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2015 Spring Symposia

Series features two-dozen lectures, workshops, performances, screenings

Jan 16, 2015 | Article by: Rob Enslin


dorit_naaman.jpg

Israeli documentary filmmaker Dorit Naaman visits Syracuse, April 8-9

The Syracuse University Humanities Center (HC), housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to announce its 2015 Spring Symposia schedule. Events include the HC Faculty Fellow Symposia, the HC Dissertation Fellow Symposia, the HC Symposia, Central New York Humanities Corridor Seminars and The Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship. 

All events are free and open to the public, but some, such as HC Mini-Seminars, require advance registration by calling 315-443-7192 or emailing humcenter@syr.edu

To register for Central New York (CNY) Humanities Corridor Seminars, contact Mi Ditmar at mmditmar@syr.edu or 315-443-5944. 

More information about Spring Symposia is available at syracusehumanities.org

Gerald R. Greenberg, HC’s interim director, says the series highlights the breadth and depth of its resident fellows. “HC fellows bring their research into conversation with students and faculty from across campus, while engaging with colleagues and experts from around the country,” he says. “The series also sets the stage for Syracuse Symposium, which the Humanities Center presents every fall for the College of Arts and Sciences.”

The schedule is as follows:

HC Faculty Fellow Symposia

“Porosity, Sensuality, Relation: Rethinking Religion’s Terms”
A discussion of how porosity, sensuality, and relation impact the meaning of religion. Panelists will consider what these terms mean, how they intersect with one another, and how they reimagine the role of religion in the humanities. 

Faculty Fellow: William Robert, assistant professor of religion at Syracuse

Guest Speakers: Kent Brintall, associate professor of religious studies, the Bonnie E. Cone Early-Career Professor in Teaching, and an affiliate faculty member in women’s and gender studies and in film studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and Mary-Jane Rubenstein, associate professor and chair of religion, as well as a core faculty member of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Wesleyan University

Friday, February 27
HC Mini-Seminar: 10 a.m. (registration required)
Public Lecture: 2 p.m.
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304

Co-Sponsor: Department of Religion in the College of Arts and Sciences


“Flowers and Friends in a Hoodoo Dialogue With Katrina Hazzard Donald”
An afternoon dedicated to contemporary Hoodoo, an indigenous African American spiritual tradition, and its role as an instrument of cultural custodianship and initiatory illumination. Organizers seek to challenge popular perceptions of Hoodoo, while chronicling its recent evolution from folk to high magic.   

Faculty Fellow: Arthur Flowers, associate professor of English at Syracuse

Guest Speakers: Katrina Hazzard Donald, professor of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice, as well as Africana studies and research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Papa Joe Fisher, drummer, Hoodoo adept, and edler of the Gullah Geechie Nation; Melvin Gibbs, Hoodoo adept and “best bassist in the world” (Time Out magazine); Joeanna Mitchell, metaphysician, spiritualist, Tarot master, and Hoodoo adept; and Anna B. Scott, dancer, performance artist, Hoodoo adept, and master conduit of the Vita Vibrare arts consultancy

Monday, March 23
Public Lecture: 2 p.m.
Hall of Languages, The Kilian Room (500)
Reception and Ritual Performance: 4:30 p.m.
Community Folk Art Center (805 East Genesee St.)

Co-Sponsors: The College of Arts and Sciences and its departments of African American Studies and English, as well as the Community Folk Art Center; and the College of Visual and Performing Arts


“Formatted Out of Work: Trying to Get Hired in the United States” 
A look at how various objects of study in the humanities—genres, media ecologies, emerging technologies for evaluating texts, and changing conceptions of self—impact today’s hiring process.

Faculty Fellow: Samantha Kahn Herrick, associate professor of history and the Otey and Barbara Scruggs History Faculty Scholar at Syracuse

Guest Speaker: Ilana Gershon, associate professor of communication and culture and an adjunct faculty member of anthropology and American studies at Indiana University Bloomington

Friday, April 10
Public Lecture: 3 p.m.
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304

Co-Sponsors: Departments of Anthropology and History in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences


HC Dissertation Fellow Symposia

“DIAdocuMEntARY: A Piece in My Puzzle”
A screening of Dorit Naaman’s DIAdocuMEntARY (2004), which uses elements of the diary and documentary to explore her interest in identity politics—specifically, her relation to Israel, nationalism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The screening is followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and, the following day, an HC Mini-Seminar, in which she discusses the role of feminism, activism, and ethics in documentary filmmaking.

Faculty Fellow: Sarah Barkin, Ph.D. candidate in English at Syracuse

Guest Speaker: Dorit Naaman, the Alliance Atlantis Professor of Film and Media at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (Canada)

Wednesday, April 8
Public Lecture: 7 p.m.
Huntington Beard Crouse Hall, Kittredge Auditorium

Thursday, April 9
HC Mini-Seminar: 11:30 a.m. (registration required)
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304

Co-Sponsors: Departments of English and Women’s & Gender Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences 


“Yoga, Nature Cure, and ‘Perfect’ Health: The Purity of the Fluid Body in an Impure World”
A discussion of how asana (yoga posture) and pranayama (breath control) are understood within the framework of “Nature Cure” in modern India. Special emphasis is on the correlation between purification and embodied perfection and on how impurity stands in the way of proper health and transcendent consciousness.

Faculty Fellow: Daniel Cheifer, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religion at Syracuse 

Guest Speaker: Joseph S. Atler, professor of anthropology, research professor at the University for International Studies, and academic director of Pitt in the Himalayas at The University of Pittsburgh

Thursday, April 16
Public Lecture: 7:30 p.m.
Slocum Hall, Room 214

Friday, April 17
HC Mini-Seminar: 9 a.m. (registration required)
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304

Co-Sponsors: Department of Religion in the College of Arts and Sciences and the South Asia Center in the Maxwell School’s Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs


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South African actor, director, and playwright John Kani makes a rare Syracuse appearance, Jan. 27

HC Symposia

“A History of the 21st-Century U.S. Novel: A Short Introduction”
An exercise in pre-canonization that aims to find out what the American novel looks like today, as an evolving genre, and how said genre can be constellated.

Guest Speaker: Gordon Hutner, professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Thursday, Jan. 22
Public Lecture: 2 p.m.
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304

Co-Sponsors: The Graduate School and the Department of English, the latter of which is in the College of Arts and Sciences


“Publishing Scholarly Articles: What, Where, When, and Why”
A workshop designed to help entry-level scholars get their research published. Among the issues discussed will be choice of venue and challenges of the editorial process. 

Guest Speaker: Gordon Hutner, UIUC
Friday, Jan. 23
Workshop: 2:30 p.m.
Hall of Languages, Room 107 

Co-Sponsors: The Graduate School and its Future Professoriate Program; The Writing Program and its Composition and Cultural Rhetoric Graduate Circle, as well as the Department of English, all in the College of Arts and Sciences


“Central New York Humanities Corridor Seminar: John Kani on South African Theater, Under and After Apartheid”
The winner of Tony and Drama Desk awards, John Kani is best known for the Apartheid-inspired plays Sizwe Banzi Is Dead (1972) and The Island (1973), which he directed and co-wrote and in which he starred. In anticipation of Syracuse Stage’s production of Sizwe Banzi (running February 25-March 15), Kani will lead a CNY Humanities Corridor Seminar about social and political issues in South African theater. 

Tuesday, Jan. 27
Seminar: 1 p.m.
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304
Pre-registration required: Contact Mi Ditmar by Monday, Jan. 26, at mmditmar@syr.edu or 315-443-5944. 

Co-Sponsors: The College of Visual and Performing Arts, The Syracuse University Humanities Center in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Syracuse Stage


“Black Radical Imagination I & II”
Part of the Urban Video Project (UVP)’s yearlong series “Celestial Navigation: A Year Into the Afro Future,” “Black Radical Imagination” is a two-part screening of experimental film and video, curated by Erin Christovale and Amir George. Each screening features a discussion between the curators and attending artists, Ephraim Asili and Lewis Vaughn. The program is presented in conjunction with Jeanette Ehlers’ Black Bullets and Cristina de Middel’s The Afronauts at UVP and the Community Folk Art Center, respectively. 

Tuesday, Feb. 10
Screening: 2 p.m.
Shaffer Art Building, Shemin Auditorium 

Co-Sponsors: Department of Art’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series and the Department of Transmedia, both in the College of Visual and Performing Arts; the Community Folk Art Center in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Light Work


“Central New York Humanities Corridor Seminar: Mellon Visiting Collaborator Rosi Braidotti on ‘The Posthuman’”
Rosi Braidotti, a leading philosopher and feminist theoretician at Utrecht University (Netherlands), where she serves as Distinguished University Professor and founding director of the Centre for the Humanities, examines how genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics, and reproductive technologies blur the lines between human and non-naturalistic human structures. 

Friday, Feb. 13
Seminar: 9 a.m.
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304
Pre-registration required: Contact Mi Ditmar by Monday, Feb. 9, at mmditmar@syr.edu or 315-443-5944. 

Co-Sponsor: The Syracuse University Humanities Center


“Performing Black Masculinities and Same-Sex Desires”
Presentations by two of today’s foremost scholars of black queer studies: E. Patrick Johnson, who will reprise his award-winning play Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South; and Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr., who will discuss his new book, Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing (The University of Chicago Press, 2014). Both men will also participate in workshops on queer methodology and professionalization.    

Guest Speakers: E. Patrick Johnson, the Carlos Montezuma Professor of African American Studies and Performance Studies at Northwestern University; and 

Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr., associate professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies and of performing arts at Washington University in St. Louis

Wednesday, March 18
Performance: 7 p.m.
Community Folk Art Center (805 East Genesee St.)

Thursday, March 19
Public Lecture: 5:30 p.m.
Sims Hall, Room 123

Co-Presenters: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts

Co-Sponsors: Departments of African American Studies, History, Sociology, and Women’s & Gender Studies, the Community Folk Art Center, and the Democratizing Knowledge Collective, all in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the Wendy H. Cohen Fund for Cultural and Artistic Enrichment, administered by the Department of Drama in the College of Visual and Performing Arts


“The Tireless Pursuit: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Mĩcere Mũgo as Activist, Artist, and Architect of Alternative Sites of Knowledge” 
A daylong celebration of the life and career of Mĩcere Mũgo, Meredith Professor of African American Studies and a highly decorated poet, playwright, and activist. The celebration occurs on the eve of her retirement from Syracuse and in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of several African nations’ independence. 

Friday, April 3
Public Event: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Drumlins Country Club (800 Nottingham Rd., Syracuse)

Co-Sponsors: The College of Arts and Sciences and its Department of African American Studies and the Syracuse University Africa Initiative


“Speculations: Science Fiction, Chronopolitics, and Social Change”
Equal parts performance, conversation, and screening, Speculations is a new work by Cauleen Smith, the Urban Video Project’s artist-in-residence, exploring how speculative narratives and futurological analysis impact social change. The work is part of UVP’s yearlong "Celestial Navigation" series. 

Tuesday, April 7
Performance, conversation, and screening: 6:30 p.m.
Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison St., Syracuse)

Moderators: Kheli Willets ’92, G’94, G’02, executive director of the Community Folk Art Center and professor of practice in African American studies at Syracuse; and

Anneka Herre, director of the Urban Video Project and lecturer in transmedia at Syracuse

Panelists: Cauleen Smith, interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker; 

James Gordon Williams, assistant professor of African American studies at Syracuse, as well as a pianist, composer, and ethnomusicologist; and Rasheedah Phillips, staff attorney of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and founder and creative director of the Afrofuturist Affair

Co-Sponsors: The Department of African American Studies and the Community Folk Art Center in the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Visual and Performing Arts and its Department of Art’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series; the Everson Museum of Art; and Light Work


“Writing, Performing, Producing Difference: Residency by Caribbean Artists Rita Indiana and Noelia Quintero”
Issues of contemporary Caribbean identity (e.g., gender, race, class, and sexual politics) is the focus of a visit by Rita Indiana, an acclaimed Dominican novelist, musician, and performance artist; and Puerto Rican filmmaker Noelia Quintero. Students and faculty will be able to interact with the artists, as well as participate in an HC Mini-Seminar, examining issues of collaboration, translation, migration, and the nation.

Thursday, April 23
Screening of La motora roja tiene que aparecer: 7 p.m.
Huntington Beard Crouse Hall, Gifford Auditorium 

Friday, April 24
HC Mini-Seminar: 10 a.m. (registration required)
Tolley Humanities Building, Room 304

Reading: 7 p.m.  
La Casita Cultural Center (109 Otisco St.)

Co-Sponsors: The departments of Art & Music Histories, English, Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, and Woman’s & Gender Studies, as well as the programs of Latino-Latin American Studies and LGBT Studies, all in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts 


The Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship

“Contemplative Collaborative Brownbag Series”
A three-part series devoted to mindfulness and contemplative practices and how they promote insight, creativity, focus, engagement, and a sense of well-being. 

All sessions are 12-1 p.m. in Sims Hall, Room 123. 

Friday, Jan. 16
“Practicing Presence: Mindfulness Practices for Teaching and Learning”
Presenters: Diane Grimes, associate professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse; and W. Kurt Stavenhagen, professional writing instructor at Syracuse

Friday, Feb. 13
“Learning to Be Present: Mindfulness Practices for Writing, Research, and Creativity”
Presenters: Gesa Kirsch, professor of English and media studies, director of the Jeanne and Dan Valente Center for Arts and Sciences, and co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Institute at Bentley University; and Patrick W. Berry, assistant professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse

Friday, March 6
“Mindfulness Goes to School: Linking Research With Practice”
Presenters: Rachel Razza, assistant professor of child and family studies at Syracuse; and Dessa Bergen-Cico, assistant professor of public health at Syracuse  

Co-Sponsors: The Writing Program and the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts; the Contemplative Collaborative; and Hendricks Chapel and its Wellness Fund


“The Power of Social Networks: Rhetorical Agency and Civic Activism Among 19th-Century Women Physicians”
An investigation of the rhetorical strategies, social networks, and civic activism of a group of 19th-century female physicians in California. Kirsch argues that the impact of early women physicians is still felt today via public policy, advocacy work, and professional organizations. 

Guest Speaker: Gesa Kirsch, Bentley University

Wednesday, March 4
Public Lecture: 2:15 p.m.
The Kilian Room (500), Hall of Languages

Co-Sponsors: The Writing Program and the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts; the Contemplative Collaborative; and Hendricks Chapel and its Wellness Fund.


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Contact Information

Ron Enslin
315-443-3403
rmenslin@syr.edu