Digital Mapping as Humanities Practice
Mark Olson, Duke University
Thursday, September 15 @ 4pm, Bingham Humanities Bldg. Room 100
Mark Olson is Cordelia and William Laverack Family Assistant Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University. He teaches courses on media (new & old - theory, practice, & history) and medicine & visual culture. As a extension of his past work with the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning Initiative, he collaborates on the development of a new interdisciplinary project that connects the study of the material culture of art history, architecture and archaeology with new media modes of representation and visualization. Olson is the former Director of New Media & Information Technologies for HASTAC (Humanties, Arts, Sciences & Technology Advanced Collaboratory) and the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary & International Studies. More info
Presented by the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities & Society
The Value of Boredom
Andreas Elpidorou, Philosophy, 2016-17 CCHS Faculty Fellows
Thursday, October 27 @ 2:30pm, Bingham Humanities Bldg. Room 300
By presenting and synthesizing findings on the character of boredom, its relationship to self-regulation, and the role of emotions in well-being, Professor Elpidorou advances a novel theoretical account of the function of the state of boredom and argues for boredom's significance and importance in our everyday lives. Boredom should be understood as a functional emotion that is both informative and regulatory of one's behavior. Boredom informs one of the presence of an unsatisfactory situation and, at the same time, it motivates the pursuit of a new goal when the current goal ceases to be satisfactory, attractive, or meaningful. Boredom ultimately promotes both movement and the restoration of the perception that one's activities are meaningful and congruent with one's overall projects. As such, boredom has the capacity to contribute to our well-being.
Andreas Elpidorou is a 2016-17 CCHS Faculty Fellow. He specializes in the philosophical study of the mind and has written extensively on the character of consciousness, cognition, and emotions. In his written work, he strives to offer clear, precise, and critical explications of aspects of our mental lives that often remain hidden from us. He is currently writing a book on the metaphysics of consciousness entitled Consciousness and the Spell of Physicalism (Routledge, forthcoming). As a CCHS Faculty Fellow, he will be working on a project on boredom that aims to articulate boredom's nature and value.
“The Brink of Freedom: Racial Capitalism and the Caste War of Yucatán”
David Kazanjian, University of Pennsylvania
Thursday, November 3 @ 3pm, Bingham Humanities Bldg. Room 100
In his new book The Brink of Freedom David Kazanjian revises nineteenth-century conceptions of freedom by examining the ways black settler colonists in Liberia and Mayan rebels in Yucatán imagined how to live freely. Focusing on colonial and early national Liberia and the Caste War of Yucatán, Kazanjian interprets letters from black settlers in apposition to letters and literature from Mayan rebels and their Creole antagonists.
In this talk, Kazanjian tracks the role the nineteenth-century Yucatán played in Cedric Robinson’s influential theory of racial capitalism. Drawing on Robinson’s own seemingly incidental reference in Black Marxism to Chilam Balam, a legendary Maya prophet, Kazanjian unsettles Robinson’s “red to black” narrative, which presumes that enslaved Afro-diasporans replaced exterminated indigenous people as the principle racialized labor force in the Americas. Kazanjian shows how the frequent appearance of the figure of Chilam Balam throughout the nineteenth-century—in Maya texts, in the archeological and anthropological research of Karl Hermann Berendt, and in the writings of Yucatec Creole intellectual Justo Sierra O’Reilly—indexes the complex articulations of African-descended people and indigenous people. Viewed from the perspective of the figure of Chilam Balam and the racialized dynamics of the Caste War conjuncture, Kazanjian argues for what Jack Forbes might have called a red-black theory of racial capitalism.
David Kazanjian is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Brink of Freedom: Improvising Life in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World (Duke) and The Colonizing Trick: National Culture and Imperial Citizenship in Early America (Minnesota), as well as co-editor of Loss: The Politics of Mourning (California) and The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers, Vol. 1 (Aunt Lute Books). He has also published widely on the cultural politics of the Armenian diaspora, and is a member of the organizing collectives of Social Text and the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas.
Presented by The Department of Comparative Humanities and the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities & Society
War Media: Drone Strikes and Killing in the Age of the Technical Image
Stephen Schneider, English
Thursday, November 10 @ 3pm, Bingham Humanities Bldg. Room 300
This talk asks the question: what does it mean to conduct war on screens? By looking at the rise of drone strikes and the way that the drone apparatus is transforming how we understand war. While drones are often seen as a means of killing at a distance, they might also be read as a media technology that looks to collapse distance and radically localize warfare. To this end, drones weaponize our concept of vision and thereby threaten to change the ways that we have historically defined war.
Stephen Schneider is the author of You Can’t Padlock an Idea: Rhetorical Education at the Highlander Folk School, 1932-1961, and has published essays in College English, College Composition and Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Advanced Composition. His research focuses on the relationship between education and social movement rhetoric, and particularly on the question of how social movement participants develop and deploy collective rhetorical actions. His other research centers on the role of the public and the public sphere in rhetorical theory, and the ways in which our notions of the public intersect with both deliberative democracy and welfare state economics.
Liberal Democracy, An African Critique
Reginald Oduor, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Monday, November 28 @ 3pm, Bingham Humanities Bldg. Room 300
Reginald M.J. Oduor is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.
Presented by the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities & Society
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