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Fall 2015 CURRENTS

October 21st

Imagining Otherwise: Narrating Transformative Identity Work in a College-Level Social Justice Course

Rachel Carter, Ph.D. student, Language Literacy and Culture, Fall 2015 Dresher Center Graduate
Residential Fellow

Rachel Carter will share her teaching model for social justice education, in which she brings together humanities methods and feminist pedagogy to encourage students to invest in transformative identity work. She will also outline her dissertation research project, through which she investigates the process of student engagement with course material.


Developing a new Professional Identity: Second Career Teachers

Sarah Shin, Professor, Education, Co-Director, M.A. TESOL Program

In this talk, Sarah Shin discusses how four women (aged 49, 54, 57, and 60), with successful previous careers in law, neurobiology, architecture, and engineering, negotiate their transitions to a career in teaching.

November 9th

Sexual Necropolitics and the Gender of Betrayal in Latin American Literature and Film

Viviana MacManus, Assistant Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies

This talk assesses the politics of gender, sexuality and betrayal within the necropolitical space of the prison in Latin American narrative cinema and literary fiction. I approach this controversial subject by engaging in close readings of the 1999 Argentinean film Garage Olimpo (dir. Marcho Bechis) and the 1969 Mexican novel El apando (José Revueltas). This paper centers on the gender politics presented in these fictional works and explores how the female characters are sexualized and policed by hypermasculine authoritarian regimes within a necropolitical space and castigated for not conforming to the state’s ideal neoliberal subject. Furthermore, I will explore the gender dynamics of survival and betrayal by focusing on the trope of the traitorous woman (Malinche) as an object of repulsion, desire, and shame to the masculine projects of both the leftist resistance movements and the authoritarian Mexican and Argentinean states.


Memory and Memorialization in the midst of Colombia’s Armed Conflict

Felix Burgos, Ph.D. student, Language Literacy and Culture, Fall 2015 Dresher Center Graduate Residential Fellow

Different studies have approached memory and memorialization as concepts that occur within specific temporalities, that is, doing memory work in the present about a finished past. In this talk, Felix Burgos argues that the work of memory in Colombia requires particular theoretical approximations as processes of memorialization occur while the country is still in the middle of an armed conflict.

November 18th

Human Agency, Intentionality, and Niche Construction

Erle Ellis, Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems

Human societies are transforming Earth’s ecology through sociocultural niche construction; an evolutionary process in which human environmental alterations affect the adaptive fitness of individuals, groups and societies. To what extent are these alterations intentional and the result of human agency? To what degree are human agency and intentionality important in guiding social processes operating at planetary scales? In efforts to engage with and alter Earth’s social and ecological trajectory, these questions are central.


txt me im board: The Long Poem in Contemporary American Poetry

Tanya Olson, Lecturer, English

Tanya Olson will present work from a new poetry manuscript, Stay. Stay explores, in America today, the
cost of remaining in one place (physically, intellectually, economically, and geographically), as well as the costs associated with leaving a place. Specifically, she’ll focus on txt me im board, a long poem at the heart of the collection. She’s especially interested in this piece as an example of the long poem genre and its place in contemporary American poetry.