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Past Events

Event Date Summary
The Lives of Others: The Novel as a Looking Glass Sat. May 31st, 2014
8:45 am-10:00 am

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

419_Thrity_Umrigar_06Thrity Umrigar is an award-winning journalist and author of five novels and a memoir. Her newest novel, The Story Hour, will be published in 2014. This is the keynote address for Breaking Genre: In the Context of Others, a writers conference. Only the keynote and book fair are free and open to the public. The conference will also feature presentations by Mary Biddinger, Joyce Dyer, Michael Grant Jaffe, Phil Metres, Lynn Powell, James Sheeler, S. Andrew Swann, Samuel Thomas, and Cinda Chima Williams. For more information, email writersconference@case.edu. Event co-sponsored by the Department of English.

The Protean Virgil: Book History and the Reception of Aeneid 1 in the Renaissance Fri. April 25th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

VERGIL WEEK – A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

This talk will focus on how the beginning of the Aeneid was read in the Renaissance. The emphasis will not be on Virgilian influence on the great writers of the period, but on how the poem was read at school, to provide a part of the common cultural foundation of the early modern period. Examination of the early printed editions read by Renaissance readers and the marginal annotations they left in their books shows that the Aeneid was generally read in a three-step process. First, lines that are memorable for their moral content or their stylistic polish would be underlined and a key word to identify the line would be written in the margin of the book.

Unworkable Hermeneutics Thu. April 24th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Digital Humanities Event

418_Jeff_Rice_06Digital Humanities scholarship, among other things, is focused on the question of interpretation. Most notable in initiatives such as topic modeling, where algorithms are employed to identify unnoticed patterns in texts or time periods, hermeneutics (the study of interpretation) dominates one facet of Digital Humanities thinking. Yet, hermeneutics is merely an interface for engaging with a text or idea. In this talk, Jeff Rice, Martha B. Reynolds Professor in Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky, asks how an unworkable Digital Humanities interface, such as hermeneutics, prevents certain types of digital work from occurring,

Rockwell Kent and Greenland Thu. April 17th, 2014
1:00 am-1:00 am

A Humanities Related Event

Painter, author, illustrator, adventurer, social activist, ROCKWELL KENT (1882-1971) was one of America’s most influential and important artists reaching his greatest popularity during the 1930’s and 1940’s. His creative versatility was legendary. Best known as the definitive illustrator of such literary classics as Moby Dick, Candide and The Canterbury Tales, Rockwell Kent’s iconic images became permanent fixtures of the human imagination. An incurable wanderer, he traveled to extreme cold, harsh environments such as Alaska, Tierra del Fuego and Greenland to paint and record his mythical visions. Making three lengthy trips in the early 1930’s to an island off the northwest coast of Greenland,

Mapping Ibuse Masuji’s “Kuroe Ame” Wed. April 16th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

A Freedman Fellows Presentation

433_Mark_Pedretti_06Since the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945, the name “Hiroshima” has come to signify less the name of a city than an unthinkable event or an incalculable fear of nuclear war. While an official culture of commemoration has grown up around the site of the actual bombing, Mark Pedretti examines literary artifacts that paint a very different image of the city, and suggests a different form of historical memory. Drawing primarily upon Ibuse Masuji’s 1965 novel Black Rain (Kuroe Ame), along with photographic archives of Hiroshima both before and after the bombing,

Biotechnical Ecologies: Lively Participation in the Contemporary City Tue. April 15th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Faculty Works-in-Progress

417_Allison_Schifani_06City space is fast becoming the central playground for the experiential, political and ideological forces shaping lives and discourses both within the specific boundaries of urban centers, and across the globe. Schifani’s ongoing research explores ways of creating and participating in contemporary urban space, with a particular focus on the new media technologies and ecocritical tactics that urban dwellers use to engage, and change city space. In this talk, she will present her work on contemporary urban ‘do-it-yourself’ art and intervention practices, looking at the intersection of technology, ecology and biopolitics.

 

What’s on TV? Mon. April 7th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

416_Nicholas_Brown_06What are we watching when we watch television? What are the conditions of possibility — economic, technical, and aesthetic — that have changed the medium in the 21st century? Provocative questions, answers for which are constantly re-shaped by the interrelated dynamics of audience, advertising revenue, and technology. Nicholas Brown — professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago — discusses how contemporary distribution technologies and viewing habits have radically altered the impact that television has upon our culture and economy.

Professor Brown is a 2014 Baker-Nord Scholar-in-Residence.

 

 

 

Poetry in the Museum: The Nature of Nature Sun. April 6th, 2014
1:30 pm-3:00 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

415_David_Hassler_06In a thought-provoking afternoon at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, a panel of nationally recognized poets will address the “Nature of Nature”. Before the discussion/ reading, the guest poets will announce the winners of the 2014 Poetry in the Museum contest, who will read their winning poems. Support provided by the Helen Buchman Sharnoff Endowed Fund for Poetry at Case Western Reserve University, as well as by the CWRU Office of Diversity.

 

 

 

 


About the speakers

David Hassler

David Hassler is an award-winning author and poet and director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University.

“Interpreting Capitalism” Film Series: INSIDE JOB Thu. April 3rd, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

414_none_062010 Oscar Winner for Best Documentary, “Inside Job” provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry that has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. Introduced by Professor Robert Strassfeld, CWRU Law School faculty.

 

 

Return to the River: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Rivers in World Literature Wed. April 2nd, 2014
4:15 pm-5:15 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

This meeting of the Interdisciplinary World Literature Colloquium will reprise and expand the topic of Charles Burroughs’s January 2014 lecture on rivers in world literature. Discussion will focus on poems and prose in Greek, Latin, French, English, and Italian as well as on selected artworks. Presenters will include Florin Berindeanu, Charles Burroughs, Sarah Gridley, Takao Hagiwara, and Timothy Wutrich.

For any questions, please contact Professor Timothy Wutrich at (trw14@cwru.edu) or or 216-368-6026.

Rose Wohlgemuth Weisman Women’s Voices Lecture: A Conversation with Jane Smiley Mon. March 31st, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

413_Jane_Smiley_06This event features a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist Jane Smiley. Her novels include “A Thousand Acres”, “Moo”,”The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton”, “Horse Heaven” and “Private Life”. She has contributed to a wide range of magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, The New York Times, Harper’s, The American Prospect, Practical Horseman, The Guardian, The Nation, Real Simple, and Playboy. Her non-fiction work includes “Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel” and “The Man Who Invented the Computer”, along with a four-volume horse series for young adults.

 

Public Libraries in the Digital Age Thu. March 27th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

412_Sari_Feldman_06Sari Feldman — for the past ten years the Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) — will discuss both how digital technologies are impacting American public libraries and how budget & demographic shifts are creating challenges for these libraries that are busier and more relevant than ever. The CCPL network has 28 branches and serves 47 communities. Feldman is also President of the Board of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, a political subdivision of the State of Ohio, and one of the largest local public funders of arts and culture in the nation.

 

Creating a Digital Database on High-altitude Human Biology Wed. March 19th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

A Freedman Fellows Presentation

432_Cynthia_Beall_06Kelvin Smith Library will host a presentation by 2013 Freedman Fellow, Dr. Cynthia Beall (Distinguished University Professor, Anthropology). Dr. Beall will discuss the challenges and solutions related to her research, and how they were addressed by the Freedman Fellows Program and its corresponding support.

 

 

 

 

 


About the speakers

Cynthia Beall

Dr. Beall’s research is focused on the adaptation of indigenous highlanders (Andean, Tibetan and East African) to the low levels of oxygen where they live at altitudes above 10,000 feet.

Speech, Gesture, Bodily Stance, Graphics, Music, and Media: Studying Multimodal Communication in a Massive Dataset Tue. March 18th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Faculty Work-in-Progress

411_Mark_Turner_06Human communication is multimodal, involving language, co-speech gesture, interpersonal interaction, audiovisual components, media, and technology. Our views of traditional texts have only just begun to include examples of multimodal communication. Professor Turner’s talk will look at theoretical and empirical aspects of computer-assisted research on a massive multimodal corpus of human language and communication.

 

 

 

 


About the speaker

Mark Turner

Mark Turner is Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University.

“An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman!”: Black Women Communists of the Old Left and Critical Perspectives on Global Capitalism Thu. March 6th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

410_Erik_McDuffie_06Dr. McDuffie, Associate Professor in the Departments of African American Studies and History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, examines the ways black women in the US Communist Party (CPUSA) of the Old Left period (1919-1956) forged a ground-breaking radical black feminist praxis that challenged orthodox Marxist framings of capitalism through centering race and gender to their political thought and activism. Given that women of color remain at the bottom of contemporary global social hierarchies, the experiences of Old Left black women radicals provide important lessons for diagnosing current social injustices and for reimagining and building new societies locally and globally.

What Happiness Is Wed. March 5th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

H. Friedl is an acclaimed film director whose documentaries are regularly shown on Austrian public tv. He was granted permission to accompany a team of government agents as they travelled to the remotest hamlets in the Himalayas. What makes our lives worth living? The official results of this survey reporting on Bhutan’s GNH (gross national happiness) can be found online. The unofficial results in Friedl’s extraordinary documentary form a mosaic of intimate portraits and glimpses into the soul of a people. To one Bhutanese happiness is to be born as a human and not as an ant or a pig.

Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story: A Book Discussion Mon. March 3rd, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

427_Frank_Thompson_06Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt (Liveright 2012) takes up the history and contemporary thinking about what is arguably the most profound question of all in physics and its philosophy. Thompson will lead a discussion of Holt’s accessible, thought-provoking, occasionally funny, and quite well-written explication of this very difficult problem. An informal lunch will be provided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the speaker

Frank Thompson

Frank Thompson is a social scientist (Ph.D.,

Morally Arbitrary Economic Advantage Thu. February 27th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

409_Frank_Thompson_06In this lecture, Frank Thompson, Lecturer and Research Investigator at the University of Michigan, will offer an introductory analysis of the notion of morally arbitrary advantage, focusing on morally arbitrary economic advantage (and disadvantage). This analysis is developed in the framework of the canonical general competitive equilibrium model of neoclassical economic theory. The main conclusion, demonstrated conceptually and empirically, is that different people possessing indistinguishable levels of “human capital” will receive different (often astonishingly so) returns for equally industriously using their human capital, i.e., working. The explanation for this is differential access to technology and (non-human) capital.

Monty Python and Philosophy Wed. February 26th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

426_Frank_Thompson_06Thompson disagrees that “Philosophy [is] on the whole no laughing matter.” — W.V.O. Quine, Quiddities. To formally register his disagreement, Thompson will lead a fun discussion on the oeuvres of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, e.g., “Dead Parrot” (Episode 8), “Argument Clinic” (Episode 29), and their movie “The Meaning of Life”, along with selections from Hardcastle and Reich’s (2006) “Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think”. An informal lunch will be provided.

 

 

 

 


About the speaker

Frank Thompson

Frank Thompson is a social scientist (Ph.D.,

Cold Case?: Postcolonial Philosophy in France Wed. February 26th, 2014
5:30 pm-6:30 pm

A Humanities Related Event

When postcolonial studies arose in the English-speaking world, India was the paradigm case. But what does postcolonial mean in the French-speaking world, whose primary case is Algeria? After the 2005 riots, the problems in the former French colonies look like a cold case, despite the recent birth of postcolonial studies in France. At first, this work was done by historians and sociologists. But what about the philosophical field, where subjectivation is an important as objectivity? Even if they accept the work of American or British thinkers, French philosophers are not actually interested in this kind of research.

Neither Here Nor There: A translation workshop on French philosophy from the Caribbean Tue. February 25th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Humanities Related Event

Faculty and students are invited to join Dr. Seloua Luste Boublina in discussing texts that straddle cultural, linguistic, psychological, and even musical genres by philosophers Frantz Fanon and Lewis Gordon.

 


About the speaker

Seloua Luste Boublina

Seloua Luste Boulbina holds Ph.D.’s in Political Science and Philosophy from Universite de Paris. A specialist in Tocqueville, Mill, and Caribbean philosophy, she is Program Director at the College International de Philosophie in Paris. Her publications include “Singe De Kafka (Kafka’s Monkey)” and special issues of “Rue Descartes”

Slave Flight, Slave Torture, and the State: Nineteenth-Century French Guiana Mon. February 24th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

A Humanities Related Event

Miranda Spieler is an historian of France and the French overseas empire whose work explores the relationship between law and violence. She received her AB in History and Literature from Harvard College and her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. After completing her doctorate in 2005, she joined the History Department at the University of Arizona, where she became an Associate Professor in 2011. Her book, “Empire and Underworld: Captivity in French Guiana” (Harvard 2012), was awarded the J. Russell Major Prize and the Geroge L. Mosse Prize from the American Historical Association in 2013.

Immigration, Inc. Thu. February 20th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

408_Jeffrey_Kaye_06Journalist & author Jeffrey Kaye discusses the economic forces that promote and encourage immigration. The public in the U.S. and other industrialized countries tend to view the politically-charged topic through a legal lens, often seeing migration as a matter of personal choice. Kaye examines the policies of businesses and governments in both rich and poor nations to show how globalization and economic policies have helped create patterns of international migration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Deeper, Older O: The Oral (Sex) Tradition (in Poetry) Thu. February 20th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

A part of the Baker Nord Poetics Working-Group’s Spring 2014 programming, poet Jennifer Moxley will lead a discussion of her essay “A Deeper, Older O: The Oral (Sex) Tradition (in Poetry).”

 


About the speaker

Jennifer Moxley

Jennifer Moxley (b. 1964) studied literature and writing at UC San Diego and the University of Rhode Island and received her M.F.A. from Brown University in 1994. She is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Clampdown (Flood 2009),

From the Tigris to the Tiber: A Case of Babylonian ‘Astro-Medicine’ in Pliny the Elder Wed. February 19th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

425_Maddalena_Rumor_06This talk will present and compare two texts — a puzzling late Babylonian Kalendertext written on a cuneiform tablet in Uruk by a scholar named Iqisa (late fourth century BCE), and a passage from the Natural History of Pliny the Elder (first century CE) concerning fever therapies. While at a first glance these two testimonies seem to have nothing in common, a closer examination of them reveals that Pliny was commenting on the specific tradition of pairing animal products with calendric/zodiac information as found in Iqisa’s text, and thus each is useful for the interpretation of the other.

Mountain Visions: Modernism and Dystopia in the Alps Wed. February 19th, 2014
4:30 pm-1:00 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

424_Andrew_Denning_06Talk 1: “Modernist Motion on the Mountainside: Alpine Skiing and Central European Culture, 1900-39 Andrew Denning, History, University of British Columbia

When does a pastime become an art form? When skiers arrived in the Alps around 1880, locals mocked them as bourgeois “plank hoppers.” By the turn of the twentieth century, however, Alpine skiing had become a cultural phenomenon. Skiers experienced the grandeur of nature and the rush of speed simultaneously, transforming leisure into art. As skiers synthesized Romanticism and modernism on Alpine slopes, they offered a vision of their sport as a cure for modern ills and,

“Interpreting Capitalism” Film Series: THE LAST TRAIN HOME Thu. February 13th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

407_none_06Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year’s holiday: an epic spectacle that reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future. In this award-winning film, Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan travels with one couple who have embarked on this annual trek for almost two decades. Emotionally engaging and starkly beautiful, Last Train Home sheds light on the human cost of China’s ascendance as an economic superpower. Introduced by Wendy Fu, CWRU Assistant Professor of History.

The Making of Albert Camus’ “The Stranger” Mon. February 10th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

CAMUS- 239x335-PART 1- debut:Mise en page 1The Stranger was published in 1942, in the depths of the Nazi Occupation, by a young unemployed journalist from Algeria who would normally never have had a hearing in Paris. In her lecture, Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor of French at Yale University, will explore the making of this phenomenal literary success. That this strange book should become the best known French novel in the United States and still the most widely taught, that it changed the whole direction of the novel, here and in France… is, in literary terms, a miracle. This lecture, in memory of Walter A.

Alterity Revisited: Recent Projects Thu. February 6th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Digital Humanities Event

405_Jose_Carlos_Teixeira_06Jose Carlos Teixeira — the Champney Family Professor of Art, CWRU & Cleveland Institute of Art — will present his recent interdisciplinary and multi-media-based research explorations. His work investigates and expands on notions of identity, otherness, language, boundary, exile and displacement. Through strategies of participation, his pieces address specific issues related to locational identity, global diaspora, and the limits (or overlapping) of personal/social, physical/mental, and political territories. An artist with a distinguished international reputation, Professor Teixeira focuses mainly on participatory and collaborative events, therefore incorporating multiple voices and subjects into his audiovisual projects.

The Crisis of Journalism and the Conversion of the United States from a Democracy to a Dollarocracy Mon. January 27th, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

404_Robert_McChesney_06The United States is no longer a “functional democracy,” according to Jimmy Carter. The wealthy dominate politics and the rest of the population are sitting in the bleachers for a game at which they’re mere spectators. This talk examines the crucial role that the collapse of journalism has played in accelerating and making permanent the state of “Dollarocracy.” McChesney also discusses how American history – plus the experience of other democratic nations – suggests there are workable policy solutions to make possible a rich, diverse, uncensored, and competitive free press in the digital era.

 

The Speaking River: Voices In and From the Urban Landscape Thu. January 23rd, 2014
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsor Event

421_Charles_Burroughs_06Rivers are often background, especially within city limits. In modern cities, formerly obstreperous rivers have been channeled and generally domesticated by embankments and weirs, and condemned to carry tourist craft and little else. However, in many cities, the river is the most ancient and persistent “natural” element, qualifying often as a symbol — not least in art and poetry — of a city that it preceded and will probably outlive. It may even receive a voice, and become a kind of character in the drama of that unfolds around it. With the professionalization of landscape design in the 19th century,

Issues in 20th and 21st Century Art: Lize Mogel Wed. January 22nd, 2014
5:00 pm-6:00 pm

A Humanities Related Event

Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist who works with the interstices between art and cultural geography. She has created and disseminated counter-cartography maps and mapping that produce new understandings of social and political issues. Her work connects the real history and collective imaginary about specific places to larger narratives of global economies. She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles; future territorial disputes in the Arctic; and wastewater economies in New York City. She is co-editor of the book/map collection “An Atlas of Radical Cartography,” a project that significantly influenced the conversation and production around mapping and activism.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler: Film Screening and Discussion Tue. January 21st, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

403_none_06A 2013 American historical fiction drama film directed by Lee Daniels is loosely inspired by the real-life of Eugene Allen, an African-American who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler to eight presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. A discussion will follow the screening. This event, part of the 2014 Martin Luther King Week programming,

Euripides’s Hecuba: A Political Interpretation Fri. January 17th, 2014
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

Much of the criticism on Euripides’s Hecuba is focused on the character of Hecuba as victimized mother who rightfully avenges her son’s death and those who argue for Hecuba’s moral deterioration over the course of the plays’ two main movements, sacrifice and revenge. This talk departs in a new direction by analyzing how the historical and political background informs the key themes of the protection due prisoners of war and the treatment of the vanquished. Viewed against the Athenian empire’s policies in the 420s BCE, Hecuba focuses on the obligations of the strong toward the weak and of masters towards slaves,


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