Tag Archives: chum

Professor Terry Smith: “Contemporary Art: World Perspectives”

Is “contemporary” the name of an art historical period that has succeeded modernism (and postmodernism), or does “contemporaneity” mean that periodization is past (an anachronism from modernity) both in the general culture and in art? Does it then follow, as many argue, that contemporary art can only be a kind of modernism that has outlived its time? Or, as some have suggested, do the multiple modernisms and non-modern practices within twentieth century art prefigure the diversity of contemporary art?

We need to ask whether or not contemporary conditions have reshaped our conception of “the world” (in planetary terms, for example as worlds-within-the-world) and a global contemporary art. Are the evident interconnections between each region, people, city, even locality in the world today sufficient to enable us to speak of a new, contemporary phase in the “world” history of art? In his lecture Professor Smith explores these questions in relation to the ideas offered in his recent book “What is Contemporary Art?” (2009), and his forthcoming book “Contemporary Art of the World: Late Modern to Now”

  • Date: Today: Monday, November 8
  • Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Place: Russell House
  • Cost: Free!

For more information about other Center for the Humanities events, click here.

Soldiers, Gramophones, and Other Stories

The German Studies Department and the Center for the Humanities invite you to meet Bosnian-born German writer Saša Stanišic, who will read from his novel, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone, a very pictorial and linguistically inventive novel about the Balkan wars seen through the eyes of 14-year-old Aleksander, who has fled from the Bosnian town of Višegrad to Germany. In addition, Saša will present his latest works, accompanied by a lyrical photo essay.

Thursday, April 1, at 5:00 p.m. in Russell House. Reception to follow.

For further information, please contact Iris Bork-Goldfield, German Studies Department at ibork(at)wesleyan(dot)edu.

Facebook event here.

Date: Thursday, April 1
Time: 5pm
Place: Russell House

“Rape Trauma, Combat Trauma, and the Making of PTSD: Feminist Fiction in the 1970s”

English Professor Sally Bachner is this Monday’s Russell House speaker:

“Rape Trauma, Combat Trauma, and the Making of PTSD: Feminist Fiction in the 1970s”

Throughout the 1970s veterans, activists, and psychiatrists were hard at work getting the disorder that came to be called PTSD included in the upcoming edition of the DSM-III. During the same period, feminists were building a successful anti-rape movement that crucially insisted that rape is a form of violence. Professor Bachner will propose that while both of
these groups sought to bring suffering – of combat veterans and rape victims, respectively – into speech, many feminist novelists of this period instead turn to the figure of the soldier to figure rape as unspeakable. PTSD functions in these texts as a technology for figuring what was initially conceived of as suppressed speech about violence against women as a putatively “unspeakable” trauma.

Date: Monday, February 15
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Place: Russell House

“Wired for War”

If you think lectures need more robots, here’s a speaker for you:

“Wired for War: Everything You Wanted to Know about Robots and War, but Were Afraid to Ask… Afraid to Ask… Afraid to Ask…”

Peter Singer, The Brookings Institution

An amazing revolution is taking place on the battlefield, starting to change not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and ethics that surround war itself. This upheaval is already afoot–remote-controlled planes carry out air strikes into Pakistan, while the number of unmanned systems on the ground in Iraq has gone from zero to 12,000 over the last five years. In his lecture, Peter Singer suggests that this is only the start. The latest prototypes are not only faster, but also smarter, ranging in size from planes with wings the length of a football field to tiny drones the size of an insect. What happens as science fiction becomes battefield reality? How must we respond?

Date: Tonight, Monday January 25
Time: 8 pm
Place: Russell House

Adorno and America: a Symposium

Many of the major works of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory were written in the USA during the Second World War. Critical Theory’s dislocation from its European origins is significant not only historically but also philosophically: the exiled intellectuals were convinced that an effective theory of culture and society could be realized only in America, where capitalism had reached its most advanced state. The symposium will reflect on how the American experience of the Frankfurt School’s most prominent representative, Theodor Adorno, informed the evolution of Critical Theory. Against the cliché of Adorno as a detached high-culture mandarin, the symposium will offer a more intellectually and factually accurate investigation of the American dimension of his thought.

2:15: Coffee and Cookies
3:00: Welcome and introduction (Ulrich Plass)
3:15: Adorno’s American Reception (Joshua Rayman, Savannah College of Art and Design)
3:45: No Man’s Lands: Refuse and Refuge in Adorno’s American Experience (Matt Waggoner, Albertus Magnus College)
4:15 Questions
4:30 Coffee Break
4:45 Devices of Shock: Adorno’s Aesthetics of Film and Fritz Lang’s Fury (Ryan Drake, Fairfield University)
5:15 Adorno Unplugged: The Ambivalence of the Machine Age (David Jenemann, University of Vermont)
5:45 Questions and final discussion

A symposium hosted by the Center for the Humanities and the Theory Initiative. Co-Sponsored by College of Letters, German Studies, Sociology, College of Social Studies, Philosophy, History, American Studies, and the Dean of Arts and Humanities

Date: Dec. 4
Time: 2:15pm – 6:00pm
Location: Russell House (corner of Washington and High Street)