Each year the Institute sponsors 1-2 Burdick-Vary Symposia organized by Senior Fellows on topics related to their research or on issues of broad significance to the humanities. These events may take the form of lectures, symposia, or workshops for the university community. Burdick-Vary events honor Marjorie B. Vary (University of Wisconsin, Class of 1915), whose family bequeathed a generous donation to the Institute in 1977.
Discovery Building, 330 North Orchard Street
This symposium proposes to bring together artists, scientists and scholars across several disciplines for whom color matters in quite different registers, across the globe and across modernity. From the Early Modern era to the present, color theory and practice cross disciplines and sponsor debates about what color is. This 21st century symposium looks forward and back in time to invite collective thought about color’s modernity. The symposium invites scholars, artists and participants to think about how their research addresses two questions: crossovers between color theory and material practices now, among artists and scientists, and as part of the global exchange of color, pigments and artifacts.
Organizing Committee: Theresa Kelley, English (IRH Senior Fellow), UW-Madison; Karen Schloss, Psychology, UW-Madison; Kevin Eliceiri, LOCI, Morgridge, Biomedical Engineering, UW-Madison
How has the history of imperialism and colonialism brought us to the current conjuncture? This symposium brings together specialists from different fields to rethink possibilities for a critical history of the East Asian present within the larger context of the postimperial world. We plan morning and afternoon sessions for a one-day symposium. Each session will be composed of five speakers making short (15-20 minute) presentations.
In conjunction with: “Martha Glowacki’s Natural History, Observations and Reflections”
(Chazen Museum of Art)
“Natural History : Natural Philosophy: An Exhibit in Special Collections”
(Memorial Library, Room 984)
This symposium brings together contributors to a newly burgeoning mode of work that sits at—and defies—the boundaries between scholarly research and creative art related to nature and the history of science. How does research on past scientific ideas and practices inform art? How do present-day scientific, historical, and experiential methods help us understand the relations between artistic and scientific practices of the past and open new relations in the present? Just how does work that bridges science, history, and art, or that merges scholarship and creative production, disrupt the traditional conventions of artistic and scholarly spaces? Conversely, what sorts of spaces can provide suitable homes for such work? Scholars, artists, and scholar-artists at all career levels at the UW-Madison will join invited external speakers to present their responses to these questions and engage in group reflection on how we might advance this work in all its forms.
Friday March 3: (Memorial Library Special Collections)
1:15-1:30: registration and viewing of Special Collections exhibition
1:30: Welcome and Introduction to Symposium: Lynn Nyhart, Professor, History of Science, UW-Madison
1:45-3:15: Part 1: Interdisciplinary Spaces
Sarah Anne Carter, Curator and Director of Research, Chipstone Foundation (Milwaukee), “Apparent Categories: Material Stories for the 21st Century”
Carin Berkowitz, Director, Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, Chemical Heritage Foundation (Philadelphia), “Anatomy Folios and Dissection Rooms as Spaces of Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Conflict”
Discussion moderator: Ann Smart Martin, Professor, Art History and Director, Material Culture Program, UW-Madison
3:15-3:45: Break (look at Special Collections exhibit!)
3:45-5:15: Keynote Lecture (Memorial Library Special Collections):
Pamela H. Smith, Seth Low Professor of History and Director, Center for Science and Society, Columbia University: “Making Art and Knowing Nature in Early Modern Europe: The Making and Knowing Project”
Abstract: Through large scale interdisciplinary collaboration and "expert crowd sourcing," the Making and Knowing Project explores the history and nature of craft knowledge and its relationship to art and science. The Project reconstructs in a laboratory the instructions and "recipes" for technical procedures contained in a sixteenth-century French compilation of artistic and technical recipes. This lecture will introduce the structure, activities, and aims of the Project, highlighting the insights into materials, techniques, pre-modern understandings of nature, and craft knowledge that have resulted from the Project since its founding in 2014.
Introduction and Discussion moderator: Florence Hsia, Professor and Chair, Department of the History of Science, UW-Madison
Dinner (on your own)
Saturday, March 4: Part 2: Making Interdisciplinarity Between Scholarship and Art (Pyle Center 313)
9:00: Continental Breakfast (Pyle Center 313)
9:30-11:30: Single-Scholar Interdisciplinarity
Shira Brisman, Assistant Professor, Art History, UW-Madison, “The Inside of Art”
Gregory Vershbow, Lecturer, Art, UW-Madison, “Inventing Folly”
Helen J. Bullard, Interdisciplinary Special Committee Ph.D. candidate, UW-Madison, “Hard Lines”
Discussion moderator: Robin Rider, Curator of Special Collections, Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison
11:30-1 pm: lunch on your own
1-2 pm: Martha Glowacki, Gallery talk, Chazen Museum
2-2:15: Break: make your way back to the Pyle Center!
2:15-3:45: Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Catherine Jackson, Assistant Professor, History of Science, UW-Madison, and Tracy Drier, Master Glassblower, Dept. of Chemistry, UW-Madison, "Glass in the Flame of a Proper Lamp"
3:45-4:00: Break (Snack available at Pyle Center)
4:00-5:15: Final discussion: Panel: Lynn Nyhart, Martha Glowacki, Shira Brisman (7 min. ea.) and then lead discussion
6:00: Dinner for presenters and moderators
6191 Helen C. White Hall, 600 N. Park St.
Studies of fandom and fan culture have always centered on the complex feelings of fascination and frustration that motivate audiences. When we consider the way that race is represented in beloved texts, there are clearly political consequences to these emotional connections. But what about texts that are ambiguously racialized, such as cartoons and animated imagery? How have fans of animated worlds been able to convert their racialized fandoms into political actions, and what does this engagement with “racebending” reveal about race and the media? This talk explores the fan-activism surrounding The Last Airbender and connects it to the broader politics of Asian American representation.
Light refreshments will be provided.
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.
6191 Helen C. White Hall, 600 N. Park St.
What do cowboy robots, hapless yeomen, time machine repairmen, and third class superheroes have in common?
They all issue from the imagination of Charles Yu. Charles Yu is the author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, which was named one of the best books of the year by Time magazine. He received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award for his story collection Third Class Superhero, and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. His work has been published in The New York Times and Slate, among other periodicals. He is currently a screenwriter for HBO's Westworld.
Presented as part of the Burdick-Vary Lecture Series Asian Americans and the Pleasures of Fantasy.