Presentation by JCB Fellows Cecilio Cooper, Georgi Kyorlenski and Henry Stoll

November 14, 2018 - 4:00pm

Please join us for presentations by three JCB Fellows on Wednesday, November 14:

Cecilio Cooper (Northwestern University), Other|worldly Possessions: Territory, Slavery + Cosmography in the Atlantic World, 1441-1655.

Cecilio M. Cooper's dissertation shows how the early modern constitution of Atlantic World territory - both a geographic and epistemological formation - occasions black dispossession. Examining how blackness disavowedly circulates cosmological explanations of the universe's structure, cosmogonic accounts of its origin, and cosmographic attempts to map its entirety reveals how intrinsic anti-blackness is to colonial world-making and territorialization. Moreover, enslaved constituents of the African Diaspora alongside their unbonded counterparts functioned as territorialized corporeal property within territorialized air-land-sea spaces. While black persons were impeded from credibly claiming territory in their own right, white Europeans instrumentalized them in pursuit of possessive sovereign personhood. Afropessimist concepts, including Sylvia Wynter's extraterritoriality, Hortense Spiller's vestibularity, and Saidiya Hartman's fungibility, theoretically inform the methodology. Works on cartography, alchemy, demonology, and anatomy also prove rich archival sources for this project.

Georgi Kyorlenski (UCLA), Thinking Outside the Aribalo - Beginnings of an Indigenous Ceramic Typology through Language and Ethnohistory.

This presentation explores indigenous ceramic classification through an examination of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century Spanish-Quechua  dictionaries by Domingo de Santo Tomas (1560), Anonymous (1586), Diego Gonzalez Holguin (1607), and Diego de Torres Rubio (1619). Hiram Bingham's attempt at developing a universal archaeological language resulted in the most iconic Inca vessel being widely known as aribalo (a Hispanicized version of the Greek aryballos). The search for the original term for the form is not a mere act of decolonization of the archaeological record, but rather an attempt to understand how the Inca ordered their material culture. While a complete emic typology is likely out of reach, recognizing the significance of categories such as size and material over form and decoration is critical for understanding Inca classification practices beyond ceramics.

Henry Stoll (Harvard University), Singing the Haitian Revolution.

This talk introduces Henry's project to reconstruct and study the songs of Haiti's revolutionary period. Using materials from the JCB Library, it demonstrates how scholars of the 18th century can reinvest with melody what, to many readers, might appear but words on a page. Some of these songs will be heard. 

The reading room will close to researchers at 3:30pm.