Towards a Global Humanities

The Project entitled Towards a Global Humanities explores concerns of human populations that have histories of exclusion and marginalization from the production and practice of dominant knowledges. The project both adds to and interrogates dominant discourses within the Humanities. Its objective is to construct a wider sense of the possibilities of what the human might look like and to engage in comparative understandings of worldviews, ways of life, and ways of knowing. In doing this, the project reworks conventional narratives about the invention of the human as an object of study while exploring questions of difference, the character of human classification systems, and systems of values. The project is a comparative one and demands both intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary conversations.

Toward a Global Humanities results from a collaboration among the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Africana Studies, the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, and International Affairs. Programs launched under this rubric included a speaker series; a symposium on African philosophy; a workshop on history, memory, and violence in Africa; a colloquium on gender and international humanities in contemporary China; and a month-long visit by Professor Chengzhou He, director of Nanjing University's Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Science and the Humanities, and was Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Cogut Center. Initiatives include Cogut postdoctoral fellowships in international humanities; the Nanjing-Brown Joint Program in Gender Studies and the Humanities, a research partnership with Nanjing University's Institute for Advanced Studies; a podcast project with artists and intellectuals in Cuba; and a two-week Advanced Research Institute this summer on Critical Traditions from the Global South.

Gender, Modern China and the Transnational Humanities

Schedule of Events

February 20, 2009 4:00 pm, Smith-Buonanno 201
Chris Gilmartin, Northeastern University
"The Gendered Dimensions of Nation-Building in Rural Sichuan during World War II: A Local Perspective"

March 6, 2009 4:00 pm, Wilson 102
Amy Dooling, Connecticut College
"From Tie Guniang to Dagongmei: Cultural Representations of Female Labor in Post-Socialist China"

March 13, 2009 12:45-5:30 pm, Pembroke Hall 305
Colloquium, moderated by Lingzhen Wang, Brown University

  • Haiping H. Yan, Cornell University
    "Rhythms of the Unreal: Ding Ling Story and the Chinese Revolutions"
  • Zheng Wang, University of Michigan
    Revealing Erasures: Visual Representation of Women of China (1949-2009)"
  • Gail Hershatter, University of California, Santa Cruz
    "Gender, Memory, and China's Collective Past" Sponsored by the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Cogut Center for the Humanities, East Asian Studies, International Affairs