Is the Civil War the Revolution We Like to Forget?

Dr. David Blight



Dr. David Blight, recipient of the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction for American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the US Civil War and its legacy. He is the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition at Yale University.


With support from:

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards


Video link: (click)


Anarchy on the Airwaves: The Threat and Magic of Cleveland’s Radio & TV Scene

Mike Olszewski



Commercial broadcasting has been with us for over ninety years. We’ve seen it progress from tiny crystal radio sets to 90 inch plus TV screens. The greatest period of transition was in the 50s and 60s when programmers and performers offered innovative content. Northeast Ohio was a leader in that transition. Performers like Ernie Anderson’s “Ghoulardi” and Dick “The Wilde Childe” Kemp were considered anarchists. Journalists like Dorothy Fuldheim and Alan Douglas drew criticism for their “in your face” style of reporting. Today all are considered pioneers and visionaries who helped set a national standard. Radio / TV historian Mike Olszewski will discuss the programming and personalities that shaped entire generations.

This event is sponsored by the Pop Culture Research Working Group.


Dexter Davis: Artist on an Urban Battlefield

Henry Adams



FACULTY WORK-IN-PROGRESS:Dexter Davis, one of Cleveland’s leading artists, grew up in a neighborhood wracked by gangland violence; he currently works as a guard at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Art historian Henry Adams, in a conversation with Davis, will explore the pathway that led him to become an artist, the struggle to sustain his artistic career despite financial hardships and other challenges, and, in a larger context, the role of art in eroding the often divisive cultural and social boundaries of the 21st century urban environment. Reception begins at 4:15 pm.


Video link: (click)


Freedman Fellows Presentation Series: Digital Mapping of Child Trafficking in Northeast Ohio

Brian Gran, Ann Holstein



Join Dr. Brian Gran as he leads a discussion on child trafficking in our own backyard. Statistics gathered from alternative public websites, the FBI, city and suburban police departments, county departments, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and various social service providers aim to help in the development of digital maps and scientific estimates of where, how often and what kinds of trafficking are taking place around Northeast Ohio. Humanities scholars have embraced GIS (geographic information systems) technology in recent years for their research involving spatial analysis and visualizations. Digital mapping applications can assist in the analysis of large amounts of spatial data to discover patterns and trends in the data that may not be easily seen in tabular format. Co-presenter Ann Holstein (GIS Specialist, Kelvin Smith Library) will give us insight on how Dr. Gran is able to create digital maps for his research using statistical data collected from these websites and agencies and processed using specialized software. She will also show examples of other child trafficking digital mapping projects from around the world.


With support from:

Freedman Fellows Program, Kelvin Smith Library, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities





REVOLUTION! FILM SERIES: Introduced by Pete Moore, Associate Professor of Political Science, CWRU. This film is a poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl. In 1970s Iran, Marji Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah’s defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. As she grows up, Marji finds that both she and her homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.



Chris Haufe



FACULTY WORK-IN-PROGRESS:Fruitfulness is a highly valued property of theories. In fact, its value is so high that all aspects of theory appraisal are best understood as proxy judgments for how fruitful a theory will be. Haufe, Department of Philosophy, will use the beacon of fruitfulness to shed light on a variety of widespread aspects of theory appraisal and grant proposal evaluation and will also connect the concept of fruitfulness to more general concerns about understanding and well-founded inference.Reception begins at 4:15 pm.


The Art and Culture of Revolt in the Middle East



Whether graffiti, poetry, songs, or humor, the 2011 uprisings in the Middle East were more than just political events; they were cultural and artistic productions. How did cultural and artistic products figure in the revolts? How have artists in turn been affected by the political changes underway? Panel includes Pete Moore (CWRU – Moderator), George Trumbull IV (Dartmouth College), Nada Shabout, (University of North Texas), Jessica Winegar (Northwestern University), and Ted Swedenburg (University of Arkansas).This event is co-sponsored by the CWRU College of Arts and Sciences, The Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies and The Nusri Chair in Islamic Studies, John Carroll University.


With support from:

The College of Arts and Sciences, CWRU, The Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies, The Nusri Chair is Islamic Studies, John Carroll University


Video link: (click)


Seventy Days of Night- 33 Miners Trapped: The Hidden Story of a Rescue and the Women of the Miners, the True Heroines of the Story

Emma Sepulveda



Emma Sepulveda is a writer, a columnist, Foundation Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and serves as the Director of the Latino Research Center. In her most recent book, CONVERGING DREAMS: WHY LATINOS SUPPORT OBAMA, Emma searched for the reasons why Latinos supported the first Afro-American president in the elections of 2008, how well President Obama responded to the support of the Latino/as during his presidency, and the reasons why Obama continues to be the best alternative for the Latino vote in 2012. In her recent work, SEVENTY DAYS OF NIGHT, Emma interviewed the women of the 33 Chilean miners and had access to the letters between them and the miners, and to exclusive information as to the reason for the accident. This book has won numerous awards in Chile and the US, including the 1st prize at the International Book Awards in New York for the best political/historical book written in Spanish.
With support from:

CWRU ACES Distinguished Lectureship Series, CWRU Women’s and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies Programs, CWRU President’s Advisory Council on Minorities, CWRU Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Speakers Committee of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures


Obama and the Latino Vote

Emma Sepulveda



Emma Sepulveda is a writer, a columnist, Foundation Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and serves as the Director of the Latino Research Center. In her most recent book, CONVERGING DREAMS: WHY LATINOS SUPPORT OBAMA, Emma searched for the reasons why Latinos supported the first Afro-American president in the elections of 2008, how well President Obama responded to the support of the Latino/as during his presidency, and the reasons why Obama continues to be the best alternative for the Latino vote in 2012. In her recent work, SEVENTY DAYS OF NIGHT, Emma interviewed the women of the 33 Chilean miners and had access to the letters between them and the miners, and to exclusive information as to the reason for the accident. This book has won numerous awards in Chile and the US, including the 1st prize at the International Book Awards in New York for the best political/historical book written in Spanish.


With support from:

CWRU ACES Distinguished Lectureship Series, CWRU Women’s and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies Programs, CWRU President’s Advisory Council on Minorities, CWRU Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Speakers Committee of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures


Is There Revolutionary Potential in Rising Expectations

Arjun Appadurai



Arjun Appadurai – prominent contemporary social-cultural anthropologist and Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University – will address a cluster of influential social theories which identify rising expectations as constituting one of the major factors behind social revolutions. In the world of the Internet, mass-mediated consumerism and viral democracy, which rising expectations count and what sort of revolutions can they inspire? A close look at anti-corruption movements in India and anti-Wall Street movements in the United States provide striking windows into the idea of revolutions of rising expectations.


The Craft of Comics: An Insider View

Marc Sumerak



Words and pictures collide as comic book writer and editor Marc Sumerak shares insights from more than a decade of work at Marvel Comics. Join him for an in-depth look into the collaborative art of making comic books and graphic novels, as well as a candid discussion about his many adventures with some of the world’s most recognizable characters – including Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, and many more!   This workshop is sponsored by the Pop Culture Research Working Group.


The Battle of Algiers



REVOLUTION! FILM SERIES:Introduced by Robert Spadoni, Associate Professor of English, CWRU. This film, commissioned by the Algerian government, is an account of the bloodiest revolution in modern history and shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash. The torture used by the French is contrasted with the Algerian’s use of bombs in soda shops. A riveting, classic film of war in its fullness and the battle’s impact on a wide spectrum of social classes.


Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me: Harvey Pekar’s Reflections on Judaism and Israel

Joyce Brabner, JT Waldman



This event is a discussion of the final book by the late Jewish Cleveland author, Harvey Pekar.Pekar’s illustrator JT Waldman will introduce the book and artwork and talk about his explorations of Jewish history alongside Pekar. Pekar’s widow and literary collaborator, Joyce Brabner, will speak about Pekar’s life, relationship to Judaism, and views on Israel.This event is free and open to the public.<b>Harvey Pekar</b>Popularly known as the “Poet Laureate of Cleveland,” Harvey Pekar was the renowned author of graphic novels and comix as well as a music critic. Born and raised in Cleveland by Polish Jewish immigrant parents, Pekar attended Case Western Reserve University and enlisted in the United States Navy before working as a file clerk at Cleveland’s Veteran’s Administration Hospital. He used the struggles and small joys of daily life as material for his work, including his American Splendor series, which was illustrated by many of the leading comic illustrators of the past two generations. He died in July 2010, but left behind a rich legacy of novels and comix, including his last works, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland and Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me, which combine narrative history and Pekar’s personal experiences as a Clevelander and a Jew.


With support from:

Case Western Reserve University Program in Judaic Studies, Case Western Reserve University Department of Religious Studies, Case Western Reserve University Department of Art and Art History, Department of English and the Popular Culture Working Group, Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program


Hands On, Hands Off: talk & poetry reading

Bill Berkson



Departing from the elegance of what the painter Larry Rivers called the “lollipop” of modern livres d’artiste as made by the likes of Mallarme, Manet, Picasso, Apollinaire, Matisse, Bonnard, and the Surrealists, New York artists and poets from the 1950s onward have developed a new type of synergy – spontaneous, often more casual, and involving popular forms such as comics and advertising layouts. This talk will include a capsule history of the various modes and players – beginning with the just-reprinted O’Hara/Rivers portfolio Stones — as well as accounts of Berkson’s collaborations with Philip Guston, Joe Brainard, George Schneeman, Leonie Guyer, John Zurier, and others. Bill Berkson is a poet, critic, teacher, and sometime curator, who has been active in the art and literary worlds since his early twenties. He is Professor Emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute where he taught art history, critical writing, and poetry. He is the author of some twenty books and pamphlets of poetry — includingmost recently, Ted Berrigan with George Schneeman (Cuneiform Press, 2009); Not an Exit with Leonie Guyer (Jungle Garden Books, 2011); and Repeat after Me, with watercolors by John Zurier (Gallery Paule Anglim, 2011).


With support from:

The Department of Art History, The Department of English


The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: Rebuilding a Digital Humanities Platform for a New Century

John Grabowski, Kirsten Nagel, Katie O’Keefe



Join us for the next installment in our presentation series as Freedman Fellow Dr. John Grabowski discusses the motivation to move the online Encyclopedia of Cleveland History to a new level of utility and technical viability. First published in hard copy in 1987, the Encyclopedia has sold over 14,000 copies and made its move to the web in 1998.The online edition has expanded and evolved over the past fourteen years, currently containing over 4,400 articles. Hear about Grabowski’s venture to determine the best means to add to it new, media-rich material; how to open that material to a system of “tagging;” and how to adapt the infrastructure to be sustained and expanded in the 21st century. Additionally, Grabowski and co-presenter Kirsten Nagel (Marketing, Communications and Training Manager for ITS) and Emily Mayock (Internal Communications Editor) will discuss the University’s progress towards creating a centralized web creation & hosting environment, and how projects such as this can be incorporated into this new vision for faculty support.


With support from:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Kelvin Smith Library


Additional Links:

To see the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: (click)


Interpreting Karl May in Germany

Andre Kohler



First event in the “Why Germans Love Cowboys and Indians: Karl May, the American WIld West, and the German Imagination” symposium. Lecture presented by Andre Kohler from the Karl Mary Museum Radebeul. The symposium allows a closer look at this fascinating phenomenon of Germany’s love for Karl May and the American West, explain what it meant for East Germans to escape into a recreated Wild West and Native American world, and why and how reenactments of May’s stories today in a vast number of festivals still capture the imagination of an entire nation. The potential of a life of freedom and humanity expressed in the Wild West fantasies of Karl May, which inspired to imagine possibilities of an alternative world, also aligns itself squarely with the 2012/2013 theme of Revolution in the Baker-Nord Center of the Humanities.


With support from:

Max Kade Center for German Studies


“Der Schatz im Silbersee – Treasure of Silver Lake”: Film Screening



Part of the “Why Germans Love Cowboys and Indians: Karl May, the American Wild West, and the German Imagination” Symposium.


With support from:

Max Kade Center for German Studies


Karl May in German Culture

Alina Dana Weber, Petra Tjitski Kalshoven



Final event for the “Why Germans Love Cowboys and Indians: Karl May, the American Wild West, and the German Imagination” symposium. Alina Dana Weber from the Department of German, Florida State University, presents “Positioning Karl-May-Festivals in a German Performance Context” and Petra Tjitske Kalshoven from the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, presents “Winnetou Re-Cast: Playing Indianist as a Quest for Imaginative Authenticity”.


With support from:

Max Kade Center for German Studies


Oh, how we rock that American Hunger: Charles Edward Anderson/Chuck Berry and the history of our future

Greg Tate



Author, journalist and musician Greg Tate speaks on the significance of Chuck Berry in American history.


With support from:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum


Additional Links:

For the entire 2012 American Music Masters Schedule of Events: (click)


When is a Revolution Complete?

Dorothy Parvaz



Dorothy Parvaz – an on-line journalist for Al Jazeera English, and the recipient of the 2011 National Press Club’s John Aubuchon Press Freedom Foreign Correspondents Award in recognition of courageous reporting, for her work in the Middle East. – discusses the events of last spring.

After the Arab Spring – with Iran’s Islamic revolution somewhere in the rear-view mirror and Syria still ahead – what does it mean to be in a “post-revolution” state? Is the unseating of a strongman the extent of a revolution? If so, given the issues with rights in these countries with the media, women and religious minorities, are these the outcomes for which people in those countries fought?


October (10 Days that Shook the World)



REVOLUTION! FILM SERIES:Introduced by John Orlock, Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of Humanities, CWRU. In documentary style, this film re-enacts the events of the Russian Revolution from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in November of that year. Lenin returns in April. In July, counter-revolutionaries put down a spontaneous revolt, and Lenin’s arrest is ordered. By late October, the Bolsheviks are ready to strike: ten days will shake the world.


“Science Fantasy”: The New Mash Up



In the early twenty-first century, speculative fiction’s genres and subgenres are bursting their boundaries and flooding mainstream and young adult literature. Science fiction – hard or soft. High fantasy. Cyberpunk, steampunk, sword and sorcery. Why this contemporary boom in alternate narrative worlds? Why deep space and vampires? Do blockbuster successes like “Twilight” transform our taste for things unreal or unnatural? Why categorize at all? Panel includes Karen Long (Moderator), Mark Dawidziak, Mara Purnhagen, and Charles Oberndorf. Sponsored by the Pop Culture Research Working Group.


Out Flew the Web and Floated Wide: Tennyson and Green Eschatology

Sarah Gridley



FACULTY WORK-IN-PROGRESS: The word loom calls us to the edges, perhaps even limits, of life – to what appears as the space and means of creation – and to what appears on that horizon, soliciting reflection and response. Forthcoming from Omnidawn in 2013, Gridley’s third book of poems – titled Loom – searches for re-integrations of gender, dwelling, and the sacred, bringing current evocations of green eschatology to bear on Tennyson’s enigmatic poem, “The Lady of Shalott.”


The Inscriptions on the Antikythera Mechanism

Paul Iversen, Jared Bendis



The third event in our presentation series features Freedman Fellow Paul Iversen (Associate Professor, Classics). Iversen will discuss two new technologies he is using to read the inscriptions incised on the Antikythera Mechanism, a device considered to be the first analog computer.

Capable of computing and displaying information such as lunar phases, the rising and setting of stars and constellations, the lunisolar calendar of northwestern Greece and Panhellenic festivals including the Olympic games, the Antikythera Mechanism was found in a 1901 shipwreck and dates back to the second or first century BCE.

The technologies Iversen is using to read the inscriptions include Computed Tomography (CT) scans generated by a technology called Micro-Focus x-rays, and photographic images that employ a technology known as Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTMs).

Often overlooked, VR panoramas, VR objects and 3D/Stereoscopic photography are easy and exciting ways to enhance and add a virtual element to most New Media projects. Co-presenter Jared Bendis (Creative New Media Officer, Kelvin Smith Library) will give a step-by-step guide on the tools and techniques used to create these media elements and also outline how to best integrate them into a project.
With support from:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship


Freedman Fellows Presentation Series: Continuation of The Reilly Digital Catalogue of Mahler’s Musical Manuscripts

Stephen Hefling, Stephen Toombs



The Mahler Manuscript Catalog represents a model of the Freedman Fellowship in which the subject expertise of a faculty member is combined with the experience of a research services librarian and the skills of library IT staff to create digital scholarship.Stephen Hefling will present an overview of his working methods illustrated with examples that are fully described in The Reilly Catalogue. In addition he’ll offer a hint of future possibilities through a short electronic visit to the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna.Stephen Toombs will describe how the library staff assisted Dr. Hefling in translating Edward R. Reilly’s catalogue raisonne of the music manuscripts of Gustav Mahler into an Oracle database which will become the foundation of a searchable online catalog. This work included envisioning possible user search patterns, defining data points and what their definitions imply for storage of data within the Oracle database, authority control for data points, and inputting protocols.


With support from:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Kelvin Smith Library


Keeping the Stories Alive

James Sheeler



For the past few years, students in Jim Sheeler’s immersion journalism/multimedia storytelling class have spent the bulk of the semester at Eliza Bryant Village, the nation’s oldest continually operating African-American nursing home, located in the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland. Armed with videocameras, microphones, headphones and cell phones, they’ve created audio slideshows documenting the lives of former actors and gospel singers. They’ve produced audio and video stories of loss, and of love. In this digital work in progress, Sheeler will reveal the lessons behind the stories.


Additional Links:

For Jim Sheeler’s faculty page: (click)

For Jim Sheeler’s web page: (click)

For CWRU’s ArtSci magazine article – A Passion for Storytelling: (click)

For Cleveland Magazine’s Most Interesting People series: (click)

For Karen Long’s writeup for Anisfield-Wolf: (click)


A Conversation with Daniel Stashower



Daniel Stashower is an acclaimed biographer and narrative historian and winner of the Edgar, Agatha, and Anthony awards, as well as the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction. His latest book “The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War” uncovers the riveting true story of the “Baltimore Plot,” one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era.   Stashower’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Traveller and Connoisseur. A book signing will follow the talk.For parking information, please see the Additional Resources section below.


With support from:

Cuyahoga County Public Library



The Myth of Dresden: Origins and Manifestation of the German Victim Discourse

Susanne Vees-Gulani, Richard Wisneski



Since in February 1945 a firestorm caused by heavy air raids largely destroyed Dresden, this German baroque city has served as a symbol for the brutality of warfare and suffering. Vees-Gulani challenges the unquestioned acceptance of the Dresden victim status, since the city was in fact neither an unjustified military target nor was the level or timing of the bombings exceptional. Vees-Gulani explores the reasons for this misinterpretation, based on data from the 17th century to 1945, such as paintings, postcards, photographs, and tourist guides, which helped create an image of Dresden of mythic dimensions. This image is the foundation for the developments surrounding the city as a place of German victimization after its bombing in 1945 to the present. The goal is to design a database and subsequent visualizations that communicate the various connections successfully and help understand better the complex interplay between historical facts, victim narrative, and cultural representation.

Co-presenter Richard Wisneski (Team Leader, Acquisitions and Metadata) will describe various metadata approaches to Dr. Vees-Gulani’s project, with the pros and cons of each. Attention will be given to metadata strategies and planning.


With support from:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Kelvin Smith Library, The Freedman Fellows Program


REVOLUTION FILM SERIES: The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade



This 1967 film — based upon the Peter Weiss/Peter Brook iconoclastic & influential Broadway production — tells the story of the Marquis de Sade, who — while imprisoned in the Charenton mental hospital — uses the patients to stage a play based on the life of the French Revolution martyr Jean-Paul Marat. A bold masterwork that weaves the theatricality of violence, song, sex, and radical 60s politics into a memorable tapestry of images & ideas. Introduced by Jeffrey Ullom, Assistant Professor of Theater, CWRU.For parking information, please see the Additional Resources section below.


Additional Links:

For the IMDb Marat-Sade site: (click)

For a Marat-Sade Study Guide by Peter Weiss: (click)

For Roger Ebert’s movie review: (click)


Cold War Medicine: ECT as Therapy and Social Control in an Age of Anxiety

Jonathan Sadowsky



In the 1940s & 50s, Electroconvulsive Therapy spread in the United Stated during a period of intense preoccupation with conformity and deviance. In this presentation Sadowsky, the “Dr. Theodore J. Castele Associate Professor of Medical History” and Chair of the Department of History, explores the relationship of a highly controversial psychiatric therapy to that era’s concern with conformity, comparing uses that range from the most therapeutic to the most coercive.


Occupy Shakespeare: Shakespeare and/in the Humanities

Marjorie Garber



Revolution, evolution, devolution–what is the relationship between Shakespeare and the humanities today? How has “ownership” of Shakespeare changed in the 20th and 21st centuries–and what, if anything, does that tell us about the future, for “Shakespeare,” for the humanities, and for modern and postmodern culture? Garber is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. This lecture — in memory of Walter A. Strauss (1923-2008), who was the Elizabeth & William T. Treuhaft Professor of Humanities — is generously funded by the Paul Wurzberger Endowment.For parking information, please see the Additional Resources section below.


Additional Links:

For a video of Marjorie Garber’s interview on The Charlie Rose Show: (click)

To read Marjorie Garber’s recent article, “Anatomy of a Honey Trap” in Foreign Policy magazine: (click)

To read Marjorie Garber’s Q&A with Heather Horn in The Atlantic magazine: (click)

For the Stanford Presidential Lectures in the Humanities and Arts – Marjorie Garber: (click)


Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change Ethics in Light of a Thirty-Five Year Debate

Donald Brown



Professor Donald Brown — scholar in residence for sustainability ethics and law at the Widener Environmental Law Center, and former director of the Pennsylvania Environmental Research Consortium — will address the critical questions of why climate change must be understood fundamentally as a civilization-challenging ethical problem, why an understanding that climate change is an ethical problem has profound practical significance for policy formation, and why ethics has failed to gain traction in climate change policy debates.


Video link: (click)


Additional Links:

For Donald Brown’s Ehtics and Climate blog: (click)

For the Yale forum on Climate Change and the Media: (click)


Revolutionaries: Race, Class, and Culture between the Wars

Walter Benn Michaels



Beginning with a comparison between the great German photographer August Sander and the equally great American photographer, Walker Evans, this talk will move on to an analysis of the relation between race and class in William Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!”. Its central questions will be about how social structure is understood, how revolutionary change in that structure is understood, and how the aesthetic is imagined to function in understanding that change. An American literary theorist and author, Michaels is a Professor in the Department of English, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.For parking information, please see the Additional Resources section below


With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture


Video link: (click)



Who’s Laughing Now?: Indigenous Media and the Politics of Humor

Freya Schiwy



Dr. Freya Schiwy, author of “Indianizing Film: Decolonization, the Andes, and the Question of Technology”, will explore the socio-political dimension of how humor within indigenous videos effects the cultural politics of decolonization. She contends that humor helps to negotiate cultural and social change in indigenous communities, while also provoking white and mestizo audiences to laugh at the terms established by Native filmmakers. This event was originally scheduled for January 29, but had to be rescheduled due to a medical emergency. The event is co-sponsored by the Speakers Committee of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, the Program of Ethnic Studies, and the Program of Women’s and Gender Studies.


With support from:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Ethnic Studies, Women and Gender Studies,


The Superman Revolution: A Salute to the Man of Steel

Brad Ricca, Mike Olszewski, Michael Sangiacomo



After 75 years, is Superman — the politically, artistically, and culturally radical character created by two young Clevelanders — ready for a retirement home? Or a coup d’etat? This panel –planned in anticipation of the anniversary of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman — includes Brad Ricca (moderator), Mike Olszewski, Michael Sangiacomo, and others.   Sponsored by the Pop Culture Research Working Group.


On Which Day Exactly Did Galileo Start the Scientific Revolution

J.B. Shank



J.B. Shank — noted professor of history at the University of Minnesota, and this year’s Baker-Nord Center Scholar-in-Residence — challenges some widely-held views of Galileo as the figure who launched the Scientific Revolution. His lecture will question the necessity and usefulness of this canonical understanding while exploring all the many ways that Galileo was, nevertheless, a sparklingly brilliant embodiment of early modernity.


Additional Links:

For J.B. Shank’s departmental page: (click)

For J.B. Shank’s interview with Writers Read: (click)

For the UMN Center for Early Modern History site: (click)

For Theorizing Early Modern Studies Research Collaborative: (click)

For the Institute for the History of Science at the Museo Galileo: (click)


Eslanda Robeson: Black Internationalism & the Fight Against White Supremacy and Empire in the 20th Century

Barbara Ransby



On the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ransby is an historian, writer, and longtime political activist. Her lecture will discuss the spirit of unity and solidarity that existed between an eclectic global community of politicians, radicals, and intellectuals from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean emerging from the shackles of colonialism in the 1940s and 50s and finding common cause with one another. This network of remarkable women from far corners of the globe was a unique component of the postwar political constellation.


Additional Links:

For the UIC Gender and Women’s Study Program: (click)

For Barbara Ransby’s departmental page: (click)



Robin Hessman



This award-winning feature-length documentary premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was screened in New York as part of the prestigious film series, New Directors/New Films, curated by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. My Perestroika has been rated one of the top films of the year by leading critics, including the New York Times. The film screening will be followed immediately by an extended question and answer session with Robin Hessman, director of the film. Co-sponsored by the CWRU Ethnic Studies Program and the CWRU Film Society.For parking information, please see the Additional Resources section below.


With support from:

CWRU Film Society


Additional Links:

For the My Perestroika homepage: (click)

For a NYT article about Robin Hessman titled “Muscovite Lives, Entangled in History”: (click)


Bibles Hot and Cold: DIY Experiments in Monotype and Hypermedia

Timothy Beal



Biblical scholars in the early decades of the print era were keenly aware that their challenge was not simply to put biblical content into pre-formatted media, but rather, to invent biblical media. Tim Beal, the “Florence Harkness Professor of Religion”, reflects on how particular practices of media technology shape both our processes and publication of research. He will present his preliminary work on a new translation of Job in both analog and digital forms: as a handset letterpress book and as a digital site.


Additional Links:

For Timothy Beal’s faculty page: (click)


Outspoken – Figuratively Speaking: A Workshop in poetry and performance

Michael Salinger



Precise and concise. Poetry is snapshot writing, recreating an instant and allowing the reader/ listener to infer meaning. This workshop will help attendees to hone their use of imagery, metaphor, and narrative in order to create word photos and then speak the results out loud. Poet Michael Salinger leads attendees in fun and instructive writing exercises and then provides some tips and tricks for the stage.


Ransacking Cultural Narratives: Horror, Prefiguration, and Freaks

Joyce Kessler, Robert Spadoni, S. Andrew Swann, Mary Turzillo,



With support from:

Pop Culture Working Group, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities


Revolutions I Have Known:

Ted Morgan



Ted Morgan — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and noted biographer — will share his experiences in covering three major political uprisings of the 20th century: revolutions in Algeria, the Belgian Congo, and Viet Nam. Drawing upon research for his recent books — “Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dine Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War” (2010) and “My Battle of Algiers” (2005) — Morgan will discuss the dimensions that these three revolutions had in common, and what insights they may offer for our 21st century world of governmental unrest.


With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture


Additional Links:

For the NPR review of “Valley of Death”: (click)


Poetry in the Museum

Forrest Gander



Forrest Gander will share his work in the dramatic setting of the Reid Gallery at the Cleveland Museum of Art, co-sponsor of this event. Following his presentation, Gander will announce the winners of the 2013 “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.Contest Guidelines can be found in the Additional Resources section below.


With support from:

Cleveland Museum of Art


Additional Links:

For The Poetry Foundation site: (click)

For Forrest Gander’s website: (click)


Freedman Center Colloquium: Exploring Collaboration in Digital Scholarship

Lisa Spiro, Brian Croxall, Amanda French, Francine Berman,



The second colloquium on digital scholarship will take place on the afternoon of Monday, April 8th & morning of Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 at Kelvin Smith Library located on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The purpose and focus of talks for this year’s colloquium is to highlight how producing and supporting digital scholarship is a necessarily collaborative process, and is better because of it.


With support from:

Kelvin Smith Library, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities


Additional Links:

For event information: (click)


Learning from the Germans: Tarantino, Spielberg, and American Crimes

Susan Neiman



This lecture is the 2013 Beamer-Schneider Lecture in Ethics & Civics. For the last 60 years, German culture – whether philosophical, literary, artistic or cinematic – has revolved around one question: how to go on after the Nazis? Not many of these efforts are well-known to outsiders, many of them are problematic, but all of them are significant. In focusing cultural attention on the question of how to wrest a moral standpoint from a nation which has come to stand for modern evil, contemporary German reflections provide a template for confronting national evils. In American culture, such confrontations have been rare, and are usually confined to the academy. The recent films of Tarantino and Spielberg provide a welcome – and very conscious – exception. (In German interviews Tarantino has been explicit about the role his experience of Germany played in conceiving “Django Unchained”.) I’ll discuss the German experience, the differing reception of the films in Germany and America, and reflect on how Americans can begin to think about forging an identity in the face of our own torturous past. Reception precedes the lecture.


Gaming for a Classroom (R)evolution: Transforming Learning through Play

Anastasia Salter



With new technologies and a fluctuating media landscape transforming communication, the traditional classroom and lecture hall is undergoing extensive remediation. Learning in the digital age is impacted not just by the presence of technology but by the expectations it creates for immediacy, interactivity, and responsiveness. Building classrooms centered on these principles can cultivate play and experimentation, often by incorporating games or virtual worlds as part of the learning experience. Such responsive environments, whether in the form of games in classroom or classrooms re-imagined as games, can encourage learner agency both within the classroom and in the changing world beyond. But realizing this potential requires more than “gamification,” the practice of adding points systems, achievements, and badges to reward learning. Gamification co-opts only the easiest to replicate portions of games: how can learning be revolutionized by further embracing all the mechanics of play? We’ll look at the history of the uneasy partnership of games and education, from the controversy surrounding “edutainment” to the uneasy categories of “serious” games and alternate reality games, and imagine the possible future evolution of playful learning. Dr. Salter’s presentation is the first event of THATCamp Games 2013, presented by the Baker-Nord Center. Information about TCG2013 and registration can be found in the Additional Resources section below.


Additional Links:

For Anastasia Salter’s faculty page: (click)

For Anastasia Salter’s homepage: (click)

information about THATCamp Games 2013: (click)


THATCamp Games 2013

An Unconference



THATCamp Games 2013 is an unconference, founded as a way to bring together Digital Humanities theorists and practitioners, educational and serious game designers, games enthusiasts and advocates, museum educators, and humanities instructors and scholars interested in games and pedagogy. THATCamp Games serves as a space to bring together those on all sides of humanities games to engage in challenging and meaningful conversation in hopes of learning from one another.

We are inviting faculty, administrators, game scholars and designers, research and archival librarians, and students interested in the confluence of games and humanities to discuss, design, build, and hack games and to investigate meaningful ways of incorporating games into the classroom and game elements into course design.


With support from:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences, Case Western Reserve University ITS, Kelvin Smith Library, Microsoft Reserach


Additional Links:

For registration and event information: (click)

For information about THATCamps: (click)


Vergil Week MMXIII: Juno’s Compromise in Aeneid XII

Patricia A. Johnston



Patricia A. Johnston, Professor of Classics and Director, Symposia Cumana, Department of Classical Studies, Brandeis University, presents the keynote lecture for Vergil Week MMXIII.


On the Significance of Experiment for Philosophy

Dr. Chris Haufe



Dr. Haufe, from Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Philosophy, will discuss how the practice and discipline of philosophy is distinguished by its emphasis on using rational intuition to support theories about ethics, truth, knowledge, meaning, and most of the other “big” questions. He will argue that philosophical theories can (and should) also be supported by experiments. Understanding how experiments produce scientific knowledge gives us insight into the probative limits of intuition and the probative frontiers of experiments for philosophy and other humanistic disciplines.


Closer Than You Think: Thoughts on Genre Bending, Blending and Plain-Old Jumping Ship

Paula McLain



Paula McLain is the author of the acclaimed novel “The Paris Wife”. She is also the author of two collections of poetry, as well as a memoir. This is the keynote address for “Breaking Genre: A Writers Conference.” Only the keynote and book fair are free and open to the public. The conference will also feature presentations by Sarah Gridley, Charles Oberndorf, Lynn Powell, Brad Ricca, James Sheeler, Anne Trubek, Sarah Willis, and David Young. For more information, email


With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, The Gund Foundation


Additional Links:

For a NYT book review: (click)