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Faculty Research Forum -  Spring 2014 Schedule


Jongwoo Jeremy Kim, Fine Arts

"Picturing Paterfamilias Fatigue: The Nicholsons at Home"

Friday, February 28 @ 3:30 p.m.

Bingham Humanities, Room 300

 What happens when an Edwardian patriarch finds himself disconnected from his home, regarding the persistent trappings of the Victorian paterfamilias with weariness? This is unexpected as patriarchal agency has been seen as the cause of the home’s alienating effect, but two paintings portraying William Nicholson’s family – William Orpen’s A Bloomsbury Family, 1907-9, and Mabel Nicholson’s Family Group, 1911 – present domestic images in which nobody was at home, including the father. This paper examines the paradox of patriarchal alienation from the Edwardian home, and explores the nuanced images of a man, a woman, and their children, who occupied a liminal space between the heteronormative and the subversive. The paper reads A Bloomsbury Family as an Edwardian pastiche of Velázquez’s Las Meninas to show the trouble in phallic power; it also treats taxidermic birds in Walter Sickert’s c.1914 painting Ennui as a metaphor for patriarchal alienation, and relies on the vision of childhood and patriarchal domesticity in J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan to explain the grim picture of home made by Mabel Nicholson. Overall, this paper argues that A Bloomsbury Family and Family Group register fatigue with ideals of masculinity, marriage, and domesticity.




Nicoletta Vallorani, University of Milan

"An Exorcism in Blood. Rethinking Motherhood in Contemporary Crime Fiction: the Point of View of a Novelist."

Thursday, March 6 @ 2 PM

Bingham Humanities, Room 300


Nicoletta Vallorani, will consider the notion of motherhood in the way it is inflected in crime fiction.  The genre of crime fiction is felt as mostly male in terms of both authors & readers. Vallorani posits that we are currently witnessing a revision of the notion of maternity and maternal role. She will reference Foucault and Judith Butler, as well as popular novels and television shows such as The Killing and We Need to Talk About Kevin, as well as her own novel Camera Obscura to illustrate her argument.





History and Homosexuality in the Middle East:  

A Panel Discussion

Thursday, February 27, 2014

4:00 – 6:00 PM

Chao Auditorium

University of Louisville, Belknap Campus, Ekstrom Library



Samar Habib, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Joseph Massad, Columbia University

Everett Rowson, New York University


Join us for a frank and provocative conversation about the history of same-sex love and relationships in the Middle East and its significance for politics and social attitudes in the region today. 

The lecture will be streamed live and blogged. Additional links to come. Remote participants can ask questions of the panelists via Twitter @MEastQueerPanel.

For more information and to RSVP, visit:



Meet the Professor Series - Spring 2014

Virginia Woolf Among the Lunatics: Women and Mental Illness in the Early 20th Century

Professor Suzette Henke


Why have modern scholars so persistently analyzed Virginia Woolf’s mental distress as virtually unique – the affliction of a genius set apart from other men and women of the Victorian and Edwardian Age? Suzette Henke, Professor of English and Thruston Morton Chair of Literary Studies, will examine case histories and consider analogies between Woolf’s reported symptoms and those observed in patients admitted to institutional confinements at the turn of the last century.

  • Thursday, March 6 at 12 noon, University Club

Reservation Information

Cocktail Culture: A Conference

April 4 -5, 2014

When Roland Barthes suggests that “the ideal drink would be rich in metonymies of all kinds,” he might well have been speaking of cocktails and the drinking cultures they have helped to create.  Whether in the 19th century saloon, the prohibition speakeasy, or the fictional realms of James Bond and Mad Men, the cocktail has functioned as cultural bellweather for issues of class, taste, and culture.  In the last ten years, the so-called Cocktail Revival has produced a host of professional organizations, writings, blogs, and conferences devoted to examining and reviving both the drinks and habits of these earlier cultures.  In fact, if this phenomenon suggests anything, it’s that the cocktail revival is nothing if not a loquacious movement:  Amateur and professional mixologists alike have set about recovering not just the craft of the cocktail, but also its history, philosophy, and culture in print and online.

Cocktail Culture: A Conference is a venue for exploring the cultures surrounding cocktail production and consumption.  Our meeting place–Louisville, Kentucky–offers an exciting venue for the conference. The River City is not only located near many of the United States’ biggest distilleries; it also plays host to an innovative cocktail scene of its own.  As such, Louisville provides the ideal location for exploring both historical and contemporary cocktail scenes.

Learn more and register here.
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