We’re here for you, avoiding our own work so that you can procrastinate with us.
Welcome to Part One of Procrastination Destination: Spring ’15 edition! In less than three hours, reading period will end, and we’re basically all screwed. But, if you need something to tide yourself over before the Primal Scream tonight, we’ve got you covered.
YouTube videos about Wesleyan extend to more than just “Party on Fountain” and “How To Do The Michael Roth.” Click through for six more weird/terrible YouTube videos by Wesleyan kids/admins of the past and present.
“You’ve all been very good. I’m sorry, I’m a bit traumatized.”
Neither snow nor ice nor free speech restrictions could stop her: as planned, Judith Butler, famed Professor of Rhetoric and Literature at University of California Berkeley, spoke in Memorial Chapel yesterday to a full-capacity crowd about the writings of philosopher Martin Buber and the promise they may hold for reinstating open dialogue about peace in the Middle East.
Butler was introduced by President Roth, who pointed out that she embodied the Wesleyan mission statement to a tee as a practitioner of “courageous responsibility, which is difficult to carry out to the street and back to the academy.” Professor of Anthropology and American Studies Margot Weiss, who provided background on her for a few minutes afterward, was greeted by a enthusiastic wave of applause when she rose to the stage. Realizing what had happened due to her faintly resembling Butler, she shouted, “I am not Judith Butler, but thank you!” She went on to draw connections between Butler’s current work and the work on gender that she is best known for, saying that her most recent book, Parting Ways, sees Judaism as a kind of “anti-identitarian project.”
Butler’s approach to critiquing Israeli policies was so carefully measured and focused on separating the Jewish people from the idea of the Jewish state that she paused halfway through to assure people she wasn’t a robot. She also thanked the audience for their patient listening and respect for her views, saying, “You’ve all been very good. I’m sorry, I’m a bit traumatized.” Laughter ensued.
In case you haven’t heard from your critical theory-lovin’ friends, noted post-structuralist Judith Butler is coming to campus this Wednesday (4:00pm in Memorial Chapel), speaking in a pumped-up, academic-celebrity installment of the Center for the Humanities’ Monday Night lecture series. There was widespread excitement about her visit long before the topic of her speech was announced. But Butler, who once taught at Wesleyan, now has a new and quite different project underfoot, one that deals with an aspect of her own identity apart from gender: the difficult questions of Jewish identity and the Israeli state.
When she arrives here, she’ll still be hot off the heels of a controversy at CUNY-funded Brooklyn College, where prominent pro-Israel Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and a “battalion of New York lawmakers” threatened to cut the campus’s funding if the president refused to capitulate on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions panel at which she was speaking, according to Salon.
Fortunately, with the blessing of many significant political figures, including Mayor Bloomberg, Butler ended up being allowed to speak after all on February 8th, but she modified her words to address the controversy. Butler is a professor of rhetoric as well as comparative literature, and she added to her speech remarks addressing the not-already-converted:
From Aria Danaparamita, Claire Choi, Ka Ya Lee, and Yu Vongkiatkajorn:
So we were sitting there contemplating infinity when we thought, why is there not a student-run academic journal for the humanities? Answer: because we’re going to start one! (That makes no sense, whatever.)
We are starting this new journal for the humanities (pending a more attractive name…) in partnership with CHUM. Here’s the plan: a journal published periodically, in print and online, with peer-reviewed academic work from any of the humanities, surrounding one common theme.
And you should be involved. Ways to be involved:
– editorial team
– print layout/production
– online/media team
We’d like to have the most diverse team possible in terms of interests and disciplines (even if you don’t have a major yet!). We’d also like to have people who’ve had experience in publications on campus. Or anyone who thinks this is a good idea, really.
That effectively means that there’s another Center for the Humanities (CHUM) lecture going on later this evening over at Russell House, which as you may or may not have heard, just got a pretty fine monetary injection of $2 million as reported in the Argus a couple of days ago. This week’s lecture is to be given by Science and Society Professor Laura Stark, entitled “Love in a Total Institution: How College Interns Changed Postwar Clinical Research at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.”
Aside from sounding like the title of a novel that could rival “Love in the Time Cholera,” it may in fact be a nice antidote to the dour Tales of the Intern that’s been popping up here and there. (Black Swan! Black Swan!) Click on after the jump for an excerpt of the lecture’s description.
Date: Oct. 10 Time: 4.30PM – 6.00PM Place: Russell House, main room
Mary S. Morgan, Fellow of the British Academy and Overseas Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, is Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics at the London School of Economics and University of Amsterdam. She has published on a range of topics from statistics to experiments, narrative and observation, and from nineteenth-century Social Darwinism to game theory in the Cold War. Her main books include The History of Econometric Ideas (1990) and Models as Mediators (1999 with Margaret Morrison), and The World in the Model (forthcoming), and she has edited collections on measurement, policy making with models, econometrics, and the development of probability thinking. The collection of essays How Well Do Facts Travel? (2011 with Peter Howlett) marks the conclusion of a major interdisciplinary team project on the nature of evidence in the humanities and sciences. She is currently “Re-thinking Case Studies Across the Social Sciences” as a British Academy-Wolfson Research Professor, this year as a Davis Center Fellow at Princeton University.
Date: Monday, March 28
Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Place: Russell House
Deadline for applications is Friday, March 25. Please click here for more details on the Center for the Humanities Senior Student Fellowship.
All members of the junior class are invited to apply for a semester-long Student Fellowship at the Center for the Humanities during the 2011-12 academic year. Wesleyan’s is among the first such university humanities centers established and serves to bring together Wesleyan faculty, students and visiting scholars for extended exploration of selected subjects. Our 2011-12 themes are “Fact and Artifact” (Fall semester) and “Visceral States: Affect and Civic Life” (Spring semester). Descriptions of these themes are appended below.
From Kathleen Coe Roberts an opportunity to hear a really nice guy talk (I actually saw him a few minutes ago):
In the last decade of the twentieth century, Russell Banks published a series of brilliant novels that explore the possibilities for democracy in the post-Cold-War United States. Banks’s fiction addresses this problem not just thematically, but formally and generically as well—both invoking and calling into question the once widely shared notion that literary fiction might serve as an important means of democratic education. Professor McCann proposes that Banks’ work can be read as at once a lament for and an indictment of the declining belief that the novel and the university could work together toward the realization of a democratic society.
Date: Monday, Feb. 21
Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Place: Russell House
The new Wesmaps is up and it’s lookin’ mighty fine. Thanks to the shoutbox shouter for the tip and sorry for the tardiness, buddy. As always, this is a preliminary list and is pending to (perhaps a lot of) change. In related news, I damn well better get into West Af this time.
In other related but more relevant news, the themes for next year’s Center for Humanities (CHUM nom nom nom) projects are:
Fall 2011: Fact and Artifact
Spring 2012: Visceral States: Affect and Civic Life
… which I think might be old news by now. Anyway, for more information, check out their website.
Professor Semley considers the West African port city of Porto-Novo to explore two contradictory visions of that port: as a cosmopolitan quartier latin and the l’enfant terrible of French West Africa. In her lecture, she examines Porto-Novo’s diverse origins based in migrating West African groups beginning in the eighteenth century through the nineteenth century immigration of Brazilians and repatriated slaves from Sierra Leone. These Atlantic migration patterns reflect the physical mobility of the population, changing social identities, and multiple intellectual strategies for understanding the relationships between Africa, the Americas, and Europe. She asks, how much do these earlier interactions contribute to the twentieth century situation when the French saw the populations in Porto-Novo working with (as a quartier latin) or against (as a l’enfant terrible) Western ideologies and modernity? Had people in Porto-Novo actually been trying to carve out a different space somewhere in-between that both engaged and challenged colonial assumptions? How does the idea of a “trans-African” city help define that alternative space?
Professor Semley’s lecture is part of the Center for the Humanities lecture series on ‘Worlding’. This event is free to the public.
Date: Nov. 15
Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Place: Russell House