2016-2017 Speaker Series

All lectures will be held at 6 p.m. in Lecture Hall 6.

Thursday, Nov. 17

Marvin Bolt, curator of Science and Technology at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, N.Y. , will speak on "Through the Looking Glasses, Almost to Infinity and Beyond."

If we look carefully, telescopes and microscopes can tell us more than we might imagine. Looking through them reveals worlds hidden from ordinary sight, but looking at them sheds light on human nature and history in surprising ways.

Bolt has co-curated two exhibitions that opened this year at Corning Museum of Glass: Fragile Legacy: The Marine Invertebrate Glass Models of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and Revealing the Invisible: The History of Glass and the Microscope. A specialist in telescopes, Bolt joined CMoG from the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Ill., where he was curator of the history of astronomy and vice president for collections at the Adler’s Webster Institute for the History of Astronomy. He is the author of Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass (2009), and co-authored The Universe Unveiled: Instruments and Images Through History (2000). He is co-editor of the two-volume The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (2007).

Thursday, Nov. 3

Hai Ren, associate professor of East Asian studies and anthropology at the University of Arizona

Since the 1990s, socially engaged art has become a global trend. In this presentation, Ren theorizes the concept of "socially engaged art museum" to examine both socially engaged arts and museums under what Jacques Ranciere calls the "aesthetic regime of art." Specially, he will discuss artistic practices of the Yangdeng Art Collective in Southerwestern China. His argument is that a socially engaged art museum — qualitatively different from a conventional art museum that engages with social life through its curated collections and exhibitions — is both a context-specific artwork and a technics of the individualized self in contemporary risk society. Not only does this study question the common scholarly view of socially engaged arts as "post-autonomous" or "anti-aesthetic," but it also advances a notion of sociality that accounts for the complexity of everyday life. 

Thursday, Oct. 20

Martin Jay, Ehrman Professor of European History at the University of California, Berkeley, will speak on “Can Photographs Lie? Reflections on a Perennial Anxiety.”

Jay is an intellectual historian whose history of the Frankfurt School, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research (1973), importantly shaped American engagement with the intellectual project of Frankfurt School scholars. He is the author of numerous other books, including Adorno (1984), Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept from Lukács to Habermas (1984), and the wildly influential Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought (1993). Jay's more recent works are Songs of Experience: Modern American and European Variations on a Universal Theme (2004), The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics (2010) and Essays from the Edge: Parerga and Paralipomena (2011).


Last Updated: 11/14/16