Past Speakers

2018-2019 Speaker Series

  • George Marcus, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology, UC Irvine
  • Emily Thompson, Professor of History, Princeton University


2017–2018 Speaker Series

  • Tim Slade, independent filmmaker, screening of "The Destruction of Memory," followed by round table conversation, with Hilary Becker, Lubna Omar, and Sule Can, moderated by Jeffrey Becker (In collaboration with MENA)
  • Bill Brown, Deputy Provost for the Arts, and Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture, English Language and Literature, and Visual Arts, University of Chicago: "Reassemblage: Theory and Practice, Matter and Form"
  • Yannis Hamalakis, Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and Professor of Modern Greek Studies, Brown University: "The New Nomadic Age: Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration in the Mediterranean"
  • Marcy Norton, Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania: "The Case of Chocolate, Still Life Painting and the Flowery World"
  • Cancelled due to family loss: Aden Kumler, Associate Professor of Art History, Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago: "The arts of unmaking in the Middle Ages." (In collaboration with CEMERS)


2016-2017 Speaker Series

  • Martin Jay, Ehrman Professor of European History, UC Berkeley: "Can Photographs Lie? Reflections on a Perennial Anxiety"
  • Hai Ren, Associate Professor of East Asian Studies and Anthropology, University of Arizona: "What Is a Socially Engaged Art Museum?"
  • Marvin Bolt, Curator of Science and Technology, Corning Museum of Glass: "Through Looking Glasses, Almost to Infinity and Beyond"
  • Amie Siegel, artist: "Artist Talk"
  • Anthony McCall, artist: "Solid Light, Dark Rooms"

2015–2016 Speaker Series

  • Graham Harman, Distinguished University Professor, American University of Cairo: "The Relational and the Theatrical"
  • Jimena Canales, Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science at the University of Illinois-UC: "Einstein to Bergson: from our Earth to outer space and back"
  • Yarn/Wire, musicians: "Material Sound" (in collaboration with Music Department)
  • Susanne Küchler, Professor of Anthropology at University College London: "Toward an Anthropology of Thought: Thought and Thing Reconsidered"
  • Ben Schmidt, Giovanni & Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History, University of Washington: "Alchemy at Meissen, or How China Became china (and Europe Transmuted the World)"


2014–2015 Speaker Series

  • Jane Bennett, Professor of Political Theory, Johns Hopkins University: "Anxiety, Whitman, Sympathy"
  • Michael Snow, artist/filmmaker: "Michael Snow: Photocentric"
  • Alfredo González-Ruibal, archaeologist, Institute of Heritage Sciences – Spanish National Research Council (Incipit-CSIC: "Visualizing war: the materiality of modern conflict in Spain"
  • Michael Taussig, Class of 1933 Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University: "Rastelli The Juggler, Or What Are The Turks Doing in Walter Benjamin's Theses on History and the Bodily Unconscious? (A Performance)"
  • Jonathan Sterne, Professor and James McGill Chair in Culture and Technology in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University: "Stretching Time: Quantum Legacies in Analog and Digital Media"


Spring 2014 Speaker Series

  • Michael Shanks, Professor of Classics at Stanford University: "Modeling Antiquity: Escaping the Constraints of Historiography"
  • Daphne A. Brooks, Professor of English and African American studies at Princeton University; "(Liner) Notes for the Revolution: Black Feminist Phonographies from Zora Neale Hurston to Janelle Monae"
  • Timothy Ingold, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland: "Lines and the Weather"
  • Walid Raad, Associate Professor of Art at The Cooper Union: "Walkthrough" 
  • W. J. T. Mitchell, the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English, Art History and Visual Arts at the University of Chicago: "Seeing Madness: Insanity, Media, and Visual Culture"