Natalie Zemon Davis
History Department, University of Toronto.
"Dealing with Strangeness: Language and Information Flow in Early Modern Worlds"
Through war, conquest, trade, exploration, migration (voluntary and coerced), the known world expanded across oceans and continents in the early modern period. This lecture will consider a few forms of innovation, exchange and adaptation that emerged as part of that expansion, as in language and healing. Examples will be drawn from the Mediterranean and Canada, but especially from African/European connections in Africa and the Caribbean. Can the Humanities today push beyond these forms of exchange?
Natalie Zemon Davis is a social and cultural historian of early modern times. She has written on peasants and artisans in early modern France; on women in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Quebec; on criminality and storytelling in sixteenth-century France; on forms of gift-giving in early modern times; and on Muslims and Christians in sixteenth-century Europe. She is the author of eight books, all of them translated into various foreign languages: Society and Culture in Early Modern France; ,The Return of Martin Guerre (she was also historical consultant for the film Le Retour de Martin Guerre); Fiction in the Archives: Pardon Tales in Sixteenth-Century France; Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives; The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France; Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision; L'histoire tout feu tout flame. Entretiens avec Denis Crouzet; Trickster Travels. A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds. Together with Arlette Farge, she was coeditor of volume 3 (Renasisssance and Enlightenment Paradoxes) of A History of Women, edited by Michelle Perrot and Georges Duby. She has taught at the University of Toronto, the University of California at Berkeley, and Princeton University, where she was Henry Charles Lea Professor of History and Director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies. A former president of the American Historical Association, she is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, and Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academique. She is the recipient of various honorary degrees, including from Harvard University, the University of Toronto, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Cambridge University, Universite de Lyon, and Oxford University. Emerita from Princeton University, Natalie Zemon Davis is currently Adjunct Professor of History and Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Her present research is on slavery and sociability in 18th-century Suriname.
Anna L. Tsing
Anthropology Department, University of California-Santa Cruz.
"Nonhumans and Globalization: On Multispecies Storytelling"
For natural scientists, human nature is (too often) a static essence; for humanists and social scientists nonhumans are (too often) static, whether as symbols or resources. How can we move beyond this mutual disregard? This talk explores recent openings for conversation between the human and natural sciences that might stimulate new forms of multispecies storytelling. If human nature develops in its globally and historically particular forms through multispecies relations, telling others' stories is necessary to tell our own.
Anna L. Tsing is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She works at the cross-sections of the social theory and ethnography of environmentalism, globalism, feminism, and Southeast Asian Studies, especially Indonesia. Her ethnographies focus especially on rain forest ecology, gender, the lives of marginalized peoples, and their relations with the state and with global economies. In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-Way Place (Princeton, 1993) explores the relations between Indonesian officials and a remote forest group, led by a woman who is a shaman. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton, 2004) situates Indonesian environmental crises and mobilizations within an analysis of global relations. She is coeditor of Words in Motion (Duke, 2010), Communities and Conservation: Histories and Politics of Community-Based Nature Resource Management (Altmira, 2005), Shock and Awe: War on Words (New Pacific, 2004), Nature in the Global South: Environmental Projects in South and Southeast Asia (Duke, 2003), and Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture (Beacon, 1990). She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Stanford University in 1984 and has taught at the University of Aarhus, Harvard University, University of Chicago, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. She won the Senior Book Award of the American Ethnological Society for Friction and the Harry J. Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies in 1994. She has held numerous fellowships and grants from NEH, the Social Science Research Council, the American Association of University Women, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Institute for Advanced Study. She is at work on an ethnography of matsutake mushroom pickers in Tibet and the U.S. in the context of transcontinental commodity markets.
R RadhakrishnanEnglish Department; Asian American Studies, University of California-Irvine.
"The Knowledge Game in A Global World: Who is playing Whom?"
This talk will take the form of a symptomatic reading, from a neo-Gandhian perspective, of the knowledge flows that constitute "our" global contemporaneity. I will be paying special attention to the relationship between expert knowledges and so called "naive" ways of knowing that have difficulty establishing themselves as credible epistemological thresholds. My overall position is that "wordliness" is different from a capital-centric globality and that the world is neither a problem nor a remedy, but a lived reality that is perspectival through and through.
R. Radhakrishnan is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. Author of Diasporic Meditations: Between Home and Location (University of Minnesota Press, 1996); Theory in an Uneven World (Blackwell, 2003); Between Identity and Location: The Politics of Cultural Theory (Orient Longman, India, 2007); History, the Human, and the World Between (Duke University Press, 2008), and Edward Said: A Contrapuntal Dictionary, forthcoming Blackwell, 2011, R. Radhakrishnan is editor and coeditor of the following volumes: Theory as Variation, Transnational South Asians and the Making of a Neo-Diaspora, and Theory After Derrida.
Susan David Bernstein, English Department, UW-Madison "Open Door Policy? Readers at the British Museum Library"
The Reading Room of the British Museum, the domed, circular space Virginia Woolf writes against in A Room of One's Own, was also famously a refuge to political exiles including Marx and Lenin. Designed by Anthony Panizzi, an Italian who sought political asylum in London, as a resource across the social spectrum, the Reading Room was accessible, although not without stipulations. In the archives of the papers of the Reading Room of the British Museum are letters of sponsorship by governesses and schoolmistresses, by clerks and shopkeepers. As novelist and poet Amy Levy claimed, the Reading Room of the British Museum "attracts to itself in ever-increasing numbers all sorts and conditions of men and women." Political and social radicals have been identified with this public reading room: Marxes and Marxists, Socialists, Fabians, Anarchists, Nihilists, and many foreign political refuges who joined the various communities of intellectuals, writers, and activists across late-Victorian London. The British Museum's democratic demographics spurred complaints galore, but it was free and open to anyone who could find a sponsor, someone not necessarily a registered reader or a landholder. This paper considers how open was this open door policy for readers at the British Museum. How did this national library serve as a magnet for international readers and what sorts of networking lines did this space foster? What too were the kinds of exclusions that this institution explicitly or implicitly practice?
Susan David Bernstein, Sally Mead Hands Professor of English, is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of Gender and Women's Studies. Her teaching and research interests include Victorian material and print culture, the serial novel, transatlantic studies, gender and Jewishness in Victorian literature, science and literature. Her most recent publication is a co-edited collection of essays, Victorian Vulgarity: Taste in Verbal and Visual Culture (Ashgate 2009) which includes her own essay, "Too Common Readers at the British Museum."
Rachel Brenner, Hebrew and Semitic Studies Department, UW-Madison "Globalization of the Holocaust: Evasion of the Past and the Legacy of Historical Responsibility"
This paper focuses on the cultural aspect of the globalization of the Holocaust. I examine the premise that the worldwide preoccupation with the Holocaust originates in the psychic instinct to repress the consciousness of Holocaust terror. The widely spread popularization of the Holocaust on the cultural scene arises from the second-generation's collective consciousness of the ownership of the story, which enables repression of the parental experience. The search for emotional relief from the horrifying past relieves the second-generation from the responsibility of heeding the ethical message in the event of the Holocaust. This message demands a confrontation with the moral rupture of the historical event of the Holocaust, and it imposes upon the post-Holocaust generation the obligation to mend this rupture by heeding the voice of suffering. This legacy of historical responsibility expects collective consciousness of the Holocaust as humanistic collapse and sees this consciousness as the necessary initial step toward restoration. To fulfill this obligation it would be incumbent on the post-Holocaust generation to reenter the Holocaust world of suffering and to recognize the Holocaust as the failure of the rationalism of the Enlightenment. In this unlikely, if not counterfactual scenario, the globalization of the Holocaust would consist in the realization of the need to reestablish the humanistic values of empathy and compassion, and attitude which would re-instate the repressed memory of suffering in the global collective consciousness.
Rachel Feldhay Brenner is Professor of Modern Hebrew in the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies and Max and Frieda Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies. She has written and published on the representation of the Holocaust in Israeli and Jewish Diaspora literature. Her books include Writing as Resistance: Four Women Confronting the Holocaust (1997), Inextricably Bonded: Israeli Arab and Jewish Writers Re-Visioning Culture (2003), and The Freedom to Write: The Woman-Artist and the World in Ruth Almog's Fiction [Hebrew] (in press).
Scott Carter, School of Music, UW-Madison "'The Race That Does Not Sing is Doomed': Voice, Evolutionary Science, and the Ordering of Global Song"
During the late nineteenth century, European and American writers on music became increasingly interested in non-Western singing. Drawing on contemporary theories of evolutionary and racial science, music historians and other writers heard these global songs as evidence of an earlier stage of human musicality. Vocal instructors, however, applied more directly the new forms of knowledge produced by physical anthropology to develop training methods for the coordination of vocal physiology, suggesting that biology and instruction played equal roles in the cultivation of beautiful singing voices. In this paper, I explore the convergence of singing and evolutionary science in order to understand how theories of race confirmed notions of Western vocal supremacy by grounding beliefs in aesthetic difference and artistic progress in scientific materialism.
Scott A. Carter is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation, "Singing the Body Politic: The Challenge of Black Vocality and the Rise of American Popular Music, 1890-1920," examines popular singing in the early twentieth century and its reliance on theories of racial difference.
Jill Casid, Art History Department; Center for Visual Culture, UW-Madison "Photography's Diasporic Aesthetics"
Though according to some recent counter-histories of the invention of photography, this technology of representation begins in Brazil, the development of the medium still holds a special place in diffusionist accounts of colonial modernity as a European instrument of subjectivization, instrumentalized vision, and the classificatory archive. Photography as an anti-academic, avant-garde practice also occupies a complex position in the account of the development of European modernism and specifically Surrealism, an account we might revise as a story of trans-Atlantic influences between Europe and the Caribbean that complicates the boundaries as well between secular and religious, art and magic. This presentation takes advantage of the occasion of the Alias Man Ray exhibition at the Jewish Museum and its effort to questioningly resituate this key figure in the history of Modernism, Surrealism, and photography within the disavowed frame of religion, prompting rethinking not just of Man Ray's use of photography as a magical medium of transformative possibility but also, more generally, photography's relation to the index and its effects on the "real." Taking the exhibition as a productive site in which and with which to think the place and possibilities of photographic technology in terms of contacts in the arguably ongoing photographic process, this presentation considers Surrealism and particularly Surrealist photography as a Diasporic aesthetics of estrangement, encounter, and transformation.
Jill H. Casid is Associate Professor of Visual Culture Studies and Director of the Center for Visual Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a historian, a theorist of visual culture, and a practicing artist in photo-based media, her work explores the productive tensions between theory (postcolonial, psychoanalytic, and queer theory), the problems of the archive and the writing of history, issues pertaining to the history of contacts, hybridization, transculturation, and the performative and processual aspects of visual objects and imaging. Her research in visual studies includes her book Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization (2005) and her forthcoming book Shadows of Enlightenment - both with the University of Minnesota Press. She has begun a new book project, "The Volatile Image: Other Histories of Photography," that reconsiders photography as a complex and unstable medium, going back to chemical experiment in the eighteenth century and the beginnings of the colonial photographic archive. Her interest in pursuing the implications of processes of transplantation and transculturation for the study of visual culture extends to the international visual culture conference on the theme of "trans" which she co-organized (at University of Wisconsin-Madison in October 2006), the video exhibition she guest curated for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (2006), the anthology she is planning on "Visual Transculture," and the project she has just begun on the history of bodily transplantation and the chimera. She was recently awarded a Hamel Faculty Fellowship by the College of Letters and Science at the UW-Madison. In addition to creating a new curriculum in visual culture studies and contributing to the development of curatorial and museum studies, she also directs the new Center for Visual Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lalita du Perron, Center for South Asia, UW-Madison "The Effects of British Colonial Tastes on North Indian Classical Music"
This illustrated presentation will outline the twofold Indian response to the colonial charge that Indian arts were "debauched": on the one hand Indian music scholars asserted that Indian music was as ancient and morally upstanding as Western classical arts; on the other hand they tried to limit those aspects of Indian music that they thought might be disturbing to colonial tastes - most notably dancing girls and their occasionally licentious song texts.
Lalita du Perron is Associate Director of the Center for South Asia, UW-Madison. She received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2000. Her revised thesis was published in 2007, entitled Hindi Poetry in a Musical Genre: Thumri Lyrics. She is currently engaged in a multi-disciplinary project called "The Songs of North Indian Art Music." Her interests are language, gender and genre, and the interface between traditional arts and modernity.
Névine El-Nossery, French and Italian Department, UW-Madison "Diasporization of Transnational Identity in Amin Maalouf's Leo Africanus"
The journeys of Amin Maalouf and the main character of his novel Leo Africanus, illustrate a particular concept of identity, that is not perceived as a fixed and immutable state of being, but rather in continual transformation, where hybrid and composite elements overlap constantly. This paper will demonstrate how the diasporic identity and its relationship with geographical space and temporal position stimulate a perpetual repositioning of the subject and moreover reflect a perfect paradigm of a transnational identity.
Névine El-Nossery joined the Department of French and Italian in 2007 as an assistant professor of French. Her specialties include North African and French Canadian literatures; historiography; migrant writing and exile; women writers; and Middle-Eastern literature and culture. She published several articles on Abdelkébir Khatibi, Assia Djebar, Malika Mokeddem, Nancy Huston, Andrée Chedid, Madeleine Ouellette Michalska and is working now on a book-length project on women's fictional and testimonial writing of Algerian history, especially the rise of fundamentalism in the 1990s.
Ken George, Anthropology Department, UW-Madison "When is Modern Islamic Art?"
Why this question? As Finnbar Barry Flood has put it so well, "there is no timeless theology of images" in Islamic thought. "Islamic art" and "Islamic aesthetics" - like Islam itself - are not settled matters, but fields of intense debate, pluralism, experiment, conflict, and creativity. But whose debates are they, and when have they taken place? Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom offer a disturbing answer, depicting "Islamic art" as a discursive effect that appears in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, precisely as Euro-American scholars attempt to conjure an anti-modern Other against which the West's artistic modernity might be favorably measured. How, then, might we understand the attempts of postcolonial Muslim artists to claim and inhabit "Islamic art" - irrespective of its problematic genealogy and translation across cultural borders - as their own modern and contemporary possession? My talk briefly explores how and when "modern and contemporary Islamic art" came into view in Southeast Asia and how it has since fared as an art world concern and movement. It is a story about aspirations and setbacks as artists ride the currents of world communication we call Islam, nationalism, and modernism.
Ken George is Professor and former Chair of Anthropology (2004-2007) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a specialist on Southeast Asia, a Past Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies (2005-2008), and a faculty affiliate of UW-Madison's Center for Southeast Asian Studies. His research principally concerns the cultural politics of language, art, religion, and violence in Indonesia. Ken's early work in upland South Sulawesi, Indonesia (1982-1992) dealt with ritual speech, song, and violence. Since 1994, he has been collaborating with Indonesian painter A. D. Pirous in exploring the predicaments and possibilities for Islamic visual culture in national and transnational art publics. Ken is also using that collaboration to set agendas for ethnographic art historical research, and the cross-disciplinary analysis of ideology, experience, and subjectivity. His books include the prize-winning Showing Signs of Violence: The Cultural Politics of a Twentieth-Century Headhunting Ritual (1996); Spirited Politics: Religion and Public Life in Contemporary Southeast Asia (2005; coedited with Andrew C. Willford); and the recently released Picturing Islam: Art and Ethics in a Muslim Lifeworld (2010). Ken was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, in 1999-2000, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 2003-2004. He is presently on a fellowship year sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ken also is a member of UW-Madison's Border and Transcultural Studies Research Circle and an affiliate of the Visual Culture Center.
Steven Hutchinson, Spanish and Portuguese Department, UW-Madison "'Renegades' in the Early Modern Mediterranean: Traversing Religious, Imperial and Cultural Boundaries"
More than anyone else in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was the "renegades" who kept the Mediterranean's frontiers permeable, who blurred racial, religious and cultural identities no matter which way they happened to lean, who in some ways exacerbated the conflicts between Muslims and Christians and in other ways mitigated them. They changed religion, language, dress, modus vivendi, and more than any other group they were the maximum expression of mutability in the early modern Mediterranean, crossing geographical, political, religious and cultural frontiers and developing an extraordinary versatility and adaptability that made them the foremost intermediaries, whether friends or foes, in a hostile but very interconnected world. Reviled by Christian treatise-writers, they were both the most visible victims of the traffic in human beings and the foremost promoters of it. Fictional literature of the period shows a fascination with how "renegades" - both men and women - exhibited a dual nature, were endowed with skills as intermediaries and were less concerned with religious belief than with the pragmatics of political and social life.
Steven Hutchinson is Professor of Spanish at UW-Madison, and will be a Race, Ethnicity and Indigeneity Fellow at the Institute in the spring of 2011. He works primarily in early modern Spanish literature and culture, as well as the early modern Mediterranean world. His book Cervantine Journeys articulates a philosophy of the journey as experience and as narrative. His second book, Economía ética en Cervantes, rethinks the fundamentals of ethics in literature - again with emphasis on Cervantes, and also against an ample backdrop of other writers of diverse countries and epochs. He has also worked extensively on the theory of emotion in literature. His current book project, Writing the Early Modern Mediterranean, examines modalities of relationships and communicability across ethnic, racial and religious boundaries in the 16th - and 17th-century Mediterranean, as conveyed by writers of the period in all genres of texts, including fictional and nonfictional.
Helen Kinsella, Political Science Department, UW-Madison "Gendering Grotius: Sex and Sex Difference in the Laws of War"
The paper constructs a genealogy of the principle of distinction and discusses the injunction to distinguish between combatants and civilians at all times during war. It outlines the influence of a series of discourses - gender, innocence, and civilization - on these two categories. It focuses on the emergence of the distinction in the seventeenth-century text On the Law of War and Peace, authored by Hugo Grotius, and traces it through the twentieth-century treaties of the laws of war - the 1949 Geneva Protocols and the 1977 Protocols Additional. It draws out how the practices of and referents for our current wars partially descend from and are governed by the binary logics of Christianity, barbarism, innocence, guilt, and sex difference articulated in Grotius's text. These binaries are implicated in our contemporary distinction of "combatant" and "civilian," troubling any facile notion of what "humanitarian" law is or what "humanitarian" law does, and posing distinct challenges to theorizations of the laws said to regulate war.
Helen M. Kinsella is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research and teaching interests include contemporary political theory, feminist theories, international law, especially international humanitarian and human rights, armed conflict, and especially gender and armed conflict. She is a graduate of University of Minnesota-Minneapolis and prior to her appointment at Wisconsin held pre and post doctoral fellowships at, respectively, Harvard University and Stanford University. Her book manuscript entitled The Image Before the Weapon: A Critical History of the 'Combatant' and 'Civilian' in International Law and Politics is under contract to Cornell University Press.
Mary Layoun, Comparative Literature Department, UW-Madison "Globalization and Translation: 'Hearing Voices'"
Hearing voices or seeing visions is popularly attributed to mental illness or possession by spirits. But there is a context in which persistently "hearing voices" - carefully listening to multiple voices in languages that often go unheard or ignored - is a marker for the struggle towards a shared vision of an alternative future. Those multiple and often conflicting voices are "translated" in difficult conversations and in shared actions into a slow but stubborn process of imagining and working towards a more just society. Often unheard or ignored or summarily dismissed as traitorous and offensive, the implications of such a process both imaginative and actual are nonetheless rich and suggestive. The Cypriot women's group "Hands across the Divide" - shaped by both local and global forces, translating the demands of the non-local into local terms and vice versa - is an illustrative address to what is often "a dialogue of the deaf" (Habermas, 2001). For we can't "enter where we have no vision to go." For Hands across the Divide, those qualities typically attributed to the "humanities" - careful reading and listening (both literal and metaphoric), the attentive analysis of diverse cultural forms, the effort to hear the unsaid and imagine the unseen - are set into compelling political dialogue and action.
Mary N. Layoun is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research interests, teaching, community work, and publications focus on the intersections of politics and culture; constructions of citizenship; transnational regimes and culture; "terror" and human security; the World Trade Organization and cultural property; visual culture, comic books and history; community-building and social movements for justice and co-habitation. Her books include Wedded to the Land? Gender·boundaries·nationalism-in-crisis (2001) and Travels of a Genre: Ideology and the Modern Novel (1990). She is currently working on two projects: Worlds of Difference: Graphic Narratives and History and Occupying the National Family: Sexuality, the Family, and Citizenship in Early Occupation Japan and Post-WW II U.S. (1945 - 47).
Maria Lepowsky, Anthropology Department; Gender and Women's Studies Department, UW-Madison "Children of Tamáayawut: Song, Prophecy, and Sacred Space in the California Borderlands"
This paper considers considers indigenous songs and their transcultural journeys across globalizing yet sacred landscapes in Southern California. Songs and song cycles are the primary means of religious veneration of spirit beings and the animate universe, commemorating movements of ancestors and first persons across Tamaáyawut, Earth. Songs and their singers continue to traverse the California landscape, crossing ethnolinguistic lines, naming and honoring places and events, retelling their stories. I focus on sacred songs associated with a regional prophetic movement centered on a sacred being called Chinigchinich. The young female shaman, Toypurina, who led a revolt against a Spanish mission in 1785, was an early prophet of this movement of colonial opposition and moral renewal, which continued in secret, triggered other indigenous uprisings, and influenced the Ghost Dance prophecies of 1870. I consider the ceremonial lives, old and new, of sacred songs, comparing century-old fieldnotes and recordings of early anthropologists and ethnomusicologists with ethnographic observations of songs, recently composed or revived, that honor sacred sites threatened with destruction and animate regional, transcultural revitalization movements.
Maria Lepowsky is Professor of Anthropology and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Fruit of the Motherland: Gender in an Egalitarian Society (Columbia University Press, 1993) and Dreaming of Islands (Knopf, in press). She is currently working on a book entitled, Toypurina and the Hidden Histories of California.
Caroline Levine, English Department, UW-Madison "Unbearable Translation: The World Literature Anthology and the Democratization of Culture"
This paper will consider the ambivalence literary critics have long felt toward anthologies of world literature. Such anthologies offer selections of literature from Gilgamesh to Leslie Marmion Silko, most of them in translation, to beginning undergraduates. Do world literature anthologies therefore represent the best of democratic ideals--conveying a sense of the world's plurality of rich cultures to a broad swathe of readers - or do they dumb down, simplify, and homogenize distinct literary traditions, packaging these for easy consumption by a mass audience?
Caroline Levine is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of two books: The Serious Pleasures of Suspense (Virginia 2003), winner of the Perkins Prize for the best book in narrative studies, and Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts (Blackwell 2007). She is part of a new editorial team that is revising the Norton Anthology of World Literature, and she is working on a book on formalism.
Venkat Mani, German Department, UW-Madison "Random Access Memories: The European Library Project"
The European Library Project (TEL) is a public access program linking the holdings of forty-eight national libraries across the continent of Europe. It represents one of the European Union's major post-1989 policy undertakings: the creation of a transnational cultural institution, conceived, designed, and executed as an international conglomerate of multiple national institutions. If the fall of the Berlin Wall serves as an important historical and political marker for the origins of TEL, the progress made in the last twenty years in information technology facilitates its implementation. I begin by unraveling the political ambition, cultural function, and historical implications underlying the phenomenon of national libraries, and then examine the transformation of their roles in a transnational enterprise such as TEL.
B. Venkat Mani is Associate Professor of German at UW-Madison and Faculty Affiliate of Global Studies, Center for European Studies, Center for South Asia and the DAAD Center for German and European Studies. He teaches 19th-21st Century German literature and culture, World Literature, and seminars on theories of transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, and postcolonialism, among others. He is the author of Cosmopolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk (University of Iowa Press, 2007). He has published articles in journals such as Gegenwartsliteratur, German Quarterly, Monatshefte, Annual of Urdu Studies, and The Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.
Mark Netzloff, English Department, UW-Milwaukee "Historicizing Stateless Persons and Non- State Actors: Global Legacies of the Gunpowder Plot"
The early modern period (ca. 1500-1800) has served as a recurring point of reference in recent discussions of globalization. One early modern event that has taken on particular relevance in the past decade is the Gunpowder Plot, the effort of Catholic activists to assassinate the political leadership of England in 1605. My paper discusses the legacies of this event in relation to emerging categories of exterritorial state sovereignty, international law, and stateless persons. The English state used the Gunpowder Plot as a pretext for justifying an unprecedented legal and political innovation: that the state could circumvent international law and unilaterally assert its sovereignty beyond its national borders. The aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot serves as an important case study in the global history of the modern nation-state. The state's characteristic monopoly over force within its territory was also predicated on maintaining a global reach over its expatriated subjects and dissidents. In early modern formulations of international law, universal - and global - definitions of justice hinged on the codification of subjects exempted from these positive rights.
Mark Netzloff is an Associate Professor of English and Literary Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was a UW-System Fellow at the IRH in Fall 2009. He is the author of England's Internal Colonies: Class, Capital, and the Literature of Early Modern of English Colonialism (2003) and the editor of John Norden's The Surveyor's Dialogue (1618): A Critical Edition (2010). A specialist in early modern English literature and culture, he is currently finishing a book project - Beyond the State: English State Agents in Early Modern Europe - that examines the emergence of the modern state in terms of the literary and institutional writings of its extraterritorial agents.
Rob Nixon, English Department, UW-Madison "Slow Violence, the Environmentalism of the Poor and the Ecological Humanities"
How can we, in the ecological humanities, engage the relative invisibility of slow violence, that is, calamities whose fatal repercussions are neither spectacularly immediate nor instantaneous, but dispersed across space and postponed across time? With regard to climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, desertification, ocean-stripping, and ocean acidification from CO2, a paramount challenge facing us as environmentalists is how to devise arresting stories and symbols adequate to the elusive violence of delayed effects, a violence that is often both attritional and exponential. This talk addresses our inattention to calamities that have staying power, calamities that patiently dispense their devastation while remaining outside our flickering attention spans - and outside the purview of a spectacle-powered corporate media. Our temporal bias towards spectacular violence, I argue, exacerbates the vulnerability of ecosystems treated as disposable by turbo-capitalism, while simultaneously exacerbating the vulnerability of those whom Kevin Bale, in another context, has called disposable people. It is against such conjoined ecological and human disposability that we have witnessed a resurgence of transnational writer-activism aligned with the environmentalism of the poor.
Rob Nixon is the Rachel Carson Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of London Calling. V. S. Naipaul, Postcolonial Mandarin (Oxford); Homelands, Harlem and Hollywood. South African Culture and the World Beyond (Routledge); and Dreambirds: the Natural History of a Fantasy (Picador). His book Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor is forthcoming from Harvard University Press. Professor Nixon is a frequent contributor to the New York Times. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Chronicle of Higher Education, Critical Inquiry and elsewhere.
Jonathan Pollack, History Department, Madison Area Technical College "Yep Roc Heresy: The Musical Slanguage of Slim Gaillard"
This paper examines the use of multiple languages in the songs of Slim Gaillard (1916?-1991), a Los Angeles-based guitarist, pianist, and singer. Gaillard's lyrics incorporated elements of Arabic, Yiddish, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and self-created slang called "Vout." Gaillard was part of a wave of performers who used slang as an art form, and his use of multiple languages reminds present-day listeners of the polyglot nature of mid-20th-century Los Angeles. The forgotten music of Slim Gaillard is a shining example of cultural pluralism in popular culture.
Jonathan Z. S. Pollack is the Madison Area Technical College Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities and Chair of the Humanities department at Madison Area Technical College. Pollack has taught history at Madison College since 1998, and he received his Ph. D in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999. A specialist in popular culture, American Jewish history, and labor history, Pollack has published articles in American Jewish History and several edited collections, and he co-edited a document reader in labor history in 2004. As a public historian, Pollack is the project director for Life During Wartime, a Teaching American History program of the US Department of Education, and a frequent guest on Wisconsin Public Radio.
Brian Sandberg, History Department, Northern Illinois University "'Against the Detestable Sect of Mohammed': How Religious Violence Shaped the French Mediterranean and Early Globalization"
In 1621, a book entitled Histoire de Georges Castriot, surnommé Scanderbeg, roy d'Albanis, called on French people to fight "against the detestable sect of Mohammed." Many French readers may have indeed been interested in the possibility of launching a crusade against the Ottomans, but France was then mired in its own sectarian violence between Catholics and Calvinists. Despite the pacificatory provisions of the much-championed Edict of Nantes of 1598, confessional identities and religious politics continued to divide French society, even as the royal state began to formulate an imperial ideology, sponsor overseas colonization, and forge early forms of globalization. The quadricentennial of the founding of Québec in 2008 led to an outpouring of new historical writing about the early French Atlantic empire, but little work has been done on the contemporaneous French imperial involvement in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Many French merchants, mariners, consuls, ambassadors "renegade" soldiers, converts, and slaves engaged in religious conflict in the Mediterranean world in the 1560s-1630s, relating their experiences of Islamic societies and religion. These writings, some of which were published, shaped early French ideologies of empire and understandings of globalization. What were the connections between French portrayals of heretics and infidels in this period? How did representations of Muslims shape French conceptions of empire and of the Mediterranean space? How did France's sometimes close diplomatic relationship with the Ottoman empire affect French views of Muslims? How did lingering notions of crusade and religious violence in the Mediterranean world shape early French understandings of North African governments, societies, and geographies? This paper will consider how French experiences of domestic religious violence and contemporaneous descriptions of the Mediterranean world contributed to the formation of French imperialism and early notions of globalization.
Brian Sandberg is a Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is interested in the intersections of religion, violence, and political culture during the European Wars of Religion. Sandberg is on research leave from his position as an Assistant Professor of History at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches courses on The European Wars of Religion, The Mediterranean World, The Renaissance, Early Modern France, and Early Modern Globalization. Sandberg completed his doctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001, and previously held teaching positions at Simpson College and Millikin University. He served as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Medici Archive Project, and held a Jean Monnet Fellowship at the European University Institute. His first monograph entitled, Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming) examines provincial nobles' orchestration of civil violence in southern France in the early seventeenth century. He has published a number of articles and essays on religious violence, gender relations, and noble culture in early modern France, and is currently working on a new book project on Gender and Violence in the French Wars of Religion, 1562-1629.
Stephanie Spadaro, French and Italian Department, UW-Madison "'Is This Coffee Fair Trade?': Cultivating French Sympathy for the Distant Slave in L'Histoire des deux Indes"
During the Age of the Enlightenment, exploration and colonization increased the distance between powerful individuals in Europe and the remote consequences of their actions in the colonies, and this distance often led to human rights abuses and brutality. In L'Histoire des deux Indes, French philosophers Abbé Raynal and Diderot, among others, use sentimental tropes to reduce this distance by illustrating colonial suffering for their European readers. In contrast, eighteenth-century travel writer and novelist Bernardin de Saint-Pierre criticizes such attempts to communicate the brutality of colonial life. Saint-Pierre suggests that the pleasurable sympathy which sensitive female readers enjoy feeling for pitiful fictional slave characters rarely translates into action on their behalf; in fact, he goes so far as to depict such readers consuming coffee and sugar grown by the very slaves whose literary portrayal had triggered their tears. As Anthony Kwame Appiah argues in Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, sentiment can be an unreliable impetus to action on behalf of the cultural Other. In this paper, I invite audience speculation regarding certain literary techniques that could potentially facilitate appropriate identification with and action on behalf of the Other.
Stephanie Spadaro is a graduate student in the French department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently a Dana-Allen dissertation fellow at the IRH. She is writing her dissertation on rhetorical strategies used to develop a sympathetic relationship between reader and text in 18th-century French novels of sensibility, 18th-century French abolitionist stories, and contemporary Caribbean novels. Her research interests include Enlightenment philosophy and literature, Caribbean studies, cosmopolitanism, theories of language and pain, and narratology. Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University in 2003 with a BA in comparative literature.
Nora Taylor, Art History Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago "Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba and the Condition of the Global Artist"
When contemporary art circles speak about globalization they often refer to the increased presence of artists from around the world in Euro-American art galleries and museums. They speak of re-mapping the art world, of re-tilting the balance away from the center and toward the margins. But, this image offers a false view of how artists around the world live and often, only reinforce differences and inequalities. It presents a picture of "global art" as existing only to satisfy the needs of the first-art world audience. This presentation will discuss the case of an artist, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba who defies nationhodd and whose world, literally spans the globe. His example highlights issues relevant to how art history is written and offers a critique of the continued euroamericancentricism of the art world.
Prof. Nora Taylor is Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her specialty is modern and contemporary Vietnamese art. She is the author of Painters in Hanoi: An Ethnography of Vietnamese Art (Hawaii 2004 and Singapore 2009) as well as numerous essays in journals. She is also curator of "Changing Identity: Recent Work by Vietnamese Women Artists" organized by International Arts and Artists that toured 10 cities in the US in 2007-2009 and more recently, "Breathing is Free: 12,756.3 Recent Work by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba" at the Betty Rymer Gallery, SAIC, January 29-April 24, 2010.
Neil L. Whitehead, Anthropology Department, UW-Madison "All Cultural, Always, Everywhere - The End(s) of Anthropology"
The recognition by both humanistic and social science disciplines of multiple modernities and the existence of other global worlds has meant that the relevance of the cultural to the natural, and necessity for cross-cultural comparison, have become integral to discussions of society, history and environment. But is this conclusion itself nothing more than the projection of liberal capitalist desires onto other histories and cultures? If global culture has always been everywhere then perhaps it is nowhere. Should we wonder, as others have asked, if we have ever been modern? That nothing is cultural or natural? That an anthropology is impossible without mimesis / alterity, subjects / objects. This contribution will briefly draw out the implications of the conceptual collapse of such key oppositions and how that signals the end of modernist / post-modernist anthropology.
Neil L. Whitehead is Professor of Anthropology, Latin American and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author of numerous works on the native peoples of South America and their colonial conquest, as well as on the topics of sorcery, violence, sexuality and warfare. He latest works include a new edition of Hans Staden's sixteenth century account of captivity and cannibalism among the natives of Brazil (Duke 2008) and essays on terrorism, torture, virtual warfare and cyber-sex. He is currently studying the cultural aesthetics of sex and violence, the emergence of digital subjectivities and the possibilities for a post-human anthropology.
André Wink, History Department, UW-Madison "Is There an Early Modern World History?"
Before answering this question in the affirmative, this paper will briefly survey recent developments in humanistic scholarship on the early modern period (approximately the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries). If in the older literature it was argued that modernity, including early modernity, was confined to Europe and from there emanated outward to the rest of the world, an emerging and still rough consensus now seems to be emerging that there is an early modern world that extended beyond Europe and had global or near-global dimensions. Disagreements persist on what exactly constitutes a tell-tale list of features that characterizes such an early modern world. But this paper will argue that these disagreements will be overcome by future scholarship. As an example, the paper will briefly introduce new work which explains the industrial revolution as a result of the development of the early modern world as a whole and shows that it is therefore not a unique feature of the European development that defines its modernity as somehow unique and radically sets it apart from the rest of the world.
André Wink is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He obtained his PhD in Indian history from the University of Leiden. Apart from Indian and Islamic history, his teaching and research interests also include medieval and modern world history. His most recent work includes Akbar (Oxford, 2009), two essays for the forthcoming Harvard New History of the World and Oxford Handbook of World History, as well as a history of the Afghans forthcoming in a special issue of Cracow Indological Studies (2009).