Susan Stanford Friedman’s Scholarly Legacy: Unpacking the Planet – Modernisms, Feminisms, Comparisons

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Pyle Center
@ 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

A special conference dedicated to the life and legacy of Susan Stanford Friedman (1943-2023) will take place on Saturday, April 6th in the Pyle Center. Susan Stanford Friedman was the Virginia Woolf Professor Emerita of English and Women’s Studies and former Director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities. A scholar of literary modernisms, gender, women, global languages and cultures, and planetary life, Professor Friedman was committed to reimagining what the humanities has been, what it now engages, and what lies ahead. Professor Friedman was a trailblazing scholar, a leader recognized worldwide for her groundbreaking research, and a dedicated teacher and adviser to generations of undergraduate and graduate students. Professor Friedman’s contributions as a mentor and friend were felt by a great many people with whom she shared the gift of her brilliance, wisdom, humor, and unfailing support.

This conference celebrates Susan Standford Friedman’s dedication to humanist inquiry as an unfinished disciplinary project the conference will consider what the humanities have been, what it now engages, and what lies ahead. We invite all to join us in this celebration of Susan Stanford Friedman’s work and life.

Featured Speakers: Jane Collins, David Damrosch, Sarah Dimick, Ainehi Edoro, Elizabeth Evans, Rita Felski, Pin-Chia Feng, Frances Foster, Christine Froula, Christine Garlough, Margaret Homans, Judy Houck, Nicole Huang, Caroline Levine, B. Venkat Mani, Kaitlin Moore, Jahan Ramzani, and Rebecca Walkowitz.

Please RSVP by filling out this form by March 15th.

The event poster for the Unpacking the Planet Conference.


Conference Schedule:

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM — Coffee and light breakfast

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM — Welcome, moderated by B. V. Mani

  • Grant Nelsestuen, Associate Dean, College of Letters and science, UW-Madison
  • Edward Friedman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, UW Madison

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM — Session 1: Feminist Footprints: Practice, Theory, and Institution Building, moderated by C. Olson

  • With Judith Houck, Christine Garlough, and Jane Collins

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM — Session 2: Gender Power: Identities, Communities, Intersectionalities, moderated by A. Dharwadker

  • Christine Froula: “Old friend…”: Travels with Susan on the River of Time
  • Frances Smith Foster: Susan Saw Forests, Frances Gets Lost in a Tree: What Matters Really Matters
  • Margaret Homans: “The whole of civilization spread beneath us”: Notes towards Susan Friedman’s Book on Woolf
  • Pin-chia Feng: Transnational Negotiations: Transracial Adoption and Narratives of Return in Lisa Ko’s The Leavers
  • Nicole Huang: Reimagining Encounters: Notes of a Comparatist in Postcolonial Hong Kong

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM — Lunch

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM — Session 3: Unfettered Modernisms: Periods, Genres, Authors, moderated by G. De Ferrari

  • Caroline Levine: The Susan Friedman Question
  • Rita Felski: We Have Always Been Modern Jahan Ramazani: Elegies for the Planet
  • Jahan Ramazani: Elegies for the Planet
  • Rebecca Walkowitz: Reshuffling: Feminist Collaboration and Transnational Solidarity

3:15 PM – 4:15 PM — Session 4: Comparisons for the 21st Century: Global, Planetary, Worldly, moderated by E. Sapega

  • Ainehi Edoro: Does Modernism Need a Planetary Paradigm
  • David Damrosch: Planetary Modernisms: “An Institutional Can of Worms”
  • B. Venkat Mani: Co-Placements: Migration, Refuge, and Global Comparisons

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM — Session 5: Intellectual Legacies: Thought, Critique, Care, moderated by B. V. Mani

  • Sarah Dimick: Late Style Environmentalism
  • Elizabeth Evans: Thirteen Ways of Looking at Susan Stanford Friedman
  • Kaitlin Moore: “The stars intermingle with the back and forth of a tidal sea:” Cosmologies of the foreshore

5:15 – 5:30 — Closing Remarks: Theresa Kelley

5:30 – 7:00 — Closing Reception

To download a pdf of the event schedule, click here.