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Fall 2012 Humanities Forum

The UMBC Humanities Forum offers a program of events that illustrate the richness of contemporary work in philosophy, history, culture, language, literature and the arts. The Forum is particularly interested in demonstrating the links that bring together the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences.

Fall 2012 Humanities Forum Lecture Series

Wednesday, September 19, 7:00 p.m.
Performing Arts and Humanities Proscenium Theater
“The Humanities, Without Apology”
Pauline Yu, President of the American Council of learned Societies (ACLS)
There is much lamentation today about the humanities, most of it unhelpful. Over the past century, the intellectually dynamic academic humanities have recorded enormous scholarly and educational achievements. The knowledge conveyed by the humanities today is ever more essential in a nation and world of increasing cultural complexity.

Seating may be limited for this special event; please arrive early.


Thursday, September 27, 5:00 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Annual Robert K. Webb History Department Lecture
“Schleppers and Shoppers: Jews, Street Markets, and the Selling of Ready-to-Ware Fashion in London in the 1920’s and 1930’s”
Judith Walkowitz, Johns Hopkins University

“Schleppers and Shoppers” spotlights a Jewish street market that emerged as the cutting edge retail space for mass market fashion in the West End. Whereas journalists described the smartly-dressed, fast-talking shop assistants locally known as “schleppers,” and the working-class female patrons they pulled into gown shops as straying from the class codes and styles of established English culture, Jewish Sohoites told hilarious tales of the “schlepper” as a Jewish street character, alternately resembling a red hot mama and a flashily dressed fellow emulating the dress of celluloid gangsters. Their memories recall a safe and modern space of ethnic settlement, simultaneously tied to Soho’s irregular world of sex, crime, and entertainment.


Wednesday, October 10, 5:00 p.m. Ancient Studies Week Lecture
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
“Not Always Roman, Not Always Statues: The Recent Lives of Ancient Roman Statues at the Walters Art Musuem”
Marden Nichols, Walters Art Museum
Co-sponsored by the Department of Ancient Studies

During the first decades of the 20th century, Henry Walters purchased several marble statues formed from mismatched ancient heads and bodies conjoined for the purposes of the antiquities market. This lecture traces the origins of these statues back to nineteenth-century European collections. It examines how over time changing attitudes towards antiquity and evolving techniques of research and conservation have altered not only the interpretation of these statues, but even their material form.


Monday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.
Performing Arts and Humanities Proscenium Theater
“Disability, Justice, and the Future of the Humanities”
Michael Berubé, President, Modern Language Association
Co-sponsored by the Department of English

This talk will discuss how the disciplines of the humanities create and challenge our definitions of the human– an ancient question, of course, but one that has been reinvigorated in recent years by the advent of disability studies. The study of disability has profound implications for our self-understanding, insofar as it brings new perspectives to the study of literature, history, philosophy, and society. And those new perspectives, in turn, can help to shape the future of the humanities– and the future of humanity.

Co-sponsored with the Department of English


Rescheduled, Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – 7:30 p.m.
Performing Arts and Humanities Building Theatre
Short Story Reading and Discussion of This is How You Lose Her
Junot Díaz , Nobel Prize-winning fiction writer, MacArthur Fellow, Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Co-sponsors: Dresher Center for the Humanities; College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences; College of Engineering and Information Technology; College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences; Department of English; Department of Psychology; Language, Literacy & Culture Program; Latino & Hispanic Faculty Association; Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication; Office of Institutional Advancement, Office of Student Affairs; and the Office of the Provost


Wednesday, November 14, 7:00 p.m.
University Center Ballroom
W.E.B. DuBois Africana Studies Department Lecture
“American Challenges for World Peace in the 21st Century”
Dr. Horace G. Campbell, Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Syracuse University

Professor Campbell will examine current U. S. policies and political strategies to determine the obstacles the U.S. faces in attempting to fashion a lasting peace internationally. Where possible, his analysis will make use of predictions and proclamations suggested by DuBois during the first half of the 20th century to assess the proper role of the U. S. in fashioning a strategy for world peace.


Wednesday, November 28, 4:00 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
“Collecting, Preserving, and Interpreting African American History and Culture”

Jacquelyn Serwer, Chief Curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Director of Collections and Exhibitions, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland
Moira Hinderer, Curator, Afro American Newspaper Archive

Moderator: Denise Meringolo, UMBC

Wednesday, December 5, 4:00 p.m.
Performing Arts and Humanities Proscenium Theater

“The Civil Rights Movement from the Ground Up”

Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Julian Bond, civil rights activist and former chairman, NAACP
Andrew B. Lewis, author of “The Shadows of Youth: The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation”

Learn about the unsung young men and women who were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, in particular those in SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which grew out of the 1960 sit ins by African-American college students. Julian Bond, one of the founders of SNCC and later chairman of the NAACP, Andrew Lewis, the author of The Shadows of Youth: The Story of the Civil Rights Generation, and UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, who participated in the Birmingham Children’s March of 1963, will discuss the crucial–often underappreciated–role youth and college students played in the movement

Moderator: Taylor Branch

** Events in conjunction with the UMBC Center for Art Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) exhibit: “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” 15 Nov. 2012 to 10 March 2013.