Calendar of Events

Spring 2015 IHGC Events

U.Va. Humanities Events this Week

Youngmin Kim:
Transnational Literature and Glocal Humanities

February 2
5:30 pm
Monroe 130

When literatures and cultures encounter those of the other counterparts in the contexts of a new geographic, ontological, and epistemological reconfiguration, the contacting points of the two or multiple entities in the world will turn out to be a vast region of interstitial zone of “intersections, competition, and exclusions.” When one reflects upon one’s confronting the “other” literatures and cultures in the moments of self-awareness and self-identity, one recalls the disturbing vortex of enriching inbound authenticity and threatening outbound hybridization. This dynamic vortex will construct the glocal, translocal, and transnational space of world literature. This space can be redefined when one puts the objects of the investigation in terms of the broader perspective of the transforming temporal glocal humanities.

Youngmin Kim is Professor of English, Director of the Institute of Trans Media World Literature at Dongguk University in Seoul, Korea, He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of English Language and Literature. His current National Research Foundation Project of “Transnationalism and the Humanities” is a continuation of his 2009-2011 NRF “Transnationalism and Cultural Translation” project. His major interest is transnationalism and cultural translation, world poetries in English, and interdisciplinary border-crossing humanities.

This event is sponsored by the IHGC.


Opportunities in Crises:
Technogoverning Sustainable Landscapes

March 18
7:00 am - 4:15 pm
University of Virginia

Coinciding with the 2015 annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) in Washington, DC, March 18-22, this one-day workshop will be based on the theme of technogovernance. Addressing the creation and transformation of the heterogeneous practices of industrialists, environmentalists, and regulators in utilizing technology to render sustainable modes of manufacturing, consumption, and living during the long twentieth century, the workshop will embrace conferees from a variety of humanities and social science disciplines in analyzing energy and environmental governance in multiple geographical and temporal contexts. Key sub-themes will include climate science, environmental and energy policy, and environmental justice at the community, regional, national, and global levels. We encourage conferees to engage with problems of disciplinary translation, including determinism/causation, materiality, tacit ways of knowing, and co-production in the context of environmental and energy history.

The workshop will begin the morning of March 18 with breakfast at around 7:00 AM. Morning and afternoon sessions will follow with breaks for lunch and refreshments. The workshop will conclude around 4:15

The event will be co-hosted by the University of Virginia’s Department of Engineering and Society, Institute of the Humanities and Global Culture, and Miller Center.


Center or Vanishing Point?
Perspectives on Religion and Theology

March 20-21
Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture
3 University Circle

The colloquium will begin at 4:30pm on Friday March 20th. Dinner will be provided at 6pm. Tyler Roberts of Grinnell College, author of Encountering Religion, will give a plenary lecture at 7pm. Drinks will be provided after the lecture.

On Saturday March 21, student paper panels will run from 9am to 5pm. Lunch will be provided midday, and dinner will be provided at 6pm.

This event is open to the public.

This event is sponsored by the IHGC.


Moving People, Linking Lives:
An Interdisciplinary Symposium

March 20-21

Moving People, Linking Lives: An Interdisciplinary Symposium will take place March 20-21, 2015 at the University of Virginia. Organized and hosted by Alison Booth, Jenny Strauss Clay, and Amy Odgen and sponsored by the Page Barbour Committee, the departments of English and French, the Institute for Humanities and Global Cultures, the Scholars’ Lab and Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, and other entities at UVa, all events are free and open to the public. Presentations and workshops will open dialogue across different fields (Booth, Strauss Clay, and Ogden are professors of English, French, and Classics, respectively), periods (from ancient to contemporary) and methods, from textual interpretation to digital research. Invited participants include specialists on narrative theory and life writing, prosopography or comparative studies of life narratives in groups, and the diverse field of digital humanities or computer-assisted research on cultural materials, from ancient texts to Colonial archives, from printed books to social media.

Check out for more information.


Unpacking Sexual, Racial, and State Violence

March 24
8:30 am-11 am
Newcomb Ballroom
South Meeting Room

In light of the recent discussions UVa and the nation are having regarding sexual, racial, and state violence, The Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures is organizing a conference entitled "Unpacking Sexual, Racial, and State Violence." Please come and join the discussion of scholars, artists, writers, UVa faculty, and students as they reflect on the challenges of traumatic recall, the intersections of sexual, racial, and state violence, their effects on the human condition, and ideal ways of response and prevention.

Participants will include Syrian Author Nihad Sirees, playwright Heather Raffo, Miriam Cooke of Duke University, Joy James of Williams College, and UVa's own Kate Burke (Drama Department) and Claire Kaplan (Program Director, Gender Violence and Social Change, Women's Center).

9:00. Joy James, Williams College, "Rape, Race and Revenge Politics: The Possibilities of Justice in the Present 'Moment'"

9:30. Nihad Sirees, Syrian Author, "The Challenges of Writing Under the Violence of Militarized Regimes"

10:00. Miriam Cooke, Duke University, "Arts of the Syrian Revolution" 10:30. Q & A

11:00-12:00 Lunch Provided

1:00. Heather Raffo, playwright, "Writing the 'Songs' of Iraqi Women: NINE PARTS OF DESIRE"

1:30. Kate Burke, Department of Drama "Theatrical Witnessing of Trauma"

2:00. Coffee Break

2:30. Claire Kaplan (Program Director, Gender Violence and Social Change, Women's Center), "The Constant Hum In Our Heads: How Gendered Violence Shapes Our Lives"

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein:
The Ancient Quarrel:
Philosophy and Literature

March 31
4:00 pm
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Auditorium
Harrison Institute

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein will give a talk about philosophy and literature. Rebecca Goldstein is the Biennial Trindle Fellow, a novelist, philosopher, and MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow. She is the author of Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, and Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal & Quantum Physics.

Reception to Follow.

This event is presented by Brown College, and co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program and the IHGC.


Lydia headshot

Lydia Brown:
Beyond the Imagined Normal:
Reimagining Disability in an Ableist World

April 6
6:00 pm
Minor 125

From autistic people electric shocked for rocking, deaf people punished for signing, people in wheelchairs thrown to the ground for protesting, and people with psychiatric disabilities locked up for daring to exist, the lives of disabled people are marked by violence. When disability is almost always considered pathology, everything that we who are disabled do is used as a weapon against us. The ways that we naturally move, communicate, think, and learn are treated as evidence that there is something wrong with us. Our bodies and minds are constantly held up to the arbitrary standards of the imagined normal. In response to the political, legal, social, and cultural realities that cause or contribute to rampant violence in the lives of people with disabilities, we have begun to create new ways of doing or being community as we strive toward disability justice and the end of ableism.

Lydia Brown is a queer and disabled activist and writer whose work focuses on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people. Lydia is president and co-founder of the Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective and co-president of TASH New England, while also serving on the Board of Directors of the Autism Women’s Network and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council. Lydia works as a policy analyst at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Additionally, Lydia has served two terms as Undersecretary for Disability Affairs with the Georgetown University Students Association. Previously, Lydia was the 2012 Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 2013, Lydia was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for disability rights. Most recently, Lydia received the Washington Peace Center's Empowering the Future Youth Activist Award for 2014. Lydia’s work has been published in Criptiques, Torture in Healthcare Settings, Tikkun, Black Girl Dangerous, hardboiled magazine, and The Washington Post.

This event is sponsored by the IHGC.


Malcolm Sen:
Adjacent Futures:
The Good Life in the Age of the Anthropocene

April 7
7:00 pm
Location TBD

This talk will elaborate on the spatio-temporal and socio-economic conundrums that shape our current historical moment. The historicity encoded within 21st century neoliberal capital – which has become the barometer of modernity and sovereignty – is, in fact, an elaborate exercise in constructing atmospheric and stratigraphic signatures of its own demise. Such signatures will outlast their subjects, geology will trump history, if we do not reimagine and inhabit alternative definitions of the good life, a socio-psychological framework that translates modernity and sovereignty as consumption in the real economy. In the Age of the Anthropocene and exponential climate change effects consumption becomes perilous and futures seem precarious. How then can we contend with neoliberalism’s temporal vocabulary such as ‘sustainable production’, ‘circular economy’, ‘green futures’ etc.? I argue that it is the humanities, which can unpack such rhetorical devices, and that humanists rather than economists or politicians have the methodological and analytical tools to reveal the inner contradictions of modernity.

Dr. Malcolm Sen is an Irish Research Council Fellow based at Harvard University’s Center for the Environment. He has taught in a number of universities including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, the National University of Ireland Galway and Maynooth University. His previous awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame. His recent publications include a co-edited special issue on postcolonial studies of Textual Practice (with Lucienne Loh) in 2013. This special issue was recently chosen by Routledge to be published in book form (2016). He is the editor of a podcast series ‘Irish Studies and the Environmental Studies’ (2014-2015) which is available via the podcast channel UCD Scholarcast.

This event is sponsored by the IHGC.


Still 5 Abderrahmane Sissako © 2014 Les Films du Worso  Dune Vision_573ec0f6-ca9d-e411-b62a-d4ae527c3b65

Master class with Abderrahmane Sissako

April 10
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Ruffner G008

World-renowned Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako will hold a master class at the University on Friday, April 10, from 1 to 3 PM in Ruffner G008. He will talk about his films, his filmmaking process, and the issues he raises in his films such as exile, African politics, the social possibilities of cinema, and the role of religion in society. Questions may be directed to

Sissako will be in residency at UVA from April 9 through 13, through the support of U.Va.’s Department of French, Office of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts, in partnership with the Paramount Theater, the Institut français and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Additional funding for the visit is provided by the Global Studies Program, Vice Provost for Educational Innovation and Interdisciplinary Studies, Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures, Institute of World Languages, Corcoran Department of History, Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies, Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, Office of African-American Affairs, Kevin Everson/McIntire Department of Art and the Department of Media Studies.



Oscar-nominated film “Timbuktu” followed by discussion with filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako

April 11
7:00 pm
The Paramount

On Saturday, April 11, at 7pm, world-renowned Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako will present his latest film, “Timbuktu,” at a free public screening at the Paramount, and he will be on hand after the screening for a discussion with the audience. “Timbuktu” was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and was one of the five 2015 Academy Award nominees for Best Foreign Language Film. It also raked in seven of France’s coveted César awards, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

This stunningly beautiful film, set in the desert of northern Mali near the World Heritage site of Timbuktu, is Sissako’s masterpiece. It tells the story of a series of dramatic events in the life of a cattle herder and his family, during the 2012-13 Islamist takeover of the northern part of the country. Like all Sissako’s films, it is a detailed and subtle portrait of the human interactions that can sometimes be obscured in media accounts of global conflicts. The gorgeous visual and sound portraits of desert landscapes, people and the historic sites of Timbuktu come to life throughout the film. The dialogue is woven out of a rich linguistic tapestry that includes French, Arabic, English, Bambara, and Songhay, with English subtitles. We invite the community to stay after the screening for what is likely to be an intense and lively discussion of a broad range of issues, including religious extremism, life in contemporary Africa, and the art of filmmaking. Questions may be directed to



Jerry White:
Religion, Violence and Strategy
How to Stop Killing in the Name of God?

April 14
5:00 pm
Minor 125

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jerry White, founder of Survivor Corps, will give a talk asking whether or not a covenant of religions can end violence occurring in the name of God. Jerry White will be teaching a Global Studies course at UVA in the Fall of 2015. The course will teach next-generation leaders and students how to design and evaluate strategies to mobilize social-impact networks to break cycles of violence and enable peace.


Books and Readers in the Pre-Modern World:
A Conference in Honor of Harry Gamble

April 16
4:00pm - 7:00pm
April 17
9:00am - 4:00pm
Harrison-Small Auditorium

This Thursday and Friday, the conference "Books and Readers in the Pre-Modern World" draws together scholars from over five disciplines and covering topics from Ancient Christianity to Tibetan Buddhism to talk about various different facets of book cultures: materiality, transcription, translation, illumination, performance, and interpretation, among many other issues. The conference celebrates, too, the twentieth anniversary of the publication of one exceptionally influential volume in the field, Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts, the seminal work of UVa's Harry Gamble.

We kick things off on Thursday, April 16 at 4pm with a panel on “The Materiality of Books”, followed by a reception. On Friday, we will examine “Literary Cultures” at 9:30am and “Illuminating Manuscripts” at 1:30pm. All are invited. Sessions will take place in the Harrison-Small Auditorium.

The website is here:
Check out the poster here