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Upcoming Events

October 4, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
David Ebrey
Philosophy

Plato’s Phaedo is one of his literary and philosophical masterpieces, set on the last day of Socrates’ life. How should we understand Socrates’ reference to Pythagorean and Orphic religious views in the dialogue? Is this a separate feature of dialogue, independent of the detailed philosophical arguments? Instead of being religious window-dressing, I argue that Socrates gives these views precise accounts and an important role in the arguments, appropriating and transforming Pythagorean and Orphic views to present a radical new account of the soul, the good life, and the nature of reality. This reading allows us to see how the different elements of the dialogue fit together to form a cohesive philosophical vision.

David Ebrey (Ph.D., UCLA) works on ancient Greek philosophy, primarily on Plato and Aristotle. So far his research on Plato has focused on Socratic inquiry, the value of knowledge, moral education, and Platonic forms. His research on Aristotle has focused on matter in Aristotle's natural philosophy and syllogisms in his logic. He has published in journals such as Journal of the History of Philosophy, Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, and British Journal of the History of Philosophy, and he has edited a volume, Theory and Practice in Aristotle’s Natural Science (Cambridge, 2015). He has received a Mellon Postdoc (2007-2009), Alice Kaplan Humanities Institute Fellowship (2011-2012), and a Spencer Foundation Grant (2012-2013). He was a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge in 2013. He is currently working on a book on Plato’s Phaedo.

October 7, 2016 (All day)
Elvehjem L140 and Vilas 4070
Burdick-Vary Symposium
Dumbfoundead
Awkwafina
Rekstizzy
Lyricks
Pamela Tom
Tad Nakamura
Yizhou Xu

Join us for a weekend celebrating brand new Asian American documentaries and filmmakers, brought to you by the Asian American Studies Program at UW-Madison. All films are free, open to the public, and followed by Q&A.

BAD RAP - Friday Oct. 7, 7pm at Elvehjem L140 followed by Q&A with Producer Jaeki Cho.  This documentary follows the careers of four Asian American rappers – including Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina, Rekstizzy and Lyricks -- who must literally and figuratively battle for a space in a hip hop culture that fails to acknowledge their existence.

TYRUS - Saturday Oct. 8, 2pm at Vilas 4070 followed by Q&A with Director Pamela Tom.  This documentary reveals the epic achievements of 104-year old Chinese American painter Tyrus Wong, whose watercolors provided the inspiration for Disney’s animated feature BAMBI.

MELE MURALS - Saturday Oct. 8, 7pm at Vilas 4070 followed by Q&A with Director Tad Nakamura. This documentary by Tad Nakamura tells the story of Native Hawaiian youth who are combining indigenous forms of spirituality with the contemporary art of graffiti in order to build community.

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF LOVE - Sunday Oct. 9, 2pm at Elvehjem L140 followed by Q&A with Producer Yizhou Xu. Produced by University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Yizhou Xu, this documentary examines the cultural, economic, and political implications of contemporary love in China. 

October 10, 2016 12:00 PM
Banquet Room, University Club (lower level)
Publication Workshop
Ken Wissoker
Editorial Director, Duke University Press

PLEASE NOTE: this workshop is open to graduate students, faculty, and academic staff. Registration is required: rsvp@humanities.wisc.edu. The reservation deadline is 12:00pm on Wednesday, October 5.

Join us for a discussion of the state of academic publishing in the humanities and the process of working with a university press—from project to proposal to publication. The workshop will include a presentation from Ken Wissoker (Duke University Press and CUNY), who will talk about writing first and subsequent scholarly books at a time of significant changes in the academy, in publishing, and in the ways ideas circulate. Moderated by Susan Stanford Friedman.

Sponsored by the UW-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities and Center for the Humanities. Space is limited. Registration is required. RSVP to rsvp@humanities.wisc.edu.

Ken Wissoker is the Editorial Director of Duke University Press, acquiring books in anthropology, cultural studies and social theory; globalization and post-colonial theory; Asian, African, and American studies; music, film and television; race, gender and sexuality; science studies; and other areas in the humanities, social sciences, media, and the arts. He joined the Press as an Acquisitions Editor in 1991; became Editor-in-Chief in 1997; and was named Editorial Director in 2005. In 2014, in addition to his duties at the Press, he became Director of Intellectual Publics at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. He has published more than 900 books which have won over 100 prizes, and has contributed to the Cinema JournalChronicle of Higher Education, and Prof. Hacker.

Moderated by Susan Stanford Friedman, Director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities, Hilldale Professor in the Humanities, and Virginia Woolf Professor of English and Gender & Women’s Studies at UW-Madison. Her most recent book is Planetary Modernisms: Provocations on Modernity Across Time from Columbia University Press in August 2015.

October 10, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Jennifer Row
Romance Studies, Boston University

From “one’s ticking biological clock” to “grow up, be a man,” sex and gender norms are often seamlessly intertwined with temporality in our modern world. But did time always impact sexuality the same way?   I examine a mid-seventeenth-century moment in France when the appearance of precise minute and second hands on newly portable clocks revolutionized the very experience of time, offering a new texture to time passing, to haste, and to slowness.  Time calibrated sexuality in new ways: from certain socio-sexual tempos (paces of bereavement, reproduction) to the regulated speed of seduction onstage. The performing arts were in fact an essential cornerstone of Louis XIV’s glittering Absolutist spectacle. However, instead of analyzing the explicitly propagandistic uses of theater, I explore theater’s capacity to manage the population through its lived relationship to time. As Foucault argues, biopower, rather than deciding on the citizens’ right to live or to die, sought instead to manage bodies and lives through the controlled flourishing or strategic diminishing of life’s capacities. One essential component of biopower, I suggest, includes the management of speeds and slownesses.  My talk will focus on Jean Racine’s Andromaque (1667) and competing temporalities of mourning, strange animacies and queer object attachment.

Jennifer Row is an assistant professor of French at Boston University and affiliate faculty with BU’s Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature (2014) from Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests include French and English early modern theater, queer and feminist theory, and affect theory. Her book project, Queer Velocities: Time, Sex and Biopower on the Early Modern Stage, looks at the impact of newly precise timekeeping technologies on queer erotics onstage in seventeenth-century France; a chapter stemming from this project will appear in Exemplaria (29.1) in 2017.  She has also published on masochism and nineteenth century commonplace books  in The Canadian Review of Comparative Literature (38.4)  and on early modern anal aesthetics, dance, disability and contemporary art (“The Adapted Anality of Versailles: Othoniel’s Les Belles Danses" forthcoming in ASAP/Journal, (2.2) May 2017). She has previously taught at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris-IV) and at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. 

October 17, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Lori Lopez
Communication Arts, UW-Madison

For over 260,000 Hmong Americans living in the U.S., mobile media now play a key role in maintaining connections and identities.  Yet what role are Hmong women playing in shaping the use of these digital media technologies?  How are Hmong women able to use media to influence new cultural practices, or to challenge patriarchal conditions?  This research project is based on an ethnographic analysis of Hmong women and the groundbreaking ways that they adapt mobile phone technologies to their own specific needs.

Lori Kido Lopez is Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies in the Communication Arts Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also an affiliate of the Asian American Studies Program and the Gender and Women’s Studies Department.  She is the author of Asian American Media Activism: Fighting for Cultural Citizenship (2016, NYU), and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Asian American Media.  She is the founder of the national Race & Media Conference, and was a recipient of the Outstanding Women of Color Award in 2015.

October 19, 2016 7:00 PM
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building room L140, 800 University Avenue
Focus on the Humanities Distinguished Faculty Lecture
Leslie Bow
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Mark and Elisabeth Eccles Professor of English and Asian American Studies, UW-Madison

How does the mundane object serve as a catalyst for exploring the relationship between aesthetics and political injury? Is race always bound to the circulation of negative feeling? We understand the harm embodied by the mammy cookie jar. Yet in the 21st-century, the anthropomorphic object has found new life: geisha cars, Harajuku Lovers perfume bottles, Chanel’s “China Doll” handbags, Alessi’s “Mandarin” juicer. Do these forms of racial kitsch—the Asian figure as salt shaker, decor, or toy—evade contextualization as racist kitsch? This lecture engages the Japanese style known as kawaii or cute style since the 1970s as it finds expression in a specific racial form. In looking at the feeling that the “cute” enables or forecloses, this talk explores the vacillation between pleasure and pain underlying Asian American spectatorship of racialized things. Exploring the convergence among theories of aesthetic form, affect, and stereotyping, this talk seeks to uncover the utility of fantasy and force of nonhuman actants. 

Presented in partnership with the Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: Asian Americans and the Pleasures of Fantasy.

Leslie Bow is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Mark and Elisabeth Eccles Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of the award-winning, ‘Partly Colored’: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated SouthBetrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women's Literature; and editor of Asian American Feminisms. 

October 24, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Elizabeth Bearden
English, UW-Madison

This book investigates how people with disabilities defined and were defined by early modern representations of bodies, spaces, and narratives. It builds on insights that I have gleaned from investigating the relations between experimental genres, visuality, and vulnerable cultural identity, focusing this knowledge on the theorization of disability in the global Renaissance. Understanding how early modern writers normed, located, and related disability not only provides us with more accurate genealogies of disability, but it also helps us to nuance current aesthetic and theoretical disability formulations.

I consider conduct books and treatises, travel writing, wonder books, and essays. The cross-section of texts is comparative, putting canonical European authors such as Castiglione and Cervantes into dialogue with transatlantic and Anglo-Ottoman literary exchange. Its methodology takes a formal and philosophical approach to pre-modern formulations of monstrous bodies, spaces, and narratives, which continue to shape our understandings of disability today.

Professor Elizabeth B. Bearden is a scholar and teacher of early modern literature with training in Comparative Literature, Classics, the History of Rhetoric, Visual Culture Studies, and Disability Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from NYU in 2006 and her A. B. in Comparative Literature at Princeton in 1998. She is an Associate Professor in the English department at UW-Madison. Her first monograph, The Emblematics of the Self: Ekphrasis and Identity in Renaissance Imitations of Greek Romance, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2012 and has been positively reviewed in leading journals. She has published articles in PMLA, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Ancient Narrative Supplementum, and Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies. Additionally, she directed a Digital Humanities project on Philip Sidney’s funeral, which appeared in a Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition in Washington, DC.

October 31, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Dana Oswald
English, UW-Parkside

By examining the bodies of women as they conceive, miscarry, give birth, and lactate in Anglo-Saxon texts that are medical, legal, religious, historical, and literary, I show that the policing of these bodies contradictorily highlights the authority of women over both body and progeny. By placing genres of texts that rarely speak to one another in conversation, I offer a fuller vision of the experience of maternity. Despite the fact that the monastic literary tradition only rarely offers representations of women, the variety of genres examined here allow us to see past exceptional women by examining the corporeal experience of maternity. I reveal that women sought to control the reproductive processes of their bodies, knowing full well the dangers of doing so, and that they used their maternal labors as a means of self-authorization.

Dana Oswald is author of the book Monsters, Gender, and Sexuality in Medieval English Literature, as well as articles on Old and Middle English literature and translation, and gender and sexuality studies. Her focus on the embodied experience of life in medieval England is a means by which contemporary readers can connect to people, characters, and problems existing in an age that can seem very foreign.

November 7, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Pablo Gomez
Department of Medical History and Bioethics, UW-Madison
Department of the History of Science

My current research project studies the development of novel ways of thinking about the human body and disease that appeared in Atlantic slave trading circuits during the seventeenth century. Specifically, it explores the emergence of ideas about fungible and universal bodies that were measurable in reproducible ways, and of diseases as ontological entities. I argue that these ideas, which today scholars identify as modern and “scientific,” first emerged in slave trading circuits. Their genesis was intimately linked to the unprecedented rise in the size and complexity of the commerce of human bodies in the early modern South Atlantic.

Pablo F. Gómez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical History and Bioethics and the Department of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He holds a PhD from Vanderbilt university, a MD from CES University and did his residency in Orthopaedic surgery at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Pablo’s work examines the history of health and corporeality in the early modern Atlantic world. He has published numerous articles and book chapters. His forthcoming book, The Experiential Caribbean: Creating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), explores belief making and the creation of evidence around the human body and the natural world in the early modern Caribbean and black Atlantic. Pablo is currently working on a history of the universal quantifiable body and risk in the early modern world. 

November 14, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Jason Puskar
English, UW-Milwaukee

My project is the first cultural history of the most ubiquitous mechanical interface of the modern world, the pushbutton. Less a history of a technological device than a cultural study of one particular interface between people and machines, it argues that the button affirms and reproduces core liberal values, especially those associated with individual agency, interiority, and the privileges and prerogatives of men. Because the button is a surprisingly recent invention, dating to the mid-nineteenth century, this project could also be seen as a Victorian pre-history of the digital, which might be better understood in terms of the privileging of the fingers—the digits—as the primary locus of human agency. By studying the relationship between pushing buttons and activities such as playing with toys, having sex, or shooting a gun, this project attempts to show how this most mundane activity continues to have powerful social and political effects.

Jason Puskar is Associate Professor of English at the UW–Milwaukee, specializing on  late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature and culture, with recent emphasis on business and economic history and the history of science and technology. He is the author of Accident Society: Fiction, Collectivity and the Production of Chance (Stanford 2012), and he has published articles in journals including American Literary History, Daedalus, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and Mosaic.

November 28, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Julia Dauer
English, UW-Madison

How did transatlantic writers use “I” in their discourse?  When did “I” become the familiar protagonist of American letters?  Julia's project uses the first-person observations at the heart of natural history writing to interrogate the models of personhood developing between 1783 and 1830.  Critics have traditionally emphasized forms of first-person prose associated with Puritan spiritual autobiography, especially narratives about personal transformation.  She argues that natural history revolves around an equally significant form of first-person prose, one that prioritizes exterior experience rather than interior life.  By focusing on empirical observation and its legacies, Julia identifies a wider net of narrators and strategies garnering authority in early American prose.  Empirical observation shapes prose writing across contexts, forcing us to reconsider the models of personhood and individuality circulating in the period.  Her project constellates a series of cases in which observation, personhood, and narrative agency meet their limits. 

Julia Dauer is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at UW-Madison.  Her research focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature and the history science.  Her dissertation uses natural history to access a much larger crisis of personhood that characterized literary, scientific, and political discourse at the turn of the nineteenth century and continues to resonate in the contemporary United States.  Dauer has taught literature and composition courses at UW-Madison and worked as an instructor in the Writing Center.  Her dissertation research has been supported by fellowships from the Department of English, the Graduate School, and the Library Company of Philadelphia.  She is currently at work on her dissertation entitled “Natural History and First-Person Prose in Early America, 1783-1830.”  

December 5, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Sidnie Crawford
Classics and Religious Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Jewish manuscripts discovered in caves in the 20th century in the area of the Dead Sea, have been objects of mystery and intrigue for seventy years. In particular, the subcollection known as the Qumran scrolls, found in eleven caves in close proximity to the ancient ruins of Khirbet Qumran, continue to fascinate and confound modern scholarship. Three questions about the Qumran scrolls have been paramount in the history of research: How did the scrolls come to be in the caves?  Who were the inhabitants of Qumran and did they own the Qumran scrolls?  Why did they establish a settlement at this inhospitable site, and why did they abandon their manuscripts in the nearby caves?  My book project, Scribes, Scrolls and Scripture: The Story of Qumran, narrates the story of the foundation of the Qumran settlement as a library and scribal center staffed by scribes and priests who were part of the Essenes, a first century BCE Jewish movement active in the events of first century BCE Judea.  It breaks new ground by focusing on the scribes of Qumran and their role in collecting, copying, preserving, and in a few cases composing the Qumran scrolls.

Sidnie White Crawford is Willa Cather Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches in the areas of Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and Hebrew language. She is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of Dead Sea Scrolls and Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Her most recent book, edited with Cecilia Wassen, is The Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran and the Concept of a Library, published by E. J. Brill (2016). Sidnie currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, the American headquarters for archaeological research in the Holy Land, and as a member of the Society of Biblical Literature Council. She is also a member of numerous editorial boards, including Hermeneia: A Commentary Series (Fortress Press), The Textual History of the Bible (Brill), and The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition (SBL Press). In her free time Dr. Crawford enjoys international travel, classical music, in particular early music and opera, and watching sports, especially Husker football and women’s volleyball. She usually lives in Lincoln, NE with her husband, Dr. Dan D. Crawford, and their cat, Mollie, but is delighted to be spending the year at the IRH and enjoying all that Madison has to offer.

December 12, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
Sukanya Banerjee
English, UW-Milwaukee

By drawing attention to the under examined category of loyalty, this book argues for the centrality of loyalty to figurations of modernity. Rather than focus on political loyalty alone--a context in which loyalty gets most prominence--I examine interlocking formulations of loyalty across three evolving sites of modernity in nineteenth-early twentieth century Britain and its empire: that of the state, the family, and the economy. In querying how and why ideas of loyalty were idealized at a moment marked both by massive industrialism and high imperialism, I study literary genres and modes that stabilize the seemingly counterintuitive relation between loyalty and modernity. In so doing, I also identify the “transimperial” as a heuristic for studying the expansive yet connected multilingual literary systems of empire.

Sukanya Banerjee is Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She works at the intersection of Victorian studies, postcolonial studies, and studies of South Asia. She is the author of Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire (Duke, 2010), which was awarded the NVSA Sonya Rudikoff Prize for best first book in Victorian studies (2012). She is co-editor of New Routes for Diaspora Studies (Indiana, 2012), an her essays have appeared in journals such as Victorian Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, Prose Studies, and Diaspora. A recipient of a previous fellowship at the IRH, she has also received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

February 22, 2017 5:30 PM
Focus on the Humanities Distinguished Faculty Lecture
Louise Young
Professor of Japanese History, UW-Madison

Japan built a wartime empire in Asia in the 1930s, and after losing that empire in 1945 created trading imperium under the American cold war umbrella. What are the lessons that imperial Japan can teach us about the global moment of the twenties and thirties, when the rise of anti-colonial nationalism brought new pressures on longstanding imperial structures? After the cataclysm of World War Two shattered the foundations of colonial empires and divided the globe up into the first, second, and third worlds, what did this moment of rupture and the end of empire mean for Japan and Asia?

Louise Young is Vilas Distinguished Professor in the Department of History. Her work focuses on modern Japan, especially social and cultural history. She is the author of Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (winner of John K. Fairbank and Hiromi Arisawa prizes) and Beyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan. She is currently working on a history of the idea of class in nineteenth and twentieth century Japan.

Recent Events

September 26, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
1093

Buddhist prophesies about the end of our time and the dawning of a new era tied to the enlightenment of the fifth buddha in our kalpa or “epoch” have circulated widely across the Buddhist world for nearly two millennia.  In Cambodia, these millenarian prophesies have also served as a powerful and pervasive response to and explanation for the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, one that is rarely acknowledged in scholarly interpretations of recent Cambodian history. This talk draws on interdisciplinary research investigating the Buddhist prophesies that have inspired millenarian Buddhism in Cambodia from the colonial era to the post-Socialism of the 1990s.  It will raise intertwined questions of whether and how Buddhist prophetic conceptions of temporality might serve as an alternative frame for understanding the Cold War in Cambodia as well as questions about the ethics of representing the suffering of others in scholarship.

Anne R. Hansen is Professor of History and Religious Studies at UW Madison in the Department of History and Program in Religious Studies, where she researches and teaches about the history and development of Theravada Buddhism, Southeast Asian religions, modern Buddhist reform movements, religion and colonialism, Buddhist ethics and moral history, and theory and method in the study of religion.  She received a PhD in religious studies from Harvard University and a MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. Hansen is the author of How to Behave: Buddhism and Modernity in Colonial Cambodia, 1860-1930 (2007) and editor of At the Edge of the Forest: Essays on Cambodia, History and Narrative (2008).  She is currently working on two books, one on Buddhist conceptions of time, social change and millenarianism in Cambodia, and another on Buddhist ethics of care in Southeast Asian visual culture.  Her most recent article “Painting Ethics: Death, Love, and Moral Vision in the Mahāparinibbāna,” appears as part of a symposium on visual ethics in Journal of Religious Ethics 44.1 (March 2016): 17-50.

September 19, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
1092

This is an extraordinary true-life story.  It's a tale of murder, human rights, and social justice in the Americas.  It's about the power of music in tumultuous times – and also, the power of historical knowledge and the humanities in the wake of atrocity.  This is a traveling story – from the 1960s to our times, from a sports stadium in Santiago, Chile to a U.S. federal court in Orlando, Florida.  It is the story of Chile's iconic "New Song" artist, Víctor Jara.

Steve J. Stern is the Alberto Flores Galindo and Hilldale Professor of History at UW-Madison. He researches Latin American history, and recently published The Human Rights Paradox: Universality and Its Discontents (2014), co-edited with Scott Straus. Stern's research demonstrates the inventiveness of Latin American responses to unequal structures of power, with sometimes surprising impact on world history. Honors include election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Bolton-Johnson Prize for best book in Latin American history, for Battling for Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet’s Chile, 1973-1988; and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Social Science Research Council. Stern is a founding editor, with Scott Straus, of the "Critical Human Rights" series at the UW Press, and has won a UW-Madison Distinguished Teaching Award. He is at work on a project entitled "Between Human Rights and Social Justice: Latin America and the World in Film and History."

September 14, 2016 7:30 PM
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building room L140, 800 University Avenue
Nellie Y. McKay Lecture in the Humanities
1089

Pink globalization, the spread of cute goods from Japan to other parts of the world, has been a stronghold of consumption in various parts of the industrial world in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, particularly with Hello Kitty as its mascot. The Japanese icon that has gone global represents some of the most far-reaching aspects of kawaii (cute) soft power, creating what Yano calls an “empire of cute” that references the character’s global reach, as well as her broad power as a national (Japan) and ethnic (Asian American) icon. This presentation addresses ways by which kawaii (cute) presents a fraught regime in its infantilized familiarity, its unthreatening nature, and its “demand for care.” The critics’ voices rise from their own collective demographic of originary fans – Asian-American, female -- to complicate the picture. In short, the critics decry the stereotype that lives in part through the putative persistence of Hello Kitties in their midst, reinforced by the sexual politics of multicultural America. 

Presented in partnership with the Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: Asian Americans and the Pleasures of Fantasy.

Christine R. Yano, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii, has conducted research on Japan and Japanese Americans with a focus on popular culture.  Her publications include Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song (Harvard, 2002), Crowning the Nice Girl; Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture in Hawaii’s Cherry Blossom Festival (Hawaii, 2006),Airborne Dreams: “Nisei” Stewardesses and Pan American World Airways (Duke, 2011), and Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty and its Trek Across the Pacific (Duke, 2013). She curated a major exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, “Hello!  Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty,” which ran from 2014 to 2015, and continues to travel.  During 2014-2015, she served as Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University, resulting in a book project with Asian American undergraduates there entitled Straight A’s: Asian American Academic Achievement

September 12, 2016 3:00 PM
Banquet Room University Club Building (lower level)
Panel Discussion

What are the meanings of “agency” in various disciplines and interdisciplines of the humanities? To what extent is it theorized or assumed? Does agency mean the freedom to act? To think? To feel? Is agency individual or collective? Does agency imply autonomy? How does agency relate to structure? Institutions? Oppression? Political Activism? Subjectivity? Identity? Emotion? Morality? Religion? How does agency relate to victims, torture, human rights? Is agency inherent in all forms of creativity? Is agency exclusively “human”? Do (non-human) animals have agency? Plants? Microbes? Do machines have agency? (Remember, “Open the pod door, Hal,” from 2001!)?

“Agency” means something quite different across cultures, including the different academic cultures of the humanities and interpretative social sciences. Agency is also often hotly debated in such fields as feminist theory, race theory, and poststructuralist theory. Is “agency” a product of Enlightenment thought, a keystone of “liberalism”? Or do different cultures and times produce varying notions of individual and/or communal agency? Within the framework of a Foucauldian discourse theory, agency appears as a fiction; within the framework of social movement theory, agency is foundational for change. How do we negotiate the different meanings of agency in our fields and disciplines?

Ask yourself: in your own research, do you assume some form of agency to be at work in what you study? If so, what do you mean by it?  Panelists will make short presentations (6-7 minutes) on the meaning(s) of agency in their research for one hour. We will then have one hour of general discussion, so please bring your ideas about agency (especially in relation to your own work) to share with others.

Refreshments available by 2:45 PM. 

 

May 6, 2016 (All day)
Conference

Religion is omnipresent in modernity, and in spite of twentieth-century theorists who saw secularization as intrinsic to the process of modernization, shows no signs of disappearing. After discarding secularization as a plausible historical model, how do we understand the changes in religion that made way for the experience of modernity around the globe? From India to Ethiopia to Latin America to Safavid Iran, religion has remained a vital force in shaping the trajectories of non-Western modernities. And yet, no scholarship to date has provided an adequate model to account for changes that take place in religion around the world starting in the early modern period (ca. 1500-1800), which played a crucial role in shaping the varied experience of modernities that arose independently outside of the European Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment. In this conference, we aim to rethink global transformations in religion during the early modern centuries by raising the following questions in global perspective: Did religions across regions of the globe experience a synchronic series of reformations integral to their entry into the modern age? Do we witness any changes in the concept of religion or its place in society across continents as a result of these reformations?

Over the past few decades, scholars across disciplines have raised scrutiny to the singularity of the concept of modernity, such that the concept of multiple modernities has gained widespread currency across the humanities at large. As a result, recent scholarship has begun to lift the veneer of universalism once associated with the concept of a singular modernity: namely, the historical transformations experienced in Western Europe. And yet, the decline of religion—and the secularization of public space and discourse—stands out among metanarratives of European modernity that has left the study of religion today with a rather ambiguous legacy. In the contemporary Western world, observers have expressed considerable dismay at the apparent reversal of secularization, previously understood as an intrinsic aim of modernity itself. Many seeming anomalies of religion in the contemporary world—pluralism, communalist conflict, sectarian rivalry, the resurgence of religion in the public sphere—demand a more nuanced contextualization in both historical and global perspective.

We propose, succinctly, to center our inquiry on the following sub-themes of religion in global early modernity: 1) Religion and the Public Sphere, 2) Religion and Philology, 3) Sectarianism and Religious Conflict, and 4) Religion and the Concept of History. We aim to foster interdisciplinary approaches from across the humanities and social sciences and projects that cross geographical boundaries, as a diverse methodological toolbox will serve us well in addressing questions that defy the confines of disciplinarily and Area Studies. Our fifteen total participants examine the global reformations of diverse world regions of the globe and religious traditions, bringing together disciplinary perspectives including History, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, the History of Science and Medicine, and Archaeology.

All conference presentations will be free and open to the public. For more information and conference program, click here.

May 2, 2016 3:00 PM
Panel Discussion
April 25, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
74

What does microeconomics—the study of small-scale consumer decisions—have to do with the modern novel? Microeconomics seems to have more to do with mathematical formalism than with literary form, and yet its emphasis on the desires and pleasures of the individual shares much with the modern novel’s increased fascination with psychological interiority. Taking microeconomics and the novel as concomitant developments in the theory of the individual in society, this talk explores the difference between humanist and anti-humanist individualism, turning in its conclusion to the problem of the individual in a period of capitalist crisis.

Annie McClanahan is an Assistant Professor of English at UW Milwaukee. Her book Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis, and 21st Century Culture will appear from Stanford University Press in fall 2016. Her new project, “A Cultural History of Microeconomics,” will explore the ways in which microeconomics has both drawn on and shaped critical theory and cultural production. Her work has appeared in Representations, The Journal of Cultural Economy, Journal of American Studies, Post45, South Atlantic Quarterly, symploke, and qui parle.

April 18, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
73

In his famous second book on Egypt, Herodotus (ca. 484-425 BCE), the so called “father of history” and ethnographic writer from Halicarnassus (present-day Bodrum in southwestern Turkey), emphasizes that of all peoples, the Egyptians are “the most exceedingly religious/pious.” Yet what did the concept of “religiosity” mean at this time? And how did Herodotus translate his understanding of Egypt and its religious world for his Greek audience? By incorporating key concepts from religious studies, including aesthetics, psychology, and the sociology of religion, this talk explores Herodotus' narratives on foreign religion in his Histories and elucidates his method of narrating and understanding foreign religion.

 

 

 

Andreas Schwab is an Assistant Professor of Classics at the Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg in Germany. He published his first book on the sophisticated Late Antique (4th cent. CE) hexameter poetry and theology of Gregory of Nazianzus, Peri Pronoias On Providence: Text, Translation and Commentary, Classica Monacensia series (Tübingen 2009). In his second book, Thales of Miletus in Early Christian Literature,Studia Praesocratica series (Berlin/Boston 2012), he focuses on the reception of this early Greek philosopher, astronomer and sage of the 6th century BCE. He has written articles on the hermeneutics and the reception of ancient Greek philosophy, Herodotus, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, and early Christian literature. In 2015 he co-edited a volume entitled Le Travail du Savoir / Wissensbewätigung: Philosophie, sciences exactes et sciences appliquées dans l’Antiquité. He is also a co-editor of The Reception of the Homeric Hymns (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). His current book project is on “The Translation of Foreign Religion in Herodotus.”

April 15, 2016 9:00 AM
212 University Club Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1088

In 1633, the French philosopher René Descartes, living in self-exile in the countryside of the province of Holland, was putting the final touches on what was supposed to be his first published treatise. For some years he had been working on a variety of scientific topics. These included grand cosmological questions about the origin of the universe and the forces governing its phenomena, and more particular topics, such as the trajectory of comets, the operation of the magnet, the dynamic behavior of fluids, and the causes of the tides. Descartes was especially interested in resolving a number of geometrical problems in optics and the science of light. He investigated the colors of the rainbow and the material and mental processes involved in visual sensation. Writing in 1629 to his friend, the Minim friar Marin Mersenne, who operated a far-flung intellectual network from his rooms in Paris, Descartes boldly said that his treatise will contain nothing less than “all the phenomena of nature.” Its title, appropriately, was Le Monde, or The World.

Descartes was certainly concerned about how the planned work—which was to include an essay on the human being, titled L’Homme (Treatise on Man)—would be received by religious authorities. In his speculations on the origins of the cosmos, he was afraid of being drawn into debates about whether the universe is created or eternal, finite or infinite, theologically dangerous terrain that had doomed many an earlier thinker. Descartes also knew that what was likely to strike contemporary theologians as the most problematic feature of The World, should he publish it, was his rejection of the Ptolemaic or geocentric model of the universe in favor of the Copernican heliocentric model.

Still, by autumn, Descartes decided that The World was ready for publication. And then, just when everything seemed set, Descartes learned about the condemnation of Galileo in Rome for defending the Copernican system. Descartes was now scared. He claimed that the heliocentric model “is so closely interwoven in every part of my treatise that I could not remove it without rendering the whole work defective.” He decided “not to publish the treatise I have written and to forfeit almost all my work of the last four years in order to give my obedience to the Church, since it has proscribed the view that the earth moves.” This was, in fact, not so much an act of faithful obedience by a devoted Catholic but a defensive tactic within his general strategy to preserve his “repose and peace of mind.  

The first part of The World, the physics and cosmology, would eventually be published in 1664, fourteen years after Descartes’s death. As for the second part, the Treatise on Man, it too would appear only posthumously, in 1662 (in a Latin edition) and 1664 (a French edition). It was this latter work, a thoroughly mechanistic account of the human body, devoid of any Aristotelian “forms” or “qualities” and functioning, like any natural body, solely through the motion and rest of minute parts of matter, that would turn out to be truly revolutionary. It was perhaps Descartes’s most influential book in the seventeenth century.

The Treatise on Man ushered in a new era of philosophy. The latter half of the seventeenth-century was dominated by Cartesian thought, but a Cartesianism that had been supplemented, modified, and “corrected” by Descartes’s latter-day followers. The Treatise on Man was also highly controversial, especially insofar as Descartes seemed to some readers to be saying that the human soul played no role in the operations of the human body. If the human body really does function as a purely mechanistic device, then what need is there of the immortal soul so dear to the Christian religion? His theological critics regarded it as a book that could only foster materialism and atheism.

April 11, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
72

As Margaret Atwood writes, the female body has always seen as a “hot topic” in cultures across the globe. Thus regions throughout the world have employed standardized systems of mapping and dissecting the female body, and the Indian subcontinent in the twentieth century, with its diversity of religions and cultures, was no exception. Yet how did women writers themselves negotiate the tense relationship between their bodies, ascribed cultural values, and a sense of self? Devaleena Das will explore these issues by tracing the writings of 20th century writers from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. 

Devaleena Das was a former Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. Currently she is teaching in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.  She received her Ph.D. from Calcutta University in 2012. Her dissertation examines postcolonial and gendered space in Australia and she works in the field of intersectional feminism.

April 6, 2016 5:30 PM
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building room L140, 800 University Avenue
Focus on the Humanities Distinguished Faculty Lecture
79

In this talk, Drewal explores the vital role of the senses with an approach he calls sensiotics. While Drewal focuses on the Yoruba peoples of West Africa and their cultural sensorium, he argues that sensing is constitutive of thinking and that sensiotics can help us understand the shaping of persons, cultures, histories and the arts universally, as suggested in trans-disciplinary research that documents the crucial role of embodied knowledge.

While a teacher in Nigeria, Henry Drewal apprenticed himself to a Yoruba sculptor. That transformative experience led him to interdisciplinary studies at Columbia University in African art history and culture where he earned two Masters' degrees and a PhD in 1973. He has taught at Cleveland State University, UC-Santa Barbara, and SUNY-Purchase, and served as Curator of African Art at The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Neuberger Museum. Since 1991 he has been the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies and Adjunct Curator of African Art at the Chazen Museum of Art, UW-Madison. He has published several books, edited volumes, exhibition catalogues, and many articles on African/African Diaspora arts and curated or co-curated several major exhibitions, among them: Introspectives: Contemporary Art by Americans and Brazilians of African Descent; Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought; Beads, Body, and Soul: Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe; Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas; Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria; Soulful Stitching: Patchwork Quilts by Africans (Siddis) in India, and most recently, Double Fortune, Double Trouble: Art for Sacred Yoruba Twins. Among his numerous awards are several NEH grants, two Fulbright Research Awards (Brazil and Benin), two AIIS Senior Fellowships for research in India, a Metropolitan Museum of Art Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

April 4, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
71

In 1974, Joan Little, a young, impoverished, African American woman killed her white guard in a Southern jail after he sexually assaulted her. Indicted for first degree murder and facing a death sentence if convicted, her case quickly became a national and international cause celebre. During and after her murder trial, Little was imprisoned at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women. There, women inmates organized a sit-down strike and, in a joint effort with the Triangle Area Lesbian Feminists and the North Carolina Hard Times Prison Project, they published a prison pamphlet: Break de Chains of U$ Legalized Slavery, a collection of inmate poems, exposes and illustrations. By examining women’s prison organizing in the 1970s on both sides of the prison walls this talk suggests a more expansive view of both the women’s liberation movement(s) and the “long civil rights movement.” 

Christina Greene is an Associate Professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies, UW-Madison. She is the author of the award-winning book, Our Separate Ways: Women and the Black Freedom Movement in Durham, North Carolina, 1940-1970 (University of North Carolina Press, 2005). She has been published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Journal of Southern History, and Journal of African American History. She has also been published in several edited collections: Hidden Histories of Women in the New South (1994); From the Grass Roots to the Supreme Court: Brown v. Board of Education and American Democracy(2004); and The War on Poverty: A New Grassroots History, 1964-1980 (2011). Greene is also a contributor to Civil Rights in the United States (2000) and Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History (forthcoming), and a contributor and subject editor for African American National Biography (2008). She is currently working on a book-length monograph of the 1970s Free Joan Little Rape-Murder Campaign.

March 31, 2016 4:00 PM
L160 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Germaine Brée Lecture
1087

Jean-Pierre Bekolo (1966, Yaounde) is an avant-garde filmmaker and socio-cultural activist whose imaginative work overturns stereotypes of Africa and African cinema. His entertaining films operate on multiple layers, engaging viewers with thrilling stories, biting humor and dramatic aesthetics.

An advocate of artistic freedom, Bekolo is committed to realizing Africa’s philosophies and cultures. Quartier Mozart shows the hybridity, complexity and humor in urban Yaounde in a playful, hip-hop reinvention of a traditional tale about gender, power, magic and politics. Aristotle’s Plot parodies rules and definitions, action movies and ‘African’ cinema made for European audiences, while aesthetically reflecting on the nature of existence, its ambiguities and absence of rigid categories. Aiming to incite viewers to conceive an alternate reality, his fake documentary The President is a hilarious, biting satire on African leaders who cling to power, and his dystopian, sci-fi comic thriller with stunning surreal visuals, Les Saignantes, presents extreme corruption, feminism, social decay and intergenerational conflict for review.

Bekolo’s work on the re-representation of Africa also includes insightful documentaries that seek to educate, such as Grandmother’s Grammar on groundbreaking Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety, and Les Choses et Les Mots de Mudimbe on the renowned Congolese philosopher, multi-linguist and uber-polymath.

Part of a Screening and Lecture Series

Monday, 03/28:
2:25pm, 104 Van Hise : "Life after Life," for a discussion on the film "Les Saignantes" in Vlad Dima's undergraduate class

Tuesday, 03/29:
2:25pm, 483 Van Hise  : Visit with Prof. Névine El-Nossery's graduate course on Francophone literature and film.

Wednesday, 03/30:
12pm, 206 Ingraham Hall : Africa-at-Noon series, an informal interview with the director
Title: "Conversations: Jean-Pierre Bekolo and Cinema" (led by Prof. Dima) on various issues.

Thursday, 03/31:
4pm, L160 Elvehjem : A Germaine Brée Lecture Series : "Le Président: Africa for the Future"
Campus-wide presentation (in English) on the current state of African cinema, followed by a screening of one of the director's films and a brief Q&A

Friday, 04/01:
4pm at the French House : Informal presentation (in French) on Mr. Bekolo's general artistic process, reasons for making films, politics etc.
Reception to follow.

March 28, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
70

Narratives in which leather-winged demons or dragons face off against bird-winged angels and heroes have millennia of history behind them. In the nineteenth century, however, discoveries of fossil pterosaurs (flying reptiles) and Jurassic birds invited new interpretations of old tales. How did British paleontological texts and visual restorations treat these winged curiosities? By investigating these sources, Caitlin Silberman traces how restorations that place leather-winged, reptilian pterosaurs in conflict with ancient birds like Archaeopteryx lithographica provide an unexpected window into Victorian perspectives on progress, evolution, and humanity’s place in nature.

Caitlin Silberman is a PhD candidate in Art History at UW-Madison. Her research centers on intersections between art, visual culture, and the sciences in nineteenth-century Britain. Her dissertation considers Victorian strategies for visualizing difference between humans and non-human animals. Silberman has taught Art History and History of Science at UW-Madison and worked at a variety of museums, archives, and libraries, including the Stanley Kubrick Archive, London's Natural History Museum, and the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA. Her Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellowship is bracketed by two semesters as a 2015-16 CIC/Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellow, where she is based at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. She is at work on her dissertation entitled "Thinking with Birds in British Art and Visual Culture, 1840-1900." 

March 14, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
69

How can we begin to understand multi-ethnic community formation in contexts where there are no written records and only the faintest material traces of ancient lives have survived? What kinds of material practices, and the social, political, and ritual behaviors implicated by them, did people use to negotiate their differences? Based on archaeological research at the 13th century site of Jonathan Creek supplemented by work at other prominent sites across the southeastern United States that were variously occupied between the 11th and 14th centuries AD, and analogies drawn from later ethnohistoric and ethnographic documents, my presentation explores the ways in which the forms, aesthetics, and symbolism of perishable architecture connected with the social, political, and cosmological processes that helped shape these communities. 

Sissel Schroeder is a Professor of Archaeology in the Anthropology Department at UW-Madison. Her research intersects with the humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences, and includes the investigation of ancient architecture, ecological and agency-based considerations of emerging sociopolitical complexity, historical ecology, and the history of archaeology. Her research has been published in edited volumes and journals, including the American AntiquityJournal of Anthropological ArchaeologyAntiquitySoutheastern ArchaeologyJournal of Biogeography, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, and served as the Director of the College of Letters & Science Honors Program in 2012-2015. She is at work on a project entitled "Building Place and People: Materiality, Hybridity, and Community Formation among Ancient Native Americans in the Midcontinent, AD 1000-1600."

March 11, 2016 9:00 AM
Fluno Center
Conference
1085

In the six years since the nadir of the Great Recession, debt has attracted scholarly attention across the humanities. Debt names not only student loans, underwater mortgages, and consumer credit but also, more significantly, a form of life molded by debt: the everyday practices, desires, virtues, and vices of the indebted. In other words, debt offers a way of exploring the concrete, lived experiences that result from neoliberal economic policies. Debt is not colorblind: in the United States, Blacks and Latinos are affected most severely. The foreclosure rate at the peak of the Great Recession for Blacks was 7.9%, for Latinos 7.7%, and for whites 4.5%. A significantly higher percentage of Blacks than whites take on student loan debt, and the credit card interest paid by Blacks makes up a significantly greater share of their income. Debt severely distorts the lives of people of color in the US.

Race and debt have long been connected, and together entwined with property. Classically, in The Merchant of Venice, it is the racial other, the Jew, who demanded repayment of debt in flesh when property was unavailable. Treating flesh as property was the principle animating the slave trade, a business sustained by debt secured by Black human “property.” Post-emancipation, Black sharecroppers remained tied down by debt and by lack of property ownership. The hyper-incarceration of poor Blacks today justifies itself by extracting a debt owed to society. Calls for reparations claim that society owes a debt to Blacks or to other communities that have suffered injustices. A variety of Black social movements for decades have called for property ownership as a means of Black empowerment.

This symposium will bring together a dozen senior and junior scholars of history, literature, anthropology, and law to reflect on the conjunction of race, property, and debt. Looking both at and beyond Black experience in the Great Recession, presenters will share their own research and place it in dialogue with the research of colleagues, clarifying the often elusive spider-web of concepts and practices that entangle, entrap, and ruin the lives of people of color in the US and beyond. Drawing on a variety of sites and methods, the symposium will encourage research cross-fertilization while featuring state-of-the-art scholarship on this timely and important set of issues.

All conference presentations will be free and open to the public.

March 9, 2016 5:30 PM
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building room L140, 800 University Avenue
Focus on the Humanities Distinguished Faculty Lecture
76

The recent trend toward favoring the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines over the humanities is a manifestation of a centuries-long struggle between quantitative fields of inquiry like physics and mathematics and qualitative fields like art and literature. In his monumental cycle of novels, The Human Comedy, Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), one of the greatest of all French writers, brilliantly dramatizes this struggle, as his portrayal of humanity owes much both to qualitative notions of character, morality, and psychology and to quantitative notions like that of the “average man” (l’homme moyen) developed by his contemporary, Belgian statistician and sociologist Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874). This talk will delve into one of Balzac’s most thought-provoking novels, The Search for the Absolute, the story of a chemist who sacrifices his marriage, his children, his place in society and ultimately his humanity to the failed quest for what he believes to be the single chemical component common to all materials. In this love story between a once-devoted husband and father and his adoring but ultimately disabused wife and daughter, the conflict between two fundamentally opposed notions of human values brings out compelling and surprising truths that help us to understand what is at stake today as we attempt to balance these opposing schools of thought.

Richard Goodkin has been a member of the Department of French and Italian since 1988. He previously taught at Yale University. He has published monographs on seventeenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century French literature, including The Tragic Middle: Racine, Aristotle, Euripides (1991), Around Proust (1991), Birth Marks: The Tragedy of Primogeniture in Pierre Corneille, Thomas Corneille, and Jean Racine (2000), and How Do I Know Thee? Theatrical and Narrative Cognition in Seventeenth-Century France (2015), this most recent book having been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has also edited two collections, Autour de Racine: Studies in Intertextuality (Yale French Studies, 1988) and In Memory of Elaine Marks: Life Writing, Writing Death (2007), and recently published his first novel, Les Magnifiques Mensonges de Madeleine Béjart (2013), a historical novel about Molière’s mistress and collaborator. The present talk is taken from a book project entitled Connecting the Dots: The Calculus of Personality in French Fiction and Film, for which he received a Senior Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities (2009-2014).

March 7, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
68

The Food and Drug Administration’s number one job is to protect public health by ensuring the safety and efficacy of consumable products. And yet, pervasive financial relationships with industry often raise questions as to just how effectively the FDA safeguards the public. Accordingly my book manuscript, Conflicted: Tracing Industry Influence in Federal Pharmaceuticals Policy, investigates the systemic effects of pharmaceuticals industry relationships on patient health, FDA decision making, and public trust. In this presentation, I will investigate the adverse effects of conflicts of interest at FDA advisory committee meetings.

S. Scott Graham is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Director of the Scientific and Medical Communications Laboratory at the UW-Milwaukee. His work is primarily devoted to investigating the role of argument and communication in scientific and medical boundary spaces (e.g., interdisciplinary science and science-policy). Graham's The Politics of Pain Medicine: A Rhetorical-Ontological Inquiry (Chicago, 2015) chronicles the work of interdisciplinary pain management specialists to found a new science of pain and a new approach to pain medicine grounded in a more comprehensive biopsychosocial model. He is currently working on a second book entitled Conflicted: Tracing Industry Influence in Federal Pharmaceuticals Policy.

February 29, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
67

Eating, we know, is both necessary for our survival and ecologically consequential: agriculture has profoundly altered our planet. Writing and reading, too, have human advantages and ecological consequences—and on a scale that we have not yet honestly admitted in our stories about the history of the book. In “Toward a Natural History of the Book,” I ask questions like: How might we write history of the book that accounts for negotiations among humans and non-humans in the act of creating material records of ideas? This talk explores the ecological materials that made Renaissance books possible, on the ecological choices that, by extension, made the writings of Shakespeare and his contemporaries possible.

Joshua Calhoun is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in Shakespeare, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poetry, and the history of media. As a Faculty Affiliate at the Nelson Institute’s Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE), he also teaches courses in the environmental humanities. His work has been published in PMLA, Shakespeare Studies, and Environmental Philosophy. He is currently writing a book about poetry, papermaking, and ecology titled The Nature of the Page in Renaissance England. Drawing on original archival research, environmental history, and the poetry of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the book tells a vibrant natural history of the ecological negotiations and technological contrivances used to store and transmit human ideas. 

February 24, 2016 3:00 PM
Banquet Room University Club Building (lower level)
Panel Discussion

Join us for a discussion of the state of academic publishing in the humanities and the process of working with a university press--from project to proposal to publication. The workshop will include brief presentations from Eric Zinner (NYU Press) and UW-Madison faculty members Ron Radano and Pernille Ipsen. Moderated by Susan Stanford Friedman.

Refreshments available by 2:45pm.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to rsvp@humanities.wisc.edu.

Sponsored by the UW Institute for Research in the Humanities and Center for the Humanities. With support from the Scholarly Publishing Series, sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, the Graduate School, UW-Madison Libraries, and the Office of the Provost.

 
February 23, 2016 5:30 PM
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building room L140, 800 University Avenue
Nellie Y. McKay Lecture in the Humanities
77

Earl Lewis is President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A well-regarded social historian, he has been a champion of the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning, and connecting universities to their communities. Before joining the Mellon Foundation, he served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University, and as vice provost and dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan. He held faculty appointments at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan. The author and co-editor of seven books including the eleven-volume Young Oxford History of African Americans, he has written numerous essays, articles, and reviews on different aspects of American and African American history. His recent books include The African American Urban Experience: Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present (2004), and Defending Diversity: Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan (2004).

February 22, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
66

Are our bodies the sum of our (chemical) parts, or are we more than that, the products of our particular background and culture? This talk delves into the question by examining a debate between chemistry and medicine about how to provision troops during the U.S. Civil War. At issue was an 1864 proposal by the chemist Eben Norton Horsford for a condensed ration that purported to contain all of the nutrients needed by a soldier in an ultraportable format. Horsford’s plan was opposed by Union Army physicians, who held that tradition and culture were the only reliable guides to diet, not science.

Through examining this conflict, I explore the fraught relationship between science and medicine in the mid-nineteenth century. Can scientific discoveries reliably engender improvements in medicine? How can we harmonize a materialist, universal vision of the human body with a holistic and particular one?

Molly Laas is a PhD Candidate in the Program of the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at UW-Madison. Her work explores the intellectual cultures of science and medicine in the nineteenth century, focusing on the trans-Atlantic circulation of ideas about chemistry, physiology, health, and the interplay between science and social thought. Her work has been supported by a University Fellowship and a Chancellor's Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, a research assistantship from UW-Madison Center for German and European Studies, and the History of Science Department's Lindberg, Coleman, and Richardson fellowships. She received her B.A. in comparative literature from Smith College in 2004, and worked as a science journalist before receiving a Master's degree in the history of science from UW-Madison in 2012. She is currently at work on her dissertation entitled "From Regimen to Regime: The Social Meaning of Nutrition, 1840-1910."

February 15, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
65

Europe today is often described as ‘Christian’, at least in the cultural sense. But how did it get to be this way? Was the slow tide of Christianity that swamped indigenous European paganism ultimately irresistable, as medieval sources seem to present it? A starting premise of this talk is that the very notion of a Christian/pagan dichotomy is problematic. Medieval people had conflicting ideas about what ‘proper’ Christianity involved – and, just as important, what it didn’t involve. Christianity could take many different forms, especially when it became a new ingredient in old political conflicts. In this paper I will examine one especially fraught conflict in eighth-century Europe, and use a careful interdisciplinary approach to reveal the deep complexities and ambiguities of religious conversion. What was it to be 'Christian' in this context, and who got to define the term?

John-Henry Clay is a Lecturer in Medieval History at Durham University (UK). There, his teaching focuses on the history of western Europe from the end of the Roman empire to 1000 AD. His particular interests include the end of Roman Gaul, the origins of monasticism and Europe's conversion to Christianity. His first monograph, In the Shadow of Death: Saint Boniface and the Conversion of Hessia, 721-754 (Brepols, 2010) drew together history, archaeology, and landscape studies in a detailed exploration of an early medieval missionary community in Hessia, and he has published numerous articles and book chapters in related areas. A secondary interest is the relationship between academic history and the creative imagination, especially with respect to wider public engagement and education, which has led to two published historical novels: The Lion and the Lamb (Hodder & Stoughton, 2013) and At the Ruin of the World (Hodder & Stoughton, 2015). He is at work on a project entitled "Bringers of Light: The Christianisation of Early Medieval Germany under the Carolingians."

February 8, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
64

Contemporary observers of England’s burgeoning late-sixteenth century literary culture believed their country’s emerging canon of vernacular literature might help foster consensus around a collective cultural and political identity. But were they right? My talk relates this literary-historical question to a modern theoretical debate between Jürgen Habermas and Chantal Mouffe about the value of consensus as a political concept. To what extent could a shared literary culture foster consensus around common values and transcend the bitter religious divisions of the Reformation? To what extent did the literature of this period allow religious minorities to assert their non-participation in this putative consensus? As a poet writing in the wake of Reformation Europe’s bloody religious conflicts, Edmund Spenser offers a perspective with unique historical purchase on these questions, which still today factor into different rationales for the humanities.

Victor Lenthe is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His research focuses on early modern literary culture and post-Reformation Europe’s experience of religious difference. His dissertation is entitled “The Question of the Early Modern Public: Consensus and its Limits in the English Literary Renaissance.” It examines early modern writers like Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson for historical perspectives on debates between modern political theorists about the nature of pluralism and the role of literature in public life.

February 1, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
63

Scientific conferences are not known for their excitement, but what happens when large numbers of your constituency choose to boycott your meeting? And further, what can transpire when rowdy AIDS activists use your meeting as a stage to air their grievances with government and scientific inaction and disrupt business as usual? What is the appropriate relationship between science and politics, especially when people are dying at alarming rates? This presentation will consider these questions and more through analysis of the rhetoric of the boycotts of the 1990 and 1992 International AIDS Conferences, which are key turning points in the global history of HIV/AIDS.

Karma R. Chávez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and affiliate in the Program in Chican@ and Latin@ Studies and the Department of Gender and Women's Studies at UW-Madison. She is co-editor of Standing in the Intersection: Feminist Voices, Feminist Practices (with Cindy L. Griffin, SUNY Press, 2012), and author of Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities (University of Illinois Press, 2013). Karma is also a member of the radical queer collective Against Equality, an organizer for LGBT Books to Prisoners, and a host of the radio program, "A Public Affair" on Madison's community radio station, 89.9 FM WORT. She is at work on a project entitled AIDS Knows No Borders: AIDS Activism and the Rhetoric of Immigration.

January 25, 2016 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
62

For more than 150 years, US black music has stood at the center of the American entertainment industry, frequently proclaimed to be the driving force in popular expression. Why has this been so? Why do so many people think black music is so entertaining, so important, so valuable? Why, moreover, has this perception been so widely embraced around the world? My presentation will tackle the problem head on, proposing that matters of black musical value are not simply musical matters. They are embedded in the very processes by which racially conceived musical forms have been constituted within and against the forces of capitalism, which, in turn, have given to black music a uniquely “animated” valuation.

Ronald Radano is a Professor of African Languages and Literature and Music at UW-Madison. He is the author of two award-winning books, New Musical Figurations: Anthony Braxton’s Cultural Critique (Chicago, 1993; Italian translation, forthcoming) and Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music (Chicago, 2003), and coeditor of Music and the Racial Imagination (Chicago 2000) and Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique (Duke, in print). His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Musical QuarterlyDaedalusCritical InquiryModernism/Modernity, and Radical History Review. His discussion of black musical value will also appear in the February 2016 issue of boundary 2. He is coeditor of two book series, Refiguring American Music (Duke) and Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology (Chicago). Radano has held research residencies and fellowships at numerous institutions, including the Du Bois Institute (Harvard), the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Pennsylvania (as a Rockefeller Fellow). He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1997-1998. He is at work on a project entitled "The Secret Animation of Black Music."

December 14, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
61

What was the function of royal genealogy in the early modern period? How did royal genealogy engage with debates on the ethnic and political identity of national communities? In Britain, more than in any other early modern European country, royal genealogies interwove the origins of the monarch and people through the use of mythical ancestors who were both the first kings and ethnic founders of national communities. With the help of genealogical rolls and prints, historical and literary texts, this talk explores the early seventeenth-century genealogical construction of a British kingship in racial terms, through origin myths linking the monarch to Adam, Noah, Troy, ancient Egypt, and Greece.

Sara Trevisan is a Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities and will be Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick from May 2016, for three years. She earned a PhD in English Literature at the University of Padua, in Italy, and has held fellowships at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and the University of Warwick, as well as a lectureship at Brunel University London. She has published on early modern literature and culture in journals such as Renaissance Quarterly, Renaissance Studies and The Seventeenth Century. She is particularly interested in the intersections between court and popular drama and poetry, and European intellectual history, geography, cartography, visual iconography, the history of the book, and theories of monarchical rule and nationhood. She is currently writing a book on royal genealogy, and discourses of national and ethnic identity in Britain between 1558 and 1640, provisionally entitled From Noah to King James: Genesis, Fabulous Genealogies and the Myth-Making of Kingship in Early Modern Britain.

December 7, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
60

What is cinema and where was cinema? How might the ontological inquiries of the cinema be unpacked in a colonial context? Inspired by transmedia archaeology, this talk explores early cinematic modernity through the magic lantern activities in colonial Taiwan. Among the missing puzzle pieces in the visual culture of colonial Taiwan, the magic lantern show (gentō-kai) is a crucial yet less-discussed event of seeing that provokes issues concerning optical modernity, images of colonial edification, and the projection of empires. On the surface, the magic lantern show seemed to be an extension of colonial power, yet, the process of its projection and mediation also revealed the disintegrated temporality between the colony and the imperial screen.

Laura Jo-Han Wen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages & Literature at UW-Madison. Her research explores issues at the convergence of colonial modernity, visual culture, media archaeology, the history of early cinema, and transnationalism. As a Taiwanese, she is interested in thinking about the ways in which her Taiwan experience might contribute to, or sometimes confront, current scholarship and intellectual fields. From 2012 to 2013, she served as the president of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA), a US-based NPO dedicated to Taiwan studies and transdisciplinary research. She is at work on her doctoral dissertation concerning Taiwan's early film history and cinematic culture, tentatively entitled, "Screen Culture, Visual Power, and the Beyond: A Transmedia Archaeology of the Cinema in Colonial Taiwan, 1895–1945."

November 30, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
59

How did pre-modern empires negotiate imperial boundaries while facilitating inter-imperial trade? What was the political place of transimperial diplomat and merchant communities in this trade? This talk highlights the Iranian Armenian community of Esfahan and the Ottoman Latin-rite community of Istanbul, examining comparatively how their fluid legal status in Ottoman and Safavid lands played an important role in shaping the Eurasian silk routes to Venice.

Ali Humayun Akhtar is an Assistant Professor at Bates College and is an historian of government, religion, and economy. His research focuses on networks of diplomats, scholars, and merchants who connected Mediterranean Europe with the Middle East and Central Asia in the medieval and early modern eras. His first book traces the political debates over Graeco-Arabic philosophy and Sufism from Cordoba to Cairo (10th-12th centuries) as a larger window into the contested nature of political and religious authority in the medieval world. He is currently working on a new book on law and economy along the Safavid and Ottoman silk routes to Venice (16th-17th centuries). Before arriving at Bates College in 2012, he taught at Bard College and New York University. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. at New York University in History and Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. at Cornell University.

November 23, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
58

Between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, after the initial euphoria of African national independence and before the era of market liberalization, hundreds of thousands of young East Africans left their rural homes and became the first generation in their families to make lives in the city. This demographic shift occurred in the absence of economic growth and far exceeded the interventions and visions of urban planners and policymakers. What kind of city did these urban sojourners envision and create? How did they reconcile the promises of decolonization and political liberation with the realities of inequality, scarcity and urban infrastructural collapse? Based on research in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this talk explores Africa’s urban revolution as encountered by popular artists and intellectuals including investigative journalists and newspaper gossip columnists, songwriters and musicians, Christian women’s advice writers, nurses and social workers, and Swahili underground pulp fiction publishers. It examines how migrants in the city theorized the postcolonial predicament based on their urban experiences, using the urban landscape they encountered as the raw material with which they pose broader questions about African liberation, gender roles, adulthood, community and social justice.

Emily Callaci is an Assistant Professor of modern African history at UW-Madison. Her research and teaching interests include global cities, African popular cultures, comparative socialisms and the global history of reproductive politics. Her work has appeared in the Journal of African History and Urban History. Building on her work on urban cultural and sexual politics in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, she has recently begun preliminary research for a second project on the transnational history of the family planning movement in Africa. She is spending her semester at the IRH working on a book that explores popular forms of urbanism in Tanzania during its socialist era, from 1967 through 1985.

November 16, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
57

Fear is one of the most salient political emotions. The philosophers Hobbes and Lucretius each considered fear in their writings on civil war. Lucretius argued that the fear of death led to civil war. Although Lucretius deeply influenced Hobbes, Hobbes promoted a fear of death, arguing that this fear prevented civil war. What are we to make of the place of the fear of death in Hobbes' and Lucretius' philosophies? And how does this difference shape their eirenic projects—their work to ensure peace?

Daniel Kapust is Associate Professor of Political Science, and affiliated with the Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies and the Center for Early Modern Studies. A political theorist, he centers his research on rhetoric and republicanism, themes he explores in Roman, early modern, 18th century, and contemporary political thought. His work includes Republicanism, Rhetoric, and Roman Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2011), and he has published or had accepted for publication articles and chapters on Cicero, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Adam Smith. His research has appeared in the American Political Science ReviewJournal of PoliticsPolitical TheoryHistory of Political ThoughtEuropean Journal of Political TheoryPolitical Studies, and Journal of the History of Ideas. Currently, he is working on a book project on flattery and political theory, and articles on Hobbes and Lucretius and deliberative democracy and the justification of war.

November 9, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
56

What new things can personal digital photography tell us about gendered lives? Does digital photography provide a wider range of gendered activities and gendered images? What can we learn about women's lives and senses of self as "photographers"? How to process and make sense of digital photography collections? How to (and who gets to) determine the biographic relevance and significance of the photos? Using the personal photos I collected in China from women who lived through the Mao era, I discuss how the changing materiality of digital photography affects women's auto/biographical photo practices, the opportunities and challenges this brings to the study of women's lives, and the challenges in collecting (scanning and copying), categorizing, and analyzing the digital photographs.

Xin Huang is an Assistant Professor in Women's and Gender Studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Huang received her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Women's and Gender Studies in 2010. Her main area of research is gender and sexuality in contemporary China, particularly the representation of gender and sexuality in oral narrative and visual forms. She has recently finished a book project entitled "The Gendered Legacy of Mao: A Study of Women's Live Stories in Contemporary China." The talk is part of a larger project entitled "The Taming of the Maoist Women: Changing Representations of Gender In China in Personal Photo Albums," which analyzes the visual/bodily manifestation of gender as recorded in personal photo albums and women’s narratives about them.

November 5, 2015 4:00 PM
6191 Helen C. White Hall, 600 N. Park St.
Gender Studies and the Humanities Lecture
78

The lecture analyzes how Tino Sehgal's museum installation "Kiss" establishes the normative temporal scheme of contemporary heterosexual sex, and how a series of performances by Brennan Gerard & Ryan Kelly (who work as Gerard & Kelly) comment upon and transform that scheme. Especially at issue is the role that the rhythms established by synchrony, reciprocity, and endurance play in the discourse of "good" sex gay and straight, and the role of arrhythmia in fostering queer sexual possibilities.

Elizabeth Freeman is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (Duke University Press, 2010) and the co-editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. In 2007 she edited a special issue of GLQ on "Queer Temporalities." Her first book, The Wedding Complex: Forms of Belonging in Modern American Culture was published by Duke University Press in 2002.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Art History Department, Center for Visual Culture, Communication Arts Department, Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies Department, Digital Studies Program, English Department, Gender and Sexuality Caucus, and the Gender and Women's Studies Department.

November 2, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
55

How did Charlemagne confuse Palm Sunday processions and triumphal entries? Why was the early Quaker leader James Nayler charged with blasphemy for riding a horse into Bristol? Was he imitating Christ or mocking Oliver Cromwell? Why were life-size processional images of Jesus on a donkey vandalized both by sixteenth-century Protestant iconoclasts and by eighteenth-century Roman Catholic archbishops? My presentation explores Palm Sunday processions and other public representations of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem as embodied sites for the celebration, display, contestation, diffusion, and mockery of religious justifications for war and other exercises of power.

Max Harris is an independent scholar and Executive Director Emeritus of the Wisconsin Humanities Council. He has taught at the University of Virginia and, as a visiting professor, at Yale University. He is the author of five books: Theater and Incarnation (1990, 2nd ed. 2005), The Dialogical Theatre (1993), Aztecs, Moors, and Christians: Festivals of Reconquest in Mexico and Spain (2000), Carnival and Other Christian Festivals: Folk Theology and Folk Performance (2003), and Sacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools (2011). His work has won the Otto Gründler Book Prize, and (twice) the David Bevington Award for the Best New Book in Early Drama Studies. 

October 26, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
54

How does war affect every day life for those involved? I analyze the role of sleep in the United States-led counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2001, which was part of the larger U.S.-led overseas contingency operations. Nowhere more than in the capacity to sleep—the dreams and nightmares it enables, its relation to the body and to the soul, its interruptions by trauma and sometimes its failure to be interrupted by conscience, its categorization as a military logistic, and its manipulation as such—is the complexity of war's effects illuminated. 

Helen M. Kinsella is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at UW-Madison.  Her research and teaching interests include contemporary political theory, feminist theories, international law, especially international humanitarian and human rights, armed conflict, and 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 first book, The Image Before the Weapon: A Critical History of the Distinction Between Combatant and Civilian (Cornell UP, April 2011), received the 2012 Sussex International Theory Prize (The Centre for Advanced International Theory, University of Sussex) and Honorable Mention for the 2012 Lepgold Book Prize (The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University). 

October 19, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
53

It is not only activists and public intellectuals who are concerned about the injustice of mass incarceration in the United States. Incarcerated men and women have examined the "justice" of the American criminal justice system as well, often through memoir. Incarcerated writers do intellectual work, advancing understandings of justice that run counter to the justice system incarcerating them. Further, incarcerated writers often structure their writing using religious themes, such as sin, guilt, and redemption. Reading together the religion and politics implicit in prison memoirs, I argue that a dramatic shift took place in this genre over the past half century. Expansive visions of social justice have contracted into tales of personal suffering and redemption.

Vincent Lloyd is Assistant Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. His research focuses on the intersection of religion, politics, and race, drawing on the resources of critical theory. Lloyd has written The Problem with Grace: Reconfiguring Political Theology and Black Natural Law: Beyond Secularism and Multiculturalism (forthcoming), and he has edited or co-edited the books Race and Political TheologySainthood and Race, and Race and Secularism in America. He edits the journal Political Theology. Lloyd has held fellowships from Emory's James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is at work on a project entitled "Religion and Mass Incarceration." 

October 12, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
52

What do we mean when we call something—art, culture, history—"contemporary"? While scholars tend to refer to the contemporary as if it were the name for a clearly demarcated historical period, the contemporary isn't really like other historical periods—for the simple reason that, as something ongoing and open-ended, it is not yet historical. This talk considers how the not-quite-historical category of the contemporary first emerged as a framework for literary studies in the mid-twentieth century, and how it has challenged some of the basic methodological assumptions of the discipline in ways that are still being reckoned with today. What would it mean, I ask, to think of the contemporary not as a stable period but as a conceptual problem? And what it would mean to see certain forms of contemporary fiction as a vital resource for resolving that problem?

Theodore Martin is Assistant Professor of English at the UW-Milwaukee. He specializes in post-1945 American and British fiction. His work has appeared in Modern Language Quarterly and Novel: A Forum on Fiction, and is forthcoming in the edited volume Postmodern/Postwar and After (University of Iowa Press). He is currently finishing a book titled "Contemporary Drift: Genre and the Forms of the Present." He is also writing the entry on "Temporality" for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. 

October 5, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
51

What does folklore have to do with literature? The usual answer would involve shared content: writers borrowing song, stories, or motifs from traditional materials. However, the history of folklore study or discourses surrounding it—what people thought folklore was and why it mattered—can be just as important for literature, indeed for how the very notion of the literary evolves at certain historical junctures. Considering the example of nineteenth-century France, I ask how failed efforts to document or collect popular traditions actually made questions of tradition, orality, and cultural preservation all the more important for French writers of the day and what this means for our own concepts of literary history.

Jennifer Gipson is Assistant Professor of French at UW-Madison. She holds a Ph.D. in French (2011) with a Designated Emphasis in Folklore from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on literature and folklore in nineteenth-century France as well as French in the United States, especially Louisiana and the Upper Midwest. Her article "'A Strange, Ventriloquous Voice': Louisiana Creole, Whiteness, and the Racial Politics of Writing Orality" is forthcoming in the Journal of American Folklore. She is currently preparing a book-length manuscript entitled "Phantom Storytellers: A Literary History of Folklore in Nineteenth-Century France."

September 28, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
50

What are the functions of roads, both "materially" and "symbolically"? Since 1950, several highways have been built to connect Tibet with the rest of China. These roads' meanings are subject to constant construction and reinterpretation, being understood variously as heroic, monumental, liberating, mysterious, exotic, purifying, splendid, and having the ability to incite pilgrimages. This talk contributes to a broader study of "roadology," to which the speaker has been collaborating with a group of interdisciplinary scholars over the past several years. 

Yongming Zhou is a Professor of Anthropology at UW-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Duke University. In 2001-2002, he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. He is the author of Anti-Drug Crusades in Twentieth-Century China: Nationalism, History, and State-Building (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999) and Historicizing Online Politics: Telegraphy, the Internet, and Political Participation in China (Stanford University Press, 2006). He has also been a Mellon Fellow at the Needham Research Institute at Cambridge and a visiting fellow at the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore. He served as the president of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs in 2012. His latest "roadology" project focuses on the socio-cultural impacts of transnational road building on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and in the Great Mekong Subregion, where he has conducted fieldwork since 2006. He is at work on a project entitled Chasing Happiness: The Unhappy Life of a Western Ideal in China, 1890-2010.

September 21, 2015 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
Seminar
49

Can we trace the social pathways that ancient Christianity followed as it traveled from the Roman Mediterranean to India? Evidence of these pathways is laden with epistemic baggage. Likewise, numerous societies have produced their own testimonies for Christianity’s movement, but it is often hard to establish the relationship among such testimonies and thus their referential value. How might this evidence be navigated?

Nathanael Andrade is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Oregon. His past research has principally focused on topics relating to the Roman and late Roman Near East and its broader Mediterranean context. Since receiving his PhD at the University of Michigan in 2009, he has written Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World (Greek Culture in the Roman World; Cambridge University Press, 2013) and has conducted research as a regular member at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ (2012-2013). His research has also appeared in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, the Journal of Early Christian Studies, and many other journals and edited collections. 

September 16, 2015 3:00 PM
212 University Club Building
Panel Discussion

"Humanities by the Numbers" was the theme for the annual conference of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, hosted by the Center for the Humanities in Madison in June. The status of "numbers" in humanities research sparked sharp debate—some attacking the loss of nuance and individualized specificity or uniqueness; some suggesting that numbers and counting invisibly undergird analysis that appears singular; others promoting the promise of the digital and 'big Data'; and still others probing the very concept, status, and deployment of numbers in human experience as well as humanities research.

The question of 'what counts as evidence in humanities research' broadens the issue beyond numbers per se. But some of the same debates apply, particularly as we move across the varied disciplines and interdisciplines that make up the humanities and as the humanities works collaboratively with the social sciences, sciences, and arts.

Panel Presentations (1 hour) and Open Discussion (1 hour)

  • Henry Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor, Art History and Afro-American Studies
  • Christine Garlough, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Robert Glenn Howard, Professor, Communication Arts
  • Steven Hutchinson, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, Merle Curti Associate Professor, History
  • Michael Schatzberg, Professor, Political Science; African Studies Program
  • Steve Stern, Alberto Flores Galindo and Hilldale Professor, History
January 29, 2015 (All day)
University Club
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1110

The Institute for Research in the Humanities is proud to sponsor a year-long series of lectures exploring the intimate bonds fostered by the experience of war in the twentieth century.

January 29, 4:00 pm
John Hall, UW-Madison: "The Intimacies of Ethnocide: Preserving Male Honor in the 'Unholy' Wars of Indian Removal"

February 26, 4:00 pm
Tara Zahra, University of Chicago: "Exodus from the East: Emigration and the Making of the Free World, 1889-Present"

March 12, 4:00 pm
Daniel Ussishkin, UW-Madison: "War Stories: The Military and the Social in Modern Imperial Britain"

April 9, 4:00 pm
Dan Healey, St Antony's College: "Thinking Again about Love and Death in Russia, 1914-1922"

October 3, 2014 9:00 AM
DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St.
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1111

Featuring a series of tasty "sound bytes" and short, pithy multi-media presentations exploring the senses in trans-disciplinary research. 

A 5-minute video, filmed and edited by Aaron Granat, was released in December 2014. Click below to view the video of the symposium.

September 17, 2014 (All day)
University Club
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1112

The Institute for Research in the Humanities is proud to sponsor a year-long series of lectures exploring the intimate bonds fostered by the experience of war in the twentieth century.

September 17, 4:00 pm
Atin Grossmann, Cooper Union: "Distance and Intimacy: Close Encounters between Jews and Germans in the Aftermath of Catastrophe"

October 23, 4:00 pm
Lucy Noakes, University of Brighton: "Burying the People of 'the People's War': Death, the State and Itimacy in Second World War Britain"

November 20, 4:00 pm
Terry Peterson, UW-Madison, "Figthing for Intimacy: Counterinsurgency, Gender Politics, and Colonial Utopianism in the Algerian War"

December 11, 4:00 pm
David Harrisville, UW-Madison: "Holding the Hands of Dying Men: Wehrmacht Chaplains on the Eastern Front, 1941-45"

April 11, 2014 (All day)
L140 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1141

The phenomena of individual mourning and collective mourning have both attracted a good deal of critical attention in literature and film studies, but what are the similarities and differences that link and separate these two very different forms of bereavement? The central goal of this conference will be to examine the articulation between two types of cinematic representations of mourning and the critical approaches associated with them, the corpus of works discussed to be be drawn from a number of different cultural traditions. The speakers, specialists in disciplines ranging from film studies to history and literature, will study both films in which individuals experience the mourning process as a solitary, intimate experience and films that present characters whose losses are shared by an entire society or segment of society. Of particular interest will be films that encompass both aspects of mourning and suggest to viewers how the two might be related. The speakers will seek out meaningful mediations between, on the one hand, psychological approaches to mourning, viewed in the context of how loss affects and shapes the course of individual lives, and on the other hand, sociologically inflected approaches to collective mourning, considered in the context of patterns of immigration as well as other forms of social upheaval.

Convened by Richard Goodkin, IRH Senior Fellow, French & Italian, UW-Madison.

Dudley Andrew (Film Studies and Comparative Literature, Yale University) 

“Mourning and West African Cinema”

Tourists in Africa, or viewers of West African films, are always initially taken aback when confronted by instances of collective mourning. The ritualized expressions of grief, the stylized gestures, the routines of loss seem to be the reverse of the "authentic" responses that death releases in most contemporary Western cultures. This is because we think of mourning not as cultural at all, but as private. It is as interior, Freud tells us, as melancholia. Evidently not in West Africa, where mourning can seem a highly social activity. Speaking as a film scholar and very occasional tourist, I look at expressions of mourning in key West African films (particularly Guelwaar) to interrogate not so much the customs of another culture, but the aesthetics of another cinema. Does the West African relation to death provide a key to understanding the West African narrative and cinematic sensibility, which I am tempted to term "proleptic mourning" (Hyenas will be a case in point)? And does this sensibility distinguish the tradition of so-called francophone West African cinema from its Nigerian competitor which is very much alive and concerned with death in a quite different way. I will use the occasion to reflect on concerns about the loss of West African cinema in the face of vernacular African video.

Dudley Andrew is the R. Selden Rose Professor of Film and Comparative Literature at Yale. He began his career with three books commenting on film theory, including the biography of André Bazin, whose thought he continues to explore in the recent What Cinema Is!, and the edited volumes Opening Bazin, and A Companion to Francois Truffaut. Soon his translation of Bazin’s writings on the New Media of the 1950s will appear. Andrew’s interest in aesthetics and hermeneutics led to Film in the Aura of Art (1984), and his fascination with French film and culture resulted in Mists of Regret (1995) and Popular Front Paris (2005), co-authored with Steven Ungar. Currently completing Encountering World Cinema, his teaching and research take up 1) questions of World Cinema/literature, such as translation and adaptation, 2) issues in 20th century French intellectual life, especially theories of the image, and 3) French cinema and its literary and philosophical relations.

Glen Close (Spanish and Portuguese, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“Mourning Medellín: Schroeder’s La virgen de los sicarios
Barbet Schroeder’s La virgen de los sicarios/Our Lady of the Assassins provoked considerable controversy in Colombia upon its release in 2000, due to its alleged apology for criminal violence. Criticism focused far more on the numerous, sensational and sometimes frivolous murders committed by the film’s teenaged hit-men characters than on the mournful sensibility generated by the film’s protagonist, a middle-aged literary intellectual who returns from exile to visit his native city of Medellín and comes to know two of the hit-men as lovers. Schroeder’s film displays certain characteristics typical of the contemporary mourning film genre as described by Richard Armstrong: the protagonist’s presence is depicted as detached and ghostly, and he wanders listlessly through the city stopping at churches and meditating constantly on personal and collective loss. Death is constantly present not only in the hit-men’s violent encounters, but also in gothic imagery of bone-packed crypts. Yet in other respects, the the film differs sharply from the dour or dark aesthetics of contemporary mourning classics such as Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blue and Lynn Ramsay’s Morvern Callar. Our Lady of the Assassins was apparently the first major feature film shot in Latin America using high-definition digital video cameras, and the resulting qualities are startling: the Medellín cityscape is captured vividly by digital video’s extraordinary depth of field; daytime scenes are bathed in brilliant Colombian sunshine; Schroeder derives his palate from the bright primary colors of the Colombian flag (yellow, red, blue); and he depends almost entirely on directly recorded sound in scenes shot entirely on location in a very noisy and populous and extremely dangerous city. In my presentation I will examine both Schroeder’s formal language and the highly unconventional attitudes toward death expressed by Fernando Vallejo in the screenplay and the 1994 novel on which it was based. Vallejo’s novel is coming to be recognized as the masterpiece of a genre called the narconovela, currently Latin America’s most internationally visible literary export, and I will argue that one of the great distinctions of both Schroeder’s film and Vallejo’s source novel is precisely the careful attention they pay to the social and psychological impact of killing, a theme of urgent importance in the context of the rise of a “new urban violence” in contemporary Latin America.

Glen Close is an Associate Professor of Spanish at UW-Madison, and he is the author of two books: La imprenta enterrada. Arlt, Baroja y el imaginario anarquista (2000) and Contemporary Hispanic Crime Fiction. A Transatlantic Discourse on Urban Violence (2008). His current book project is on the representation of cadavers in contemporary Spanish and Spanish American narrative fiction, and he has published related articles on autopsy and morgue scenes, corpse photography in novels by Roberto Bolaño and Cristina Rivera Garza, and necropornography in the hard-boiled tradition and in recent Mexican narcofiction. He has taught courses on Spanish American documentary film and testimonial fiction, on cinematic adaptations of Boom and Post-Boom novels, and on youth film and fiction. In 2014-2015 he will be studying digital cinema with the benefit of a UW-Madison Faculty Development Grant. His favorite movie, since even before he’d ever heard of mourning cinema, is Morvern Callar.

Kelley Conway (Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“Mourning in the French Documentary”
A number of postwar and contemporary documentary filmmakers have explored loss and grief through their work, often emphasizing the tension between private and public mourning. My presentation will focus on one particular stylistic tool used in French documentary: the insertion of an extract from another film. Resnais, Varda, Marcel Ophuls, Rouch, Morin and Godard have used film clips in multiple ways: to affirm or deny the possibility of conjuring the lost loved one, to assert the necessity of public mourning as a way of preventing the repetition of national trauma and to show the intimate connection between living and art-making. Godard heightens the reflexive nature of the use of the film clip by employing it to mourn the cinema itself.

Kelley Conway is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at UW-Madison. She is the author of Chanteuse in the City (University of California Press, 2004) and essays on Varda, Godard, Renoir and Breillat.

Vlad Dima (French and Italian, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“Singing Voices: Collective Mourning in Sembène’s Black Girl and Faye’s Mossane
This presentation traces the evolution of representations of melancholia and mourning in Senegalese cinema using Ousmane Sembène’s first feature-length film, Black Girl (1964) and Safi Faye’s most accomplished project, Mossane (1996). Given the wide temporal divide between the two films, I will also refer briefly to films by Djibril-Diop Mambèty and Moussa Touré to document the conscious transition from a solitary type of mourning (and melancholia) to a collective one—more representative of the cultural experience of post-colonialism. This shift is evident at the visual level, and more importantly at an aural level: traditional, cinematic voices and non-diegetic singing voices contribute to the creation of a unique kind of collective mourning.

Vlad Dima is Assistant Professor of French Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has published numerous articles on French and francophone cinemas, and American film and television. He is currently finishing his first book, Sound Moves: Sonic Spaces in Djibril-Diop Mambety's Films.

Richard Goodkin (French and Italian, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“The School for Mourners: Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar
There are several levels of mourning in Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar (2011). A class of Québecois middle-school students mourn their teacher, whose suicide is discovered in the film’s opening minutes, or rather they don’t mourn her, since the adults around them encourage them to avoid thinking about what has happened. The title character, an Algerian immigrant who is hired to replace the children’s teacher, is secretly mourning his wife and children, victims of a politically motivated murder, at the same time as he does what he can to help his pupils come to grips with their own loss. This paper will particularly focus on the intersection between individual and collective mourning on the one hand, and the intersection between mourning as a psychological process and mourning as a sociohistorical process on the other.

Richard Goodkin is Professor of French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities. He is a specialist of seventeenth-century French literature but has also worked on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, on French film, and on ancient Greek tragedy. His research interests include literature and mathematics, cognitive approaches to literature, literary modes, intertextuality, literature and philosophy, and film. His books include Mallarmé and Oedipus: The Symbolist Home and the Tragic Home (Purdue, 1984); The Tragic Middle: Racine, Aristotle, Euripides (Wisconsin, 1991); Around Proust (Princeton, 1991); Birth Marks: The Tragedy of Primogeniture in Pierre Corneille, Thomas Corneille, and Jean Racine (Pennsylvania, 2000); and Les Magnifiques Mensonges de Madeleine Béjart (La Feuille de thé, 2013), a historical novel about Molière’s mistress. His latest book, How Do I Know Thee: Theatrical and Narrative Cognition in Seventeenth-Century France, a project for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press in 2015. He is also the editor of Autour de Racine: Studies in Intertextuality (Yale French Studies, 1989) and In Memory of Elaine Marks: Life Writing, Writing Death (Wisconsin, 2007). He is currently working on a book about the impact of calculus on modern conceptions of personality.

Patrick Rumble (French and Italian, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“Mourning [and] the Italian Art Cinema: Nanni Moretti’s Dear Diary
This paper focuses on mourning, considered both thematically and stylistically, in Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti’s Caro diario (Dear Diary, 1993). One of the most significant voices in contemporary Italian cinema, Nanni Moretti emerged out of the ruins of the avant-garde film milieu in Rome in the early 1970s (whose history is utterly neglected by scholars and historians), to found his own film company, Sacher Films, as an alternative, “autarchic” film studio involved in the production, distribution and exhibition of films, as well as the promotion and marketing of a new generation of engaged filmmakers in Italy. One of Moretti’s goals is to capture the legacy of Italy’s political modernist filmmakers of the post-war period (Rossellini, Antonioni, and Pasolini most of all). Mourning, and the director’s sense of cultural and ideological orphanage, are leitmotifs running through all of Moretti’s films. However, nowhere in his filmography is mourning as central, both thematically and aesthetically, as it is in Dear Diary. In this film, the assassination of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1975 is the focus of the director’s mourning, whose loss comes to symbolize an exemplary agonia of a film artist suffering under an array of social, artistic, and personal maladies -- all seen through the lens of Pasolini’s films and writings. These include: the economic destruction of Italian and European local traditions, the poisoning of the Italian natural environment, the impact of technology on Italian culture, the aesthetic and ideological impact of television on the Italian art cinema, and the commodification of medicine and health care (the film was made while Moretti was undergoing chemotherapy). For Moretti, the mourning of Pasolini – widely considered, by filmmakers themselves, to be Italy’s last auteur – opens a meditation on the social and economic forces that threaten to overwhelm Moretti’s country, his art, and his health. Dear Diary presents the mourning of a filmmaker for whom the future of the art cinema and the fate of the human are essentially bound together.

Patrick Rumble is Professor of Italian and European Studies and Chair of the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research areas include the history of Italian cinema, experimental and avant-garde filmmaking and literature. He is the author of Allegories of Contamination: Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life (University of Toronto Press, 1996), co-editor (with Bart Testa) of Pasolini: Contemporary Perspectives (University of Toronto Press, 1996), and he is the editor and translator of Elio Pagliarani, The Girl Carla and Other Poems (Agincourt Press, 2009). He serves on the editorial boards of The Italianist (Film Issue), and Parol: Quaderni d’arte e di epistemologia.

November 1, 2012 6:00 PM
L140 Elvehjem Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1145

Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: New Constructions of the Past in the Art History of China


Scholarship on art collecting, art production and the broader world of elite cultural practices during the Ming dynasty has focused on the role that wealth and social status has played in the formation of taste and style, and the ways that anxieties about fluidity in social boundaries in the late Ming led to more vocal attempts to distinguish those who possessed "genuine" aesthetic sensitivity and cultural refinement. Much of this discussion has centered on various strata of the educated elite, which include landholders and government officials with degrees, and merchants. Conspicuously absent from such examinations of social position and its relationship to art and material culture is any discussion of the elite members of the hereditary military class. Yet, during the sixteenth century, Ming China was engaged in several military campaigns of enormous importance to the empire. Not surprisingly, military generals and commanders formed social as well as political relationships with civil officials and other members of the educated civil-degree-holding literati. This lecture will show that military men often participated broadly in activities typically closely associated with educated elites who engaged in civil-service examination culture, in areas such as scholarship, poetry-writing, painting, calligraphy, and collecting antique artifacts. Furthermore, it will be argued that this phenomenon is not merely another example of a one-way flow of cultural influence from the elite arbiters of taste in civil society. On the contrary, high-ranking or influential civil literati who were seriously involved in military matters often engaged actively in pursuits commonly associated with men from hereditary military families, such as archery, swordsmanship and other martial arts, the study of the military classics, writing of military strategy and the collecting of swords.

October 11, 2012 6:00 PM
L140 Elvehjem Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1139

Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: New Constructions of the Past in the Art History of China


Every study of later Chinese painting history tends to establish two overarching categories into which all paintings are expected to fit: literati and not literati, the latter including court, ecclesiastical, and popular works. All modern viewers are charged with comprehending how this rubric of "literati painting," peculiar to China and tied to its civil service system, accounts for style. Yet the birth of literati painting has confused historians, for in its first few hundred years it exhibited a highly unstable visual identity that must prove baffling to anyone today expecting to see there a clear-cut differential between it and not-it. Why this confusion, and how should we deal with this uncertainty about such a fundamental historical issue?

September 20, 2012 6:00 PM
L140 Elvehjem Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1133

Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: New Constructions of the Past in the Art History of China

Chinese emperors of the 12th and 13th centuries created a new body of masterworks to stand in for lost famous paintings by the early Great Painters of China. The measure of their success is that we still use these Song-Dynasty creations as touchstones in our history of early Chinese art. How did this happen? Professor Bickford will consider these imperial initiatives and their consequences for the History of Art in China today.

September 11, 2012 6:00 PM
L140 Elvehjem Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1142

Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: New Constructions of the Past in the Art History of China


Every study of later Chinese painting history tends to establish two overarching categories into which all paintings are expected to fit: literati and not literati, the latter including court, ecclesiastical, and popular works. All modern viewers are charged with comprehending how this rubric of "literati painting," peculiar to China and tied to its civil service system, accounts for style. Yet the birth of literati painting has confused historians, for in its first few hundred years it exhibited a highly unstable visual identity that must prove baffling to anyone today expecting to see there a clear-cut differential between it and not-it. Why this confusion, and how should we deal with this uncertainty about such a fundamental historical issue?

April 26, 2012 (All day)
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1114

The symposium aims to bring into close systematic interaction three composite entities that traditionally are the objects of different study areas and therefore are studied together most often casually or rarely: contemporary African cultural and social forms and practices, the postcolonial African political state, and the larger modern context that subtend the two. The goal is to help us better understand in a multi-sided way:

  1. the sociopolitical underpinnings of African cultural and social forms and practices
  2. the cultural and social determinations on the character and performance of the African state as a genre
  3. the modern context that is the generative canvas of the interactions.
March 22, 2012 4:00 PM
6191 Helen C. White Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1143

Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: International Perspectives on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences

The Victorian period saw the growth and consolidation of the science of tropical medicine. Driven by the imperative of maintaining and restoring the health of European settlers, the language of tropical medicine offered a vision of the tropics as a zone of proliferating and contaminating diseases, as well as the possibilities of containing and defeating these. Thus, against the tropics as a zone of contagion grew the idea of palliative empire – empire as a force of medicine, science and restorative care. Particularly important here was the role played by a group of English doctors whose texts formed the core of the first tropical medical canon. Unsurprisingly, such ideologically charged language of contagion, infection, medical care and palliative empire crossed disciplinary boundaries and became a part of popular Victorian ‘commonsense”. Writers concerned with representing the reality of Britain’s global empire found this language of diseased tropicality to be rich and suggestive. This paper will look at how one such writer, Rudyard Kipling, used the ideas of disease and medicine in his shorter fiction to explore the possibilities and limits of empire.

Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee is an Associate Professor (Reader) at the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Warwick University, U.K.  He was born in Kolkata, India and educated there, and went on to do further degrees in Oxford and Cambridge.  He has taught at Newcastle and Warwick Universities in the U.K., and is the author of the books Crime and Empire (2003) and Postcolonial Environments (2010). Dr Mukherjee is currently working on a number of research projects, including a monograph provisionally titled 'Fevers and Famines: Natural Disasters and Victorian Empire' and with a Warwick Research Collective on 'Aesthetics of Peripheral Modernity'.  Dr Mukherjee's other interests and specialisms include contemporary film and media, sports, travel, and popular music.

March 15, 2012 4:00 PM
AT&T Lounge, 106 Pyle Cente
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1113

Part of the Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: International Perspectives on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences

Thoughtful people look to cities for evidence that progress is being made in the fight to avert climate change. The “sustainable cities” movement is thriving all across the world, and mayors compete for the title of “greenest city in America.”

In this lecture, drawing on his own research in the metro Phoenix area, Andrew Ross shows that the key solutions are more social than technical in nature. Marketing a green lifestyle to affluent residents will create showpiece sustainable enclaves, but will not alter the patterns of “eco-apartheid” that afflicts most large U.S. cities. Ross’s book, Bird On Fire, based on extensive interviews in the region, looks at some of Phoenix’s biggest challenges–water management, urban growth, immigration policy, pollution, energy supply, and downtown revitalization–in light of his arguments for policies that promote environmental justice.

Andrew Ross is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. He is the author of twelve books, including Nice Work if You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times, Fast Boat to China--Lessons from Shanghai, Low Pay, High Profile: The Global Push for Fair Labor, No-Collar: The Humane Workplace and its Hidden Costs, and The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney’s New Town. He has also edited six collections, including No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade, and the Rights of Garment Workers, Anti-Americanism, and The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace. His most recent book is Bird On Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City. Professor Ross is a contributor to the Nation, the Village Voice, and Artforum.

October 28, 2011 9:30 AM
Banquet Room, University Club Building
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1144

The Holocaust experience reaches us through testimony, and consciousness of the event has invaded the post-Holocaust cultural and educational Weltanschauung. This symposium explores the post-Holocaust reception of Holocaust testimony with special emphasis on the issue of empathy. Are responses to the Holocaust motivated by an indelible ethical need to penetrate the incomprehensible world of the Final Solution and to restore the humanity of the dehumanized victim? Or, are they shaped by a reluctance to face the horror? What do such responses tell us about the steadfastness of empathic capacities and about their limits?

The Holocaust experience reaches us through testimony, and consciousness of the event has invaded the post-Holocaust cultural and educational Weltanschauung. This symposium explores the post-Holocaust reception of Holocaust testimony with special emphasis on the issue of empathy.

Are responses to the Holocaust motivated by an indelible ethical need to penetrate the incomprehensible world of the Final Solution and to restore the humanity of the dehumanized victim? Or, are they shaped by a reluctance to face the horror? What do such responses tell us about the steadfastness of empathic capacities and about their limits?

The participants include faculty and graduate students engaged in the exploration of the ethics and politics of cultural and educational responses to atrocities. While the symposium focuses on the Holocaust, it is my hope that the discussions will be relevant to studies of post-Holocaust catastrophes which expose the tenuousness of humanistic values.

The purpose of the pedagogical aspect of the symposium is to discuss the objectives and challenges facing teachers and students of the ethical meaning of histories of atrocity and terror. Participants are expected to read ahead the relevant texts, which are provided in the zip files above. The various perspectives and voices, which the materials represent, will provide a basis for the discussions. Excerpts from films and documentaries will be shown in the course of the discussions.

September 21, 2011 (All day)
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1116

Part of the Burdick-Vary Lecture Series: International Perspectives on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences

Wednesday, September 21

12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Room 202, Bradley Memorial Building, 1225 Linden Drive

"A Full-face Portrait of the Land: Reading Modernity in the Irish Ordnance Survey Maps"

In the 1830s and 1840s the entire island of Ireland was mapped by the Ordnance Survey on a scale of six inches to the mile, which called for detail that was unprecedented in the history of British surveying. One of the results of the decision to map on this scale was that the Survey established a historical division--which included antiquarians, Gaelic language scholars, and a drunken poet--for the purposes of determining which toponymic and archeological features to include on the maps. This work constituted one of the most sustained and extensive state-sponsored historical surveys in the nineteenth-century empire, with surprising effects: the Survey’s maps, far from inscribing colonial power as most historians of cartography argue, represent profound political ambivalences, and tend more to highlight and reconstruct the Gaelic past than provide an accurate representation of British colonial settlement. Reading the Surveys maps and its archive of official letters through the lens of recent theoretical writing on colonial archives, I argue for a reading of the cultural work of the Ordnance Survey that significantly reshapes our understanding of the Survey. This paper reveals the Survey as, above all else, an experiment in the representation of the troubled emergence of modernity of the Irish landscape in the 1830s.

Thursday, September 22

4:00 P.M. - 5:30 P.M.
Room 7191, Helen C. White Hall (College Library), 600 N. Park Street
A reception will follow the lecture.

"The Scale of Modernity: John Millington Synge, Maps, and the Modernist Everyday"

Synge's The Aran Islands documents five summers spent on an island off the west coast of Galway, one of the "most primitive" in Europe. Despite his attempts to constantly highlight the traditional nature of the islands, Synge’s narrative is interrupted at key moments by glimpses of the modern and the global—of emerging modernity on the colonial fringe. Drawing principally on the work Fredric Jameson, I argue in this paper that Synge is searching for a narrative form that will accommodate the scale of colonial modernity, and that he looks to surveying techniques in order to find a model for his writing.

Cóilín Parsons is an assistant professor of English Literature at the University of Cape Town, South Africa since 2009. He completed his PhD in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Cóilín has published on the origins of literary study in Ireland and India, Sydney Owenson’s Indian novels, Irish literature, and postcolonial theory. He is currently working on a book manuscript on the cartographic origins of Irish modernist literature.

November 4, 2010 6:00 PM
4151 Grainger Hall
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1108

New World peoples had already invented a huge range of graphic systems when Europeans brought the alphabet to America. Colonial letters interacted with Amerindian pictography, glyphs, cord-writing, and other graphic arts for centuries. This symposium brings together foremost researchers familiar with deeper and more varied meanings of “writing” in the Americas. How did graphic pluralism affect American arts of literacy? 

Convener: Frank Salomon

John V. Murra Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thursday, November 4,  Evening 

6:00 Welcome Reception at the University Club

Friday, November 5,  Morning

8:30-9:00. Continental breakfast

9:00 Susan Stanford Friedman, (Virginia Woolf Professor of English and Director, Institute for Research in the Humanities, UW-Madison): Opening remarks

9:15 Frank Salomon (John V. Murra Professor of Anthropology, UW-Madison): "Homage to Cockenoe-de-Long Island"

9:30 Stephen Houston (Brown University, Dupee Family Professor of Social Sciences): "The Living Sign: Maya Hieroglyphs and the Vital Nature of Writing"

10:15-10:30 Coffee break

10:30: Christiane Clados (University of Wisconsin, Visiting Scholar): "New Insights on Nasca Imagery: A Nasca Graphic System?"

11:15 Gary Urton (Harvard University, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies): "What we (think we) know about how the Inka khipu encoded meaning"

12:00-2:00 Lunch (on your own)

Friday November 5, Afternoon 

2:00 Elizabeth Boone (Tulane University, Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art): "Aztec Pictography in European Frames: The Pictorial Translation of Ideology in Sixteenth-century Mexico."

2:45 John Chuchiak (Missouri State University, Associate Professor of History): "Caught In between the "Lettered City" and the 'Glyphic Hinterland': Indigenous Maya Nobility and Continued Graphic Pluralism in Colonial Yucatan, 1550-1750"

3:30-3:45 Coffee break

3:45 David Tavarez (Vassar College, Associate Professor of Anthropology): "Literate Idolatries: Rethinking Word and Time in Colonial Oaxaca"

4:30-5:00 DISCUSSION

Saturday November 6, Morning

8:30-9:00 Continental breakfast 

9:00 Kathryn Burns (University of North Carolina, Associate Professor of History): "Toward understanding the khipu/paper interface: the Andean notaries of Cuzco (ca. 1600)."

9:45 Sabine Hyland (St. Norbert's College, Associate Professor of Anthropology): "Confessions and Khipu Boards: Diversity in Khipu Evangelization in the Andes"

10:30-10:45  Coffee break

10:45 Margaret Bender (Wake Forest University, Associate Professor of Anthropology.): "Can you hear me now?  Good!  Shifting communicative participant structures reflected in 19th-century Cherokee literacy practices"

11:30-12:00 DISCUSSION

12:00-2:00 Lunch (on your own)

Saturday November 6, Afternoon

2:00 Carlo Severi (Directeur  d'Etudes, Chaire Anthropologie de la Memoire, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris): "Panamanian Kuna picture-writing: interpretation and comparative perspectives"

2:45 James Howe (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor of Anthropology): "Kuna scribes and the political uses of literacy in Panama"

3:30-3:45 Coffee break

3:45 Germaine Warkentin (University of Toronto, Professor Emeritus of English): "The Farthest Shore of All: Rethinking the Origins of Writing"

4:30 Nicholas Ostler (Chairman, Foundation for Endangered Languages, UK 

Acknowledgements

The Institute for Research in the Humanities cordially thanks the following for their support: The American Indian Studies Program, the Anonymous Fund, the Center for Early Modern Studies, the Department of Anthropology,  the Department of English, the Department of Linguistics, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Global Studies Program, the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program, and the Cyril W. Nave Fund.

April 9, 2010 (All day)
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1117
FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 9:00 a.m. David Morgan, University of Wisconsin-Madison Welcome

9:15-10:00 a.m. David Morgan, University of Wisconsin-Madison "Persian and Non-Persian Historical Writing in the Mongol Empire"

10:00-11:00 a.m. Peter Jackson, University of Keele "It is as if their aim were the extermination of the species: The Mongol devastation in Western Asia in the first half of the 13th century"

11:00-11:15 a.m. Refreshment Break

11:15-12:15 a.m. Timothy May, North Georgia College & State U. "The Battle of Chakimaut and the Transformation of Steppe Warfare"

12:15-2:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)

2:00-3:00 p.m. Uli Schamiloglu, University of Wisconsin-Madison "The Golden Horde in World History: From the 13th Century to the 21st Century"

3:00 -3:15 p.m. Refreshment Break

3:15-4:15 p.m. Anne Broadbridge, U. of Massachusetts "Imperial Women and Political Alliances in the Early Mongol Empire"

WELCOME RECEPTION, UPPER LOUNGE, 6:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, April 10, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Morris Rossabi, CUNY & Columbia University "Mongolian Influence on the Ming Dynasty"

10:30-11:00 a.m. Refreshment Break

11:00-12:00 p.m. Reuven Amitai, Hebrew University of Jerusalem "The Impact of the Mongols on the History of Syria: short-term effects and the longue duree"

12:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)

2:00-3:00 p.m. Angus Stewart, University of St. Andrews "Armenians, Mongols and Crusaders"

3:00-3:15 p.m. Refreshment Break

3:15-4:15 p.m. Andre Wink, University of Wisconsin-Madison "Mongols of the Indo-Afghan Frontier"

4:15-5:00 p.m. Open discussion

Saturday, April 10 Dinner: Lowell Center, Lower Lounge Cash Bar: 6:30 p.m. Dinner: 7:00 p.m.

Buffet Dinner Selections: Sliced Baked Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce, Grilled Chicken Breast, Herbed Baked Cod; Sour Cream Potatoes, Wild Rice, Glazed Carrots and whole Green Beans, Salad bar, fresh fruit salad, Relish Tray, fresh Dinner Rolls, Beverages

For Dinner Reservations: Call Loretta Freiling at 262-3855 or e-mail: freiling@wisc.edu. Cost $30.00. Make check payable to Loretta Freiling; send to Institute for Research in the Humanities, University Club Building, 432 E. Campus Mall, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706

April 17, 2009 (All day)
Pyle Center
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1106

The effort to understand the inherited ideas that are operative in a society other than one's own can require a historian's patience, a linguist's precision, a philosopher's finesse, and an anthropologist's tact. How did the people of the earliest period of English history and culture (the Anglo-Saxon period, ca. 500-1100 ad) conceive of their place in the world that they inhabited? To what extent do the textual records from that era reflect underlying assumptions that may have no exact equivalents today, and that require explication if those records, and hence this historical era in general, are not to be misunderstood? And what evidence from non-textual sources, or from other times and places, can help to promote this inquiry?

Friday, April 17

9 am: Welcome and introductory remarks.

9:10 - 10:10 am: Antonette di Paolo Healey, University of Toronto. "Probing the Anglo-Saxon Mind: The Tools of the Dictionary of Old English as Exploratory Instruments."

10:10 - 11:10 am: Roberta Frank, Yale University. "A Poetics of Euphemism: Dangerous Propinquity in Beowulf."

Refreshments.

11:30 - 12:30 pm: Joseph C. Harris, Harvard University. "Mentalities and Monstrosities."

LUNCH (no-host), free time.

2:45 - 3:45 pm: Karl Reichl, University of Bonn. "Words, Voice, and Memory in Anglo-Saxon England."

Refreshments.

4 - 5:30 pm: "The Role of Fieldwork in Understanding Mentality." A panel featuring Professors Tom Dubois (Scandinavian Studies, Folklore), Harold Scheub (African Languages and Literature), and Frank Salomon(Anthropology). Respondant: Karl Reichl.

5:30: RECEPTION (at the Pyle Center).

Saturday, April 18

9 - 10 am: Elaine Treharne, Florida State University. "On the Same Page: Anglo-Saxon Responses to the Book."

10 - 11 am: Kathleen Davis, University of Rhode Island. "Modes of Temporality in Old English Poetry."

Refreshments.

11:20 - 12:20 pm: Nicole Discenza, University of South Florida. "Places and Spaces."

LUNCH (no-host).

2 - 3 pm: "Approaches to Early English Mentality via the History of Law." Andrew Rabin (University of Louisville); Karl Shoemaker (History and Legal Studies, UW - Madison).

3 - 4 pm: "Approaches to Early English Mentality via Art History and the History of Medicine." Thomas Dale (Art History); Walton O. Schalick (Medical History and Bioethics).

Refreshments.

4:30 - 5:30 pm: Robert E. Bjork, Arizona State University. "Representations of Anglo-Saxon Mentality in Nineteenth-Century Scandinavia."

5:30 - 6 pm: Concluding discussion.

6:30 - 8:30 pm: DINNER (at the Pyle Center).

ALL LECTURES AND PANELS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Robert E. Bjork, Arizona State University. "Representations of Anglo-Saxon Mentality in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Scandinavia."

For human beings, language is the medium of conscious life, and translation, therefore, is one prime means of replicating in one culture the mentality of another. Little has been done on the 60 or so translations in the Scandinavian languages of Old English literature, and the three articles that touch on it at all deal with translations of Beowulf alone.  This paper will first survey the Scandinavian (including Finnish) translations of Old English literature that have been produced between 1733 and 2009; second, will begin exploring what cultural work Scandinavian translations of Old English both a little before and much after Grundtvig do in terms of reflecting Anglo-Saxon mentality; and third, will indicate the nature of these translations by looking at a few examples ranging from the early 19th to the late 20th centuries.

Antonette diPaolo Healey, University of Toronto. "Probing the Anglo-Saxon Mind: DOE Tools as Exploratory Instruments"

This paper will demonstrate how the electronic tools of the Dictionary of Old English can be used as productive instruments in the study of language and mentality in Anglo-Saxon England. Drawing upon Eric Stanley's recent work on the vain search for the notion of "family" in his exploration of the <hiw> word-group (Anglia 126 (2008), 37-64), I will suggest alternative ways of interrogating this concept, using DOE resources.

Kathleen Davis, University of Rhode Island. "Modes of Temporality in Old English Poetry."

Many Old English poems are about time: whether didactic or elegiac, poems such as Christ III, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, Soul and Body (I and II), The Ruin, Deor, and Durham take the nature and passage of time as a principal topic. The first part of this paper studies the lexicon of temporality in such poems, and considers the methods by which they identify, describe, and differentiate categories of time as well as ways of existing in time. The second part of the paper considers these findings with respect to the handling of time in predominantly narrative poems such as Guthlac A and Guthlac B, Andreas, Judith, and Beowulf, paying particular attention to markers of temporal movement and duration, as well as techniques for calibrating the temporality of history. This section also focuses upon shifts within these poems from third-person narrative to first-person lyric, which almost always mark a turn to the topic of time and are thus important indicators of the poems’ work on the relationship of their narratives to temporality more broadly construed. Ultimately, I hope this paper will provide a suggestive outline of the modes of temporality in Old English poetry.

Nicole Discenza, University of South Florida. "Places and Spaces."

This paper will focus on how Anglo-Saxons conceived and described places and spaces. The early English did not always think of place or space as modern people do. For example, where our maps tend to show bodies of water as open, empty spaces, Anglo-Saxons describe them as inhabited places, sometimes to be traversed with difficulty: the Mediterranean as a fifelwæg (El 237), the ocean as a wæteregesa (And 375). So too the space beyond our Earth was not seen as a dark void but a realm of light (Bede, De natura rerum 11 and De temporum ratione 7). At the same time, distant places, especially in the East, often share terminology used for more familiar locations. It is people more than places who are described as outlandish—and when authors do tell of wondrous distant places, they draw upon vocabulary used for spaces much closer to home. The Scandinavian setting of Beowulf lies much closer to Anglo-Saxons’ homes than the world of The Letter of Alexander to Aristotle, but both lands reveal deadly wyrmas. The familiar Northern European landscape of wuda bearwe becomes strange and alienating in The Wife's Lament (27); though in England, Guthlac’s retreat remains a dygle stowe (158) where the saint and demons do battle. The poet of Andreas strikes a balance, describing a city beyond Anglo-Saxon experience in terms drawn largely from other Old English poems (as Lori Ann Garner has shown), but in new combinations that create a fantastic setting. In my talk, I will examine a range of texts to illuminate how Anglo-Saxons think and talk about spaces and places both near and far, especially where their conceptions diverge from modern ones.

Roberta Frank, Yale University. "A Poetics of Euphemism: Dangerous Propinquity in Beowulf."

The Old English Genesis poet steps with extreme delicacy when narrating the story of Lot and his daughters; he does not stare directly upon the face of incest, as the Vulgate does, but gestures towards it, a discreet sideways look. The horror is kept under wraps, half-hidden in the bulrushes, "like something almost being said." The Völsung and Scylding legends written down in prose in the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries attribute incestuous births to two characters named in Beowulf: young Fitela, Sigemund’s son by his twin sister Signÿ, and Hrothulf, Halga’s son by his daughter Yrsa.  But the Beowulf poet, if he knew these back-stories, clothes them in polite vagueness. The obscure Thryth, Modthryth, or (now) Fremu digression in Beowulf introduces another potentially incestuous pair: an arrogant, homicidal young queen and her sinfrea ‘great lord’ (= husband, father, or both). Not that the Beowulf poet accuses this pair of sinful mæghæmed or sibgeleger any louder than he did the progenitors of Fitela and Hrothulf.  But he does gives clues - litotes, naughty double entendres, and unusual kinship epithets - when he is responding to a story outside his text, when he wants us to know that he means more than he says.

Joseph C. Harris, Harvard University. "Mentalities and Monstrosities."

The Anglo-Saxons inherited a rich lexicon for harmful supernatural creatures. Are conclusions about aspects of Old English worldview(s) on this basis justified? If so, how can mental traits so derived be characterized, and where do they fit within a hypothetical Anglo-Saxon mental world as a whole? Are age and cultural depth of concepts of the monstrous of any significance for "mentality"? The discussion will treat two old words in etymological detail.

Karl Reichl, University of Bonn. "Words, Voice and Memory in Anglo-Saxon England."

The point of departure for my paper is the assumption that orality played an important role in Anglo-Saxon England. As Jack Goody and others have argued, the transmission of culture in a predominantly oral society differs from that in a literate society and leads to different ways of conceptualization in language. By the same token, orality concerns not only the transmission of knowledge but also the medium of communication. The voice of the speaker is both physically present in the communicative situation and encoded in the meaning of words. Finally, orally transmitted cultural heritage is remembered rather than documented. The ‘man of words’ as the one who remembers and the one who speaks guarantees the continuity of culture. I will be discussing some aspects of orality in Anglo-Saxon England by looking at selected Old English words (related to speech) and at parallels in contemporary oral traditions.

Elaine Treharne, Florida State University. "On the Same Page: Anglo-Saxon Responses to the Book."

Using 'mentality' to mean both 'characteristic attitude of mind' and 'intellectuality' (OED), this paper aims to explore the ways in which Anglo-Saxon scribes, commentators and readers regarded the books in which they intervened. There are well-known examples of readers responding to Old English and Latin texts and remarking on their content (Coleman of Worcester, for example, or William of Malmesbury); there are equally well-known examples of glossators and re-workers of texts (The Tremulous Hand, or Wace, the Anglo-Norman poet). Here, though, I intend to focus on the many other users of manuscripts; that is, those who left traces of their moment with the book, which intimate the ways in which the material artefact was viewed by them. This analysis will thus range from the apparently careless (or carefree?) doodles and pen trials, some of which were brought to light by Phillip Pulsiano and other scholars, to the very significant additions to earlier manuscripts, particularly gospel-books. This study may have implications for our understanding of the Anglo-Saxon literate elite's sense of ownership of text and architextual space, as well as helping us to understand the significance of codices and all they represented to the social groups that could access them.

December 5, 2008 (All day)
226 Pyle Center
Burdick-Vary Symposium
1107

9:00 Keynote address: Susan Friedman, Director: The Institute for Research in the Humanities, UW-Madison: "Planetary Modernism and the Modernities of Empires and New Nations".

10:00 Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University: "Rammohan Roy and Early Modern Anti-Absolutism in India."

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, University of California, Los Angeles: "Historian-Scribes and the World of Early Modern South Asia."

Friday December 5. Afternoon

2:00-3:00 Vinay Dharwadker, University of Wisconsin-Madison: "Modernities, Modernisms, and Postcolonial Literatures: Some Theoretical Issues in the Indian Context"

3:00 Chris Chekuri,  San Francisco State University: "Reliable and 'Spurious' Inscriptions: Modernity, History, and the Precolonial Past of Vijayanagara."

4:00- 4:15 Coffee break

4:15 V. Narayana Rao, University of Wisconsin-Madison: "Something was different in 16th century Andhra. Was it Modernity?"

Saturday: December 6. Morning

9:00 David Shulman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem: "Rethinking the Imagination in Sixteenth-century South India: Notes on Ratnakheta Srinivasa Diksita's Bhavana-purushottama."

10:00 Satya P. Mohanty: "Alternative Modernities and Medieval Indian Literature: The Oriya Lakshmi Purana as Radical Pedagogy."

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15 Charles Hallisey: "The Familiarity of the New:  Literary Cultures and the Modern in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Sri Lanka."

Saturday,  December 6. Afternoon

2:00 Aparna Dharwadker, University of Wisconsin-Madison: "Pre-Modern, Modern, Anti-Modern: The Contested Teleologies of Indian Theatre."

3:00 Rama Sundari Mantena, University of Illinois at Chicago: "Conceptualizing Modernity in Nineteenth-century Andhra."

4:00-4:15 Coffee Break

4:15 Roundtable: General Discussion, Thongchai Winichakul, Teju Olaniyan, Donald Davis, Jr., All participants

February 7, 2008 7:00 PM
Wisconsin Historical Society
Nellie Y McKay Lecture in the Humanities
1105

Would it surprise you to learn that "Dear Abby" has an African American ancestor; that Freedom's Journal was the earliest African American newspaper but it was not an abolitionist newspaper; or that love, marriage and sexual morality were regular topics in the Antebellum Afro-Protestant Press? Foster will discuss these themes. Among Frances Foster's most recent publications are Love and Marriage in Early African America; Race, Region and the Politics of Slavery's Memory; African Americans, Literature, and the Nineteenth Century Afro-Protestant Press; Written By Herself; and Literary Production by African American Women, 1746-1892. She has co-edited Norton Critical Edition of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (with Nellie Y. McKay), Norton Anthology of African American Literature (with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Nellie Y. McKay, et al), and Oxford Companion to African American Literature (with William L. Andrews and Trudier Harris).