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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Winter 2017

HUM 597A (BCULST 598/BPOLST 598)

The Insurgent Politics of Race and Science

(1 credit, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructors: Johanna Crane (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell) and Moon-Ho Jung (History, UW Seattle)

Meeting Dates:

  • Thursday, February 23, 3:30-5 pm, Smith 306 (Jung)
  • Thursday March 2, 3:30-5 pm, Smith 306 (Crane)
  • Wednesday, March 8, 7 pm, Alondra Nelson Katz Distinguished Lecture, Kane Hall 120
  • Thursday, March 9, 3:30-5 pm, Alondra Nelson public colloquium, Communications 202

This microseminar is linked to the visit of Alondra Nelson (Columbia University), an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research explores the intersections of science, medicine, and racial injustice. She is the author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (Beacon, 2016) and Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (University of Minnesota, 2011).

We will explore the critical study of race in relation to radical social movements and emerging genomic technologies. In particular, how have historians and other scholars approached and defined black radical traditions and the radicalism of the black freedom movement? How do contemporary science and biomedicine construct “race” and African ancestry, and to what ends? And how might the simultaneous integration and interrogation of scientific and racial politics generate (and perhaps foreclose) radical critiques and social movements?

Johanna Crane is Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Bothell, where she coordinates the undergraduate major in Science, Technology & Society. She is the author of Scrambling for Africa: AIDS, Expertise, and the Rise of American Global Health Science, which uses an ethnography of a U.S.-Uganda HIV research project to provide a critical account of global health partnership.

Moon-Ho Jung is Associate Professor of History at UW Seattle, where he studies race, politics, and Asian-American history. He is the editor of The Rising Tide of Color: Race, State Violence, and Radical Movements across the Pacific (University of Washington, 2014) and the author of Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation (Johns Hopkins, 2006).

Questions? Contact Johanna Crane (

HUM 597B

Transforming Doctoral Education in Good Enough Times 

(1 credit, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Kathleen Woodward (English and Simpson Center for the Humanities)

Meeting Dates:

  • Thursday, February 2: 3-4:30 pm, Communications 202
  • Thursday, February 9: 3-4:30 pm, Communications 218D
  • Thursday, February 16: 10:30 am-12 pm, with Sidonie Smith, Communications 202
  • Thursday, February 16: 4 pm, Sidonie Smith lecture, Communications 120
  • Thursday, February 23: 3-4:30 pm, Communications 218D

Critical to a doctoral education in the humanities is an understanding of the historical contexts for our present moment in higher education. One of these contexts is the history of doctoral education itself and recent efforts to reimagine its structure and purpose. This microseminar is linked to the visit of Sidonie Smith (Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities, Professor of English, and Director of the Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan).

Smith, well-known for her work in autobiography studies and feminist theory, is a longstanding advocate of innovative approaches to doctoral education. As President of the Modern Language Association (2010-2011), she inspired a national conversation on new forms for the dissertation. Her book Manifesto for the Humanities: Transforming Doctoral Education in Good Enough Times (2015) outlines a comprehensive vision for PhD program reform. Our texts will include Smith’s Manifesto and the Report of the Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature (2014).

Kathleen Woodward is Professor of English, Lockwood Professor in the Humanities, and Director of the Simpson Center for the Humanities. She served on the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature, on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association (2009-2013), and as President of the Consortium of Humanities Centers & Institutes (1995-2001). She is the author of Statistical Panic: Cultural Politics and Poetics of the Emotions (2009) and Aging and Its Discontents: Freud and Other Fictions (1991).

This course is offered in conjunction with the Simpson Center programs Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics and Next Generation Humanities PhD.

Questions? Contact Kathleen Woodward (