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Spring 2012 Humanities Forum

Humanities Forum
Spring 2012

Wednesday, February 8 4:00 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Asian Studies Program Lecture
Pacific Encounter: The Japanese Iwakura Embassy in America in 1872
Martin Collcutt, Department of History, Princeton University

In January 1872 a large and distinguished diplomatic delegation (an Embassy) from Japan arrived in San Francisco. The Embassy, headed by the court noble Iwakura Tomomi, had been sent by the Government of Japan to learn from the West and, perhaps, to re-negotiate unfavorable treaties that had been imposed on Japan. Martin Collcutt will discuss the Iwakura Embassy’s experiences in the United States.

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program with support from the Dresher Center for the Humanities and the Department of History

Monday, February 27 4:00 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th floor
Korenman Lecture
Feminism as Traveling Theory: The Case of Our Bodies, Ourselves
Kathy E. Davis, Institute of History and Culture, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Beginning in the 1970’s, the feminist classic book on women and health, Our Bodies, Ourselves, not only has had an enormous impact on feminism in the U.S., but it has been taken up, translated and adapted by women across the globe. Drawing upon Edward Said’s concept of “traveling theory,” Kathy E. Davis will explore the book’s world-wide travels, showing how it was transformed in the process of its many border crossings, and how it provides useful insights for how we think about history, the politics of knowledge, and transnational feminism.

Sponsored by the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost; College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Honors College; American Studies; English; History; Language, Literacy and Culture Program; Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication; Psychology; Sociology and Anthropology; University Health Services; Women’s Center; and with support from the Dresher Center for the Humanities

Wednesday, March 7 4:00 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Daphne Harrison Lecture
Passage on the Underground Railroad and the Black Experience within American History
Stephen Marc, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University

For nine years Stephen Marc traveled to over half the states in this country to photograph the routes traveled by fugitive slaves in their search for freedom, documenting and interpreting his research along the way. Marc shares the results of these explorations through his thought-provoking, creative, and haunting digital composite images, which he will place into the context of his previous and ongoing bodies of work that focus on locating the black experience within American history.
Sponsored by the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery and the Dresher Center for the Humanities

CANCELLED – Monday, March 26 4:00 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th floor
The Regression of Listening to the ‘Middle Eastern’ Other
Lucian Stone, Department of Philosophy, University of North Dakota

The heightened awareness of the ‘Middle East’ in the ‘West’ due to recent and ongoing political events has not led to an increased discourse with, but rather a further unwillingness to listen to the ‘Middle Eastern’ other. The vast majority of the region’s writers, intellectuals, and artists, in fact, remain relatively unknown to Western audiences. Drawing on Theodor Adorno’s critique of the regression of listening, Lucian Stone explores the question of whether and, if so, how ‘Western’ audiences can increase their capacity to attend to the ‘Middle Eastern’ other.
Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities with support from the Department of Philosophy

Tuesday, April 3 4:00 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Approaching Authenticity: Locating Living Cultural Memories, Identities, and Traditions in the 21st Century
Maryland Traditions, Maryland State Arts Council Folklife Program

Maryland Traditions brings together a panel of scholars to discuss what ‘authenticity’ means with respect to our living cultural memories, identities and traditions of today. In this increasingly globalized world, where ideas are shared, taken and/or sold instantaneously and where the boundaries between communities, groups and individuals are more fluid than ever before, this panel will focus on what makes one cultural expression, memory or tradition more authentic than another, and who decides what is authentic and what is not.
Neil Silberman, Center for the Heritage and Society, UMASS Amherst
Theodore Gonzalves, American Studies, UMBC
Clifford Murphy, Maryland Traditions
Rachel Delgado-Simmons, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Michelle Stefano, Maryland Traditions and UMBC
Sponsored by Maryland Traditions; College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; and the Departments of American Studies, History; Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication; and Language, Literacy & Culture with support from the Dresher Center for the Humanities

Wednesday, April 11 4:00 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Barker Lecture
Morality beyond Demands
Margaret Little, Department of Philosophy, Georgetown University

There has been a resurgence of interest in discussing morality as a system of demands — more specifically, the idea that moral obligations, duties, and responsibilities are to be understood as actions we can demand of one another. The notion of what we can demand of one another is a crucial one, well worth keeping for the important work it does, but it is a deep mistake to think that it exhausts the morally deontic realm. The fact that an action or its forbearance is not something we can demand of someone does not settle the question of whether it is morally wrong.
Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy with support from the Dresher Center for the Humanities

Wednesday, April 25 4:00 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Low Lecture
Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War
Peter H. Wood, Department of History, Duke University

In 1866, the great American artist Winslow Homer created an unusual painting of an enslaved woman, linking Georgia’s infamous Andersonville POW camp to the black struggle for freedom. But this picture vanished for a full century. Peter Wood, the first scholar to explore this painting of an enslaved woman closely, suggests that Homer’s image provides a striking new way for Americans to view the Civil War, and ourselves, in the twenty-first century.

Sponsored by the Department of History with support from the Dresher Center for the Humanities