Spring 2014

Interpreting Capitalism

Past events for the semester are moved to the bottom of the list.



Unworkable Hermeneutics

A Baker-Nord Digital Humanities Event

Jeff Rice

Date:04-24-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206 - 11130 Bellflower Road
Registration:Free and open to the public, registration recommended

Digital Humanities scholarship, among other things, is focused on the question of interpretation. Most notable in initiatives such as topic modeling, where algorithms are employed to identify unnoticed patterns in texts or time periods, hermeneutics (the study of interpretation) dominates one facet of Digital Humanities thinking. Yet, hermeneutics is merely an interface for engaging with a text or idea. In ...

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The Lives of Others: The Novel as a Looking Glass

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

Thrity Umrigar

Date:05-31-2014
Time:8:45 am to 10:00 am
Location:Clark Hall Room 309 - 11130 Bellflower Road
Registration:Free and open to the public, registration recommended

Thrity Umrigar is an award-winning journalist and author of five novels and a memoir. Her newest novel, The Story Hour, will be published in 2014. This is the keynote address for Breaking Genre: In the Context of Others, a writers conference. Only the keynote and book fair are free and open to the public. The conference will also feature presentations ...

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Past Events of Spring 2014


Euripides's Hecuba: A Political Interpretation

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Angelike Tzanetuo

Date:01-17-2014
Time:6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Much of the criticism on Euripides's Hecuba is focused on the character of Hecuba as victimized mother who rightfully avenges her son's death and those who argue for Hecuba's moral deterioration over the course of the plays' two main movements, sacrifice and revenge. This talk departs in a new direction by analyzing how the historical and political background informs the ...

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Lee Daniels' The Butler: Film Screening and Discussion

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Date:01-21-2014
Time:6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location:Wolstein Building Auditorium
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Due to high registration volume, we have reached our seating capacity. Registration has been closed.

A 2013 American historical fiction drama film directed by Lee Daniels is loosely inspired by the real-life of Eugene Allen, an African-American who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler to eight presidents over ...

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Issues in 20th and 21st Century Art: Lize Mogel

Humanities Related Event

Date:01-22-2014
Time:5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 309
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist who works with the interstices between art and cultural geography. She has created and disseminated counter-cartography maps and mapping that produce new understandings of social and political issues. Her work connects the real history and collective imaginary about specific places to larger narratives of global economies. She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles; ...

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The Speaking River: Voices In and From the Urban Landscape

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Charles Burroughs

Date:01-23-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Rivers are often background, especially within city limits. In modern cities, formerly obstreperous rivers have been channeled and generally domesticated by embankments and weirs, and condemned to carry tourist craft and little else. However, in many cities, the river is the most ancient and persistent "natural" element, qualifying often as a symbol -- not least in art and poetry -- ...

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The Crisis of Journalism and the Conversion of the United States from a Democracy to a Dollarocracy

Robert McChesney

Date:01-27-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Wolstein Building Auditorium
Registration: This Event is Already Past

The United States is no longer a "functional democracy," according to Jimmy Carter. The wealthy dominate politics and the rest of the population are sitting in the bleachers for a game at which they're mere spectators. This talk examines the crucial role that the collapse of journalism has played in accelerating and making permanent the state of "Dollarocracy." McChesney also ...

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Alterity Revisited: Recent Projects

Jose Carlos Teixeira

Date:02-06-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Jose Carlos Teixeira -- the Champney Family Professor of Art, CWRU & Cleveland Institute of Art -- will present his recent interdisciplinary and multi-media-based research explorations. His work investigates and expands on notions of identity, otherness, language, boundary, exile and displacement. Through strategies of participation, his pieces address specific issues related to locational identity, global diaspora, and the limits (or ...

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The Making of Albert Camus' "The Stranger"

Alice Kaplan

Date:02-10-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Wolstein Building Auditorium
Registration: This Event is Already Past

The Stranger was published in 1942, in the depths of the Nazi Occupation, by a young unemployed journalist from Algeria who would normally never have had a hearing in Paris. In her lecture, Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor of French at Yale University, will explore the making of this phenomenal literary success. That this strange book should become the ...

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"Interpreting Capitalism" Film Series: THE LAST TRAIN HOME

Date:02-13-2014
Time:6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Location:Wolstein Building Auditorium
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Every spring, China's cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year's holiday: an epic spectacle that reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future. In this award-winning film, Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan travels with one couple who have embarked on this annual trek for almost ...

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Mountain Visions: Modernism and Dystopia in the Alps

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Andrew Denning, Sean Ireton

Date:02-19-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Talk 1: “Modernist Motion on the Mountainside: Alpine Skiing and Central European Culture, 1900-39 Andrew Denning, History, University of British Columbia

When does a pastime become an art form? When skiers arrived in the Alps around 1880, locals mocked them as bourgeois “plank hoppers.” By the turn of the twentieth century, however, Alpine skiing had become a cultural phenomenon. Skiers experienced the ...

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From the Tigris to the Tiber: A Case of Babylonian 'Astro-Medicine' in Pliny the Elder

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Maddalena Rumor

Date:02-19-2014
Time:3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location:Mather House 100
Registration: This Event is Already Past

This talk will present and compare two texts -- a puzzling late Babylonian Kalendertext written on a cuneiform tablet in Uruk by a scholar named Iqisa (late fourth century BCE), and a passage from the Natural History of Pliny the Elder (first century CE) concerning fever therapies. While at a first glance these two testimonies seem to have nothing in ...

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Immigration, Inc.

Jeffrey Kaye

Date:02-20-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 309
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Journalist & author Jeffrey Kaye discusses the economic forces that promote and encourage immigration. The public in the U.S. and other industrialized countries tend to view the politically-charged topic through a legal lens, often seeing migration as a matter of personal choice. Kaye examines the policies of businesses and governments in both rich and poor nations to show how globalization ...

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A Deeper, Older O: The Oral (Sex) Tradition (in Poetry)

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Jennifer Moxley

Date:02-20-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Guilford Hall
Registration: This Event is Already Past

A part of the Baker Nord Poetics Working-Group's Spring 2014 programming, poet Jennifer Moxley will lead a discussion of her essay "A Deeper, Older O: The Oral (Sex) Tradition (in Poetry)." Refreshments will be served.

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Slave Flight, Slave Torture, and the State: Nineteenth -Century French Guiana

Humanities Related Event

Miranda Spieler

Date:02-24-2014
Time:4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Location:Mather House 100
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Miranda Spieler is an historian of France and the French overseas empire whose work explores the relationship between law and violence. She received her AB in History and Literature from Harvard College and her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. After completing her doctorate in 2005, she joined the History Department at the University of Arizona, where she became an ...

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Neither Here Nor There: A translation workshop on French philosophy from the Caribbean

Humanities Related Event

Seloua Luste Boublina

Date:02-25-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Faculty and students are invited to join Dr. Seloua Luste Boublina in discussing texts that straddle cultural, linguistic, psychological, and even musical genres by philosophers Frantz Fanon and Lewis Gordon.

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Monty Python and Philosophy

Frank Thompson

Date:02-26-2014
Time:12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Thompson disagrees that "Philosophy [is] on the whole no laughing matter." -- W.V.O. Quine, Quiddities. To formally register his disagreement, Thompson will lead a fun discussion on the oeuvres of Monty Python's Flying Circus, e.g., "Dead Parrot" (Episode 8), "Argument Clinic" (Episode 29), and their movie "The Meaning of Life", along with selections from Hardcastle and Reich's (2006) "Monty Python ...

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Cold Case?: Postcolonial Philosophy in France

Humanities Related Event

Seloua Luste Boublina

Date:02-26-2014
Time:5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

When postcolonial studies arose in the English-speaking world, India was the paradigm case. But what does postcolonial mean in the French-speaking world, whose primary case is Algeria? After the 2005 riots, the problems in the former French colonies look like a cold case, despite the recent birth of postcolonial studies in France. At first, this work was done by historians ...

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Morally Arbitrary Economic Advantage

Frank Thompson

Date:02-27-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 309
Registration: This Event is Already Past

In this lecture, Frank Thompson, Lecturer and Research Investigator at the University of Michigan, will offer an introductory analysis of the notion of morally arbitrary advantage, focusing on morally arbitrary economic advantage (and disadvantage). This analysis is developed in the framework of the canonical general competitive equilibrium model of neoclassical economic theory. The main conclusion, demonstrated conceptually and empirically, is ...

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Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story: A Book Discussion

Frank Thompson

Date:03-03-2014
Time:12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt (Liveright 2012) takes up the history and contemporary thinking about what is arguably the most profound question of all in physics and its philosophy. Thompson will lead a discussion of Holt's accessible, thought-provoking, occasionally funny, and quite well-written explication of this very difficult problem. An informal lunch will ...

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What Happiness Is

Humanities Related Event

H. Friedl

Date:03-05-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 309
Registration: This Event is Already Past

H. Friedl is an acclaimed film director whose documentaries are regularly shown on Austrian public tv. He was granted permission to accompany a team of government agents as they travelled to the remotest hamlets in the Himalayas. What makes our lives worth living? The official results of this survey reporting on Bhutan's GNH (gross national happiness) can be found online. ...

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"An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman!": Black Women Communists of the Old Left and Critical Perspectives on Global Capitalism

Erik McDuffie

Date:03-06-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 309
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Dr. McDuffie, Associate Professor in the Departments of African American Studies and History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, examines the ways black women in the US Communist Party (CPUSA) of the Old Left period (1919-1956) forged a ground-breaking radical black feminist praxis that challenged orthodox Marxist framings of capitalism through centering race and gender to their political thought ...

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Faculty Work-in-Progress: Speech, Gesture, Bodily Stance, Graphics, Music, and Media: Studying Multimodal Communication in a Massive Dataset

Mark Turner

Date:03-18-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Human communication is multimodal, involving language, co-speech gesture, interpersonal interaction, audiovisual components, media, and technology. Our views of traditional texts have only just begun to include examples of multimodal communication. Professor Turner's talk will look at theoretical and empirical aspects of computer-assisted research on a massive multimodal corpus of human language and communication.

Pre-lecture reception begins at 4:15 pm.

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Freedman Fellows Presentation: Creating a Digital Database on High-altitude Human Biology

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Cynthia Beall, Roger Zender

Date:03-19-2014
Time:3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location:Kelvin Smith Library, Dampeer Room
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Kelvin Smith Library will host a presentation by 2013 Freedman Fellow, Dr. Cynthia Beall (Distinguished University Professor, Anthropology). Dr. Beall will discuss the challenges and solutions related to her research, and how they were addressed by the Freedman Fellows Program and its corresponding support.

This presentation is free and open to the public. Pizza will be served.

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Public Libraries in the Digital Age

Sari Feldman

Date:03-27-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Sari Feldman -- for the past ten years the Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) -- will discuss both how digital technologies are impacting American public libraries and how budget & demographic shifts are creating challenges for these libraries that are busier and more relevant than ever. The CCPL network has 28 branches and serves 47 communities. Feldman ...

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Rose Wohlgemuth Weisman Women's Voices Lecture: A Conversation with Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley

Date:03-31-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Wolstein Building Auditorium
Registration: This Event is Already Past

This event features a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist Jane Smiley. Her novels include "A Thousand Acres", "Moo","The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton", "Horse Heaven" and "Private Life". She has contributed to a wide range of magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, The New York Times, Harper's, The American Prospect, Practical Horseman, ...

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Return to the River: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Rivers in World Literature

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Date:04-02-2014
Time:4:15 pm to 5:15 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

This meeting of the Interdisciplinary World Literature Colloquium will reprise and expand the topic of Charles Burroughs’s January 2014 lecture on rivers in world literature. Discussion will focus on poems and prose in Greek, Latin, French, English, and Italian as well as on selected artworks. Presenters will include Florin Berindeanu, Charles Burroughs, Sarah Gridley, Takao Hagiwara, and Timothy Wutrich.

For any ...

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"Interpreting Capitalism" Film Series: INSIDE JOB

Date:04-03-2014
Time:6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Location:Wolstein Building Auditorium
Registration: This Event is Already Past

2010 Oscar Winner for Best Documentary, "Inside Job" provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key ...

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Poetry in the Museum: The Nature of Nature

David Hassler, Emily Wilson, M.L. Smoker

Date:04-06-2014
Time:1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Location:Rare Books Room, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Registration: This Event is Already Past

In a thought-provoking afternoon at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, a panel of nationally recognized poets will address the "Nature of Nature". Before the discussion/ reading, the guest poets will announce the winners of the 2014 Poetry in the Museum contest, who will read their winning poems. Support provided by the Helen Buchman Sharnoff Endowed Fund for Poetry at ...

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What's on TV?

Nicholas Brown

Date:04-07-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 309
Registration: This Event is Already Past

What are we watching when we watch television? What are the conditions of possibility -- economic, technical, and aesthetic -- that have changed the medium in the 21st century? Provocative questions, answers for which are constantly re-shaped by the interrelated dynamics of audience, advertising revenue, and technology. Nicholas Brown -- professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago -- ...

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Faculty Work-in-Progress: Biotechnical Ecologies: Lively Participation in the Contemporary City

Allison Schifani

Date:04-15-2014
Time:4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Location:Clark Hall Room 206
Registration: This Event is Already Past

City space is fast becoming the central playground for the experiential, political and ideological forces shaping lives and discourses both within the specific boundaries of urban centers, and across the globe. Schifani's ongoing research explores ways of creating and participating in contemporary urban space, with a particular focus on the new media technologies and ecocritical tactics that urban dwellers use ...

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Freedman Fellows Presentation: Mapping Ibuse Masuji's "Kuroe Ame"

BNC Cosponsoring Event

Mark Pedretti, Ann Holstein

Date:04-16-2014
Time:3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location:Kelvin Smith Library Dampeer Room
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Since the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945, the name "Hiroshima" has come to signify less the name of a city than an unthinkable event or an incalculable fear of nuclear war. While an official culture of commemoration has grown up around the site of the actual bombing, Mark Pedretti examines literary artifacts that paint a very different image of ...

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Rockwell Kent and Greenland

Humanities Related Event

Robert H. Jackson

Date:04-17-2014
Time:10:00 am to 11:00 am
Location:Rare Books Room, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Registration: This Event is Already Past

Painter, author, illustrator, adventurer, social activist, ROCKWELL KENT (1882-1971) was one of America’s most influential and important artists reaching his greatest popularity during the 1930’s and 1940’s. His creative versatility was legendary. Best known as the definitive illustrator of such literary classics as Moby Dick, Candide and The Canterbury Tales, Rockwell Kent’s iconic images became permanent fixtures of the human ...

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