Upcoming Events

  • Music Now is an informal forum series for Brown’s community of composers and music scholars. These talks are free and open to the public.

    About this Talk

    Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo offers an overview of her research about the politics of “community-studios,” a term she uses to describe recording studios that provide high-quality recording tools, professional sound engineering services, and audio training to artists from communities that often lack financial or social access, such as “at-risk” black and Latinx youth as well as women and non-binary artists from a variety of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. Conducted primarily at two community-studios in Upstate New York and Pittsburgh at different points between 2014 and 2019, this project aims to explore the sociotechnical affordances and constraints of working in multivalent recording spaces. In particular, the talk focuses on some of the ethical dilemmas that emerge for sound engineers operating in a recording space that is framed both as a “professional” recording studio and a radical community space.

    About Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo

    Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, an Ithaca, NY native, is a rap artist and producer who uses the stage name Sammus (https://sammusmusic.com/ ). She received a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University, and is presently a Postdoctoral Fellow in music with specialization in the aesthetics and techniques of music of the African diaspora. She holds the position jointly at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities and the Brown Department of Music. Her other academic interests include gender and technology, as well as sound in gaming. Her dissertation is a multi-cited ethnography that examines the politics that coproduce music-making practices in recording studios that prioritize working with artists from “underserved” communities (poor, black and Latinx youth) as well as women and non-binary artists; and that exist to provide these groups with free and low-cost recording services and education.

    As a working musician since 2010, Enongo aka Sammus has also written, produced, and recorded three full-length albums (one of which has charted on Billboard), three EPs, a collaborative video-game themed concept album with the MC Mega Ran, a critically acclaimed beat tape, and countless one-off collaborations with artists from a variety of genres as well as video game developers, podcasters, and filmmakers. Her story as an artist at the intersections of academia and Afrofuturism has led to coverage in publications like The New York Times, NPR, Pitchfork, and Afropunk among others. She has also been invited to perform and speak at a range of conferences, conventions, festivals and campus engagements about her experiences as a hip hop artist, black feminist, Afrofuturist thinker, and artist/academic. Her live shows, characterized by her explosive energy and the inclusion of elements of cosplay, bring together a diverse array of activists, hip hop heads, punks, and self-identified nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus “has a gift for getting a message across.”

    In addition to managing a full-time music career, Enongo has spent the past decade as an educator in both public-school contexts and at the college level. Between 2008-2010 she served as a corps member in the national teaching program Teach for America, through which she taught elementary math and science at an underserved school in southwest Houston, TX. Throughout her graduate school experience at Cornell she has taught and TA’d courses on sound studies, bioethics, science and feminism, American studies, and introductory science & technology studies as well as giving talks in the music department and Africana studies department. Since 2016 she has also taught courses at NYU in the Science, Technology, and Society Department within the Tandon School of Engineering. At Brown she hopes to lead courses on hip hop songwriting and feminist recording and musicking practices among other topics.

    Finally, as a public scholar, Enongo has committed much of her time to community building and thinking critically about how to invite other forms of expertise into academic spaces. From 2014-2016 she served as the Assistant Residence Hall Director at a music-focused residential community at Cornell through which she highlighted the creative contributions of black artists across a multitude of musical genres through concerts, panel discussions, and workshops among other programs. From 2016-2017 she served on the board of Ithaca Underground, a radical all-ages arts non-profit within the Ithaca area. During her time on the board, she focused her efforts on building relationships with more local and regional hip hop acts and conducting outreach to involve more people of color in the programming and planning of events. That same year she also helped to organize an Ithaca chapter of Black Lives Matter with a multi-generational group of organizers who were (and remain) committed to developing initiatives and programs around the principles of anti-racism and self-determination. Finally from 2013-2014 she was selected to be a Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellow and from 2016-2017 she served as a New York Public Humanities Fellow, through which she participated in workshops and conferences designed to engender more expansive ideas around what constitutes ethical and accessible academic research.

    Humanities
  • The U.S.-Mexico border and divided opinions about immigration have become a matter of acute national controversy, but buried far beneath these concerns is a centuries-long tie between the United States and the wider Hispanic world, reaching back to a time well before the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620. This talk will outline that history, discussing the early attempts by the Spanish to place settlements in Florida in the 16th century and further efforts to extend Spain’s empire northward — until the early 19th century, when the wars for independence brought this era to an end. At the same time, this paper will situate these events in the context of the development of the United States, in order to consider the place of this largely forgotten early history in the larger vista of contemporary national memory.

    Carrie Gibson received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2011, focusing on the Hispanic Caribbean in the era of the Haitian Revolution. Her latest work, El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America, was published in February 2019. She is also the author of Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day (Pan Macmillan, 2014). Before embarking on a career as a historian, Gibson was a journalist for the Guardian and Observer, and continues to contribute to media outlets. She was born and raised in the U.S., but has lived in London for more than two decades.

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    On 9/26, Carrie Gibson will participate in a book signing preceded by an informal talk for the general public at Books on the Square. Read more .

    Early Modern World, Humanities
  • Sep
    25
    6:30pm - 8:30pm

    Political Concepts Reading Group • “Capitalism and the Human”

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    The Political Concept Reading Group meets monthly. Its 2019-20 theme is Capitalism and the Human, the topic of a conference held at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities on April 3-4, 2020.

    Readings and discussions explore the various forms of humanist discourse that have emerged in response to contemporary threats to human autonomy and survival, such as climate crisis, rapid technological innovation, and carceral capitalism. The reading group interrogates the possibility of appealing to “the human” without recourse to the essentialist logic that has denied so many populations the auspices of this very title. It operates under the premise that no theoretical approach to the human is complete without an analysis of capitalism and vice versa. To this end, the group examines the crucial components of capital — from “racializing assemblages,” to the devaluation of unpaid reproductive labor, and the creation of “Cheap Nature” — that have long produced a dominant conception of the human to justify expropriation and sustain capitalist development.

    The first meeting focuses on Louis Althusser’s essay, “Marxism and Humanism,” as well as excerpts from Jason Moore’s recent book, Capitalism in the Web of Life.

    All are welcome. To receive the readings, please register for the meeting.  (You must be logged into your Brown University email account to access the form.)

    The Capitalism and the Human Reading Group is part of the Political Concepts Initiative.

    Please feel free to contact the reading group’s 2019-20 organizers, Marah Nagelhout ([email protected] ) and Nick Pisanelli ([email protected] ) with any questions you may have.

    Humanities, Political Concepts Initiative
  • Sep
    26
    2:00pm - 4:00pm

    Environmental Humanities Reading Group

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    The Environmental Humanities Reading Group fosters an informal and interdisciplinary community around the environmental humanities at Brown. Each meeting, we will use the assigned readings as a jumping off point to discuss the role that the humanities might play in confronting environmental crisis and supporting environmental justice.

    At this inaugural meeting, we will be discussing a few recent attempts to define the “environmental humanities,” and thinking through our own aspirations for the term.

    Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. To receive the readings, please register for the meeting.  (You must be logged into your Brown University email account to access the form.)

    The Environmental Humanities Reading Group is part of the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB).

    Please feel to contact the group’s graduate student coordinator, Michael Putnam ([email protected]), with any questions, thoughts, and suggestions.

    Environmental Humanities, Humanities
  • The U.S.-Mexico border and divided opinions about immigration have become a matter of acute national controversy, but buried far beneath these concerns is a centuries-long tie between the United States and the wider Hispanic world, reaching back to a time well before the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620. 

    Carrie Gibson received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2011, focusing on the Hispanic Caribbean in the era of the Haitian Revolution. Her latest work, El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America, was published in February 2019. She is also the author of Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day (Pan Macmillan, 2014). Before embarking on a career as a historian, Gibson was a journalist for the Guardian and Observer, and continues to contribute to media outlets. She was born and raised in the U.S., but has lived in London for more than two decades.

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    Early Modern World, Humanities
  • Theatre Without Borders/Théâtre sans frontières
    Translating, Circulating and Performing Early Modern Drama

    The conference explores the work of Corneille in the context of European theatre and the circulation of early modern drama through both translation and performance, from the 17th to the 20th century.

    Friday, September 27, 2019
    Conveners: Karen Newman, Owen F. Walker ’33 Professor of Humanities, and Lewis Seifert, Professor of French Studies
    9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Coffee and Pastries
    9:30 AM – 9:45 AM Welcome
    9:45 AM – 10:45 AM Jennifer Row (University of Minnesota) • Corneille’s Queer Temporalities
    10:45AM – 11:45 AM Christian Biet (Université Paris Nanterre) • La Place Royale, ou l’urbanisme moderne : les lieux de la nouvelle comédie
    11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Break
    12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Katherine Ibbett (Trinity College, Oxford) • Andromaque in Translation: Foreignness and Refuge
    1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Lunch
    2:30 PM – 3:30 PM François Lecercle (Université de Paris-Sorbonne) • Corneille’s Comedies and the Rise of Theatrophobia
    3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Coffee Break
    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Michael Moon (Emory University) • Corneille, Racine, Molière, and New York Queer Theater in the 1960s and After
    5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Reception

    The event is free and open to the public.

    This conference is presented by the French Center of Excellence and the Department of Comparative Literature with the support of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services, and is co-sponsored by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, the Department of French Studies, and the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World.

    Center of Excellence, Conference, Early Modern World, Humanities
  • This special seminar with Claudia Rankine will focus on the work of Harryette Mullen, a poet and professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. Read more about Harryette Mullen.

    The seminar is open to undergraduate students only. Registration is required. (You must be logged into your Brown University email account to access the form.) Participants will receive the session’s reading and location via email. 

    Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays, The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/American Repertory Theater), and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; as well as numerous video collaborations. Her next publication, Just Us, is a collection of essays forthcoming with Graywolf Press in 2020. She is also the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, she co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Rankine is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and a National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Citizen holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. She lives in New Haven, CT.

    This event is presented as part of the Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities.

    Humanities, The Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series
  • Oct
    2
    5:30pm - 7:30pm

    Claudia Rankine • “The Creative Imagination and Race”

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    Lecture and Book Signing

    Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays, The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/American Repertory Theater), and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; as well as numerous video collaborations. Her next publication, Just Us, is a collection of essays forthcoming with Graywolf Press in 2020. She is also the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, she co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Rankine is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and a National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Citizen holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. She lives in New Haven, CT.

    This event, presented as part of the Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, is free and open to the public.

    Humanities, The Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series
  • Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is on the rise. With this in mind, finding a cure is important. Sara Houston argues that it is equally important to find ways of living well with the condition while a cure seems elusive. Her argument is supported by the nine years of researching dance as a popular activity for people living with Parkinson’s. In this talk, Houston outlines how dance might help people develop a positive approach to life with Parkinson’s through dance’s aesthetic values. Beauty, grace, and freedom in this specific context may give rise to agency and an approach to living well.

    Sara Houston is Deputy Head of Dance at University of Roehampton, London, U.K. Her research in dance and Parkinson’s won her a BUPA Foundation Prize in 2011 and she was Finalist in the National Public Engagement Awards in 2014 for her work to engage the public with the research. She also holds a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship. Houston is Chair of People Dancing the U.K.’s professional support organization for community dance.

    This event, presented as part of Creative Medicine,  is free and open to the public.

    Creative Medicine Series, Humanities
  • India was the scene for the production of a vast, internally diverse chronicle literature in Persian during the period 1500–1900 C.E. During the 19th century, European scholars made selective use of this material to create the modern understanding of South Asian history that remains dominant to the present. Shahzad Bashir discusses concepts pertaining to time that undergird a variety of understandings of the past in the original literature, highlighting matters left out by 19th-century interpreters and their later followers invested in nationalist histories. The exploration is part of a larger project aimed at questioning the framework for ‘Islamic’ history in modern scholarship.

    Shahzad Bashir specializes in Islamic Studies with interests in the intellectual and social histories of the societies of Iran and Central and South Asia circa 14th century C.E. to the present. His published work is concerned with the study of Sufism and Shi’ism, messianic movements originating in Islamic contexts, representation of corporeality in hagiographic texts and Persian miniature paintings, religious developments during the Timurid and Safavid periods, and modern transformations of Islamic societies.

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    Early Modern World, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • Oct
    23
    6:00pm - 8:00pm

    Political Concepts Reading Group • “Capitalism and the Human”

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    The Political Concept Reading Group meets monthly. Its 2019-20 theme is Capitalism and the Human, the topic of a conference held at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities on April 3-4, 2020.

    Readings and discussions explore the various forms of humanist discourse that have emerged in response to contemporary threats to human autonomy and survival, such as climate crisis, rapid technological innovation, and carceral capitalism. The reading group interrogates the possibility of appealing to “the human” without recourse to the essentialist logic that has denied so many populations the auspices of this very title. It operates under the premise that no theoretical approach to the human is complete without an analysis of capitalism and vice versa. To this end, the group examines the crucial components of capital — from “racializing assemblages,” to the devaluation of unpaid reproductive labor, and the creation of “Cheap Nature” — that have long produced a dominant conception of the human to justify expropriation and sustain capitalist development.

    This second meeting focuses on excerpts from Alexander Weheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human.

    All are welcome. To receive the readings, please register for the meeting. (You must be logged into your Brown University email account to access the form.)

    The Capitalism and the Human Reading Group is part of the Political Concepts Initiative.

    Please feel free to contact the reading group’s 2019-20 organizers, Marah Nagelhout ([email protected] ) and Nick Pisanelli ([email protected] ) with any questions you may have.

    Humanities, Political Concepts Initiative
  • Oct
    24
    2:00pm - 4:00pm

    Environmental Humanities Reading Group

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    The Environmental Humanities Reading Group fosters an informal and interdisciplinary community around the environmental humanities at Brown. Each meeting, we use the assigned readings as a jumping off point to discuss the role that the humanities might play in confronting environmental crisis and supporting environmental justice.

    This meeting focuses on selections from Bénédicte Boisseron’s Afro-Dog in anticipation of Boisseron’s lecture and workshop on November 14 and 15 at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities.

    Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. To receive the assigned readings, please register for the event.  (You must be logged into your Brown University email account to access the form.)

    The Environmental Humanities Reading Group is part of the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB).

    Please feel to contact the group’s graduate student coordinator, Michael Putnam ([email protected]), with any questions, thoughts, and suggestions.

    Environmental Humanities, Humanities
  • Oct
    31
    12:30pm - 1:30pm

    Autumn Concert by Benjamin Nacar ‘12

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    Pianist and composer Benjamin Nacar ’12 offers a mid-day concert. The program includes

    Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata no. 23 in F minor, op. 57 “Appassionata”

    Claude Debussy: Masques

    Frederic Chopin: Nocturne in B major, op. 62 no. 1

    Franz Liszt: Transcendental Etude no. 4 in D minor “Mazeppa”

     

    This concert is free and open to the public.

    Humanities
  • Folger Shakespeare Library Weekend Seminar
    The Visual Art of Grammar: Iconographies of Language from Europe to the Americas”

    This event is by registration only, with priority in admission accorded to faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, and advanced graduate students. The deadline to enroll is September 3, 2019. Apply.

    Grammar was the cornerstone of Renaissance humanism. The design and decoration of manuscripts and books devoted to the discipline signaled its importance, while elaborate diagrams and allegorical illustrations gave a fuller impression of the vital role of grammar in education. Such visualizations could acquire deeper significance, given the connection in ancient Greek between gramma, “drawing” or “letter,” and grammatike, source of the Latin grammatica. Further depictions and emblems were devised by creole and native artists in the Americas, as missionary linguists applied the European art of grammar to the systematization of indigenous languages in the New World. This interdisciplinary seminar will welcome up to sixteen faculty and graduate student participants to consider the early modern iconography of grammar as a basis for exploring broader historical conceptions of the relation between language and the visual field. Participants will also have the opportunity to examine copies of relevant Renaissance texts from the John Hay Library as well as a number of grammars, artes (manuals), and vocabularies of American languages in the John Carter Brown Library.

    Director: Andrew Laird is John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor of Classics and Humanities at Brown University. His books include Powers of Expression, Expressions of Power (Oxford University Press, 1999), The Epic of America (Bloomsbury, 2006) and Antiquities and Classical Traditions in Latin America (Wiley, 2018). His most recent publications treat the relation of Latin to Amerindian languages, and the influence of European humanism on missionaries and native scholars in post-conquest Mexico. The seminar will be joined by Ahuvia Kahane (Trinity College Dublin).

    This event is presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World.

    Early Modern World, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • Nov
    4
    12:00pm - 1:00pm

    Info Session • Cogut Institute Undergraduate Fellowship

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    Passionate about research in the humanities? Come to our info session! Pizza will be served. 

    If you’ll be a senior honors student in 2020–2021 and are in the humanities or humanistic social sciences, you are eligible to apply for an undergraduate fellowship at the Cogut Institute. Our fellows join a stimulating environment, discussing work-in-progress alongside faculty, postdoc, and graduate student fellows. Learn more.

    Attend our info session and learn more about the Cogut Institute, the undergraduate fellowship program, and the application process!

    Humanities
  • The distinction between narration and description or between plot and setting is generally accepted by theories of the novel. But on what basis? To what extent can the realist novel’s plot be abstracted from the physical world in which it occurs? Hegel argues that the epic, the novel’s precursor, is characterized less by the actions or intentions of its characters than by the resistance offered to those by the objective, external world. Borrowing from the history of science, I will try to reimagine the novel’s empiricism as intertwined with the early modern investigation of motion and matter, of “bodies in general.” The realist plot requires a physical universe of passive matter whose movements conform without exception to certain laws. Even in Dickens’s Great Expectations we see how the plot relies on the concept of inertial movement to generate events and affects as well as to explain them. Plot is something more than abstract form or logic, but it is something less phenomenal than representation.

    Yoon Sun Lee is a professor of English at Wellesley College. She publishes and teaches in several fields: British prose in the Romantic era, the 18th-century novel, Asian American literature, narrative theory, and literary theory. She is the author of Nationalism and Irony (Oxford University Press, 2004), and Modern Minority: Asian American Literature and Everyday Life (Oxford University Press, 2013), and her essays have appeared in journals and collections including Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Representations, The Cambridge Companion to Narrative Theory, The Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Her current book project examines how plots operate in British realist novels of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, linking them to developments in natural philosophy.

    The Sarah Cutts Frerichs Lecture in Victorian Studies  is presented by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities. The event is free and open to the public.

    Humanities, Sarah Cutts Frerichs Lecture in Victorian Studies
  • Registration for this special seminar with Yoon Sun Lee.  

    Information on seminar location will accompany pre-circulated reading material. Luncheon be served at this seminar.

    Frankenstein occupies a place of special importance in literary history, in narrative theory, and in the history of modern ways of knowing. Shelley’s novel uses its narrative frames to position the creature within natural historical schemes of classification. But it also allows the creature to voice the advent of his own awareness of the world, and his place, or lack of place, in it. His experience and the narrative’s frames both depend on and push against each other in complex ways. This seminar will bring together Enlightenment natural history and phenomenology to examine the notions of race and narrative that emerge from the structure of Shelley’s novel. It will also consider the implications of taxonomy as a mode of knowledge that continues to be practiced in contemporary narrative theory.

    Yoon Sun Lee is a professor of English at Wellesley College. She publishes and teaches in several fields: British prose in the Romantic era, the 18th-century novel, Asian American literature, narrative theory, and literary theory. She is the author of Nationalism and Irony (Oxford University Press, 2004), and Modern Minority: Asian American Literature and Everyday Life (Oxford University Press, 2013), and her essays have appeared in journals and collections including Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Representations, The Cambridge Companion to Narrative Theory, The Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Her current book project examines how plots operate in British realist novels of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, linking them to developments in natural philosophy.

    Yoon Sun Lee will also give a lecture “Laws of Motion: Bodies, World and Plot in the Realist Novel” on November 6, 2019.  Both events are presented by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities as part of the Sarah Cutts Frerichs Lecture in Victorian Studies.  

    Humanities, Sarah Cutts Frerichs Lecture in Victorian Studies
  • What do a Chinese élite lady in Shanghai, a Portuguese duchess in Madrid, an Austrian queen in Lisbon, and a Bavarian countess in Augsburg all have in common? These women, in spite of distance in time and space, all became revered patronesses of the Jesuit missions in China in the early modern period.

    Candida Xu (許甘第大, 1607-1680), granddaughter of the most prominent Chinese Catholic convert of the late Ming period, the imperial Grand Secretary Xu Guangqi 徐光啓, once widowed at age forty-six poured her fortune and energies in religious endeavors within the Catholic mission, and became a paragon of patronage and holiness both for her compatriots and the European readers of her French (1688), Spanish (1691) and Dutch (1694) biographies.

    The Portuguese noblewoman and heiress Maria de Guadalupe de Lencastre y Cárdenas Manrique, Duchess of Aveiro (1630-1715), cultivated a sprawling epistolary network with Jesuit missionaries across the globe, including several in China, financially supporting them, and receiving in return spiritual blessings and information on their activities.

    Maria Anna Habsburg of Austria (1683-1754), Queen Consort of Portugal and Regent of Portugal from 1742 until 1750, through her Jesuit confessor, the Austrian astronomer of the China Portuguese mission Augustin Hallerstein, organized a lavish embassy to the Qianlong Emperor to save the Chinese church from annihilation.

    Finally, Countess Maria Theresia von Fugger-Wellenburg (1690-1762), a descendant of the Fugger banking dynasty in Swabia, through the Bavarian Jesuit Florian Bahr, supported Chinese abandoned infants and acted as a chain of communication between the Qing and the Wittelsbach courts.

    This presentation examines these prominent women’s interactions with, and patronage of, the Jesuit missionaries in China, and, how, through their correspondence, as well as their political and financial influence, they sustained a far-flung network of male ecclesiastical admirers and expressed feminine spirituality and influence across the continents.

    Eugenio Menegon teaches Chinese and world history at Boston University. His latest book, Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China (Harvard Asia Center and Harvard University Press, 2009) centers on the life of Catholic communities in Fujian province since the 1630s. His current book project is an examination of the daily life and political networking of European residents at the Qing court in Beijing in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public. 

    Early Modern World, Humanities
  • Nov
    14

    Drawing on recent debates about black lives and animal welfare both coincidentally on the rise in America, Bénédicte Boisseron investigates the relationship between race and the animal in the history and culture of the Americas and the black Atlantic. This conversation is part of the fast-growing interest in human-animal relationships across the humanities and social sciences, an academic trend commonly referred to as ‘the animal turn.’

    Bénédicte Boisseron  specializes in the fields of black diaspora studies, francophone studies, and animal studies. She is the author of Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora (UP of Florida, 2014), 2015 winner of the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. Her most recent book, Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question (Columbia University Press, 2018), draws on recent debates about black life and animal rights to investigate the relationship between race and the animal in the history and culture of the Americas and the black Atlantic. 

    Free and open to the public. This event, presented as part of the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB), is co-sponsored by the Charles K. Colver Lectureships and Publications Fund; the Departments of French Studies, History, and Religious Studies; the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES); the Program in Science, Technology, and Society; and the Watson Institute.

    Environmental Humanities, Humanities
  • Nov
    15
    9:00am - 11:00am

    Environmental Humanities Workshop with Bénédicte Boisseron

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    Bénédicte Boisseron is Associate Professor in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Montana. 

    More information is forthcoming. Registration to attend the ‘Environmental Humanities’ workshop with Bénédicte Boisseron will open closer to the event.  Information on workshop location will accompany pre-circulated reading material. Breakfast will be served at this workshop.

    This event, presented as part of the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB), is co-sponsored by the Charles K. Colver Lectureships and Publications Fund; the Departments of French Studies, History, and Religious Studies; the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES); the Program in Science, Technology, and Society; and the Watson Institute.

    Environmental Humanities, Humanities
  • There are few aspects of society untouched by digital communication and the Internet. How do we keep the human presence and perspective, as well as the humanity, inside the personal conversations and interactions we have each day? Our ability to listen, empathize, observe, relate and reason in a thoughtful way are our most vital tools as human communicators. Having just written a book about physician communication, Dr. Schraeder will talk about how the electronic era is impacting connections between humans; the exploration, gathering, and retention of information and knowledge; and ultimately our personal and professional communications skills and relationships.

    Teresa Schraeder is a medical internist, award-winning journalist, and clinical associate professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her professional experience in clinical medicine, medical education, journalism, and mass communication provides a unique background and knowledge base to research and write about effective information exchange and human communication in the world today. She is the author of Physician Communication: Connecting with Patients, Peers, and the Public (Oxford University Press, 2019), and has contributed to the Boston Globe, WCVB-TV, ABC News, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, WBUR-NPR, the Harvard Neiman Reports, Science Editor, Harvard Health Publications, among other media. A graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, she completed fellowships at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation and worked as the Graduate Medical Education Editor for the New England Journal of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Mt. Auburn Hospital Harvard Residency Training Program.

    This event, presented as part of Creative Medicine, is free and open to the public.

    Creative Medicine Series, Humanities
  • Dec
    6
    All Day

    Conference • “Political Concepts: Retouch”

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    December 6 and 7, 2019

    The year’s conference of the Political Concepts  Initiative is dedicated to the theme of “Retouch” and it explores different modalities and initiatives of repair and reparation, redress and restoration, recovery and renewal, redistribution, remedy and recuperation, resurgence and the retouch of shared worlds. These are impacted by lasting structures of imperialism, racial capitalism, and gender violence.

    Speakers will address questions related to lasting structures of imperialism, racial capitalism, and gender violence, catalyzed by present movements such as Black Lives Matter, DAPL, food sovereignty, and #Me Too. Participants are invited to propose and engage with concepts through which these crimes and the indispensability of reparations and retouch can be described, explained and analyzed, and a different world can be imagined once these crimes are acknowledged.

    More information about this event will be forthcoming.

    Conference, Humanities, Political Concepts Initiative
  • Feb
    12
    5:30pm - 7:30pm

    Adam Gopnik • “Liberalism and Love”

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    Lecture and Book Signing

    Adam Gopnik has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987. During his three decades at the magazine, he has written fiction, humor, memoirs, critical essays, and reported pieces from at home and abroad. Gopnik has three National Magazine awards, for essays and for criticism, and also a George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. He is the author of numerous books, including A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventures of Liberalism, At The Strangers’ Gate, The Table Comes First, Paris To The Moon, Through The Children’s Gate and the children’s novel The King’s Window. A musical, written in collaboration with the composer David Shire, “The Most Beautiful Room In New York,” opened May 2017 at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, and his one man show “The Gates” is based on material developed with The Moth. In March of 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Montreal, he lives in New York City.

    This event, presented as part of the Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, is free and open to the public.

    Humanities, The Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series
  • Feb
    20
    5:30pm

    Anne Dunlop, University of Melbourne

    List Art Building

    Anne Dunlop, Professor of Fine Arts, Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne will present the second lecture in the yearlong lecture series entitled “On Speculation.”

    The series is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture’s Margerie Cutler, Joseph Edinburgh, and Kenneth List funds.

    Additional support comes from the Center for Contemporary South Asia, and the C.V. Starr Foundation Lectureship Fund.

    Early Modern World, HIAA Annual Lecture Series, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • Mar
    5
    4:00pm - 5:30pm

    Kate Brown • STS/Environmental Humanities Lecture (Title TBD)

    Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center

    Kate Brown, Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, will give a talk presented by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and co-sponsored by the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB).

    More information is forthcoming.

    Free and open to the public. This event, presented by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, is co-sponsored by the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB) with the Department of History.

    Environmental Humanities, Humanities, Social Sciences
  • EARLY MODERN ANNUAL LECTURE
    Writing History in the Sixteenth Century: Remarking the Boundaries of a Discipline in the New Spain

    After their conquest and colonization of Mexico in the 1500s, the Spaniards needed to understand the customs and the past of the native peoples in order to impose their own law and authority. But European ideas of time and history are not universal: how did Mesoamerican cosmology make sense in terms of Christian European chronology? And how did indigenous people retain or understand memory of the pre-Hispanic past? This lecture will show how both Spaniards and Indians began to produce a new form of world history.

    Serge Gruzinski has taught at the Écoles des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris, as well as in Brazil (Bélem) and the United States (Princeton). His work has been translated into numerous languages and he has authored more than twenty books including The Mestizo Mind: The Intellectual Dynamics of Colonization and Globalization (Routledge, 2002), What Time is it There? America and Islam at the Dawn of Modern Times (Polity Press, 2011) and The Eagle and the Dragon: Globalization and European Dreams of Conquest in China and America in the Sixteenth Century (Polity Press, 2014). He has received several honorary doctorates and awards, including the Howard F. Cline Memorial Prize 1991, Médaille d’argent of the CNRS 1996, Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur 2000, and the First International Prize in History at the 22nd Congress of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS) in Jinan, China in 2015.

    This is the first of a series of prestigious public lectures instituted at Brown by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World. The lectures will be held each year in the Spring semester.

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    Early Modern World, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities, Identity, Culture, Inclusion, International, Global Engagement
  • Lecture and Conversation

    Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa, and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the essay collection Sidewalks; the novels Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth; and, most recently, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her most recent novel, Lost Children Archive, longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019, is her first to be written in English. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and McSweeney’s among other publications and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in New York City.

    This event, presented as part of the Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, is free and open to the public.

    Humanities, The Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series
  • Apr
    3
    All Day

    Conference • “Capitalism and the Human”

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    In a world in which capitalist expansion seems perpetually on the verge of taking leave of human scales of experience and value, what has happened to the philosophical critique of the human, one of the most influential traditions of twentieth-century radical thought? With the threats to human existence and autonomy posed by climate change, surveillance capitalism, and the effects of rapid techno-social innovation, is there any political appetite or space left for a critique of humanist ideology? When human qualities of living and interacting seem threatened by neoliberal modes of rationality, is there a case for substantially recasting the terms of posthumanist critical thought, or should resistance take the form of a radical defense of the human and humanity? This conference begins from the premise that any thinking of the human today, from whatever position, must be accompanied by close attention to the dynamics of contemporary capitalism; and, conversely, that the critique of contemporary capitalism cannot evade the encounter with the question of the human.

    Additional information is forthcoming.

    The conference is co-organized by Timothy Bewes, Professor of English and Interim Director of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, and Jeremy Gilbert, Professor of Cultural and Political Theory at the University of East London, and Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Brown University this Spring 2020.

    Collaborative Humanities Initiative, Conference, Humanities
  • Apr
    16
    4:00pm - 5:30pm

    Cate Sandilands • Lecture in Environmental Humanities (TitleTBD)

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    Catriona (Cate) Sandilands is Professor of Environmental Studies at York University, Toronto.

    Her areas of research include environmental humanities and ecocriticism; environmental public cultures and biopolitics; queer, trans* and feminist ecologies; critical plant studies; biocultural diversity and multispecies cohabitation. Professor Sandilands will give a lecture as part of the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB).

    Free and open to the public. This event, presented as part of the Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB), is co-sponsored by the Charles K. Colver Lectureships and Publications Fund; the Departments of French Studies, History, and Religious Studies; the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES); the Program in Science, Technology, and Society; and the Watson Institute.

    Environmental Humanities, Humanities
  • May
    1
    All Day

    Collaborative Public Workshop

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    The Collaborative Public Workshop concludes the offering of the capstone seminar for the Graduate Certificate in Collaborative Humanities . The seminar, HMAN 2500: Project Development Workshop, is taught in Spring 2020 by Timothy Bewes, Professor of English, and Brian Meeks, Professor of Africana Studies.

    More information about this event will be forthcoming.

    This event, presented as part of the Collaborative Humanities Initiative, is free and open to the public.

    Collaborative Humanities Initiative, Conference, Humanities, Social Sciences