Archived Events: Spring 2013


Tuesday, February 19, 4:00 pm
Coolidge Room, Ballou Hall
*Q&A and Reception to follow
(This event was rescheduled from October 2012)

Poetry Reading and Book Signing
Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith is the author of numerous works, including Life on Mars (2011), which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Duende, winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essence Literary Award; andThe Body’s Question, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She is also the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Whiting Writers’ Award, and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Smith is currently a member of the Creative Writing Faculty at Princeton University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, February 26, 7:00pm
Coolidge Room, Ballou Hall
*Reception and Book Signing to follow

From Babies to Gender Identity
Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling

Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is one of the world’s leading researchers on the biology of gender difference and sexual identity. Her ground-breaking work challenges entrenched arguments about human development, using dynamic systems theory to understand how cultural difference becomes bodily difference. She is the author of Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Women and Men (1992), Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (2000), and Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World (2012), as well as many other articles and essays.

Organized by the Tufts University Women’s Studies Program in collaboration with the Department of Biology and the Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT), with additional support from the LGBT Center, and the Women’s Center.

Dinner (By RSVP Only)
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT)
Fung House – 48 Professors Row

Small Group Conversation with Prof. Anne Fausto-Sterling on “The Five Sexes, Revisited”, with dinner after. Faculty and Students may attend only by Email RSVP to Sonia Hofkosh, Director of Women’s Studies at


Friday, March 1, 9:00am–7:00pm
Coolidge Room, Ballou Hall
*Refreshments, Lunch, and Reception included

Music and Diplomacy

A Conference at Tufts and Harvard Universities, providing a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue among scholars and practitioners from various historical standpoints and diverse disciplines, including musicology, ethnomusicology, political science, and literary studies.

Organized by Rebekah Ahrendt (Tufts University), Mark Ferraguto (The Hartt School), and Damien Mahiet (Harvard University/Denison University).

Download complete event program >

Keynote Speakers:
March 1 at Tufts University: Frédéric Ramel (Sciences Po Paris)
“The Idea of the Concert in 18th-century Political Theory: Music and Perpetual Peace”

March 2 at Harvard University: Danielle Fosler-Lussier (The Ohio State University)
“Music, Mediated Diplomacy, and Globalization in the Cold War Era”

Special Guest:
US Ambassador Laurence Pope II

Hosted by the Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT) and the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University, and made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT), the Tufts University Department of Music, and the Harvard University Department of Music.

Wednesday, March 6, 5:00pm
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT)
Fung House – 48 Professors Row
*Q&A and Reception to follow

The Perils and Paradoxes of Remembrance: Dissecting France’s Duty to Memory
Richard J. Golsan

Introduced and moderated by Noit Banai, Lecturer, Modern and Contemporary Art, Department of Visual and Critical Studies, Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Do remembrance, commemoration and other efforts to come to terms with past traumas always serve a healing and binding function in national communities? As French efforts to deal with the Vichy period, the Algerian war, and other traumatic moments in the nation’s past have shown, the answer is sometimes “yes” and sometimes “no.” Through a discussion of the 1990s trials for crimes against humanity, political scandals, as well as recent fiction, Richard J. Golsan will explore the perils and paradoxes of what the French call “le devoir de mémoire”–“the duty to memory.”

Richard J. Golsan is University Distinguished Professor and Director of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University. He is the author of “Vichy’s Afterlife: History and Counterhistory in France” (Nebraska, 2000) and “French Writers and the Politics of Complicity” (Johns Hopkins, 2006), among other works.

Friday, March 29, 12:00pm
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT)
Fung House – 48 Professors Row
*Q&A and Luncheon

A Conversation with Stacey Steers

Artist Stacey Steers talks to Nancy Bauer, Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Philosophy. Stacey Steers makes labor-intensive films composed of thousands of individual, handmade works on paper. Her animations have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, New Directors New Films in NYC and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., along with numerous other screenings worldwide, winning national and international awards. Steers, who teaches film studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, creates rich, timeless, and imaginative environments through the combination of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century engravings, illustrations, photographs, and early silent films. Her short film, Night Hunter is currently on exhibition at the Tufts University Art Gallery until April 21.

Space for this luncheon is limited; please RSVP by March 26 to


Thursday, April 4, 4:30 pm
Pearson Hall, Room 104
*Q&A and Reception to follow:
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT) – Fung House – 48 Professors Row

Reading and Book Signing
Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections, one of which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship and was named a Chevalier of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers, including Maurice Blanchot, Michel Leiris, and Marcel Proust. Davis recently released The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (2010), which includes stories from the groundbreaking Break It Down(1986) to the 2007 National Book Award nominee Varieties of Disturbance.

Wednesday, April 10, 4:30 pm
Cabot Intercultural Center Auditorium
170 Packard Ave.
*Q&A and Reception to follow:
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT) – Fung House – 48 Professors Row

Carifesta Redux: A Conversation Among Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars
Angie Cruz, M. NourbeSe Philip, Faith Smith, Donette Francis, and Leah Rosenberg

Moderated by Natalie M. Léger, Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar

Join the conversation concerning Carifesta’s 1976 landmark discussion of history in the Caribbean literary imaginary with Caribbean women writers and scholars, who will address how contemporary Caribbean writers and thinkers, female in particular, have continued to “quarrel with the past” but moved forward now to critically contend with colonialism’s afterlife in the region. Featured writers include: the award winning Dominican-American novelist, Angie Cruz, and the critically-acclaimed Tobagonian poet, playwright and novelist, M. NourbeSe Philip. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Diversity Fund, American Studies, the Department of English, the Africana Center, and Women’s Studies.

Program Schedule:

  • 4:30 pm – Opening Remarks by Natalie M. Léger
  • 4:45 pm – Panel: Faith Smith, Donette Francis, and
    Leah Rosenberg
  • 5:45 pm – Break
  • 6:00pm – Cruz and Philip
  • 7:00pm – Reception

Thursday, April 11, 4:30
Pearson Hall, Room 104
*Q&A and Reception to follow:
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT) – Fung House – 48 Professors Row

Adventures in translation: the attraction of impossibility
Michael Wood

Michael Wood is the Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English and Professor of comparative literature at Princeton University.  He was Director of the Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton from 1995–2001, and chaired Princeton’s English department from 1998 to 2004.  He writes regularly for The New York Review of Books and on film for the London Review of Books.  Wood is the author of numerous works, including American in the Movies (1975); The Magician’s Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction (1995); The Road to Delphi: the Life and Afterlife of Oracles (2003); and Film: A Very Short Invitation (2010).

Wednesday, April 17, 4:30
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT)
Fung House – 48 Professors Row
*Q&A and Reception to follow

Egyptian Echoes: Nazik al-Mala’ika and the Poetics of Pan-Arabism
Robyn Creswell

Robyn Creswell is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University and poetry editor of The Paris Review. He is the translator of Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell and Notes from Prison (New Directions, 2013), as well as Abdelfattah Kilito’s The Clash of Images (New Directions, 2010). His articles and reviews have appeared in Harper’s MagazineThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Nation, and Modernism/Modernity, among other publications.