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October 2020

Inaugural Lecture: Living Democracy in Capitalism’s Shadow: Creative Labor, Black Abolitionists, and the Struggle to End Slavery
John Majewski

October 8, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Online event registration information is forthcoming

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Humanities Decanted: Transgenerational Remembrance: Performance and the Asia-Pacific War in Contemporary Japan
Jessica Nakamura

October 13, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Jessica Nakamura

Join us online for a dialogue between Jessica Nakamura (Theater and Dance) and Catherine Nesci (French and Italian, Comparative Literature) about Nakamura’s new book, Transgenerational Remembrance: Performance and the Asia-Pacific War in Contemporary Japan. Online event registration information is forthcoming. In Transgenerational Remembrance, Jessica Nakamura investigates the role of artistic production in the commemoration and memorialization of the Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945) in Japan since 1989. During this time, survivors of Japanese aggression and imperialism, previously silent about their experiences, have sparked contentious public debates about the form and content of war memories. Working from theoretical frameworks of haunting and ethics, Nakamura develops an analytical lens based on the Noh theater ghost. Noh emphasizes the agency of the ghost and the dialogue between the dead and the living. Integrating her Noh-inflected analysis into ethical and transnational feminist queries, Nakamura shows that performances…

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The 2020 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence: Jesmyn Ward

October 15, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
Jesmyn Ward by Beowulf Sheehan

Join us online for a conversation between Jesmyn Ward, 2020 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence, and IHC Director Susan Derwin. Online event registration information is forthcoming MacArthur Genius and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has been called “the new Toni Morrison” (American Booksellers Association). In 2017, she became the first woman and first person of color to win the National Book Award twice—joining the ranks of William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Philip Roth, and John Updike. Her writing, which encompasses fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, is “raw, beautiful, and dangerous” (The New York Times Book Review). Ward’s novels, primarily set on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, are deeply informed by the trauma of Hurricane Katrina. Salvage the Bones, winner of the 2011 National Book Award, is a troubling but ultimately empowering tale of familial bonds set amid the chaos of the…

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Living Democracy Talk: Struggling to Save America’s Cities in the Suburban Age: Urban Renewal Revisited
Lizabeth Cohen

October 22, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Urban Renewal of the 1950s through 1970s has acquired a very poor reputation, much of it deserved. But reducing it to an unchanging story of urban destruction misses some important legacies and genuinely progressive goals. Those include efforts to create more socially mixed communities, to involve suburbs—not just cities--in solving metropolitan inequality, and most importantly, to hold the federal government responsible for funding more affordable housing and other urban investments, rather than turn to the private sector. Cohen will revisit this history by following the long career of Edward J. Logue, who worked to revitalize New Haven in the 1950s, became the architect of the “New Boston” in the 1960s, and later led innovative organizations in New York at the state level and in the South Bronx. She will analyze the evolution in Logue’s thinking and actions, when and how…

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Humanities Decanted: Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths
Helen Morales

October 27, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us online for a dialogue between Helen Morales (Classics) and Vilna Bashi-Treitler (Black Studies) about Morales’ new book, Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths. Online event registration information is forthcoming. A witty, inspiring reckoning with the ancient Greco-Roman myths and their legacy, from what they can illuminate about #MeToo to the radical imagery of Beyoncé. The picture of classical antiquity most of us learned in school is framed in certain ways -- glossing over misogyny while omitting the seeds of feminist resistance. Even today, myths are still informing harmful practices like diet culture and school dress codes. But in Antigone Rising, classicist Helen Morales reminds us that the myths have subversive power because they can be told -- and read -- in different ways. Through these stories, whether it's Antigone's courageous stand against tyranny or Procne…

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Living Democracy Talk: From the Embers of Crisis: Creating Equitable and Deliberative Democracy
Archon Fung

October 29, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Online event registration information is forthcoming At a moment when American Democracy was characterized by record levels of political division, inequality, and institutional distrust, it was hit by the perfect storm of the COVID-19 health crisis, an economic crisis of soaring unemployment and economic dislocation, and a civic crisis of reckoning with deep racism and police abuse. What would it take to create from the embers of these crises a deeper, more egalitarian and deliberative democracy in America? Many lay their hopes in a change of Presidential administration in the coming election. But long before Donald Trump, our government had already failed to create a system that shared the fruits of prosperity justly. Our government was unresponsive to the wishes of many Americans, especially people of color and non-wealthy Americans. A return to the pre-Trump half century encompassing Reagan, Bush,…

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November 2020

Critical Mass Talks and Staged Reading: On Collecting and Hoarding
William Davies King and Rebecca Falkoff

November 5, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 8:30 pm

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 4:00 - 5:30 PM Talks: William Davies King and Rebecca Falkoff 7:00 - 8:30 PM Staged Reading: Collections of Nothing More or Less EVENT DETAILS: Talks: William Davies King and Rebecca Falkoff The Creative Edge of Collecting William Davies King has spent a lifetime collecting nothing in a way he brought to light in his 2008 book Collections of Nothing. His collecting of such things as Cheez-It boxes, “Place Stamp Here” squares, hotel door cards, and the little stickers you find on fruit runs into the tens of thousands of items, all on the low edge of the valueless and the ephemeral. But he has also spent a lifetime engaged with the arts–drama, performance art, collage–and he has explored the ways the activity of the collector, who thinks through the world, connects to the work of the…

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Living Democracy Talk: Making Abolition Geographies: Stories from California
Ruth Wilson Gilmore

November 19, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Online event registration information is forthcoming Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Co-founder of many grassroots organizations including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore is author of the prize-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (UC Press). Recent publications include “Beyond Bratton” (Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds., Verso); “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds., Verso); a foreword to Bobby M. Wilson’s Birmingham classic America’s Johannesburg (U Georgia Press); and a foreword to Cedric J. Robinson on Racial Capitalism, Black Internationalism, and Cultures of Resistance (HLT Quan, ed., Pluto). Forthcoming projects include Change Everything:…

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February 2021

Living Democracy Talk: Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration
Reuben Jonathan Miller

February 25, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Reuben Miller Critical Mass Talk

Online event registration information is forthcoming While more people are incarcerated in the United States than in any other nation in the history of the western world, the prison is but one (comparatively) small part of a vast carceral landscape. The 600,000 people released each year join nearly 5 million people already on probation or parole, 12 million who are processed through a county jail, 19 million U.S. adults estimated to have a felony conviction, and the staggering 79 million Americans with a criminal record. But the size of the U.S. carceral state is second in consequence to its reach. Incarcerated people are greeted by more than 48,000 laws, policies and administrative sanctions upon release that limit their participation in the labor and housing markets, in the culture and civic life of the city, and even within their families. They…

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