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2011/2012 Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities Seminars

The following is a list of seminars and reading groups that will be hosted by the Warren Center in the spring semester. For more detailed information please contact the seminar coordinators or the Warren Center.

Art of Narrative Workshop: The purpose of this workshop is to gather together writers interested in the art of narrative non-fiction and, in particular, in the possibilities of bringing together scholarship and narrative non-fiction techniques. The group will meet to workshop members' writings, read and discuss works of narrative non-fiction and pieces dealing with craft, and invite visiting speakers known for their narrative non-fiction to address the group and the larger campus community. Seminar coordinator: Paul Kramer (history),

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. Upcoming guest speakers include Eric Hinderaker (history, University of Utah) on January 25 and the Black Atlantic Seminar on February 2. Seminar coordinators: Celso Castilho (history), and Jane Landers (history),

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 group will be hosting a Digital Humanities Roundtable Event with visiting scholars on February 3. Seminar coordinators: Lynn Ramey (French), and Mona Frederick (Warren Center),

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 interested in theories of the image, philosophies of perception, aesthetic and critical theory, media histories, and the history of vision. The group will meet monthly to discuss readings, share work, and engage the research of invited scholars. Upcoming guest speakers include Jacques Khalip (English, Brown University) on January 27 and David L. Clark (English, McMaster University) on March 16. Seminar coordinators: Jennifer Fay (Film Studies and English),, James McFarland (German),, and Paul Young (Film Studies and English),

Food Politics Seminar: This graduate-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. Seminar coordinators: Tristan Call (anthropology), and Wade Archer (Divinity School),

Group for Pre-modern Cultural Studies: The purpose of the group is 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. Seminar coordinators: Leah Marcus (English), and Bill Caferro (history),

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. Seminar coordinators: Teresa Goddu (American Studies), and Mona Frederick (Warren Center),

Modernism, Emergence, and Critiques: A Twentieth Century Literature and Culture Seminar: This graduate-led seminar group seeks to explore the visual and print culture of the twentieth century with respect to various national, regional, and transnational traditions, including but not limited to literature and the arts from Europe and the Americas. Meetings will provide those whose interests involve twentiethcentury literature and culture with a formal group setting in which to workshop their writing, read and discuss the work of their colleagues and mentors, and engage with recent developments in relevant scholarship (modernism, postmodernism, postcolonial studies, film studies, American studies, identity studies, philosophy, etc.). Seminar coordinators: Andy Hines (English), and Aubrey Porterfield (English),

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. Seminar coordinator: Robert Barsky (French and Italian),

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. Seminar coordinator: Helena Simonett (Latin American Studies),

Political Culture in Practice: This graduate-led seminar intends to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation about the implications of, and methodologies for, interpreting and understanding political culture in all its forms. Meetings will incorporate discussions of specific source and methodological issues through pre-circulated readings, while also providing participants with opportunities to workshop papers-in-progress and raise questions relevant to their own research. Seminar coordinators: Lance Ingwersen (history),, Alexander Jacobs (history),, and Sonja Ostrow (history),

Science Studies Seminar: 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. Seminar coordinator: Dahlia Porter (English),

The Heart of the Matter: This graduate-led seminar will explore the intersections of social ethics and sociology as they relate to classism, racism, and sexism. Through incorporating social justice frameworks, this seminar provides a platform for social ethicists and sociologists to engage each other in discussions of social inequality, theories that explain it, and how to apply knowledge to construct more equitable societies. Seminar coordinators: Christophe Ringer (religion), and Nakia Collins (sociology),

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. Upcoming guest speakers include Jacques Khalip (English, Brown University) on January 27, Markman Ellis (history, University of London) on February 24, Wolfram Schmidgen (English, Washington University)
on March 16, and Sara Maurer (English, Notre Dame University) on March 30. Seminar Coordinators: Gabriel Cervantes (English), and Rachel Teukolsky (English),