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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Spring 2016

HUM 597A

Feminism and Visual Theories

(1 credit, C/NC)

Instructor: Kathryn Topper (Classics) and Sarah Levin-Richardson (Classics)

Time Schedule

Meeting Dates:

All sessions meet in CMU 218D.

  • Monday, May 2, 3:30-5 pm
  • Monday, May 9, 3:30-5 pm
  • Monday, May 16, 3:30-5 pm
  • Monday, May 23, 3:30-5 pm

This microseminar introduces students to some of the fundamental scholarship on feminism and viewership and its application to the art of ancient Greece and Rome. This material is designed to dovetail with Feminism and Classics VII: Visions, an international conference hosted May 19-22 by the Simpson Center for the Humanities and the Department of Classics, and its companion book-arts exhibit, Just One Look.

The first class session introduces the most influential scholarship on feminism and viewership, the next two sessions deal with the application of this scholarship in the study of ancient Greek and ancient Roman art respectively, and the last class is a reflection on the conference and exhibit. Topics to be explored include the gaze, ekphrasis, art and text, gender and sexuality, and reception, among others.

Questions? Contact Kathryn Topper ( or Sarah Levin-Richardson (

HUM 597B

Southern Urbanisms: Edgar Pieterse and Jean-Marie Teno

(1 credit, C/NC)

Time Schedule


  • Kim England (Geography)
  • Danny Hoffman (African Studies and Anthropology)
  • Susan Kemp (Social Work)
  • Thaisa Way (Landscape Architecture)

Meeting Dates:

  • Wednesday, April 6, 12:30-2 pm
  • Tuesday, April 12, 7:30 pm, “Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities,” Walker-Ames Lecture by Edgar Pieterse (Kane Hall 120)
  • Wednesday, April 13, 12:30-2 pm, discussion with Edgar Pieterse
  • Thursday, April 14, 1:30-3:20 pm, screening of Jean-Marie Teno film (Allen Library Auditorium)
  • Thursday, April 14, 3:30-5 pm, discussion between Edgar Pieterse and Jean-Marie Teno on Africa, Cities, and Cinema (Allen Library Auditorium)
  • Wednesday, April 20, 12:30-2 pm

This microseminar addresses the emergence of global urbanisms and especially southern urbanisms, focusing on the dramatic urbanization of Africa and the resurgence of African urban studies. The course is coordinated with the visits of the influential scholar of African urbanisms Edgar Pieterse (University of Cape Town) and renowned African filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno. Their visit provides an opportunity to contemplate the politics, practices, and representations associated with Africa’s rapid urbanization, the specificity and diversity of African cities, and ways to plot different, more socially just urban futures.

Edgar Pieterse writes about urban policy and politics, urban inequalities, and everyday cultures in African cities to argue for politically engaged research and inventive analyses that span theory and practice. Jean-Marie Teno’s films focus on the colonial past and current neo-colonial conditions to explore the cultural values, social issues, and politics of Africa. Both of them take the complexity and dynamism of everyday urbanisms as their focal point, investigating the relationship between power, politics, and space while drawing attention to opportunities for positive change. Their different yet complementary modes of analysis offer rich possibilities to consider how we can create meaningful and diverse knowledge about cities in Africa and elsewhere.

Questions? Contact Kim England,

HUM 597C

Troubling Translations: Language, Literature, Politics, and the Market

(1 credit, C/NC)

Time Schedule


  • Heekyoung Cho (Asian Languages & Literature)
  • Vicente L. Rafael (History)

Meeting Dates:

All sessions in Communications 202 unless otherwise noted.

  • Monday, April 25, 3:30-5 pm
  • Monday, May 2, 3:30-5 pm
  • Monday, May 9, 4-5:30 pm (with AmazonCrossing editor Gabriella Page-Fort)
  • Monday, May 23, 5:30-7:20 pm (Lydia H. Liu lecture: “Jabberwocky Sense - The Place of Meaning in Translation,” Communications 120)
  • Tuesday, May 24, 3:30-5:20 pm (workshop with Lydia H. Liu)

This microseminar explores translation in relation to language, literary production, sociopolitical contexts and effects, historical implications, and market. It is offered in conjunction with events organized by Troubling Translations, a crossdisciplinary research cluster of the Simpson Center for the Humanities. The seminar meets for five sessions. The first two sessions employ a selection of readings that deal with specific issues of translation in order to broaden and challenge students’ understanding of translation. The next two sessions engage two speakers (Gabriella Page-Fort of AmazonCrossing and Lydia H. Liu of Columbia University) who will discuss, respectively, the publishing industry of translations in the United States and the place of meaning in translation in relation to digital media. The final session will be a workshop with Liu.

Heekyoung Cho (Korean and Asian Languages & Literature) is the author of Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature (Harvard University Press, 2016). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Society.

Vicente L. Rafael (History and Southeast Asian Studies) is the author of several works on the political and cultural history of the colonial and post-colonial Philippines, focusing largely on the relationship between language and history. His books include Contracting Colonialism (1988), White Love and Other Events in Filipino History (2000), The Promise of the Foreign (2005), and, most recently, Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation (2016), all published by Duke University Press. 

Questions? Contact Heekyoung Cho (