Archived Events: Spring 2018

January 24 | 4:30-6:00 | Rabb Room
“Mortevivum: Black Photography and Politics of the Visual”
Kimberly Juanita Brown

In this public lecture, Kimberly Juanita Brown will speak about the site of the visual as a way to negotiate the parameters of race, gender, and belonging. Drawing from her current research, Brown will discuss images of the dead from four geographies: South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan, and Haiti, observing that a cartography of the ocular exists in documentary images to normalize global violence, particularly if the victims are black.

January 31 | 5:00-7:00 | Alumnae Lounge
“Readings from The Blue Clerk, ars poetica”
Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand will read from her latest book, The Blue Clerk (McClelland & Stewart and Duke UP, 2018). Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist, whose award-winning works include Land to Light On, Ossuaries, Inventory, What We All Long For, and A Map to the Door of No Return, which have been widely taken up in scholarship on Being in the Black Diaspora.

February 13 | 4:30-6:00 | Alumnae Lounge
“Marvelous Extinctions: Melville on Animal Suffering”
Branka Arsic
In this public lecture, Branka Arsic examines the understanding of rational and irrational life forms in 19th century biology and literature. She begins with remarks Melville left in his Encantadas concerning the Galapagos tortoises, and goes on to examine the scientific and historical archives to which he had recourse, from Cuvier and Broderip to Porter and Delano. She seeks to reconstruct exactly what, in the early 19th century, prompted scientists, doctors and naturalists, as well as traders and ordinary seamen, to obsess about the tortoise as life form, one that was brought to the brink of extinction by the middle of the century. She argues that the reason why both physiologists in Continental scientific laboratories, and whalers traversing Antillean waters in trade ships, chose this particular animal to answer the question of what life is, derived from their ideas about what constituted pain, suffering and cruelty. By rehearsing such debates over the presumed expressions of suffering, apathy and indifference on the part of the tortoise, Arsic suggests that what scientists understood as apathy towards pain licensed the production of a bizarre taxonomy of life forms based on a creaturely capacity to resist violence.

February 14 | 12:00-1:30 | Laminan Lounge
Seminar: “Science, Grief, and Vitalism”
Branka Arsic
In this CHAT seminar, Professor Arsic will discuss her work on science, vitalism, mourning, and literature in her book Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau (2016) and in her larger body of work. Participation is limited; please contact Lisa Lowe, CHAT Director, if you would like to obtain the readings to participate in this seminar.

February 21 | 4:30-6:30 | Rabb Room
“Public Amnesias”
Kendra Field, Kerri Greenidge, Aditi Mehta, James Rice

In this public roundtable, panelists discuss the ways that identifying “amnesias” – as dynamic omissions in the narratives of experience – can operationalize critique and activism. Panelists will discuss “forgetting” in sites that include the histories of African-descended and Native families and communities, environmental catastrophes, and as borders of academic disciplines. These inquiries and their implications have a considerable trajectory, extending from the Tufts campus and Boston area to broader regional and transnational locations.

February 26 | 4:30-6:30 | CHAT Conference Room
Poetry Reading by Natalie Shapero
Natalie Shapero will read her poems, including work from her recently published collection, Hard Child (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). Shapero is author of No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), and is Professor of the Practice of Poetry here at Tufts.

March 6 | 4:30-6:30 | CHAT Conference Room
Kendra Field Book Launch & Reception
Growing Up With the Country: Family, Race, and Nation After the Civil War (Yale University Press, 2017)
Kendra Field will discuss her new book, Growing Up With The Country, which chronicles her family history and their journey out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black and black Indian towns and settlements. Kendra Field is Assistant Professor of History at Tufts, and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.

March 7 | 4:30-6:00 | CHAT Conference Room
“Chinese Surplus: Biopolitical Aesthetics and the Medically Commodified Body”
Ari Heinrich

In this public seminar, Ari Heinrich discusses the politics of the medically commodified body in contemporary Chinese and transnational literature, media, art, visual culture, and popular science. Incorporating both political economy and aesthetics, this examination opens up new ways to thinking about the interrelationship of science, medicine, commodity, and the arts in modern and contemporary environments.

March 9 | 12:00-3:00 | Granoff Music Center Room 75
“Sound Matters: Sound/Sound Studies/Sound Art”
A Tufts Faculty Workshop

Nina Eidsheim will present the keynote lecture at this interdisciplinary campus-wide symposium on sound studies, which explores how we think about sound, music, and listening in musicology, theatre and performance studies, engineering, literary studies, and art history. This workshop is a coproduction of CHAT, The University Gallery, and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

March 14 | 1:00-4:00 | Interfaith Center, 58 Winthrop Street
“The Practice of Diaspora: 15 Years Later”
Brent Hayes Edwards
with Adam Lewis, Marina Bilbija, Tzarina Prater, and Kelly Baker Josephs

This afternoon symposium will gather presentations reflecting on 19th- and 20th-century Atlantic print cultures, African Diaspora, and Black internationalism, fields to which Brent Hayes Edwards’s pathbreaking The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism contributed when it first appeared in 2003. The symposium will feature two panels, the first with papers by Adam Lewis (Boston College) and Marina Bilbija (Center for the Humanities at Tufts), and a second with Tzarina Prater (Bentley University) and Kelly Baker Josephs (York College, CUNY). Brent Hayes Edwards will provide commentary and final remarks. This symposium is co-sponsored by CHAT, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD), the programs in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora (RCD), and the University Chaplaincy. 

March 28 | 3:00-5:00 | Fletcher C702 
Heather Curtis Book Launch & Reception
Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid

Heather Curtis will discuss her new book, Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid (Harvard University Press, 2018), a study of the emergence of American evangelicalism and global engagements at the turn of the twentieth century. Cosponsored by CHAT, the Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law and Diplomacy, and the Ginn and Tisch Libraries.

March 29 | 6:30 | Crane Room, Paige Hall 
“The Politics of Palestinian Scholarship in Israel”
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury and Nadim Rouhana, moderated by Amahl Bishara

In this discussion, CHAT Postdoctoral Fellow Areej Sabbagh-Khoury and Professor of International Affairs and Conflict Studies Nadim Rouhana will discuss the contribution of Palestinian scholarship in Israel to Zionist history. Cosponsored by Friends of Mada and CHAT.

April 18 | 5:00-7:00 | CHAT Conference Room
“The Work of Reading”
John Lurz, Kevin Ohi, Audrey Wasser

In this roundtable, three literary critics, John Lurz, Kevin Ohi, and Audrey Wasser will discuss the work of reading in contemporary literary criticism, examining styles of reading in the works of Woolf, Proust, Blanchot, and Barthes, and others.

April 25 | 4:30-6:00 | CHAT Conference Room
“Tehran 1979, Damascus 2011: Adonis, Foucault, and Modernity”
Robyn Cresswell

In this lecture, Robyn Cresswell discusses the modernist poetry movement in Beirut in the 1950s and 1060s, focusing on the work of the Syrian poet and critic Adonis. Cresswell teaches modern Arabic and comparative literature at Yale University, and is poetry editor of The Paris Review.