Fellows Lectures Archive (2011-2012)


     2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Fellow

     MOLLY DOANE
Department of Anthropology 

     Maya Coffee:  Fair Trade Markets and the ‘Social Fix’

     Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 3 p.m.

Institute for the Humanities, lower level, Stevenson Hall
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago

Abstract: This lecture looks at the way fair trade, paradoxically, reinforces mainstream ideas about the benefits of
free trade. Fair trade sells its products by commodifying abstract values such as justice for exchange on the market.

But rather than undermine the justice of markets, fair trade marketing has evolved in such a way that “Smithian”
assumptions about the market —including the idea that equality derives from free trade—are privileged over more
critical messages. Doane’s conclusions are based on ethnographic research on an organic, fair trade coffee
commodity chain originating in Chiapas, Mexico and linked to the US Midwest and the UK. As fair trade has entered
the mainstream, companies have de-emphasized marketing that emphasize the charitable benefits of fair trade
products—messages that commodify the gap between consumers and producers. By anointing the market as a locus
of justice, fair trade offers a reassessment of the market itself, one that implies anti-systemic remedies are not
necessary for justice. Fair trade is a social fix—similarly spatialized—that restores a sense of moral order to an
economically polarized world.

 

A reception will follow.

To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact
Linda Vavra,  312-996-6354

2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Fellow

Catherine Becker
Department of Art History

Scattered Stones: Situating Sculpture from the Buddhist Stupas of Andhra Pradesh

Wednesday, October 12, 2011at 3:00 p.m.

Institute for the Humanities, lower level, Stevenson Hall,
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago

In the second and third centuries of the Common Era the Buddhist sites at Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda were adorned with an abundance of relief sculpture depicting scenes of devotion unfolding around stupas–the mounds constructed to enshrine the relics of the Buddha or other charismatic dead. By considering not only how these “meta-stupas” depict idealized architectural spaces and the bodily and visual practices performed at them, but also how these representations seem to have encouraged the cultivation of prasåda (faith) in their viewers, this lecture reveals the fundamental role of imagery in delivering a transformative experience that served as the perfect substitute for the Buddha’s own presence.

Catherine Becker is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 and joined the UIC faculty in 2007. She is the author of several articles, and was a Harvard University Post-doctoral Fellow, South Asia Initiative, in 2008-2009.

A reception will follow. To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact Linda Vavra, 312-996-6354.

2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Fellow

Sally Sedgwick
Department of Philosophy

Freedom and Necessity in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and Philosophy of History

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.

Institute for the Humanities, lower level, Stevenson Hall,
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago

“Spirit”(Geist) is the subject matter of Hegel’s two works, the Philosophy of History and the Philosophy of Right; and the “essence” of spirit, he says, is freedom.  But in describing the various appearances of freedom in history and in the development of right, Hegel frequently employs the language of necessity.  Indeed, his remarks about necessity sometimes seem to amount to an endorsement of a doctrine of predetermination.  My task in this paper is to highlight a few of Hegel’s reasons for claiming that the necessity of history is compatible with human freedom.

Sally Sedgwick is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her publications include Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and the edited collection The Reception of Kant’s Critical Philosophy:  Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel (Cambridge University Press, 2000) in addition to numerous articles.  Her research has been supported by an Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Research grant, two Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowships and by the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

A reception will follow. To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact Linda Vavra, 312-996-6354.

2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Fellow

Joel Palka
Departments of Anthropology and Latin American and Latino Studies

The Archaeology of Maya Sacred Places and Pilgrimage

Wednesday, January 18, 2012at 3:00 p.m.

Institute for the Humanities, lower level, Stevenson Hall,
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago

Pilgrimages to sacred places are important in world religions. While multi-disciplinary scholarship focuses on Buddhist, Christian, and native South American ritual landscapes and pilgrimages, these topics remain underdeveloped in studies of Mesoamerican civilization. This presentation covers the archaeology, art, and ethnohistory of Maya pilgrimage and ritual at sacred hills, caves, and lakes in Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala. Like other cultures, trade and identity were important in Maya pilgrimage to sacred places. However, politics, territory, and faith also came into play.

Joel Palka is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has published on ancient Maya social organization, religion, and culture change from his studies in Maya hieroglyphic writing, art, archaeology, and ethnohistory. Professor Palka’s recent book Unconquered Lacandon Maya (Florida, 2005) and book chapters focus on Maya culture change in the unconquered rainforests of Mexico and Guatemala following the Spanish colonization of Mesoamerica. He currently directs a multi-national archaeology and anthropology project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Geographic, the National Science Foundation, UIC, and the American Philosophical Society at Lake Mensabak, Chiapas, Mexico, that examines the origins and development of Lacandon Maya culture after the Spanish conquest.

A reception will follow. To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact Linda Vavra, 312-996-6354.

2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Fellow

Ruth Emily Rosenberg
Department of Theatre and Music 

Musicology on Crusade: Villoteau and Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign (1798-1801)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 

Institute for the Humanities, lower level, Stevenson Hall
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago

Abstract:Guillaume-André Villoteau was an opera singer turned scholar who accompanied General
Napoleon Bonaparte on his expedition to Egypt in 1798. His large contribution to the
monumental Description de l’Egypte is an important early study of Arabic music that draws on
his first-hand experience among musicians in Cairo. This talk will explore the musical investment
of the Description through Villoteau’s text, considering the circumstances of its production, its
imperial rhetoric, and its conclusions as a representation of musical encounter within the imperial
contact zone of French-occupied Egypt.

Ruth E. Rosenberg is Assistant Professor of Music in the Department of Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  After receiving her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania she was a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Music at Columbia University in New York from 2006-2008. A specialist in historical approaches to ethnomusicology, Rosenberg’s research is multi-disciplinary, drawing from ethnomusicology, musicology, gender and women’s studies, and postcolonial theory. She has published articles on women’s laments in Corsica and music and French imperialism in the journals Current Musicology and Musical Quarterly.  Her reviews have appeared inPopular Music and Society and Current Musicology.  She trained as a jazz saxophonist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has also studied Japanese gagaku music with ryuteki master Sasamoto Takeshi, and has performed in New York and Tokyo with the New York Gagaku Ensemble.

 

A reception will follow.

To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact
Linda Vavra, 312-996-6354.

 

2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Fellow

MIRELA TANTA
Department of Art History 

State Propaganda or Sites of Resistance: Socialist Realism in Romania, 1970-1989

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Institute for the Humanities, lower level, Stevenson Hall
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago

Abstract: Haunted by the twenty percent of Bucharest torn down for its construction, in 2004 and 2005 respectively, the “Ceausescu Palace” formally opened its doors as the first National Museum of Contemporary Art and as the first democratic Parliament. This multipurpose building (palace, “house of the people,” house for art, house for legislation) provides the point of departure for my research. I focus on the collection of Socialist Realist paintings located in the Museum by inspecting the implementation of Soviet Socialist Realism in Romania. This lecture will explore potential instances of artistic agency during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania suggesting that artists may have used Socialist Realist painting conventions as tactics simultaneously to survive in and to alter the system.

Bio: Mirela Tanta is a doctoral candidate in the Art History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, working on a dissertation titled “Didactic Arts or Sites of Resistance:  Socialist Realism in Romania, 1945-1989.”  Originally from Romania, Tanta came to the United States as an ArtsLink program fellow in poetry and as a guest of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.  Her creative publications include:   Watchword, Another Chicago Magazine, and Milk Magazine. She has presented
her scholarly work at The Art Institute of Chicago, Indiana University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

A reception will follow.

To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact
Linda Vavra, 312-996-6354.

 

2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Dissertation Fellow

Anne Parsons
Department History

Diagnosing Danger: Prisons, Mental Hospitals and Re-institutionalization

Thursday, April 12, 2012at 3:00 p.m.

Institute for the Humanities, lower level, Stevenson Hall,
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago

American policymakers and the public in the mid-twentieth century > rejected the involuntary confinement of people with psychiatric disorders.  One result was the rapid decline of state mental hospitals.  The principle of deinstitutionalization spilled over into penology as small rehabilitative programs proliferated and the number of people in prisons fell in the 1960s and early 1970s. This talk explores the era of deinstitutionalization and how racialized discourses of law and order ended the search for rehabilitative alternatives to the prison and
initiated  the process of mass incarceration, particularly in areas with large urban African American communities.

Anne Parsons is a doctoral candidate in the History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, working on a dissertation titled 徹ur Brothers’ and Sisters’ Keepers:  Psychiatric Hospitals, Prisons and the Institutionalization of Twentieth Century America.” In addition to studying the genealogy of involuntary confinement in America’s prisons and mental institutions, Parsons also works in Public History and the History of Gender and Sexuality. She was a 2010-2011 Balch Institute Fellow (Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Library Company of Philadelphia), and held UIC University Fellowships in 2006-7 and 2009-10, among other awards.

A reception will follow. To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact Linda Vavra, 312-996-6354.

 

2011-2012 Institute for the Humanities Fellow

Amalia Pallares, Departments of Political Science and Latin American and Latino

Families Untied: Immigrant Activism and the Relational Subject

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 3 p.m.

In the last decade hundreds of thousands of undocumented parents have  been deported leaving behind their own families and a growing specter of family separation. In response, the immigrant rights movement has articulated a political discourse that strongly advocates for the legalization of immigrants.  The movement justifies this position on the basis of family
integrity. This lecture analyzes the family frames, strategies, and  actions that have been created in this struggle, highlighting the ways in which  political constructions of family can be simultaneously sites of unity and disagreement, inclusive and exclusionary, empowering and disempowering.

Amalia Pallares is Associate Professor of Political Science and Latin American and Latino Studies.  She studies social movements, ethnicity and race in Latin America and in the  U.S, focusing on the relationship between political activism and identity formation among newly politicized groups. She is the author of From Peasant Struggles to Indian Resistance:
the Ecuadorian Andes in the late Twentieth Century (University of Oklahoma Press, 2002.) and most recently co-edited Marcha: Latino Chicago and the Immigrant Rights Movement(University of Illinois Press 2010).

A reception will follow. To request disability accommodations or for more information, please contact Linda Vavra, 312-996-6354.