing of capital in the medieval and early modern world. For more information, please see the conference webpage.
September 20, 2010
IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series: “Rural Life, Economics, and Women in Chosŏn Korea (1392-1910): Relative Equality and Empowerment in a Confucian Society?”
This presentation will examine the lives of women in rural Chosŏn Korea in an attempt to uncover the realities of their lives in terms of economic and social equality with males. Presented by Michael J. Pettid, Associate Professor of Premodern Korean Studies in Binghamton University’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies. 12:00 pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)