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2008-2009 Humanities Forum


FALL 2008

Including in September and October The Human Rights Lecture Series Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights


September 9,    4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library   Gallery

Gender and Human Rights in   Contemporary Africa. Norma Kriger,   Independent Scholar formerly with Human Rights Watch

Drawing on her research and experience with Human   Rights Watch in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Dr. Kriger will explore broad issues   about gender and human rights as they pertain to elections, liberation wars,   sexual violence, land, and migration in Africa.  What are the strengths and   weaknesses of a gender and human rights approach to understanding African   politics?  Does a human rights discourse promote or derail democratization?  In   the latter case, what responses are available to the international human rights   community?

SPONSORS: Dresher Center for the   Humanities and  Social Sciences   Forum


September 24,      4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library,   7th floor

Social Justice, Health and Human   Rights. Ruth Faden,   Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

What is the relationship between justice and   basic human rights?  In what sense is health a basic human right?  Why should we   care? Dr. Faden’s lecture looks at these foundational questions in national and   global health policy in the world today.

SPONSORS: Bioethics Student   Association, Dresher Center for the   Humanities, Health Administration Policy   Program, The   Hilltop Institute and Social Sciences   Forum


October 15,     4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn   Library, 7th floor

Indigenous and Human Rights in   Latin America. James Cockcroft,   Internet Professor, State University of New York and Fellow at the   International Institute for Research and Education

Professor Cockcroft will examine today’s   processes of revolt among indigenous peoples in Latin America, in particular in   Bolivia and Ecuador, involving attempts at new practices of plurinational and   intercultural forms of democracy, ecologically sustainable development,   community-based autonomies, and solidarity with other sectors of society   locally, regionally, and internationally.  He will focus especially on the   re-founding of national states and US-European interventionism in the context of   UN declarations on indigenous rights, human rights, and national   sovereignty.

SPONSORS:  Department of Modern Languages   and Linguistics, Dresher Center for the   Humanities and  Social Sciences   Forum

(End of Human Rights   Lecture Series)


October 29,      4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Ancient   Studies Week

Pompeii and the Roman Villa    Exhibiting Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples. Carol Mattusch,   Department of Art History, George Mason University

Dr. Mattusch, a specialist in ancient bronze   sculpture and the curator of several exhibits of Classical art, will give an   illustrated lecture and discussion of the lives of the elite Romans who owned   luxurious estates around Pompeii and the art that these Romans collected.

SPONSORS: Department of Ancient Studies, Department of Visual Arts, Summer,   Winter and Special Programs with additional support from   the Dresher Center for the Humanities


November 5,     4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Webb   Lecture

Mrs. Henry Hobhouse   Goes to War: Conscience and Christian Radicalism in WWI Britain. Seth Koven,   Department of History, Rutgers University

Professor Koven will present the remarkable private   and public war waged by the militantly patriotic Mrs. Henry Hobhouse, mother of   three sons fighting on the Western front, to free her oldest son Stephen,   Britain’s most celebrated prisoner of conscience and Christian pacifist during   WWI.  Consider the story of one of England’s most distinguished landed gentry   families and the high political maneuvering that brought Lloyd George’s wartime   cabinet to a standstill and compelled Britons to confront the meaning of   conscience in a liberal society at war.

SPONSOR: Department of History with additional support from Dresher Center for the Humanities


November 12,     7:00 p.m.        University Center Ballroom

The 30th   Annual W.E.B. DuBois Lecture

DuBois and Africa: The   Convergence of Consciousness .  Molefi Kete Asante,   Department of African American Studies, Temple University

Professor Asante is an expert on African culture and   philosophy and is the author of 65 books and more than 300 articles.  The   founding editor of the Journal of Black Studies, he is considered to be one of   the ten most widely cited African American writers and scholars.

SPONSOR:  Department of Africana Studies with additional support from   Dresher Center for the Humanities


Novemer 19,    7:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

What is Language   for? Robert Bringhurst,   Poet, Typographer and Linguist

As the list of endangered languages grows, and   endangered ones die off, linguists and native speakers have begun to collaborate   on language revitalization and resuscitation, bringing genuinely dormant   languages back to a new life in a new world.  But is language independent of its   environment?  Is it the same spoken indoors and out of doors?  In the interest   of healthy human cultures, what can language do for us, and what can we do for   our language?

SPONSORS: American   Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Baltimore Department of Visual Arts and the Dresher Center for the   Humanities


December 12     4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Reading   Fiction, Reading Politics: Transnational Modernism and Political Commitment in   the Mid-Twentieth Century. Jessica Berman, Department of   English, UMBC

Modernist literature has long been accused of turning   away from social and political concerns to focus on aesthetic experimentation   and the representation of inner life. Yet political literature from the mid-20th   century seems to do the opposite, rejecting modernist experimentation in order   to focus on a particular end. By looking at connections between politics and   narrative experimentation in novels from late-colonial India and the Spanish   Civil War, Dr. Berman will show, instead, the ways that modernist fiction can be   read as deeply political.

SPONSOR: Dresher Center for the   Humanities


February 4,    7:00 p.m.   University Center   Ballroom

Fiction Reading and Booksigning: The Glass   Castle. Jeannette Walls, Best-Selling   Author

Jeannette Walls will be speaking about and   reading from her New York Times best-selling memoir, The Glass   Castle.  In this book chosen for UMBC’s New Student Book Experience Walls   describes growing up in the desert of the American Southwest and then in a West   Virginia mining town with her three siblings and the brilliant, unorthodox,   irresponsible parents who manage at once to neglect them, love them, and teach   them to face their fears. Despite deprivations the children grow up reading   Shakespeare and dreaming of the beautiful glass house they will all one day   build.

SPONSORS: Division of Student Affairs, Dresher Center for the   Humanities, Office of Undergraduate Education


February 18,     7:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library   Gallery

Transmodernism   Panel. James Mahoney, Department of Visual Arts,   UMBCCatherine Pancake, Independent Filmmaker   and MusicianElizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, School of Art   and Design, University of Illinois, Chicago   Moderated by Preminda Jacob, Department of   Visual Arts, UMBC

“Transmodern” is a term that came into use   in the early 1990s to denote emerging attitudes, values, and aesthetics that   seemed to move past postmodernism’s canon of critique into more intriguingly   open areas of cultural inquiry and practice.   The rise of the Internet has   networked a transmodernity that includes green and liberation theologies,   alternative music, multiculturalism in every form, and a re-engagement with the   question of symbols in art, etc.  In essence, the transmodern is a proactive   recasting of the primal modernist condition, one in which, as Karl Marx said,   “All that is solid melts into air.”

SPONSOR: Dresher Center for the   Humanities


March 11,      4:00 p.m.     Albin O. Kuhn Library   Gallery

Women’s History Month   Lecture

The Muslim Headscarf in Europe: Veiled Threat or   Religious Freedom? Claudia Koonz, Department of History, Duke University

Even as the European Union promises to create shared   cultural values, vehement disagreements about the Muslim headscarf reveal deep   divisions within German, French, and British attitudes to immigrants.  Does a   woman wearing a headscarf, or hijab, signify subservience to   oppression, an identity statement, or religious piety?  Who has the right to   decide?  Professor Koonz explores the answers to these questions within three   visual cultures as a way of connecting gender, Islam, and human rights.

SPONSORS: Department of Gender and Women   Studies, Department of History, Dresher Center for the   Humanities, UMBC Women’s Center


March 25,    4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th   Floor

The Daphne Harrison   Lecture

Gaining Information, Knowledge, and Power   in the 21st CenturyCarla Hayden, Director, Enoch Pratt Free   Library

Libraries are changing and dynamic places that offer   opportunities and countless resources.  As the information hub for Baltimore,   the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s mission is to empower and equip citizens with   information and educational resources to help shape their   future.

SPONSOR: Dresher Center for the   Humanities


Apirl 15,    4:00 p.m.      Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th   Floor

Fiction Reading:   Last One In.  Elise Levine, Award-winning   author

Author of the story collection Driving Men   Mad and the novel Requests and Dedication, Elise Levine was named   by Margaret Atwood as one of Canada’s most important emerging women writers. She   is the recipient of a (Canadian) National Magazine Award for fiction as well as   numerous awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council,   and the Toronto Arts Council. In Last One In, Levine’s forthcoming   novel, a woman whose best friend dies while exploring an underwater cave must   confront her own history of betrayals and self-betrayals, and explore the nature   of the bonds that bind and liberate.

SPONSORS: Department of English , and Dresher Center for the   Humanities


April 30,      4:00 p.m.  Albin O. Kuhn Library   Gallery

The 2nd Annual   Lipitz Lecture

Poetic Narrative:   Non-linear Strategies for Digital Cinema.  John Sturgeon Lipitz Professor, Department   of Visual Arts, UMBC

Media artist John Sturgeon   will discuss his new artwork and the non-linear narrative potential of   multi-stream collage offered by high-definition video and interactive media.    Sturgeon will also discuss the J. Paul Getty Museum’s restoration and archiving   of his 1970s video art works.

SPONSORS: College of   Arts, Humanities and Social   Sciences, Department of Visual Arts, and Dresher Center for the   Humanities


May 5,     7:00 p.m.      University Center   Ballroom

The United Nations’  Role in   Defining and Defending Human Rights.  United Nations Deputy High   Commissioner for Human   Rights, Ms. Kyung-wha Kang

Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, the United   Nations’ Deputy High   Commissioner for Human Rights, will be  coming from UN Headquarters in   Geneva to

UMBC on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 to   speak in the University Center Ballroom.   Her visit is sponsored by the   Dresher Center for  the   Humanities and will conclude its celebration of  the 60th anniversary of the UN’s   Declaration of  Human   Rights.

SPONSORS: Social Sciences   Forum and Dresher Center for   the Humanities