IHGC Events November 2012

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Friday, November 16

Guest Lecture: Martha Nussbaum

Lecture on Religious Intolerance: 1 pm
Forum on Higher Education: 3 pm
Minor Hall Auditorium

The IHGC welcomes Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, as this semester’s Global Humanities guest lecturer. In preparation for Prof. Nussbaum’s visit, the IHGC will host a seminar on November 6th at 7pm to familiarize or re-familiarize oneself with her work. The seminar will be led by Tal Brewer, Associate Professor of Philosophy at U.Va. For more information about this seminar, contact Keicy Tolbert.

Monday, November 26

Voice and Virtuality: Teaching With and Without the Body

7 - 9 pm
Garrett Hall Great RoomMap > >

This panel discussion will bring together Andrew Wade (head of the voice department at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1987-2003), Louis Bloomfield of the Department of Physics, Kate Burke of the Drama Department, and Clare Kinney of the English Department.
The panelists will consider the power and purpose of the teacher’s voice at this moment of transformation in the delivery of education. The questions to be addressed include these: Can the face-to-face encounter be replicated in our new media? What has the embodied voice traditionally offered to students? And how can it be – or should it be – sustained, as methods of instruction change?
As universities begin to launch ambitious programs of online teaching, we look for a timely conversation on the place of the human voice in the pedagogical mission of higher education.

Thursday, November 29

Walter Benjamin's Modernity, with Manfred Schneider in presentation and conversation

7 - 9 pm
English Department Faculty LoungeMap > >

Walter Benjamin wrote his Essay Experience and Poverty in the spring of 1933. Facing the end of the Weimar Republic and the very beginning of German fascism, he looked back to the other breakdown of political and cultural order caused twenty years ago by the First World War. Just at this moment he designs a new idea of modernity. Defining modernity in art, architecture, literature as a new start, as a radical beginning, he names the modern artist a new positive barbarian. Once the barbarians put an end to the Roman Empire, now the new barbarians destroy all forms of tradition. These artists like Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, Bertolt Brecht, and Paul Scheerbart are called the “inexorable ones”, since they all have been performing acts of tabula rasa. With keywords like the “barbarian” and the “inexorable”, Benjamin not only describes the appearance of the most radical artists; he also employs two often cited crucial words of fascist rhetoric. He thus insinuates that the Nazi movement came out of the most radical tendencies of modernity. But what is it that characterizes this text unequivocally as an antifascist document? I would like to argue that it is by its very literary character and by some extravagant linguistic expressions, which Roman grammarians would have called “barbarisms”, that the text assumes its antifascist quality. Besides this, there are so many topics and ideas in this text that it offers a brilliant basis for a vivid discussion of modernity from different viewpoints.
This fall term, Manfred Schneider teaches as the 2012 Max Kade distinguished visiting professor at the German Department of UVa. Until May 2012 he served as Professor of German Literature, Media and Aesthetics at the Ruhr-University of Bochum. Two of his books contain long chapters on Benjamin. They can be found in Die erkaltete Herzensschrift. Der autobiographische Text im 20. Jahrhundert (1986) and Der Barbar. Endzeitstimmung und Kulturrecycling (1996). His most recent book, entitled Das Attentat. Zur Kritik der paranoiden Vernunft (2010), presents an historical and discursive analysis of a phenomenon that has haunted human societies for centuries, namely assassinations. Manfred Schneider has not only regularly published articles in academic journals, but he is also writing for major German and European newspapers like Suedeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau and Neue Zuerricher Zeitung, and he has appeared on German radio and TV programs as well. In short, he is part of a strong German tradition, that of the public intellectual.

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