Spring 2012 Visiting Scholars and Speakers

Pheng Cheah, one of many scholars who lectured at the UW this spring.

The Simpson Center and the UW closed the 2011-12 academic year by hosting a wealth of brilliant minds, such as Pheng Cheah, Alice Kaplan, and Nick Mitchell, to name but a few. For a full list, see below:

Richard White (American History, Stanford University), Elliott West (History, University of Arkansas), Sarah Deutsch (History, Duke University), Kelly Lytle Hernández (History, University of California, Los Angeles), and Daniel Martinez HoSang (Ethnic Studies and Political Science, University of Oregon) all spoke as part of the lecture series, “From the Civil War to the Pacific Century: Sesquicentennial Reflections on State Power and the American West.”

Jonathan Metzl (Medicine, Health and Society, Vanderbilt University) explored the historical disconnect between science and society regarding beliefs about schizophrenia for a Critical Medical Humanities talk.

Lytle Shaw (English, New York University) joined Joe Milutis (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW-Bothell) in a discussion about literature that foregoes, hyperextends, subsumes or supplements the book. 

Author, activist, and Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry spoke on the evolution of Food Not Bombs, its role in historical political actions, and its interactions with state agencies.

Nick Mitchell (African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley) offered a genealogy of the category “women of color” as a way of rethinking the institutional relationship between black studies and women’s studies that emerged in 1970s.

Brian Boyd (English, University of Aukland) discussed the relationships between literature and science. He focused on evolution and cognition and proposed a multi-level model, from the global to the detail.

Myles Jackson (History and Philosophy of Science & Technology, New York University) gave a talk on biomedicine, commerce, and the CCR5 gene patent as part of the Biological Futures in a Globalized World Colloquium Colloquium Series.

Alice Kaplan (French, Yale University) discussed her recent book, Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis (U of Chicago P, 2012), which tells the stories of the life-changing junior-year-abroad experiences of these three American women.

Cristina Lafont (Philosophy, Northwestern University) and Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Philosophy, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt) delivered the keynote lectures for “Cosmopolitan Rights and Responsibilities,” an international conference organized by the Human Interactions and Normative Innovations research cluster, in partnership with the University of Frankfurt, Germany.

Pheng Cheah (Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley) lectured on postcolonial literature as world literature, arguing that certain kinds of postcolonial literature help highlight the normative dimension of world literature.

Vicente Diaz and Christine Taitano DeLisle, professors of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, delivered keynote lectures as part of “The Waters that Connect Us: The 11th Annual Symposium of Native & Indigenous Scholarship,” sponsored by the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars and the Indigenous Encounters research cluster.

Jonathan Katz (Visual Studies, State University of New York-Buffalo), Rock Hushka (Curator, Tacoma Art Museum), and Stephanie Stebich (Director, Tacoma Art Museum) led a discussion on current practices in queer engagement and exhibiting in art museums as part of the “Queering the Art Museum” symposium.

Diana Taylor (Performance Studies and Spanish, New York University) delivered the third Katz lecture of the year. She explored how the politics of passion explain the resurgence and centrality of the body in contemporary politics, contending that, as political parties fail to represent their constituencies, people are re-learning to represent themselves through performance, art, and activism. While at the UW she also led a colloquium on multimodal scholarship.

Susanna Paasonen (Media Studies, University of Turku-Finland) outlined key points for understanding the grab of pornography in a talk sponsored by MIRG, the Moving Images Research Group.

Timothy Snyder (History, Yale University) discussed the deliberate mass murder of 14 million civilians in the lands between Berlin and Moscow, in the years when Hitler and Stalin were both in power.

Mark Neocleous (Politics and History, Brunel University) gave a talk on international law as primitive accumulation, arguing that an exploration of it as such offers a critique of critical international legal theory by confronting the fundamental relationship between law, capitalism, and violence.

Drawing upon fourteen years of partnership with activists in India and with academics in the U.S., Richa Nagar (Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota) spoke on storytelling and co-authorship in feminist alliance work.

Jentery Sayers (English, University of Victoria) and Katherine Harris (English and Comparative Literature, San Jose State University) facilitated a digital pedagogy workshop for graduate students and faculty on integrating digital culture and new technologies into course design and syllabi.


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