Followup Discussion with Nancy Marshall
The Fleshly School: Matter in Books and Bodies in the Work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Focusing on one case study, a picture by British poet-painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, this talk explores the rapidly shifting understandings of the mind-body relationship in the Victorian era. Working with certain new conceptions of matter, Rossetti's painting constituted a particular type of embodied viewer, and, like his poetry, reoriented the hierarchy of matter and spirit in controversial ways. In its examination of this hierarchy, the talk also considers the current state of the field of art history.
Followup Discussion with Venkat Mani
Transposed Signs of Modernity: German Orientalism and the Indian 'Timespace'
The paper intervenes in recent scholarship on modernity, to diagnose a specific kind of insularity promoted in registers of "self-referentiality" (Luhmann: 1998) and "singularity" (Jameson: 2002). The paper tries to argue that conjectures of modernity in the Western European geo-cultural space, especially in Germany, inherently referenced the "Other," turning the Other into a 'timespace' continuum that was selectively labeled as "antiquarian" or "pre-modern." To illustrate these arguments the paper focuses on German engagements with Sanskrit texts in the early 19th century and the beginnings of the discipline of Comparative Philology.
Followup Discussion with Russ Shafer-Landau
Getting What You Want
Many have thought that a person's quality of life is determined by the extent to which his or her desires are satisfied. The paper considers the attractions of this view, and then subjects it to critical scrutiny. The tentative conclusion proposed is that this theory of human well-being is mistaken, and that its failings can help us identify some of the important elements in a more plausible theory of the good life.
Followup Discussion with Norlisha Crawford
An Introduction to Chester Himes's Detective Fiction Series
From 1957-1993 Chester Himes's ten-volume crime fiction series was published, set in a place he called Harlem. In nine of the ten novels in the series Himes highlights characters who mirror the most egregiously racist stereotypes in play in U.S. popular culture: pickpockets, pimps, prostitutes, madams, murderous drug underworld kingpins, unscrupulous politicians, and religious schemers and scammers, among others. I argue that in focusing on those character types as the anti-heroes for the series Himes determined to force readers to rethink the easy assumptions that Jim Crow segregation and racism promoted regarding black Americans, their various cultural forms, genetic traits, and desires. Rather than choosing to operate outside of idealized middle-class national norms of conduct, his black criminals were simply making rational decisions akin to the decisions made every day in legitimate money-driven markets for achieving exactly the same goal: access to the American Dream via the socioeconomic avenues made available to them.
Toleration and Persecution in the Early Modern Period
The conference aims to consider the definitions and limits of toleration in the early modern period, as well as the different kinds of religious persecution practiced during the early modern period. The conference will also consider some of the fierce debates and controversies that were stirred by the topic of religious toleration. It will examine, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the tensions between emerging ideas of religious toleration and various kinds of intolerance that were practiced during this period. One of the key questions the conference will attempt to address is: to what degree do we find evidence in the early modern period of toleration defined as the peaceful or stable coexistence of people of different faiths living together in the same village, town, city, or nation?
Visit the conference page for details.
Plato's Noble Lie