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Past Programs

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  • Fall 2013

     

    Fellows Programs

    2013/2014 Fellows Program. "Diagnosis in Context: Culture, Politics, and the Construction of Meaning," co-directed by Vanessa Beasley (communication studies) and Arleen Tuchman (history). Participants in the program are Gregory Barz (musicology), Laura Carpenter (sociology), Kenneth MacLeish (Medicine, Health, and Society), and Mark Schoenfield (English). The 2013-2014 William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow is Susan Cahn (history, State University of New York at Buffalo).

    2013/2014 Warren Center Graduate Student Fellows. Eight graduate students are participating in the Warren Center's eighth dissertation completion fellowship program. They are Emily August (English), Whitney Laster (sociology), Aoife Laughlin (history, Queen's University Belfast), John Maddox (Spanish & Portuguese), Paul Morrow (philosophy), Aubrey Porterfield (English), Ansley Quiros (history), and Jamie Shenton (anthropology). Emily August is the American Studies Fellow, Paul Morrow is the George J. Graham Jr. Fellow, Aubrey Porterfield is the Elizabeth E. Fleming Fellow, and John Maddox is the Mary and Joe Harper Fellow.

    2014/2015 Fellows Program. "Public Scholarship in the Humanities," co-directed by Joel Harrington (history) and Holly Tucker (French; Medicine, Health, and Society). More information about this fellows program will be released later this fall.

    Special Events

    Sacred Ecology: Landscape Transformations and Ritual Practice Symposium.
    The 2011/2012 Faculty Fellows Program at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities will host a symposium titled "Sacred Ecology: Landscape Transformations and Ritual Practice" on August 30, 2013. The symposium serves as the culminating project of the Fellows' year-long seminar, led by Betsey Robinson (Department of History of Art), Tracy Miller (Department of History of Art), and John Janusek (Department of Anthropology). The guest speakers are Veronica Della Dora (geography, Royal Holloway, University of London), James Robson (East Asian languages and civilizations, Harvard University), Deena Ragavan (independent scholar), and Lindsay Jones (comparative studies, Ohio State University). The symposium will take place in the Sarratt Student Center, Room 189, with a reception afterwards at the Warren Center. Please check our website for more information.

    The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities 25th Anniversary Celebration. The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities will mark its 25th Anniversary this fall with a series of events to be held September 19 and September 20. On September 19 at 4:10 PM in Sarratt Cinema we will screen a documentary film highlighting programs and projects sponsored by the Warren Center over the past 25 years. On Friday, September 20 a series of panels exploring ways that discourse in the humanities has changed over the past 25 years will be featured at the First Amendment Center. Panel members are all former William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellows at the Warren Center. Please see our website for more details about the program.

    "Taking Our Pulse: Promises and Pitfalls of 21st-Century Medicine." In conjunction with the Southern Festival of Books and its sponsor, Humanities Tennessee, the Warren Center's 2013/2014 Fellows are planning a series of talks to take place during the book festival (October 11-13) that will highlight recent publications on this theme.

    The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp). To help facilitate conversations on digital scholarship, the Warren Center's Digital Humanities Seminar, the Center for Second Language Studies, the Curb Center, the Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning, and the Center for Teaching are co-hosting THATCamp Vanderbilt University on November 1-2, 2013. Workshop sessions on Friday, November 1 will feature hands-on instruction on various digital humanities tools and topics. Sessions will continue on Saturday, November 2. More information will soon be available.

    Seminars

    18th-/19th-Century Colloquium. The colloquium brings together faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars to explore ground-breaking scholarship on the arts, cultures, and histories of the 18th and 19th centuries. While loosely focused around British culture, the group also invites scholars from other linguistic and geographic fields to share work and join in the discussion. The group will hold their first meeting in the Warren Center on Friday, September 13 at 2pm with guest speaker Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud (English, University of Tennessee Knoxville). Other guest speakers include Mary Favret (English, Indiana University) on Friday, October 25 at 2pm in the Warren Center and Daniel O'Quinn (English, University of Guelph) on Friday, November 15 at 2pm in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Rachel Teukolsky (English) rachel.teukolsky@vanderbilt.edu, Scott Juengel (English) scott.j.juengel@vanderbilt.edu, and Humberto Garcia (English) humberto.garcia@vanderbilt.edu.

    Behind Bars: The Complex Politics of Incarceration. In this seminar, participants will seek to have conversations with scholars in a wide range of fields and disciplines about a major social and political concern in the 21st century: the prison industrial complex. Through an examination of critical race and queer theory, transnational feminisms, and the work of grassroots activist organizations, participants will engage discourses of prison reform and prison abolition as two distinct methodologies that attempt to address the same pervasive social problem. Reading scholarly work as well as the work produced by activists, we hope to explore how the academy can engage these issues productively and materially. First fall meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinators: Alex Chambers (religion) alexandra.e.chambers@vanderbilt.edu and Tatiana McInnis (English) tatiana.d.mcinnis@vanderbilt.edu.

    Brazilian Studies Reading Group. This graduate student led seminar provides a forum for the discussion of contemporary Brazilian topics. Each semester the group will facilitate interdisciplinary dialogues with pre-circulated readings, discuss works-in-progress by graduate students and faculty, and invite recognized scholars to present new work. We will consider issues in the context of the recent protest movements, which began in São Paulo as a response to increased bus fares, before spreading through most urban centers across the country. Topics for discussion may include traditional power structures, social movements, access to equal education, workers' rights, political corruption, race relations, and income disparity. Meetings and lectures will sharpen our analyses and understanding of contemporary Brazilian problems and the issues facing its citizens. The first meeting will be Friday, September 6 at 3:30pm in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Ashley Larson (Latin American Studies) ashley.d.larson@vanderbilt.edu, Max Pendergraph (history) joseph.m.pendergraph@vanderbilt.edu, and Guilherme Russo (political science) guilherme.russo@vanderbilt.edu.

    Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar. This group reads and treats scholarship that is interdisciplinary in nature, focuses on at least two of the following regions – Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America – and treats some aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and/or postcolonialism. First fall meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinators: Celso Castilho (history) celso.t.castilho@vanderbilt.edu and Jane Landers (history) jane.landers@vanderbilt.edu.

    Digital Humanities Discussion Group. Digital humanities projects are rich new additions to the intellectual life of humanities scholars. If you are currently working on a digital humanities project or hope to do so in the near future, please join this discussion group to learn more about resources and innovations in this area. The direction of the group will be determined by the interests of those who participate. First fall meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinators: Lynn Ramey (French & Italian) lynn.ramey@vanderbilt.edu and Mona Frederick (Warren Center) mona.frederick@vanderbilt.edu.

    Exploring Boundaries: Race and Ethnicity in the 21st-Century United States. How racial and ethnic boundaries continue to shift and transform is an exciting and important topic of intellectual pursuit for scholars of all disciplines. This year-long seminar is designed to facilitate discussion, debate, and collaboration among individuals across campus who are interested in contemporary issues of race and ethnicity. At each of our monthly meetings, participants will bridge theory with practice, engaging with foundational texts in the field as well as with the work of their peers and that of invited speakers. Thematic topics of discussion will include methodological issues in studying race, heterogeneity within racial and pan-ethnic groups, and contemporary social problems. The first meeting will be Tuesday, September 17 at noon in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Samantha Perez (sociology) samantha.l.perez@vanderbilt.edu and Courtney Thomas (sociology) courtney.s.thomas@vanderbilt.edu.

    Film Theory & Visual Culture Seminar. This seminar aims to foster dialogue among faculty and graduate students across campus working in film, visual culture, art history, literature, and cultural studies, as well as anyone interested in theories of the image, philosophies of perception, aesthetics and critical theory, media histories, and the history of vision. The first meeting is Friday, September 27 at noon in the Warren Center with guest speaker Lutz Koepnick (German and film). Other scheduled guest speakers include Paul K. Saint-Amour (English, University of Pennsylvania) and Karen Beckman (History of Art, University of Pennsylvania) on Friday, October 25 at noon in the Warren Center, Lesley Stern (visual arts, UC-San Diego) on Friday, November 8 at noon in the Warren Center, and Ackbar Abbas (comparative literature, UC-Irvine) on Friday, December 6 at noon in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Jennifer Fay (Film Studies and English) jennifer.m.fay@vanderbilt.edu, James McFarland (German) james.mcfarland@vanderbilt.edu, and Paul Young (Film Studies and English) paul.d.young@vanderbilt.edu.

    Gender and Sexuality Seminar. This seminar provides an interdisciplinary forum for the development of critical perspectives on gender and sexuality. The seminar examines how gender and sexuality shape human experience within and across cultures, in different time periods, and as part of social practice. Participants will choose the format with an aim toward balancing new scholarship by graduate students and established scholars, as well as exploring topics of particular interest to the group. First fall meeting: TBD. Please email allison.thompson@vanderbilt.edu if you would like to be on the mailing list. Seminar coordinator: Katherine Crawford (women's & gender studies; history) katherine.b.crawford@vanderbilt.edu.

    Geographic Imaginations and the Spatial Humanities. The spatial humanities, extending from the spatial turn in geographic studies and overlapping with digital humanities, were born of the promise of innovative humanities research that reaches beyond demonstrative mapmaking to spatial analysis of humanities data. Scholars have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to document historic and literary action through space and time, map linguistic and cultural relationships, and model or predict behavior based on specific parameters. In this Robert Penn Warren Center seminar, we will collaboratively explore the historical contexts and theories of the spatial turn, examine specific case studies of spatially-oriented humanities research, and practice mapping our own data with existing spatial technologies. The seminar will include a monthly reading group and complementary workshops, along with visits from two scholars in the field of spatial humanities. The first fall meeting will be Friday, September 6 at noon in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Courtney Campbell (history) courtney.j.campbell.1@vanderbilt.edu, Beth Koontz (anthropology) beth.koontz@vanderbilt.edu, and Scotti Norman (anthropology) scotti.m.norman@vanderbilt.edu.

    Group for Pre-modern Cultural Studies. The purpose of the group is to serve as a forum for those with interests in pre-modern studies, including not only history but language and literature, chiefly, though not exclusively, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, as well as music, art, and culture. The group meets monthly to discuss ongoing research by a faculty member, recent publications in the field, or the work of a visiting scholar. First fall meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinators: Bill Caferro (history) william.p.caferro@vanderbilt.edu and Leah Marcus (English) l.marcus@vanderbilt.edu.

    Literature and Law Seminar. This reading group will meet to discuss current approaches, new challenges, and new possibilities that are offered to legal and literary scholars when they use insights from both fields to illuminate their work. The seminar welcomes anyone interested in the many topics now addressed in this field, including the use of obscenity laws to regulate creative work, the representation of law in literature,
    law as literature, the application of literary methods to legal texts, the challenges of
    constructing "characters" appropriate to literary and legal settings, and the revitalization of law through reference to humanistic texts and approaches. First fall meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinator: Robert Barsky (French & Italian and English), robert.barsky@vanderbilt.edu.

    Mexican Studies Seminar. The goal of this group is to raise the profile of research related to Mexico on the Vanderbilt campus and support members' individual scholarly endeavors regarding this important nation bordering the United States. The group brings together faculty and graduate students from history, political science, literature, sociology, art, anthropology, music, and Latin American studies. At monthly meetings the group will discuss work-in-progress authored by members and invited scholars from beyond Vanderbilt. First meeting will be on Friday, September 13 at noon in the Warren Center with guest speaker Arturo Santamaría Gómez (Professor of Sociology, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Mazatlán). Seminar coordinators: Helena Simonett (Latin American Studies) helena.simonett@vanderbilt.edu and Edward Wright-Rios (history) edward.wright-rios@vanderbilt.edu.

  • Spring 2013

     

    Fellows Programs

    2012/2013 Fellows Program. "The Age of Emancipation: Black Freedom in the Atlantic World," co-directed by Richard Blackett (history), Teresa Goddu (English), and Jane Landers (history) with funding from the John E. Sawyer Seminars program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Participants in the program are Celso Castilho (history), Herbert Marbury (divinity), Catherine Molineux (history), and Daniel Sharfstein (law). Also participating are two graduate students: Emily August (English) and Caree Banton (history). The 2012-2013 Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow is Nihad Farooq (American Studies, Georgia Tech).

    2012/2013 Warren Center Graduate Student Fellows. Eight graduate students are participating in the Warren Center's seventh dissertation completion fellowship program. They are Michael Alijewicz (English), Elizabeth Barnett (English), Cory Duclos (Spanish & Portuguese), Lara Giordano (philosophy), Caroline Hovanec (English), Paddy McQueen (philosophy, Queen's University, Belfast), Rosie Seagraves (Spanish & Portuguese), and Jennifer Vogt (anthropology). Elizabeth Barnett is the American Studies Fellow, Lara Giordano is the George J. Graham Jr. Fellow, Caroline Hovanec is the Elizabeth E. Fleming Fellow, and Rosie Seagraves is the Mary and Joe Harper Fellow. 

    Special Events

    Black Atlantic History Lecture
    James Sweet, Professor of History at University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present the Warren Center's annual Black Atlantic History Lecture on Wednesday, January 23 at 4pm. Professor Sweet's talk, "Inconvenient Truths: The Hidden Histories of African Lisbon During the Era of the Slave Trade" is hosted by the Warren Center's Circum-Atlantic Studies Group and the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center in honor of Black History Month. His talk will take place in the Black Cultural Center, followed by a reception at the Warren Center.

    Journal Publishing
    The Warren Center and the Program in Career Development are co-sponsoring a panel discussion on journal publishing on Thursday, February 28 at 4:10pm in Buttrick 123. The talk will be geared primarily to junior faculty members and advanced graduate students (though anyone, of course, is welcome to attend). Speakers will be Mary Hawkesworth, editor of Signs, and David Schalkwyk, editor of Shakespeare Quarterly. Panelists will address issues related to journal publishing in general and will talk about issues specifically related to their journal editing experience as well. Hawkesworth is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and a member of the Graduate Faculty in Political Science at Rutgers University. Her recent works include Political Worlds of Women: Activism, Advocacy, and Governance in the 21st Century and War and Terror: Feminist Perspectives. Schalkwyk is the director of research at the Folger Shakespeare Library and is the author of Hamlet's Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare and Shakespeare, Love and Service.

    Warren Center Graduate Student Fellows Lecture Series
    This spring, each of the Warren Center's eight graduate students will present a public lecture on his or her research. All lectures take place in the conference room of the Warren Center at 4:10 p.m. and are followed by a reception. More details will soon be available on our website. The presenters and dates are: Paddy McQueen (philosophy, Queen's University Belfast),March 12; Rosie Seagraves (Spanish & Portuguese), March 15; Cory Duclos (Spanish & Portuguese), March 26; Caroline Hovanec (English), April 2; Michael Alijewicz (English), April 15; Elizabeth Barnett (English), April 17; Jennifer Vogt (anthropology), April 23; Lara Giordano (philosophy), May 2.


    Seminars

    18th-/19th-Century Colloquium. The colloquium brings together faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars to explore ground-breaking scholarship on the arts, cultures, and histories of the 18th- and 19th-centuries. While loosely focused around British culture, the group also invites scholars from other linguistic and geographic fields to share work and join in the discussion. The group will hold their first meeting in the Warren Center on Friday, September 7 at 2pm with guest speaker Rachel Ablow (English, SUNY Buffalo). Other guest speakers include Saree Makdisi (English, UCLA) on Wednesday, November 14 at 4pm in the Warren Center and Sara Guyer (English, University of Wisconsin) on Friday, December 7 at 2pm in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Rachel Teukolsky (English) rachel.teukolsky@vanderbilt.edu Scott Juengel (English) scott.j.juengel@vanderbilt.edu and Humberto Garcia
    (English) humberto.garcia@vanderbilt.edu

    Affective Inquiries: Embodiment in Language and Culture Seminar. Beginning with an Aristotelian definition of affect as the "capacity to be acted upon and the capacity to act," this graduate student led seminar will work through philosophical reflections on affect to consider what it is and how it has been used. Paying particular attention to race, gender, and belonging, the seminar will examine how affective investments play a critical role in these areas of inquiry, and will also extend and challenge individual group member's work by bringing forth these reflections in conversation with poetry and film. First meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinators: Geoffrey Adelsberg (philosophy) geoffrey.adelsberg@vanderbilt.edu and Hubert Cook (English) hubert.a.cook@vanderbilt.edu.

    Between Persons and Things: Human Beings and the World of Material Production and Consumption Seminar. This graduate student led seminar seeks to delve into the uneasy relationship between subjecthood and objecthood by looking critically at the study of persons—especially in terms of slavery and colonialism—in conjunction with the study of objects, things, and material culture—an area of inquiry that is particularly fraught in our current post-modern and capitalist world. They also seek to understand how the human might become object or possession, inactive or inanimate, as well as how materiality itself can become sensuous, affective, and vibrant. Discussion topics may include how human beings relate to or react against their material surroundings; the concept of ownership and property; classifications and descriptions of the human and the non-human; and the cultural and social lives of material objects. First meeting: Wednesday, September 12 at 4pm in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Jennifer Bagneris (English) jennifer.bagneris@vanderbilt.edu and Dan Fang (English) dan.fang@vanderbilt.edu.

    Caribbean Studies Reading Group: This seminar focuses on the study of literature, history, politics, culture, and society in the Caribbean Basin, or the nations bordering and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, including the Bahamas and parts of Central and South America, as well as its diaspora in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. This graduate student led seminar will provide a forum for the reading and discussion of seminal Caribbean writers, as well as recent scholarship emerging from and about the region. First meeting: Thursday, September 6 at 1pm in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Annette Quarcoopome (French) annette.quarcoopome@vanderbilt.edu Megan Mishler (Spanish megan.j.mishler@vanderbilt.edu Petal Samuel (English) petal.k.samuel@vanderbilt.edu and R.J. Boutelle (English) russell.j.boutelle@vanderbilt.edu

    Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar. This group reads and treats scholarship that is interdisciplinary in nature, focuses on at least two of the following regions – Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America – and treats some aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and/or postcolonialism. The first speaker will be James Walvin (history, University of York) at 4pm on Tuesday, September 25 in Buttrick 123. Other speakers include Celia Cussen (history, Universidad de Chile) on Wednesday, November 7 at 4pm in Buttrick 123 and Jennifer Anderson (history, SUNY – Stony Brook) on Thursday, November 15 at 4pm in Buttrick 123. Seminar coordinators: Celso Castilho (history) celso.t.castilho@vanderbilt.edu and Jane Landers (history) jane.landers@vanderbilt.edu

    Digital Humanities Discussion Group. Digital humanities projects are rich new additions to the intellectual life of humanities scholars. If you are currently working on a digital humanities project or hope to do so in the near future, please join this discussion group to learn more about resources and innovations in this area. The direction of the group will be determined by the interests of those who participate. The first meeting will be on Wednesday, October 3 with Jacob Thornton (GIS Coordinator, Vanderbilt Library) at noon in the Warren Center. Other events include "Teaching with Blogs" on Tuesday, October 16 at 4pm in the Center for Teaching, THATCamp on November 2-3, and "How to Wiki" on Tuesday, November 6 at 4pm at the Center for Teaching. Seminar coordinators: Lynn Ramey (French) lynn.ramey@vanderbilt.edu and Mona Frederick (Warren Center) mona.frederick@vanderbilt.edu

    Exploring the "Religious Turn" in Early Modern Studies. This graduate student led seminar explores the scope and significance of the "religious turn" which has marked a shift in research methodologies and explanatory paradigms across the humanities, particularly in work relating to the early modern period (c. 1500-1720). The seminar will broaden participants' understanding of this movement and encourage them to discuss ways that addressing religious themes might enhance their own reading and research. In addition, this seminar seeks to bring heightened attention to the polysemous term "religion" as it is utilized in the humanities and a more nuanced understanding of religious studies within scholarly practice. Visiting speakers include Anthony Milton (history, University of Sheffield) on March 22. Seminar coordinators: Amy Gant Tan (history) amy.gant.tan@vanderbilt.edu and Chance Woods (English) chance.b.woods@vanderbilt.edu

    Film Theory & Visual Culture Seminar. This seminar aims to foster dialogue among faculty and graduate students across campus working in film, visual culture, art history, literature, and cultural studies, as well as anyone interested in theories of the image, philosophies of perception, aesthetics and critical theory, media histories, and the history of vision. The first meeting is Friday, September 28 at noon in the Warren Center. Guest speakers include Alison Griffiths (media studies, Baruch College) on Friday, November 16 at noon in the Warren Center and Jan Mieszkowski (German and humanities, Reed College) on Friday, December 7 at noon in theWarren Center.Seminar coordinators: Jennifer Fay (Film Studies and English) jennifer.m.fay@vanderbilt.edu James McFarland (German) james.mcfarland@vanderbilt.edu and Paul Young (Film Studies and English) paul.d.young@vanderbilt.edu

    Food Politics Seminar. This graduate student led seminar aims to continue a transdisciplinary conversation about the
    political, economic, ecological, cultural, spiritual, and nutritional dimensions of foodways, agricultural practices, and consumption habits. Each month will include a meeting focused on a discussion of selected readings, as well as a second meeting oriented toward praxis, engaging with the principles discussed through shared physical or community activities. First meeting: Tuesday, August 28 at 6pm in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinators: Tristan Call (anthropology) tristan.p.call@vanderbilt.edu and Jonathan Coley (sociology) jonathan.s.coley@vanderbilt.edu

    Gender and Sexuality Seminar. This seminar provides an interdisciplinary forum for the development of critical perspectives on gender and sexuality. The seminar examines how gender and sexuality shape human experience within and across cultures, in different time periods, and as part of social practice. Participants will choose the format with an aim toward balancing new scholarship by graduate students and established scholars, as well as exploring topics of particular interest to the group. First spring meeting: TBD. Please email allison.thompson@vanderbilt.edu if you would like to be on the mailing list. Seminar coordinator: Katherine Crawford (women's and gender studies) katherine.b.crawford@vanderbilt.edu

    Group for Pre-modern Cultural Studies. The purpose of the group is to serve as a forum for those with interests in pre-modern studies, including not only history but language and literature, chiefly, though not exclusively, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, as well as music, art, and culture. The group meets monthly to discuss ongoing research by a faculty member, recent publications in the field, or the work of a visiting scholar. First meeting: Tuesday, September 11 at noon in the Warren Center. Seminar coordinator: Bill Caferro (history) william.p.caferro@vanderbilt.edu

    Imagining America:Artists and Scholars in Public Life. The Warren Center and the American Studies Program are co-sponsoring this group to provide opportunities for exchange among faculty members and graduate students who are interested in or who are currently involved in projects that engage public scholarship. Vanderbilt is a member of the national organization, "Imagining America," a consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design. First meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinators: Teresa Goddu (American Studies) teresa.a.goddu@vanderbilt.edu and Mona Frederick (Warren Center) mona.frederick@vanderbilt.edu

    Literature and Law Seminar. This reading group will meet to discuss current approaches, new challenges, and new possibilities that are offered to legal and literary scholars when they use insights from both fields to illuminate their work. The seminar welcomes anyone interested in the many topics now addressed in this field, including the use of obscenity laws to regulate creative work, the representation of law in literature, law as literature, the application of literary methods to legal texts, the challenges of constructing "characters" appropriate to literary and legal settings, and the revitalization of law through reference to humanistic texts and approaches. First meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinator: Robert Barsky (French and Italian), robert.barsky@vanderbilt.edu

    Mexican Studies Seminar. The goal of this group is to raise the profile of research related to Mexico on the Vanderbilt campus and support members' individual scholarly endeavors regarding this important nation bordering the United States. The group brings together faculty and graduate students from history, political science, literature, sociology, art, anthropology, music, and Latin American studies. At monthly meetings the group will discuss work-in-progress authored by members and invited scholars from beyond Vanderbilt. First meeting: TBD. Seminar coordinators: Helena Simonett (Latin American Studies), helena.simonett@vanderbilt.edu and Edward Wright-Rios (history) edward.wright-rios@vanderbilt.edu

  • Fall 2010


    Fellows Programs

    2010-2011 Fellows Program, “Representation and Social Change” co-directed by Laura Carpenter (sociology) and Bonnie Dow (communication studies). Participants in the program are Terence McDonnell (sociology), Vesna Pavlovic (art), Sergio Romero (anthropology), Daniel Usner (history), and Edward Wright-Rios (history). The 2010-2011 William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow is Anne Morey (English, Texas A&M University).

    2010-2011 Warren Center Graduate Student Fellows. Nine graduate students are participating in the Warren Center’s fifth dissertation completion fellowship program. They are Stacy Clifford (political science), Elizabeth Covington (English), Christina Dickerson (history), Jennifer Foley (anthropology), Sarah Glynn (sociology), Clive Hunter (French, Queen’s University, Belfast), Jason Parker (Spanish), Sarah Tyson (philosophy), and Elizabeth Zagatta (religion). Stacy Clifford is the George J. Graham Jr. Fellow, Elizabeth Covington is the Elizabeth E. Fleming Fellow, Sarah Glynn is the American Studies Fellow, Jason Parker is the Mary and Joe Harper Fellow, and Sarah Tyson is the Ethel Mae Wilson Fellow.

    2011-2012 Fellows Program, “Sacred Ecology: Landscape Transformations for Ritual Practice” co-directed by Tracy G. Miller (history of art), Betsey A. Robinson (history of art) and John W. Janusek (anthropology).

    Special Events

    Jim Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will give a lecture entitled “Civility in Fractured Society” on Friday, October 8, at 4:10 p.m. in Wilson 103 to be followed by a reception. Nominated by President Barack Obama, Leach began his four-year term as NEH Chairman on August 12, 2009. Leach previously served 30 years representing southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives. Just prior to becoming Chairman of the NEH, Leach was a member of faculty at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where he was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs.

    Southern Festival of Books. As a part of the 2010 Southern Festival of Books to be held October 8 – 10, Humanities Tennessee and the Warren Center, with additional support from the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership, will be hosting a series of sessions entitled “Building Community in the 21st Century—Perspectives on Civility and Democracy.” More information will soon be available on our website.

    Paul Silvia, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will give a lecture titled “Motivation, Creativity, and (Not) Writing,” on Thursday, November 4, at 4:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. Silvia is the author of How to Write A Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing, Exploring the Psychology of Interest, and Public Speaking for Psychologists: A Lighthearted Guide to Research Presentations, Job Talks, and Other Opportunities to Embarrass Yourself. His campus visit is cosponsored by the Warren Center, the College of Arts and Science Program for Career Development, and the Writing Studio.

    Public Lectures

    Laura Stevens, Associate Professor of English, University of Tulsa, will give a talk, “The New Pilgrim’s Progress, Anglican Longings, and Eighteenth-Century Missionary Fantasies,” on Thursday, September 23, at 4:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. The lecture is sponsored by the Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar.

    Zygmunt Baranski, Serena Professor of Italian, University of Cambridge, will present "Pasolini's Uccellacci and uccellini: Allegories of history," on Thursday, September 30, at 4:00 p.m., location TBA. The event is sponsored by the Ancient and Medieval Studies Seminar and the Department of French and Italian.

    Rafael Marquese, Professor of History, University of São Paulo, will give a lecture titled, “The Proslavery International and the Politics of the Second Slavery,” on Tuesday, October 12, at 4:10 p.m., location TBA. The lecture is sponsored by the Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar.

    Kate Flint, Professor of English, Rutgers University, will present a lecture titled, "Books in Photographs," on Thursday, October 21, at 4:10 p.m., location TBA. Flint’s lecture is sponsored by the 18th/19th Century Colloquium and the Department of English.

    Jill Lane, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, New York University, will present a lecture titled, “Blackface Theater in Cuba,” on Thursday, November 11, at 4:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, final title TBA. The lecture is sponsored by the Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar.

    Seminars

    All seminars meet in the Warren Center conference room unless otherwise noted.

    Ancient and Medieval Studies Seminar. The purpose of the group is to foster interdisciplinary study of the time periods embraced in its title, which means not only history but language and literature, chiefly, though not exclusively, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. The main focus will be on faculty and graduate student research. The group will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, September 8, at noon. Along with the Department of French and Italian, the group will co-host a public lecture by Zygmunt Baranski (Italian, University of Cambridge) titled, "Pasolini's Uccellacci and uccellini: Allegories of history," on Thursday, September 30, at 4 p.m., location TBA. The following day, Friday, October 1, at noon, Baranski will meet with the seminar to present "What's so new about Dante's Vita nova?" A final meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 3, at noon. To be added to the seminar mailing list, contact Kate Rattner at kate.rattner@vanderbilt.edu. Seminar coordinator: Bill Caferro (history) william.p.caferro@vanderbilt.edu.

    Body and Soul Seminar. This interdisciplinary graduate student led group meets to explore the contrasting ways the sciences and humanities make sense of the relationship between the body and soul. Recent scientific work in neuroimaging, psychiatry, and genomics has begun to address morality and identity, topics usually understood through the humanities. Likewise, recent work in feminist and liberationist studies has focused on embodied experience as a subjective source of knowledge, but it remains unclear how this experience of embodiment can be synthesized with the mechanistic body, the object of the “hard” sciences. This seminar seeks to bring together students and scholars working throughout the University and Medical Center campuses to discuss the original work of seminar participants or prominent contemporary readings. Interested participants should attend an organizational meeting at noon on Tuesday, September 28. Coordinators: Kyle Brothers (religion and pediatrics) kyle.brothers@vanderbilt.edu, Trevor Bibler (religion) trevor.m.bibler@vanderbilt.edu, and Daniel Morrison (sociology) dan.morrison@vanderbilt.edu.

    Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar. This group meets monthly and reads and treats works-in-progress authored by participants or other significant work in the field. The focus is on scholarship that is interdisciplinary in nature, focuses on at least two of the following regions – Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America – and treats some aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and/or postcolonialism. On Thursday, September 2, at noon, the group will hold an informational meeting. Laura Stevens (English, University of Tulsa) will meet with the group on Thursday, September 23, at noon, and will give a public lecture, “The New Pilgrim’s Progress, Anglican Longings, and Eighteenth-Century Missionary Fantasies,” that afternoon at 4:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. On Tuesday, October 12, at 4 p.m., Rafael Marquese (history, University of São Paulo) will give a public lecture, “The Proslavery International and the Politics of the Second Slavery,” location TBA. The group will meet on Thursday, October 21, at noon, with guest Peter Hudson (history) presenting “Germaine, Evangeline, and other 'Negro Girls': Rudy Burckhardt's Caribbean.” The final meeting of the semester will be Thursday, November 11, with visiting speaker Jill Lane (Spanish and Portuguese, New York University) at noon. She will also give a public lecture tentatively titled “Blackface Theater in Cuba,” at 4:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. To be added to the mailing list, e-mail Kate Rattner at kate.rattner@vanderbilt.edu. Seminar coordinators: Celso Castilho (history), celso.castilho@vanderbilt.edu and Jane Landers (history), jane.landers@vanderbilt.edu.

    Food Politics and Pedagogy. This graduate student directed working group aims to foster a transdisciplinary conversation about the political, economic, ecological, cultural, spiritual, and nutritional dimensions of foodways, agricultural practices, and consumption habits. Each meeting will include discussion of selected readings, as well as discussion of actionable applications connecting theory and practice. In the coming year the group plans to explore the connections between politics and pedagogy, approaching critically the daily experiences that educate people from and into their places in late capitalist social formations. Meeting topics this fall include the politics of the lunch counter during the Civil Rights movement and the forgotten history of the Sunflower County Freedom Farm Cooperative, among others. The group will gather on Monday, September 13, at 5 p.m. for an organizational meeting. Seminar coordinators: John Morrell (English), john.j.morrell@vanderbilt.edu and C.J. Sentell (philosophy), charles.j.sentell@vanderbilt.edu.

    Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. The Warren Center and the American Studies Program are co-sponsoring this group to provide opportunities for exchange among faculty members who are interested in or who are currently involved in projects that engage public scholarship. Vanderbilt is a member of the national organization, “Imagining America,” a consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design. Meeting dates will be announced later in the semester. Seminar coordinators: Teresa Goddu (American Studies), teresa.a.goddu@vanderbilt.edu, and Mona Frederick, mona.frederick@vanderbilt.edu.

    Interrogating Modernism: Aesthetics, Politics, Culture. This graduate student led seminar is designed to provide graduate students whose interests involve modernism with the opportunity to workshop their writing, read and discuss the work of their colleagues and mentors, and engage with recent developments in relevant scholarship (global modernism, film studies, American studies, identity studies, etc.). The seminar will explore the visual and print culture of the twentieth century with respect to various traditions. Participants will also investigate the emergence of modernism in the early twentieth century from a number of different textual traditions, as well as compare those modernist traditions with their later successors and critiques, such as postmodernism, feminism, and multiculturalism. The group will meet at 11:30 a.m. on the following Fridays: September 10, October 8, and November 12. Seminar coordinators: Matt Eatough (English), matthew.eatough@vanderbilt.edu and Megan Minarich (English), megan.l.minarich@vanderbilt.edu.

    Literature and Law. This reading group will meet to discuss current approaches, new challenges, and new possibilities that are offered to legal and literary scholars when they use insights from both fields to illuminate their work. The range of texts and issues to be discussed will reflect the diversity of the reading group’s participants. The seminar welcomes anyone interested in the many topics now addressed in this field, including the use of obscenity laws to regulate creative work, the representation of law in literature, law as literature, the application of literary methods to legal texts, the challenges of constructing “characters” appropriate to literary and legal settings, and the revitalization of law through reference to humanistic texts and approaches. Faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend. The group will meet on Friday, September 17, at 9:30 a.m. For any inquiries, please contact the seminar coordinator, Robert Barsky (French and Italian), robert.barsky@vanderbilt.edu.

    Mexican Studies Group. The purpose of this new seminar is to raise the profile of research related to Mexico on the Vanderbilt campus and to support members’ individual scholarly endeavors regarding this important nation bordering the United States. The group brings together faculty and graduate students from history, political science, literature, sociology, art, anthropology, music, and Latin American studies. At monthly meetings the group will discuss work-in-progress authored by members and invited scholars from beyond Vanderbilt. The group also aims to organize interdisciplinary seminars and colloquia on matters related to Mexico and the border with the U.S. The seminar will hold an informational meeting on Friday, September 3, at 11:45 a.m. Seminar coordinators: Edward Wright-Rios (History), edward.wright-rios@vanderbilt.edu and Christina Karageorgou-Bastea (Spanish), Christina.karageorgou@vanderbilt.edu.

    “The Play’s the Thing”: A Comparative Look at Early Modern Theater in England and Spain. This graduate student directed seminar will focus on the rise of the commercial theater in early modern England and Spain. It will include the discussion of individual plays from both traditions, such as Julius Caesar, Fuenteovejuna, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, and La traición en la amistad (Friendship Betrayed), as well as of selected criticism. Participants will meet monthly to study these works, with a focus on the historical development of the theatrical traditions and the dynamics of staging and performance. Discussions and materials will all be in English. The seminar will include guest lectures from distinguished scholars specializing in both traditions and will culminate in a performance of scenes from works such as El perro del hortelano (The Dog in the Manger) and Much Ado about Nothing. The group will hold an organizational meeting on Friday, September 10, at 3:10 p.m. Seminar coordinators: G. Cory Duclos (Spanish) g.cory.duclos@vanderbilt.edu, Anna-Lisa Halling (Spanish) anna-lisa.halling@vanderbilt.edu, and Rosie Seagraves (Spanish) rosie.m.seagraves@vanderbilt.edu.

    Postcolonial Theory and its Discontents. This interdisciplinary reading group, organized by graduate students, will discuss recent criticism in the fields of postcolonialism, comparative colonialism, and critical race theory. Such broadly defined and interconnected work has been catalyzed by scholars from and scholarship about the Caribbean, India, and Southeast Asia but has also recently been discussed in relation to various regions throughout the world, including Africa, the U.S., the Gaelic fringe (Ireland and Scotland), and Latin America, among others. The group will consider the usefulness of various buzz words popularized by diverse postcolonial theorists past and present, such as de-colonization, hybridity, paracolonialism, and cosmopolitanism. The seminar will meet on the following Thursdays at 1 p.m.: September 16, October 7, November 18, and December 2. Seminar coordinators: Matt Duques (English), matthew.e.duques@vanderbit.edu and Chris Pexa (English), chris.pexa@vanderbilt.edu.

    Science Studies. This interdisciplinary group is comprised of faculty from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities with a shared interest in the history and sociology of scientific thought and practice, issues of scientific methodology and its application across disciplines, and the social functions of scientific knowledge. Anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to join the conversation. The group will hold an organizational meeting at noon on Monday, September 20. Additional meetings will take place on Monday, October 18, and Monday, November 15, at noon. Please contact Ole Molvig (history), ole.molvig@vanderbilt.edu to be added to the group’s listserv.

    Vanderbilt Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies. This is a forum for those with an interest in literature, history, music, art, and culture from 1400-1800. The group meets monthly to discuss ongoing research by a faculty member, recent publications in the field, or the work of a visiting scholar. Graduate students are particularly encouraged to attend and contribute. A meeting to reorganize this long-running seminar will be held in September, date and time to be announced. To be added to the mailing list, contact Kate Rattner at kate.rattner@vanderbilt.edu. Seminar coordinator: Leah Marcus (English), leah.s.marcus@vanderbilt.edu.

    18th-/19th-Century Colloquium. The colloquium brings together faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars to explore ground-breaking scholarship on the arts, cultures, and histories of the 18th and 19th centuries. While loosely focused around British culture, the group also invites scholars from other linguistic and geographic fields to share work and join in the discussion. For the 2010-2011 academic year the schedule will feature an exciting interdisciplinary mix of lectures and seminars on aesthetics, science, and legal history. The group will meet for the first time on September 17, at 2 p.m., with a presentation from Brian Rejack (English), "Romantic Periodicals and the 'Schooling' of Taste.” On October 21, at 4 p.m., Kate Flint (English, Rutgers University) will give a public lecture, "Books in Photographs," and will meet with the group the following afternoon, October 22, at 2 p.m. for her talk, "Flash! Photography, Writing, and Surprising Illumination." Visiting speaker Caleb Smith (English, Yale University) will close the semester with a seminar presentation titled, "‘At the Court of Hell’: Enthusiasm, Blasphemy, Exhortation,” on November 5, at 2 p.m.. To be added to the listserv, please contact one of the seminar coordinators: Gabriel Cervantes (English), gabriel.cervantes@vanderbilt.edu or Rachel Teukolsky (English), rachel.teukolsky@vanderbilt.edu. For more information about the colloquium and to see a full list of upcoming events, please visit: http://sites.google.com/site/18th19thcolloquium/.

  • 2009/2010


    Fellows Programs

    2009-2010 Fellows Program, “Immigration and the American Experience” co-directed by Daniel B. Cornfield (sociology) and Gary Gerstle (history). Participants in the program were Katharine Donato (sociology), Jonathan Hiskey (political science), Kevin Leander (teaching and learning), Ifeoma Nwankwo (English), Efrén Pérez (political science), and Nina Warnke (European studies/Jewish studies). The 2009-2010 William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow was Jemima Pierre (anthropology, University of Texas at Austin).

    2009-2010 Robert Penn Warren Graduate Student Fellows. Eight graduate students participated in the Warren Center’s fifth dissertation completion fellowship program. They were Elena Deanda-Camacho (Spanish and Portuguese), Gesa Frömming (Germanic and Slavic Languages), Patrick Jackson (history), Sarah Kersh (English), Gail McConnell (English, Queen’s University, Belfast), Elizabeth Meadows (English), Rachel Nisselson (French and Italian), and Matt Whitt (philosophy). Elena Deanda-Camacho was the Mary and Joe Harper Fellow, Patrick Jackson was the American Studies Fellow, and Matt Whitt was the George J. Graham Jr. Fellow. Each of the fellows presented a public lecture on their research in the spring semester.

    Special Events

    Realities and Representations: The 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign. The Warren Center, in conjunction with the Communication Studies Department, brought to campus the final speaker in the lecture series on the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign. Dhavan Shah, Louis A. and Mary E. Maier-Bascom Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, gave a talk on Wednesday, September 30th titled “Network Nation: How Campaign Ads and the Internet Shape Participation,” at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center.

    Harry C. Howard Jr. LectureRosanna Warren, University Professor, Emma Ann MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities, and Professor of English and Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures at Boston University, presented the 2009 Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture on Thursday, October 29th in the Moore Room at the Vanderbilt University Law School. Professor Warren, a renowned poet and critic, and the daughter of the writers Robert Penn Warren and Eleanor Clark, is the author most recently of a book of literary criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry. Her books of poetry include Snow Day, Each Leaf Shines Separate, Stained Glass, and Departure. Professor Warren has received several awards and honors for her work, including the Pushcart Prize, the Award of Merit in Poetry and the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the May Sarton Prize, the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. A dinner was held at the Warren Center after the talk, and among the guests present were Mr. and Mrs. Harry Howard.

    Black Atlantic History LectureSue Peabody, Professor of History at Washington State University, Vancouver, presented the Warren Center’s annual Black Atlantic History Lecture on February 11. Her talk, “Justice on the Margins: Popular and Official Claims to Freedom under French Law,” was hosted by the Warren Center’s Circum-Atlantic Studies Working Group and the Department of History in honor of Black History Month. Additional support was provided by the Department of French and the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. Professor Peabody is most recently the author of Slavery, Freedom and the Law in the Atlantic World. Her talk was given at the Black Cultural Center, followed by a reception.

    Trauma: Memory, the Body, and the Arts. Members of the 2008-2009 Warren Center Fellows Program on “New Directions in Trauma Studies” planned a three-day symposium that was held at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center March 18-20. The symposium, which opened with a film screening of Boy A, directed by John Crowley, with discussion following led by Claire Sisco King (Communication Studies). Visiting speakers included: Jackie Orr, Associate Professor of Sociology, Syracuse University, “Body Animations (or, Lullaby for Fallujah);” Marianne Hirsch, William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and Co-director, Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference, Columbia University, “Objects of Return;” Ellen Bass, author/poet/instructor, Pacific University, “Strange Angels: Poetry as Survival;” Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Associate Professor of Art History, and Director, Program in Visual Studies, University of Pennsylvania, “Apocrypha After the Deluge;” and Kenneth Robinson, M.S., M.T.S., Private Psychotherapist, Yoga for the Emotional Body, Nashville, “Reclaiming Your Body After Trauma: Trauma From a Transpersonal, Body-Centered Perspective.”

    Graduate Student Research Symposium. On Friday, March 26, the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Council presented the Graduate Student Research Symposium with sponsorship from the Warren Center. This annual interdisciplinary conference – featuring public lectures and poster presentations by Vanderbilt’s diverse graduate student body – concluded with a keynote address by Julia Miller Vick, author of The Academic Job Search Handbook. All the symposium’s activities, including the keynote address, occurred in the Student Life Center.

    Seminars

    Ancient and Medieval Studies Seminar. The purpose of the group was to foster interdisciplinary study of the time periods embraced in its title, which means not only history but language and literature, chiefly, though not exclusively, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. Seminar coordinator: Bill Caferro (history). Guest Speakers: Tom Burman (history, University of Tennessee) "Riccoldo da Monte di Croce, O. P., (d. 1320) his Arabic Qur'an and Scholastic Reading Practices."

    Circum-Atlantic Studies Group. This group met monthly and read and treated works-in-progress authored by participants or other significant work in the field. The focus was on scholarship that is interdisciplinary in nature, focused on at least two of the following regions – Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America – and treats some aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and/or postcolonialism. Seminar coordinator: Jane Landers (history). Guest Speakers: The group met to introduce Vanderbilt’s visiting Fulbright scholar from Canada, Christine Rivas. Peter Mancall (history and anthropology, University of Southern California) met with the seminar to discuss his current research. He also delivered a public lecture that afternoon related to his recent book, Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson—A Tale of Mutiny and Murder in the Arctic (Basic Books, 2009). Gabe Cervantes (history) presented a lecture entitled "Defoe's Criminal Atlantic." In the spring, Mariza de Carvalho Soares, (history, Fluminese Federal University, Rio de Janeiro), and Yacine Daddi Addoun (history, York University, Toronto), each presented lectures entitled “African Barbers and Bleeders in Brazilian Slave Ports: A Case Study from Rio de Janeiro" and “Securing Paradise: Salvation through Manumission in the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Algeria,” respectively. Gad Heuman, editor of Slavery and Abolition led “Publishing on the Atlantic World: A Roundtable Conversation.” Later in the semester, Tiffany Patterson (African American and Diaspora Studies) delivered a talk, "Postoccupation Haiti in the Moral Imagination of Zora Neale Hurston." Lauren Clay (history) presented “Justifying the Slave Trade in the Era of Human Rights: M. Chambon’s Le Commerce de l’Amérique par Marseille?” Caitlin Fitz, a doctoral student of history, Yale University, presented “Bolivar, U.S.A.: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions.”

    Feminist Theory Reading Group. This reading group was designed to facilitate a sustained interdisciplinary discussion of feminist theories. The group met to read and discuss canonical as well as recent texts and workshopped members' original research. Seminar coordinators: Natalie Cisneros (philosophy) and Andrea Tucker (religion).

    Food and Sustainability. The aim of this working group was to engage in interdisciplinary conversation about the political (as well as spiritual, ecological, cultural, and nutritional) dimensions of global/local foodways, agricultural practices, and consumption habits. The group met at the Nashville Urban Greenlands project for a field excursion. Seminar coordinators: Amanda Hagood (English) and C.J. Sentell (philosophy). Guest Speakers: The group hosted Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry for a presentation marking the organization's 30th anniversary on October 28. The Food Politics and Sustainability group took a trip to Short Mountain Sanctuary for a presentation by Sandor Ellix Katz of Wild Fermentation.

    Memory and Trauma Studies Working Group. This group was designed to explore the interdisciplinary fields of memory and trauma, with a focus on literary, religious, psychosocial, and neurobiological considerations of memory and trauma. Each meeting consisted of either a presentation of original work by a seminar participant or a discussion of pre-circulated readings. Seminar coordinator: Elizabeth Covington (English).

    Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. The Warren Center and the American Studies Program co-sponsored this group to provide opportunities for exchange among faculty members who are interested in or who are currently involved in projects that engage public scholarship. Vanderbilt is a member of the national organization, “Imagining America,” a consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design. Seminar coordinators: Teresa Goddu (American Studies) and Mona Frederick. Several Vanderbilt faculty members attended the Imagining America conference in New Orleans, including Ifeoma Nwankwo (English), Jonathan Rattner (film studies), and Graham Reside (Divinity School).

    18th-/19th-Century Colloquium. This colloquium featured new scholarship on the arts, cultures, and histories of the 18th and 19th centuries, with an emphasis on work by visiting or Vanderbilt faculty members. While loosely focused around British culture, the group also invited scholars from other linguistic and geographic fields to present work and join in the discussion. Seminar coordinators: Dahlia Porter (English) and Rachel Teukolsky (English). Guest Speakers: Caroline Levine (English, University of Wisconsin, Madison) led a workshop on the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Jonathan Lamb (English, VU) presented “Characters, Persons, and Authors – Who Populates the Early Novel?” Misty Anderson (English, University of Tennessee, Knoxville) presented a talk entitled “Real Theater.” A roundtable session on comparative religion was held with the following participants: Richard McGregor (religious studies), "Comparing Religions in Egypt and Syria: Female Orientalists of the 18th and 19th centuries," Humberto Garcia (English), "The 'Worlding' of Religion and Postcolonial Studies," and Paul Lim (Divinity School and history), "Religion Belonging to No One in Particular: the Fate of Natural Theology in late 17th and early 18th century England." Alan Richardson (English, Boston College) presented "Recent Neuroscience and the Romantic Imagination." Richard Menke (English, University of Georgia), presented "The Wordsworths’ Daffodils: On the Page, upon the Inward Eye, in their Media Ecology," and Lisa Zunshine (English, University of Kentucky) led a meeting discussion. Eileen Gillooly (English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University) met with the group, as did Lauren Goodlad (English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) who closed out the year with her presentation “Toward a Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic.”

    Postcolonial Theory and its Discontents. This interdisciplinary reading group discussed recent criticism in the fields of postcolonialism, comparative colonialism and critical race theory. Such broadly defined and interconnected work has been catalyzed in particular by scholars from and scholarship about the Caribbean, India, and Southeast Asia but has also recently been discussed in relation to various regions throughout the world, including the U.S., the Gaelic fringe (Ireland and Scotland), and Latin America, among others. The group considered the usefulness of various buzz words popularized by diverse postcolonial theorists past and present, such as de-colonization, hybridity, paracolonialism, and cosmopolitanism. Seminar coordinators: Matt Duques (English) and Matt Eatough (English). Guest Speaker: Malini Johar Schueller (English), University of Florida, "Post-Orientalism, Neoliberal Feminism and Afghan Women."

    Queer Theory Graduate Student Reading Group. This seminar met to discuss emergent issues in queer theory and its intersections with theories of gender, race, class, sexuality, and history. Meetings alternated between reading-based discussions and workshop formats. During workshops, seminar participants volunteered their work for feedback from the larger group; discussions worked to explore the ways in which current issues within the scope of queer theory are developing across disciplinary boundaries. Seminar coordinator: Jane Wanninger (English).

    Reclaiming Citizenship. This interdisciplinary group was designed to explore theories of citizenship that will be translated into a useable pedagogical framework. The group discussed, as scholars and teachers, what it means to be an active citizen both locally and globally. Discussions of these theoretical concerns were used to construct syllabi for use by group members. Seminar coordinator: Sarah Kersh (English).

    Science Studies. This interdisciplinary group began during the spring semester and was comprised of faculty from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The members shared an interest in the history and sociology of scientific thought and practice, issues of scientific methodology and its application across disciplines, and the social functions of scientific knowledge. Seminar coordinators: Ole Molvig (history) and Dahlia Porter (English). Guest Speaker: Barbara Herrnstein-Smith (English) Duke.

    Vanderbilt Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies. This group met as a forum for those with an interest in literature, history, music, art, and culture from 1400-1800. The group gathered monthly to discuss ongoing research by a faculty member, recent publications in the field, or the work of a visiting scholar. Seminar coordinator: Leah Marcus (English). Guest Speakers: Bill Bulman (history) presented, “Politics on the London stage in the summer of 1673.” Holly Crocker (English, University of South Carolina) gave her talk titled, "Performativity and Virtue: Ethics in Early Modern Culture." Carl Smith (English, Northwestern University) delivered a talk titled, "What's in a Name? The Evolution and Devolution of Michelangelo's Signature." Antoinette Sutto (history) led a meeting discussion. Jonathan Sawday (English, St. Louis University) presented, "Blanks, Voids, and Absences,” and Erec R. Koch (French, University of Tennessee, Knoxville) gave his talk, “Taste before Aesthetics: Morvan de Bellegarde’s Essai sur le bon gout.”

    Other Projects

    Who Speaks for the Negro? Website Development. We have secured additional funding from a donor (who wishes to remain anonymous) to continue to develop and upgrade the website. We will be adding all written material from Warren’s papers that pertain to this project, as well as photos and other related materials. We continue to work with the library and an outside vendor to complete this project.

    Katherine Carroll, assistant professor of political science, delivered a lecture entitled "The Green Bubble: My Year in Baghdad as an Embedded Professor" on September 17 in the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. Professor Carroll was a participant in the Human Terrain Systems Program, a United Stated military plan which placed social scientists with combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this capacity, she was in Iraq from April 2008 through April 2009.

    David Johnston, Head of the School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts and Professor of Hispanic Studies at Queen's University, Belfast, presented a talk, "The Translator-Practitioner's Visibility? Lope de Vega and García Lorca in English," on November 19.

    The First Book. The Warren Center and the College of Arts and Science’s Program for Career Development co-sponsored a panel discussion called “First Book” on April 14, focusing on the first book publication by a humanities scholar. Shannon McLachlan (Humanities Editor, Oxford University Press) and Kate Torrey (Director, University of North Carolina Press) gave presentations on issues related to publishing the first academic book in the humanities. A lively question and answer session followed their presentations. The next day, Kate Torrey and Shannon McLachlan met for individual sessions with interested scholars.

    National Humanities Alliance Advocacy Event. The Warren Center supported travel for Teresa Goddu (English and American Studies) and Donald Jellerson (English) to meet with members of the Tennessee congressional delegation in Washington D.C. and their respective staffs as part of an annual advocacy event organized by the National Humanities Alliance to convey the importance of Congressional support for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The meetings took place in March 2009.

  • 2008/2009

    Fellows Programs

    2008-2009 Fellows Program, “New Directions in Trauma Studies” directed by Vivien Green Fryd (history of art). Participants in the program were Laura Carpenter (sociology), Kate Daniels (English), Jon Ebert (psychiatry), Christina Karageorgou-Bastea (Spanish and Portuguese), Claire Sisco King (communication studies), Linda Manning (psychiatry), and Charlotte Pierce-Baker (Women’s and Gender Studies/English). The 2008-2009 William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow was Maurice Stevens (Comparative Studies, The Ohio State University). Guest Speakers: On September 15, 2008, the Trauma Studies Fellows were joined at their weekly meeting by E. Ann Kaplan (English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, Stony Brook University). Professor Kaplan, a renowned scholar of cultural studies, media, and women’s studies, gave a public lecture later that day entitled, “Global Trauma, Empathy, and Public Feelings: Viewing Images of Catastrophe” in the Black Cultural Center auditorium. The Fellows also hosted Lenore Terr, a child psychiatrist specializing in repressed memory and post-traumatic stress syndrome, on November 10. Dr. Terr met with the Fellows over lunch, and then gave the public lecture “How Long Can a ‘Bad Scene’ Hang On: Childhood Trauma in Adult Art, Literature, and Film” that afternoon in Light Hall at the Medical Center. The following week on November 17, Rosanne Kennedy (Gender, Sexuality, and Culture, The Australian National University) met with the group to discuss her work on trauma in relation to the Stolen Generations and the Holocaust.

    2008-2009 Robert Penn Warren Graduate Student Fellows. Seven graduate students participated in the Warren Center’s third dissertation completion fellowship program. They were Jeffrey Edmonds (philosophy); Donald Jellerson (English); Sonalini Sapra (political science); Derrick Spires (English); Laura Taylor (religious studies); Jonathan Wade (Spanish and Portuguese); and David Wheat (history). Sonalini Sapra was the George J. Graham, Jr. Fellow, Derrick Spires was the American Studies Fellow, and Jonathan Wade was the Mary and Joe Harper Fellow. Each of the fellows presented a public lecture on their research in the spring semester.

    Special Events

    A Place for the Humanities. The year 2008 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. To celebrate this achievement, the Center hosted a series of diverse activities throughout 2008. The series, entitled “A Place for the Humanities,” featured four events last spring that highlighted the centrality of the humanities on our campus. For the fifth and final event in the anniversary series, Bruce Cole, eighth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, gave a public lecture entitled “The State of the Humanities” on Friday, September 5th. Presented in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Office as part of its Chancellor’s Lecture Series, the evening began with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the talk at 6 p.m. in Ingram Hall of the Blair School of Music. This capstone event in the Warren Center’s 20th anniversary celebrations was free and open to the public. Following the public lecture, a reception for faculty and supporters of the Warren Center was held at 211 Deerpark Drive, where Mona Frederick was honored by the Executive Committee for her 20 years of service.

    Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture. Roy Blount Jr., acclaimed author, humorist, and Vanderbilt alumnus (B.A. ’63) presented the 2008-2009 Harry C. Howard, Jr. Lecture on October 30, 2008 in the Flynn Auditorium of the Law School. Blount is the author of twenty books that cover wide-ranging topics such as rambles in New Orleans to the thoughts of barnyard animals to hanging out with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His latest work is entitled Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory. Blount’s career is as diverse as his subjects. He is a contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly, a regular guest on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” a columnist for Oxford American, the president of the Authors Guild, and a member of PEN and the Fellowship of Southern Authors. A dinner was held at the Warren Center after the talk, and among the guests present were Senator Lamar Alexander and his wife, Honey Alexander.

    Realities and Representations: The 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign. Over the course of the academic year the Warren Center, in conjunction with the Communication Studies Department, presented a series of lectures on the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, bringing to campus several leading scholars and critics to reflect upon the historic nature of the presidential race, as well as to examine the ways in which mass media are shaping our national response to the campaign. First in the series was Susan Carroll, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, who spoke at 4:10 p.m. on Monday, September 22 in the auditorium of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. Her topic was “Gender and Hillary Clinton’s Campaign: The Good, the Bad, and the Misogynic.” Peter Applebome, columnist for the New York Times, presented the next lecture in the series, “All the News That’s Fit to Blog,” on October 13. A lecture entitled “A New Birth of Freedom: Barack Obama and the Rhetorical Uses of History” was given by John Murphy, Associate Professor of Speech Communication at the University of Illinois, on February 16, also at the Black Cultural Center.

    Black Atlantic History Lecture. Vincent Brown, Dunwalke Associate Professor of American History at Harvard University, presented the Warren Center’s annual Black Atlantic History Lecture on February 2. His talk, “The Reaper’s Garden: Social Death and Political Life in Slavery,” was hosted by the Warren Center’s Circum-Atlantic Studies Working Group and the Department of History in honor of Black History Month. Additional support was provided by the Program in African-American and Diaspora Studies, the Program in American Studies, the Vanderbilt History Seminar, and the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. Professor Brown, a scholar of African Diaspora studies and the history of slavery, is the author of The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery. His talk was given at the Black Cultural Center, followed by a book signing and reception.

    Graduate Student Research Symposium. On Monday, March 30, the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Council presented the Graduate Student Research Symposium with sponsorship from the Warren Center. This annual interdisciplinary conference – featuring public lectures and poster presentations by Vanderbilt’s diverse graduate student body – concluded with a keynote address at 4:10 p.m. by Susan Basalla May, author of So What Are You Going to Do With That?: Finding Careers Outside of Academia. All the symposium’s activities, including the keynote address, occurred in the Student Life Center.

    Black Europe Documentary Film Debut. The 2007-2008 Fellows of the Warren Center met for a year-long program on “Black Europe, or Diaspora Studies In/On Europe.” Their weekly meetings and lectures by visiting speakers were recorded by documentary filmmaker Lyle Jackson, and have been compiled into a short educational film on Black Europe. On Wednesday, March 18, the Warren Center hosted the premier screening of the film at the Black Cultural Center as the capstone project of the Black Europe Fellows.

    Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Forum. The Program in Women’s and Gender Studies initiated a collaborative venture with the Warren Center in the spring 2009 semester. On April 3, the Center hosted a mini-conference titled “Intersections: Gender, Law, and Literature.” The day-long event featured presentations of original research by undergraduates from Women’s and Gender Studies classes. The event was designed to give the students an opportunity to present publically and participate in an academic-style forum. The sessions were attended by over thirty students and faculty throughout the day, and all the proceedings were videotaped for the WGS archive. The forum’s success solidified plans to make it an annual event at the Warren Center.

    Seminars

    Ancient and Medieval Studies Seminar. The purpose of the group was to foster interdisciplinary study of the time periods embraced in its title, which means not only history but language and literature, chiefly, though not exclusively, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. The group met on September 24, November 5, and December 3 in the fall semester. In the spring semester, the group convened on February 10 and again on March 10. Seminar coordinator: Bill Caferro (history). Guest Speakers: On October 22 Nancy Warren (English, Florida State University) presented “Incarnational Legacies: Julian of Norwich, the English Benedictine Nuns of Cambrai and Paris, and Grace Mildmay.” Rebecca Benefiel (classics, Washington and Lee University) spoke on graffiti at Pompeii (co-sponsored w/ Classical Studies) to start off the spring semester on January 27. On April 17 Hans Goette spoke on Greek archaeology—a talk that was co-sponsored with Classical Studies. To conclude the semester, the group heard a paper by John Thompson of Queen’s University, Belfast: “Early Book History in the Twenty-first Century: The Possibilities and Challenges of ‘Cultural Mapping.’”

    Circum-Atlantic Studies Group. This group met monthly and read and treated works-in-progress authored by participants or other significant work in the field. The focus was on scholarship that is interdisciplinary in nature, focuses on at least two of the following regions – Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America – and treats some aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and/or postcolonialism. The group met on September 17 and November 19 in the fall semester. In the spring semester the group met on March 9 to hear David Wheat, graduate student in the department of history, present a public lecture as part of the Warren Center’s Graduate Student Fellows Lecture Series. Seminar coordinator: Jane Landers (history). Guest Speakers: Laurent Dubois (history, Duke University) was the group’s first visiting speaker on October 16. He shared from a new book project in progress, “Banjo: A Cultural History.” The group’s annual Black Atlantic History Lecture took place on February 2. The speaker this year was Vincent Brown, Dunwalke Associate Professor of American History at Harvard University. Further details about his talk are listed above under Special Events.

    Feminist Theories Reading Group. This new reading group was designed to facilitate a sustained interdisciplinary discussion of Feminist Theories. The group met to read and discuss canonical as well as recent texts and workshop members' original research on February 5, March 19, and April 23. Seminar coordinators: Natalie Cisneros (philosophy) and Andrea Tucker (religious studies).

    Food Politics Reading and Working Group. This working group aimed to engage in interdisciplinary conversation about the political (as well as spiritual, ecological, cultural, and nutritional) dimensions of global/local foodways, agricultural practices, and consumption habits. The group met on September 29, October 27, November 17, and December 15 to address a broad range of topics: Thomas Jefferson and the roots of agrarian thought and politics in the United States, Booker T. Washington and African-American agrarian movements, the history and politics of gardening, and the New Agrarians – Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, and Vandana Shiva. Each meeting included discussion of selected readings as well as discussion of actionable applications of the readings to local food politics concerns. The group also convened four times in the spring: January 12, February 23, March 16, and April 20. Participants addressed topics ranging from ‘radical’ agrarianism, to Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya movement in India, to the shape of the contemporary U.S. food politics scene after the recent Farm Bill and under the new Obama administration. The April 20 meeting was held at Nashville Urban Harvest. Seminar coordinators: Amanda Hagood (English) and C.J. Sentell (philosophy).

    Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. The Warren Center and the American Studies Program co-sponsored a seminar to provide opportunities for exchange among faculty members who are interested in or who are currently involved in projects that engage public scholarship. Vanderbilt has recently joined the national organization “Imagining America,” a consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities and design. On October 14, participants heard a presentation from Peabody graduate student Cheri Hoffman and Professor Ifeoma Nwankwo on the annual Imagining America Conference. Evan Carton, founder of the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, met with the group on November 11 to discuss his work in public humanistic scholarship through his paper “The Mark of the Humanities.” Later that day, Carton gave a public lecture “John Brown, Constitutional Evil, and Ontological Insurrection.” Seminar coordinators: Teresa Goddu (American Studies), Mona Frederick.

    Nineteenth Century Seminar. This group focused upon the history, art, literature, and culture of the long nineteenth century (ca. 1789-1914). While the focus has been traditionally on Britain, the group’s perspective widened to encompass the transatlantic nineteenth century. Jay Clayton (English) began the semester on October 17 with a talk entitled “The Future of Victorian Literature” followed by Rachel Teukolsky (English) leading the meeting on October 29. The group met on February 27, March 13, and April 10 in the spring semester. Seminar coordinators: Erin Spinka (English) and Elizabeth Meadows (English). Guest Speaker: On January 23 Tricia Lootens, Associate Professor of English and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia, discussed her work with seminar participants.

    Queer Theory Graduate Student Reading Group. This seminar met to discuss emergent issues in queer theory and its intersections with theories of gender, race, class, sexuality, and history. Meetings alternated between reading-based discussions and workshop formats. During workshops, seminar participants volunteered their work for feedback from the larger group; discussions worked to explore the ways in which current issues within the scope of queer theory are developing across disciplinary boundaries. The reading group came together on September 19, October 24, November 21, January 30, February 27, March 31, and April 17. Seminar coordinators: Jane Wanninger (English) and Rob Watson (French & Italian).

    Reclaiming Citizenship. This interdisciplinary group gathered to explore theories of citizenship that could be translated into a useable pedagogical framework. As a working group, they used discussions of these theoretical concerns to construct syllabi for use by group members and sponsoring programs. The group met for discussion on October 23, November 13, December 11, January 29, February 26, March 26, and April 23. Seminar coordinator: Derrick Spires (English).

    Trauma Studies Graduate Student Reading Group. This graduate student reading group was designed to explore the interdisciplinary field of trauma studies with a focus on literary, religious, psychosocial, and neurobiological considerations of trauma. The organizers share an interest in the traumatic impact of war from the Civil War to the present, but did not restrict discussion to this area. The group’s inaugural event was a screening of the film “Divided We Fall” on September 11 in the Sarratt Cinema followed by a discussion with the audience. Several meetings followed: September 12, October 10, November, January 16, February 20, and April 24. Seminar coordinators: Zo Newell (Graduate Department of Religion) and Elizabeth Covington (English).

    Vanderbilt Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies. This interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students interested in literature, history, music, art, and culture from 1400-1800 met monthly to discuss ongoing research by a faculty member, recent publications in the field, or the work of a visiting scholar. On September 23, Paul Lim (Divinity) began the seminar series with a talk entitled “Heresy, Anti-clericalism and the Council of Nicaea: Hobbes and Baxter on Reading the Christian Past.” Michael Neill continued the series with a presentation on October 23. A later meeting, on November 13, was led by Roger Moore, and Peter Lake presented on December 9. Lynn Enterline shared her scholarship on February 5, followed by Barbara Bowen who presented “Facetious Ladies in a 16th-century French Story Collection” on February 26. The seminar meetings concluded on March 26 when Donald Jellerson gave a talk based on his research. Seminar coordinator: Leah Marcus (English).

    Other Projects

    Dr. A. Scott Pearson, Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Surgical Oncology Division at Vanderbilt Medical Center, read from his first novel, Rupture, a medical mystery, on March 23, 2009. Pearson was a participant in the 2003-04 Warren Center Fellows Program “Medicine, Health, and Society.”

    Humanities Indicators Project. Leaders in the humanities from various Vanderbilt departments including English, history of art, communication studies, American studies, philosophy, Jewish studies, and religious studies met at the Warren Center on April 1, 2009 to discuss the Humanities Indicators, a statistical picture of the state of the humanities in the United States compiled by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Miguel Tamen. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies, and the Warren Center jointly hosted a talk entitled “Portuguese Articles” by Miguel Tamen, Professor of Literary Theory at University of Lisbon, on April 10, 2009.

    Global Humanities Initiative, Wake Forest University. Mona Frederick gave the keynote address, “Why A Humanities Center?”, at this campus-wide symposium at Wake Forest on April 23. She also met with various campus administrators to talk about the university’s plans for establishing a humanities center at Wake Forest.

  • 2007/2008

    Fellows Programs

  • 2007-2008 Fellows Program, “Black Europe, or Diasporic Research in/on Europe” co-directed by Tracy Sharpley-Whiting (African American and Diaspora Studies/French) and Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr. (African American and Diaspora Studies/philosophy). Participants in the program were Kathryn Gines (African American and Diaspora Studies/philosophy), Devin Fergus (history), Catherine Molineux (history), Ifeoma Nwankwo (English), Tiffany Patterson (African American and Diaspora Studies), and Hortense Spillers (English). The 2007-2008 William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow was Tina M. Campt (Women’s Studies/German, Duke University). Guest Speakers: Dorothea Smartt joined the Fellows for a lunch meeting on September 25th to discuss her work as a black poet and performance artist in the Europe. She presented a spoken word session that evening, and a poetry workshop the following day (see Special Events). On February 13th the group hosted Allison Blakely (African American Studies, Boston University) for its weekly meeting. Jemima Pierre (African and African American Studies, University of Texas at Austin) presented her paper “‘You Are Rich Because You Are White’: Whiteness and Ideologies of Race in Modern Ghana” to the Fellows on March 12th, and Trica Keaton (American Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) gave the talk “Racialization and Rioting in France: Perspectives from the Subaltern” on March 19. Peary Brug (Senior Lecturer in Psychology, St. Mary’s University College) shared his research from “Race, Ethnicity, Identification and Preference among Minority and Majority Adolescents in the Netherlands” on April 2nd. Lastly, on April 16th the group had an informal discussion with Angela Y. Davis (History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz) as part of her visiting professorship at Vanderbilt in April 2008.

    2007-2008 Robert Penn Warren Graduate Student Fellows. Seven graduate students participated in the Warren Center’s second Dissertation Completion Fellowship Program. They were Michael Callaghan (anthropology), Josh Epstein (English), Megan Moran (history), George Sanders (sociology), Nicole Seymour (English), David Solodkow (Spanish and Portuguese), and Heather Talley (sociology). In the spring semester, they each presented a public lecture about their research.

    Special Events

    Dorothea Smartt. Poet and performance artist Dorothea Smartt has received critical attention around the world for tackling multilayered cultural myths and the real life experiences of black women. Born in London of Barbadian heritage, Smartt has written extensively on the black European experience, and was invited to Vanderbilt by the Warren Center for the 2007-2008 Black Europe Fellows. During her visit – organized by Professor Ifeoma Nwankwo, and co-sponsored by the Black Cultural Center, the Department of English, and the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies – Smartt presented two public events at Vanderbilt: a spoken word performance on September 25th, and a poetry workshop on September 26th. In addition, she met with the Black Europe Fellows during their regular meeting time to discuss her work and life.

    Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture. Charles S. Maier, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History at Harvard University, presented this year’s Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture at 4:10 p.m. on Monday, October 29th in the Flynn Auditorium of Vanderbilt Law School. Maier, a renowned scholar of European social and intellectual history, is the author of Among Empires: American Ascendancy and its Predecessors (2006), and has written or edited books on communism, the Holocaust, national identity, political economy, the politics of inflation, the Marshall Plan, and other themes. Together with William Kirby and Sugata Bose, Maier is collaborating on a global history of the twentieth century, and he is writing a history of modern territoriality. He has been the recipient of several distinguished fellowships, including those from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies from 1994-2001, and again in autumn 2006. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991.

    Between Word and Image Symposium. On October 25th and 26th, the Warren Center sponsored a two-day campus symposium organized by its 2006-2007 “Between Word and Image” Fellows and designed to coincide with a Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery exhibition co-curated by the Warren Center Fellows and the gallery’s director, Joseph Mella. The exhibition, “More Than One: New Contemporary Prints and Multiples from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Collection," on view from October 4 - December 7, 2007, showcased the gallery’s recent acquisitions in the permanent collection, and highlighted those which reflect the relation between word and image, a question the seminar group spent the year exploring. In addition, the Fellows commissioned local artist Erika Johnson to create an original installation to be included in the exhibition. Following the Fine Arts Gallery exhibition, Johnson’s art work went on permanent display at the Warren Center. The concurrent symposium featured a keynote address, “Before and After: Two Decades After the Sistine Chapel Controversy,” by Arthur C. Danto, Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation, on October 25th. A lunchtime lecture on October 26th “The Authorized Version: The Power of Word and Image in Text, Utterance, and Display” was given by David Morgan, Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Professor in Christianity and the Arts at Valparaiso University, a prolific scholar of the history of religious images.

    Graduate Student Research Day. On Monday, March 30th, the Warren Center co-sponsored the keynote address of Graduate Student Research Day, given this year by James Lang (English, Assumption College). Professor Lang is the author of Life on the Tenure Track, and gave the keynote address “Research on the Tenure Track” to an audience of approximately 75 graduate students who had participated in Graduate Student Research Day activities, including panels and poster sessions. The Warren Center worked with representatives from the Graduate Student Council to plan the keynote address and to assist in organizing Research Day for Vanderbilt’s graduate students from many disciplines.

    A Place for the Humanities. The spring of 2008 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. To celebrate this achievement, the Center planned a series of diverse activities throughout 2008. The series, entitled “A Place for the Humanities” featured five events that highlighted the centrality of the humanities on our campus. On February 7th, the Warren Center co-sponsored a lecture by the activist Rigoberta Menchú. Menchú, the recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, is widely known as a leading advocate of human rights and ethno-cultural reconciliation, not only in her native Guatemala but around the world. Her talk was held in the Benton Chapel Auditorium. Menchú came to Vanderbilt thanks to the efforts of the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies, with whom the Warren Center co-sponsored the event.

    On March 13th and 14th, several influential scholars from Europe and the United States convened for the Warren Center’s symposium “Thinking with Franz Rosenzweig.” This international gathering focused on Franz Rosenzweig, one of the most trenchant intellectuals, religious or secular, Jewish or non-Jewish, of the twentieth century. The symposium was presented in association with the Vanderbilt University Library, the Program in Jewish Studies, the Max Kade Center for European Studies, and the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture. Participants in the symposium included: Helmut Walser Smith (history), Barbara Hahn (German), Meike Werner (German), Jim McFarland (German studies, Connecticut College), Gesine Palmer (religious studies, University of Luzerne), Nils Roemer (history, University of Texas, Dallas), Steve Dowden (German, Brandeis University), and several Vanderbilt graduate students.

    Friday, April 4th, 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Warren Center commemorated this occasion with a conference April 3rd – 5th, entitled We Speak for Ourselves: A Poet, a Prophet, and Voices for the 21st Century. The conference took as its starting point Robert Penn Warren’s 1965 volume Who Speaks for the Negro?, in which Warren records interviews he conducted with dozens of major civil rights leaders, including King. The Warren Center worked with Professor Lucius T. Outlaw and Reverend James M. Lawson, along with partners at the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, to create a program that would revisit unresolved questions raised in the book and by its provocative title. The Warren Center invited a diverse group of scholars and activists, including five of the original interviewees from Who Speaks for the Negro?, to participate in several activities over the course of the three days. On April 3rd, the group attended a screening of the film Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, produced by Lolis Eric Elie, a journalist and writer whose father, Lolis Elie, was interviewed by Warren for Who Speaks for the Negro?. On Friday, April 4th, the anniversary of King’s death, Angela Davis, Professor of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, gave a lecture entitled “We Are Not Now Living the Dream: Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Human Rights in the 21st Century” to an overflow audience of nearly 500. Later that day, the group joined in a panel discussion of Warren’s book, which featured Houston Baker, Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English at Vanderbilt University; Richard King, Professor of American Intellectual History at the University of Nottingham; and Ruth Turner Perot, Executive Director of the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, who was interviewed by Warren in 1964 when she was Executive Secretary of the Cleveland Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). A keynote address by Reverend James M. Lawson, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt University, who was also interviewed for Warren’s Who Speaks for the Negro?, took place that evening at the Fisk University Chapel, with a performance by the Fisk University Choir. The group of participants also gathered for a final full day of closed-door sessions to continue the much-needed conversation on community and justice in the history and future of the movement. All the sessions of the conference were recorded on video, and join the original audio recordings and Warren’s notes and correspondence on the complete web archive of Who Speaks for the Negro? developed and hosted in conjunction with the Jean and Alexander Heard Library.

    On Saturday, April 12th, the Warren Center hosted a rousing concert at the Blair School of Music. Dale Cockrell, Professor of Musicology, worked for many years to produce faithful recordings of the music documented in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books. The concert brought together talented musicians and special guests to give a public performance of these historic Appalachian songs. The musicians included: Allison Brown, Matt Combs, Rachel Combs, Pat Enright, Buddy Greene, Karen Krieger, Andy Todd, and Andrea Zohn. Professor Cockrell was the master of ceremonies for the evening; Terryl Hallquist (theatre) narrated many passages from the Little House on the Prairie books; and the 4th grade class from Oak Hill School performed a dance to “The Irish Washerwoman.” The event, presented with the Blair School of Music, was free and open to the public, and nearly 200 audience members attended the concert.

    Seminars

    American Studies Working Paper Series. This group brought together faculty and graduate students interested in American Studies to meet to discuss participants’ work-in-progress. The format of the Series was as follows: papers were circulated before the meeting; speakers gave a short introduction to their paper followed by two formal comments (one from a participant inside the discipline and one from outside the discipline); then the rest of the group joined in with additional comments. The goal of the group was to create interdisciplinary dialogue and to provide an opportunity for the American Studies community to learn about the research of its members. Seminar coordinator: Teresa Goddu (English/American Studies). Guest Speakers: For the first meeting of the semester, September 20th, Susan Schulten (history, University of Denver) presented a paper on “The Cartography of Slavery and the Authority of Statistics.” On November 1st, Stephanie Lindquist (political science) gave the paper “Who’s the Activist? Comparing Justices from Rehnquist, Burger, and Warren Courts.” Christopher Freeburg (English, University of Illinois) met with the group on January 24th to discuss “Melville’s Americas and the Iconography of the End.” The final meeting of the year was with George Sanders, American Studies Graduate Student Fellow at the Warren Center, for his lecture “ ‘Late’ Capital: Negotiating the New American Way of Death.”

    Ancient and Medieval Studies Seminar. The purpose of the group is to foster interdisciplinary study of the time periods embraced in its title, which means not only history but language and literature, chiefly, though not exclusively, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. The group met on September 17th, November 27th, and December 19th in the fall semester; Barbara Tsakirgis led a discussion on January 18th to start off the spring semester, followed by a meeting on February 20th. On April 21st, seminar participant Wendy Hennequin (languages, literature, and philosophy, Tennessee State University) shared from her work on Grendel. Seminar coordinator: Tracy Miller (history of art). Guest Speakers: On October 2nd at 12:00 p.m., the group heard a talk by visiting speaker Claudia Brown, (art history, Arizona State University) entitled, "Song Dynasty Topographical Paintings and their Legacy in the Qing Period." The following day Prof. Brown gave a public lecture, co-sponsored by the Warren Center, at the Frist Center for Visual Arts entitled, "Beauty and Expression: Ming and Qing Paintings in the Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection" to highlight works of art on exhibit there. On March 19th, Merle Langdon (classics, University of Tennessee at Knoxville) presented the paper “Shepherds Can’t Write: Literacy in Archaic Attica.” The visit was co-sponsored by the Department of Classics, in conjunction with a talk by Aleydis Van De Moortel (classics, University of Tennessee at Knoxville), at the Parthenon the preceding day.

    Circum-Atlantic Studies Group. This group met monthly and read and treated works-in-progress authored by participants or other significant work in the field. The focus was on scholarship that is interdisciplinary in nature, and focuses on at least two of the following regions–Africa, Europe, Latin and Central America, the Caribbean, and North America–and treats some aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and/or postcolonialism. The first meeting was on September 26th, followed by a talk by Rosanne Adderley (African-American and Diaspora Studies) entitled “Ethnographic Knowledge and Abolitionist Politics: Colonial Office Rethinking of Africans in the Context of Slave Trade Suppression” on October 17th. Ifeoma Nwankwo (English) presented her work, “Economies of Exotic Desire: Reciprocal Representations in U.S. African-American and Afro-Caribbean Popular Culture (1990-2000)” on November 14th. Seminar coordinator: Jane Landers (history). Guest Speakers: The group once again hosted the Black Atlantic History Lecture with the Department of History and the Program in African-American and Diaspora Studies in honor of Black History Month. This year the lecture was presented by David Eltis (history, Emory University) on February 13th. Professor Eltis, a leading scholar of the early modern Atlantic World, slavery, and migration, is the author of Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas. The talk, entitled “The New Slave Voyages Website (beta version): Interfaces and Implications” took place in the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, followed by a reception. Later that semester, on March 21st, Christopher Leslie Brown (history, Columbia University) gave a lecture on “Empire and Information on the West African Coast in the Era of Abolition,” also at the Black Cultural Center.

    Disability Studies Reading Group. This interdisciplinary reading group explored the emerging, interdisciplinary field of disability studies, a field which is simultaneously a political project emphasizing social justice and collective action and an intellectual endeavor addressing questions about subject formation, power, bodies, subjugated knowledges, and normalization. The group met for lunch to discuss readings on September 5, October 3, November 7, January 16, February 6, and March 12. Seminar coordinators: Heather L. Talley (sociology) and Stacy Clifford (political science). Guest Speakers: Lennard Davis (English, University of Illinois at Chicago) met with the group over lunch on April 24th, and then gave a public lecture that afternoon at the Black Cultural Center. Davis, who is a founding scholar in the field of Disabilities Studies, presented the lecture “Obsession: Can a Disease Have a History?” followed by a reception at the Warren Center. The talk was co-sponsored by the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

    Food Politics Reading and Working Group. The group met to address a broad range of topics: the history of organic agriculture, the ethics of food consumption, urban farming and agricultural literacy, and the politics of health and nutrition as they pertain to the food industry. Each meeting included discussion of readings as well as discussion of actionable responses, with the goal of developing a group project focused on food, social justice, and sustainability. The readings for the year were: Soil and Health: A Study of Organic Agriculture by Sir Albert Howard; Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan; On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm by Michael Ableman; Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle; Food for the Future: Conditions and Contradictions of Sustainability by Patricia Allen; and The Anthropology of Food and Body by Carole Counihan. The seminar met on September 10th, October 1st, October 26th, November 26th, January 28th, February 18th, March 10th, and April 14th. Seminar coordinators: Darcy Freedman (Program in Community Research and Action) and John Morrell (English).

    Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. The Warren Center and the American Studies Program co-sponsored a monthly seminar to provide opportunities for exchange among faculty members who were interested in or who were involved in projects that engage public scholarship. The national organization “Imagining America” is a consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities and design. During an introductory meeting discussion on January 30th, and a second meeting on April 9th, the group discussed joining the consortium, and ideas for using Imagining America resources at Vanderbilt. Seminar Coordinators: Mona Frederick (Warren Center), Teresa Goddu (English/American Studies).

    Intellectual Life of the Commons. The Warren Center again hosted a series of dinner conversations for faculty members interested in the development of intellectual possibilities for faculty and undergraduates in The Commons. The series, organized by Frank Wcislo and the newly appointed Faculty Heads of House of The Commons, convened for dinner on September 25th and November 8th.

    Metaphysics. This graduate student discussion group met once on September 27th. Seminar coordinator: Kenneth Faber (philosophy).

    Nineteenth Century Seminar. This group focused upon the history, art, literature, and culture of the long nineteenth century, and met three to four times per semester. Each meeting consists of a presentation of a work by a visiting scholar, Vanderbilt faculty member, or graduate student, followed by a discussion of that work with the author. Meetings were held on October 12th, November 29th, January 31st, February 29th and April 4th. Seminar coordinator: Elizabeth Meadows (English).

    Queer Theory/Gender Theory Graduate Student Reading Group. The group met to discuss emergent issues in queer theory and its intersections with theories of gender, race, class, sexuality, and history. Meetings alternated between reading-based discussions and workshop formats. During workshops, seminar participants volunteered their work for feedback from the larger group; discussions explored the ways in which current issues within the scope of queer theory are developing across disciplinary boundaries. The reading group came together on September 28th, October 25th, November 30th, January 25th, March 28th, and April 18th, discussing readings from No Future by Lee Edelman and Images of Bliss: Ejaculation, Masculinity, Meaning by Murat Aydemir, and reviewing peer work by Rebecca Chapman and Nicole Seymour. Seminar coordinators: Rebecca Chapman (English) and Sarah Kersh (English). Guest Speaker: On February 21st, Madhavi Menon (literature, American University) gave the public lecture “Citation and Its Discontents: On Not Naming Shakespeare,” co-sponsored by the Warren Center and the Department of English. The following day, Professor Menon met with the Queer Theory group over lunch to discuss her research and career in academia, in addition to having dinner and lunch meetings with several students individually.

    Reclaiming Citizenship. This interdisciplinary group gathered to explore theories of citizenship that could be translated into a useable pedagogical framework. As a working group, they used discussions of these theoretical concerns to construct syllabi for use by group members and sponsoring programs. The group met for lunch on September 13th, October 25th, November 15th, January 17th, February 28th, March 20th, and April 10th. At these meetings they discussed various readings, including Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History by Rogers M. Smith; Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak edited by Ariel Dorfman; Post Scarcity Anarchism by Murray Bookchin; The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein; and Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel Delaney. Seminar coordinators: Derrick Spires (English) and Sarah Passino Muller (English).

    Vanderbilt Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies. This interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students with an interest in literature, history, music, art, and culture from 1400-1800 met monthly to discuss ongoing research by a faculty member, recent publications in the field, or the work of a visiting scholar. On October 8th, GEMCS discussed a dissertation abstract by Gladys Robalino (Spanish & Portuguese). On November 12th, the reading in discussion was from Queer/Early/Modern by Carla Freccero, who spoke in the Department of English earlier that month. A later meeting, on December 10th, was led by Dahlia Porter (English) to discuss her work on Francis Bacon for an upcoming book, and graduate student Olivia Grenvicz (French & Italian) presented her work on January 21st. Seminar coordinator: Leah Marcus (English). Guest Speaker: Dolora Chapelle-Wojciehowski (English, University of Texas, Austin) met with the group on March 17th to give a lecture entitled “The Animal Hospitals of Gujarat, or The Transmigrations of Pietro della Valle in 17th-c. India.” The visit was co-sponsored by the Department of English.

    Women’s and Gender Studies Seminar. This seminar highlighted work being done on campus in the area of women’s and gender studies. The first meeting of the semester was a presentation from Richard McGregor (religious studies) entitled, “Islamic Studies at Vanderbilt: the Promise and Perils of an Area Study” on September 19th. It was followed by a talk by Melissa Snarr (ethics, Divinity School) on October 24th entitled, “Complex Coalitions: Feminist and Religious Activists in the U.S. Living Wage Movement.” The group did not meet during the spring semester, but redirected the mission for the following year. Seminar coordinator: Shubhra Sharma (Women’s and Gender Studies). Guest Speaker: The group co-sponsored a luncheon with the Global Feminisms Collaborative for filmmaker Kum Kum Bhavnani, director of “The Shape of Water” on October 4th, the day after she screened her film at Vanderbilt.

    Women in Academe Series. This series included workshops and discussion sessions on topics related to gender and the academy. Meetings were held over lunch on October 5th, January 22nd, and February 15th. Series coordinators: Stacy Nunnally (Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center), and Kim Petrie (BRET).

    Other Projects

     

    Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life 2007 National Conference. Mona Frederick chaired a panel to discuss the role of humanities centers in public scholarship at the annual Imagining America Conference from September 6-8, 2007. The panel, “The University Humanities Center: A Roundtable on its Roles and Responsibilities,” included Evan Carton (Humanities Institute, University of Texas, Austin), Jasonne Grabher (Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas), Teresa Mangum (Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa), and Marica Tacconi (Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Penn State University).

  • National Humanities Alliance Advocacy Event. Mona Frederick and Edward Friedman (Spanish & Portuguese) traveled to Washington, D.C. March 3-4, 2008 to meet with members of the Tennessee congressional delegation and their respective staffs as part of an advocacy event organized by the National Humanities Alliance to convey the importance of research and other projects supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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