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2009-2010 Events

Reflections: Open Discussion

212 University Club Building
Mon, May 10, 2010 3:00 PM

Costica Bradatan

Philosophy, Texas Tech University

The Making of a Philosopher-Martyr

212 University Club Building
Mon, May 3, 2010 3:00 PM

This paper explores the "conditions of possibility" of philosophical martyrdom. Becoming a martyr can be an extremely difficult process as dying is only half of the job. It is only through a complex social, political and cultural process that a dead body becomes a “martyred body,” and an executed criminal becomes someone worthy of others’ admiration. Right after Socrates’ execution, what his close disciples could see in his prison cell was not Socrates (Socrates as we know him, that is), but just another dead body. It took, among other things, Plato’s unique genius, many centuries of intellectual labor and a particularly perceptive audience to turn that cold thing into Socrates as we know him: the “philosopher-martyr.” As I will show in my paper, the various conditions of possibility of martyrdom could be grouped under three large categories: 1) The performance of the martyrdom (the actual historical event that triggers the process). 2) The story-telling. Martyrdom is as much the deed of the one who performs it as it is the product of those who put the deed into a story. 3) The audience. Martyrdom is relational: a martyr is a martyr for someone. Both as an actual performance and as a story, martyrdom always presupposes the existence of an engaging public.

Preeti Chopra

Languages and Cultures of Asia, UW-Madison

The City and its Fragments: Colonial Bombay, 1854-1918

212 University Club Building
Mon, Apr 26, 2010 3:00 PM

This paper is a study of the role of native communities in the physical transformation of colonial Bombay. Exploring the impact of encounters between different groups, the paper shows that colonial Bombay was not simply the result of ideas emanating from Britain. Instead, it was the product of a cultural encounter between Indians and the British colonial regime. Here, the city was shaped by the spatial interventions of a variety of groups in a context of unequal power relations. This project foregrounds everyday life and informal processes by which various communities and groups constructed and remade the city in their interaction with the colonial state. The city was both fragmented (spatially by race, religion, and community) and yet came together from time to time as an intellectual idea and as a spatial arena. The paper argues that these processes of coming together contributed to a sense of a singular city that different communities felt they had a stake in, thus suggesting the existence of a common ground at the urban level.

Walter Mignolo

Spanish, Duke University

Globalization and the Geopolitics of Knowing: A Decolonial View on the Humanities

Pyle Center Auditorium
Fri, Apr 23, 2010 4:00 PM

Susan Stanford Friedman

Director, Institute for Research in the Humanities and Co-Editor of Contemporary Women's Writing, Oxford University Press Journal, 2007 -.

Workshop on Publication Strategies in the Humanities

212 University Club Building
Wed, Apr 21, 2010 12:00 PM

Panelists will make brief presentations (about 7-10 minutes) on publication issues most related to their work as editors and/or mentors. Presentations should take about 40 minutes. The remainder of the seminar will be discussion, with all attendees encouraged to bring questions, ideas, concerns, strategies, and issues for group discussion.See event page for more details

Gwen Walker

Acquisitions Editor, University of Wisconsin Press

Workshop on Publication Strategies in the Humanities

212 University Club Building
Wed, Apr 21, 2010 12:00 PM

Panelists will make brief presentations (about 7-10 minutes) on publication issues most related to their work as editors and/or mentors. Presentations should take about 40 minutes. The remainder of the seminar will be discussion, with all attendees encouraged to bring questions, ideas, concerns, strategies, and issues for group discussion.See event page for more details

David Morgan

Senior Fellow, Professor of History, Editor of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1987-1999; Series Editor, Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization, 1991-; Chair, UW Press Board, 2002-2005

Workshop on Publication Strategies in the Humanities

212 University Club Building
Wed, Apr 21, 2010 12:00 PM

Panelists will make brief presentations (about 7-10 minutes) on publication issues most related to their work as editors and/or mentors. Presentations should take about 40 minutes. The remainder of the seminar will be discussion, with all attendees encouraged to bring questions, ideas, concerns, strategies, and issues for group discussion.See event page for more details

Venkat Mani

Associate Professor of German, Coordinator, World Literature/s Workshop, author of Cosmopolitan Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk.

Workshop on Publication Strategies in the Humanities

212 University Club Building
Wed, Apr 21, 2010 12:00 PM

Panelists will make brief presentations (about 7-10 minutes) on publication issues most related to their work as editors and/or mentors. Presentations should take about 40 minutes. The remainder of the seminar will be discussion, with all attendees encouraged to bring questions, ideas, concerns, strategies, and issues for group discussion.See event page for more details

André Wink

History, UW-Madison

Parallel and Interconnected Developments in the Early Modern World

212 University Club Building
Mon, Apr 19, 2010 3:00 PM

By today's standard, early modernization does not always look like sweeping change. Yet there is growing consensus among historians that sixteenth-century developments in Europe - demographic expansion, the growth of territorial states and bureaucracies, commercialization, and religious reformations - have had significant parallels in at least some other parts of the world. Such findings put into question long-held notions of European exceptionalism and an entire literature that regarded early modernity as the product of a 'European miracle.' This lecture first takes stock of a new historiography that lends support to the view that early modernity is a world-wide and interconnected phenomenon. Subsequently, it will focus on the descendants of the medieval Eurasian nomads (Afghans, Turks, and Mongols) and argue that their role was critical in the transformation of the early modern world at large. To demonstrate the scope of this transformation, and to bring the human element back into world history, it will conclude by critically examining the life and career of the third Mughal emperor Akbar ( r. 1556-1605).

Beth Lew-Williams

History, Stanford University

The Chinese Must Go: Immigration, Deportation, and Violence in the 19th-Century American West

212 University Club Building
Mon, Apr 12, 2010 3:00 PM

This project examines the dramatic and formative moment in American history when the federal government made its first major effort to control the movement of people across its borders—and failed. The result was America’s first illegal immigrants and a grassroots uprising against them. In 1882, the Chinese Restriction Act barred Chinese laborers from immigrating to the U.S., but implementing this policy proved impossible. When the federal government failed to stop illegal immigration across the U.S.-Canada border, white locals reacted violently, systematically expelling their Chinese neighbors. I trace this story of exclusion and expulsion: how immigration policy instigated racial violence and how racial violence transformed immigration policy. I argue that Chinese Exclusion was not a top-down policy; rather, it was a tortured process, in which federal failures became local problems and local crises had national and international ramifications.

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