University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


Amitav Ghosh Writer-in-Residence Public Lecture

April 27, 2017

Public Lecture, 4.00pm-6.00pm

From Bombay to Canton: Traveling the Indian Ocean Opium Route 

Guangzhou (also known as Canton) is one of the world’s great cosmopolitan entrepots. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was through this city, and its environs, that opium was funneled into China by British, American and Indian merchants. This trade was to have an enormous impact , not just  on China but the whole world: its influence on India was especially significant, for the subcontinent was the world's leading opium-producing region under the British Raj.  This talk explores Guangzhou as an Indian trader might have seen it in the 19th century.

"Social Movements" - Prof. Michael Hardt Public Lecture

April 11, 2017

Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Location: TBA

Biography: Michael Hardt is Professor of Literature in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University. His writings explore the new forms of domination in the contemporary world as well as the social movements and other forces of liberation that resist them. In the Empire trilogy -- Empire (2000), Multitude (2004), and Commonwealth(2009) -- he and Antonio Negri investigate the political, legal, economic, and social aspects of globalization. They also study the political and economic alternatives that could lead to a more democratic world. Their pamphlet Declaration (2012) attempts to articulate the significance of the encampments and occupations that began in 2011, from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park, and to recognize the primary challenges faced by emerging democratic social movements today. 

"Border-Thinking" - Prof. Sandro Mezzadra Public Lecture

April 10, 2017

Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Location: TBA

Biography: Sandro Mezzadra teaches political theory at the University of Bologna. In the last decade his work has centered on the relations between globalization, migration and capitalism as well as on postcolonial criticism. He is an active participant in the ‘post-workerist’ debates and one of the founders of the website Among his books: Diritto di fuga. Migrazioni, cittadinanza, globalizzazione (“The right to escape: Migration, citizenship, globalization”, ombre corte, 2006), La condizione postcoloniale. Storia e politica nel presente globale (“The postcolonial condition: History and politics in the global present”, ombre corte, 2008) and Nei cantieri marxiani. Il soggetto e la sua produzione (“In the Marxian Workshops. The Subject and its Production”, Manifestolibri, 2014). With Brett Neilson he is the author of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (Duke University Press, 2013).

Mellon Fellows Symposium (with Carmen Lamas, Christian McMillen, Enrico Cesaretti)

April 7, 2017

"Bleak Liberalism," Prof. Amanda Anderson Public Lecture

March 28, 2017

Mellon Fellows Symposium (with Anne-Garland Mahler, Sheila Crane, Amanda Phillips, Douglas Fordham)

March 3, 2017

Graham Harman workshop and lecture (with NLH)

February 16, 2017

Mellon Fellows Symposium (with Camilla Fojas, Mary Kuhn, Jack Chen, Hanadi Al-Samman)

February 10, 2017

Post-Humanism in the Anthropocene - IHGC Mellon Symposium

December 2, 2016

142 Wilson Hall


Schedule of Events:

9.00 a.m.                      

9.30 a.m.                      
Welcome and Introduction – Enrico Cesaretti

9.45 – 11.00 a.m.          
Panel 1: Questioning Boundaries
Massimo Lollini (Dept. of Romance Languages, University of Oregon), “The Ancient Roots of a Non-Anthropocentric Philosophy: A Pythagorean Perspective”
Monica Seger (Dept. of Modern Languages - Italian, College of William & Mary), “Walking the Land: Toxicity, Transcorporeality and Phytoremediation in Southern Italy”
Louise Westling (Dept. of English and Environmental Studies, University of Oregon), “Merleau-Ponty's Ecophenomenology and Human Enmeshment in the Semiosphere”

11.15 – 12.30 p.m.         
Panel 2: Energies, Ecologies, Matters
Karen Pinkus (Dept. of Italian & Comp. Literature, Cornell University), “Thinking Decarbonization with Italian Autonomia”
Elena Past (Dept. of Classics and Italian, Wayne State University), “Thinking on Foot in the Hydrocarbon Sublime: Sorrentino’s Petrocultures”
Heather Sullivan (Dept. of German & Comp. Literature, Trinity University, “Petro-Texts and Material Ecocriticism”

12.30 – 13.45 p.m.         

14.00 – 15.15 p.m.         
Panel 3: Mediterranean Narratives Between Bios and Zoe
Federico Luisetti (Dept. of Romance Studies - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), “Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Political Animism”
Damiano Benvegnù (Dept. of French & Italian, Dartmouth College) “How Much Animal There Is in Us: Primo Levi's Animal Testimony”
Pasquale Verdicchio (Dept. of Literature – Italian & Comp. Lit. UCSD), “This Nostrum That is Neither Sea nor Remedy: Mediterranean Re-visions”

"Global South: A Colloquium" - presented by the Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures, November 16-19, 2016

November 16, 2016

Keynote Speakers

"Afro-Atlantic Genealogies of the Global South
Laurent Dubois (History and Romance Studies, Duke University)
Wednesday, November 16, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Nau Hall 101

Plenary Panel: "Southern Theory"
Juan Obarrio (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University), Debjani Ganguly (English, University of Virginia), and Laurent Dubois (History and Romance Studies, Duke University)
Moderated by Ian Baucom (Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences, University of Virginia)
Thursday, November 17, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Nau Hall 101

"Poetry, the Global South, and the Migration of Form"
Jahan Ramazani (University of Virginia)
Friday, November 18, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
New Cabell Hall 236

"Where Next? The Global South Out West," Tsitsi Jaji (English, Duke University)
Saturday, November 19, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
New Cabell Hall 236

Historically, the idea of the ‘Global South’ can be traced to the Brandt Report of 1980, which posited a divide between countries of the North and South according to technological development, GDP, and standard of living. A cultural genealogy of the term stretches back even further to the 1955 Africa-Asia Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, which inaugurated ‘Third World’ collaborations, decolonization movements, and heralded a sustained engagement with the postcolonial as an historical epoch.

Notwithstanding these specific genealogies, ‘Global South’ today appears as an unsettled and unsettling frame from which to contemplate the world. Some think of it as a post-Cold War era replacement for the ‘Third World’ (and so primarily covering Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, but not Europe, America and the Mediterranean worlds), while others use it synonymously with the idea of underdevelopment and deprivation wherever these are found. Yet others see it as a ‘frontier in the unfolding history of neoliberal capitalism’ and a window from which to grasp the conditions of intelligibility of our global present: historical, cultural, aesthetic, political, environmental, biomedical and technological. The antinomy with the more privileged Global North persists both in the domain of political economy and in culturalist perceptions of a decolonial reinvention and invigoration of non-Western lifeworlds.

As will be obvious from the above, the idea of the ‘Global South’ has varied inflections across the disciplines. An economist’s understanding of it does not converge with that of a historian or a literary scholar or even that of a media specialist. At the same time, the paradigmatic force of the term is not in doubt, one that makes intelligible larger constellations of meaning beyond the specific historicity of its origins in a postcolonial and post-Cold War world. The Global South currently exists at the confluence of and tension between systems of knowledge and ways of conceptualizing space, habitations, cultures, aesthetics and political economy. Our colloquium will explore the many dimensions of this concept – philosophical, historical, political, spatial and aesthetic - as they inform contemporary scholarship. 

"Culture at Hand: The Anthropology of Creativity and the Making of a Divine Craftsman in India" by IHGC visiting scholar Prof. Kirin Narayan, Australian National University (with UVA Anthropology Dept); 10:00AM-11:30AM, New Cabell 236

November 11, 2016


Kirin Narayan was born in India to an American mother and Indian father, and moved to the United States to attend college. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California—Berkeley. Her first book, Storytellers, Saints and Scoundrels: Folk Narrative in Hindu Religious Teaching (1989), won the first Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing from the American Anthropological Association and was co-winner of the Elsie Clews Prize for Folklore from the American Folklore Society. Her novel Love, Stars and All That (1994) was included in the Barnes and Nobles Discover Great New Writers program. In the course of researching women’s oral traditions in Kangra, Northwest Himalayas, she collaborated with Urmila Devi Sood to bring together a book of tales with discussions of their meaning and ethnographic context in Mondays on the Dark Night of the Moon: Himalayan Foothill Folktales (1997). An interest in family stories and diasporic experience inspired  My Family and Other Saints (2007). Teaching ethnographic writing led her to compose Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov (2012), that includes galvanizing extracts, prompts and writing exercises. Her forthcoming book, Everyday Creativity: Singing Goddesses of the Himalayan Foothills explores creativity and well-being among women singers in Kangra, and will be released by the University of Chicago Press in 2016.

Kirin Narayan has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the School of American Research, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research in the Humanities, and the University of Wisconsin Graduate School. She received a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Wisconsin in 2011. Since 2001, she has served as an editor for the Series in Contemporary Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania Press. She currently serves on the Committee of Selection for the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

"Companionable Objects, Companionable Conscience: Politics, Cover up, and Disclosure in an Indonesian Art Show" by IHGC visiting scholar, Prof. Ken George, Australian National University (with UVA's Asia Institute), 4:30PM - 6:00PM, Rouss 410

November 10, 2016


Ken joined the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific in 2013 as Professor of Anthropology and Director of the School of Culture, History and Language, having served previously at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard University and the University of Oregon.  He is a specialist on Southeast Asia and a Past Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies (2005-2008).  His ethnographic research in Indonesia has focused on the cultural politics of minority ancestral religions (1982-1992), and more recently (1994-2008), on a long-term collaboration with painter A. D. Pirous, exploring the aesthetic, ethical, and political ambitions shaping Islamic art and art publics in that country.  Ken has been the recipient of major postdoctoral fieldwork fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.  His fellowships for writing and study include awards from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.   His current research projects are two:  The first looks at the production of “companionable objects and “companionable conscience” in an effort to link artworks to ethics, affect, language, and public culture.  Another involves a comparative look at early postcolonial artists in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India, and aims at theoretical and disciplinary issues surrounding public culture and the anthropology of art and visual culture.

"Knowing the World through Objects in the Eighteenth Century" - presented by IHGC's Mellon Fellows in Art History, Douglas Fordham & Amanda Phillips, and visiting scholars. Harrison's Small Library Auditorium, 9:00AM - 12:30PM

November 4, 2016
Knowing the World through Objects in the Eighteenth Century
Friday, November 4, 9:00AM – 12:30PM
Harrison Small Auditorium at UVa
Organizers:  Amanda Phillips and Douglas Fordham
Visiting Scholars:  Michael Yonan (Associate Professor, Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century European Art, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Missouri); Maia Nuku (Evelyn A. J. Hall and John A. Friede Associate Curaotr for Oceanic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
How was knowledge of the world transmitted through objects in the long eighteenth century? Histories of material culture, printed images, commodities, and exchange have grown dramatically in the last few decades yielding surprising insights about the past not found in the textual record. This half-day symposium questions the role of objects as evidence and explores methods and approaches that might cut across disciplines as we analyze intercultural exchange in the eighteenth century. 

Latin American Studies Conference, October 13-14, 2016

October 13, 2016

IHGC Mellon Fellows Symposium w/Fahad Bishara and Maya Boutaghou. Wilson Hall 142, 10:00AM - 12:30PM.

October 7, 2016
IHGC Presents 
Mellon Fellows Symposium
October 7, 2016 - Friday
142 Wilson Hall
10.00 -11.00 am 
Fahad Bishara, Assistant Professor, Corcoran Department of History 
"Monsoon Travelers: Dhows and the Trading Worlds of the Western Indian Ocean, c. 1800-1960."
11.00am -12.00 noon
Maya Boutaghou, Assistant Professor, Department of French
“Remapping Francophone Literatures and Cultures through a Global South Perspective: Provincializing France
12.00-12.30: General Discussion
12.30-1.00pm: Lunch
Fahad Ahmad Bishara’s research interests lie in the fields of legal history and the history of capitalism – primarily in the Islamic world, but also beyond it. His current research traces the legal transformation of the Western Indian Ocean through the Arab and Indian settlement and commercialization of the East African coast during the nineteenth century. His book, A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1940 is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. His next project is a microhistory, exploring the dhow trade in the Indian Ocean during the early twentieth century through logbooks left behind by Kuwaiti sea captains (nakhodas). He received his Ph.D. in History from Duke University in 2012, and holds an M.A. in Arab Gulf Studies from the University of Exeter. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies, and he is an alumnus of the Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History.
Maya Boutaghou graduated from Université de Limoges in Comparative Literature. From 2008 to 2010, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California Los Angeles in the Center for Cultures in Transnational Perspective. She is the author of Occidentalismes : Romans historiques postcoloniaux et identités nationales au dix-neuvième siècle (Paris, Honoré Champion, 2016). Occidentalismes offers a new approach to the fields of comparative literature and postcolonial studies with poetical and textual perspectives on postcolonial literatures and cultural identity construction in 19th century (Australia, Bengal, Egypt, Mexico). Her second book focuses on plurilingual women writers in postcolonial contexts (Egypt, Bengal, Mauritius, and Algeria). She publishes extensively in comparative literature, Francophone, Arabic, and Anglophone postcolonial studies (Expressions Maghrébines, French Studies, International Journal of Francophone Studies, Dalhousie French Studies, Comparative Literary Studies). She recently guest-edited a special issue for l’Esprit créateur, « The Algerian War of Independence and its Legacy in Algeria, France and Beyond », Winter 2014, and a forthcoming book, Fictions et représentations de la guerre algérienne d’indépendance (Garnier, 2016). At UVa she will extend her major areas of expertise within postcolonial literatures and cultures as an IHGC Fellow in the Global South Initiative supported by the Mellon Foundation.

Prof Raffaele Laudani presents: "UVA-Duke-Bologna Academy in Global Humanities & Critical Theory"

September 9, 2016

Professor Raffaele Laudani, Director of the UVA-Duke-Bologna Academy in Global Humanities and Critical Theory, in the U.S. to visit Duke and UVA, will be discussing this collaboration between the three universities, the program and its summer school, which has now matured into a year-round Academy in Global Humanities, as well as the various opportunities available. We encourage you to make every effort to attend on Friday, September 9, 10:30AM-12:00PM, in Nau Hall 342.


About Raffaele Laudani:

Raffaele Laudani is Director of the UVA-Duke-Bologna Academy in Global Humanities & Critical Theory, and Associate Professor in the Department of History and Human Cultures at the University of Bologna, where he teaches the History of Political Thought and Atlantic Studies. Prof. Laudani graduated in Political Science in 1998 at the University of Bologna and earned in 2003 a PhD in History of Political Thought and Political Institutions at the University of Turin and in Philosophy and History of Ideas at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis. His research focuses on the history of modern and contemporary political thought. He has published several volumes and essays on the Frankfurt School, globalization, disobedience, African-American abolitionism. He is the editor of the Italian edition of Herbert Marcuse's uncollected papers. At the moment he is studying the Atlantic dimension of modern political thought. He has participated and organized several international meetings and seminars and participated in numerous collective national research projects. He created and edits the book series "Marcusiana" (Manifestolibri). He is member of the editorial board of the journals Filosofia politica and Storicamente, among others.  Since 2006, he is the director of the Bologna International Committee for the Cartography and Analysis of Contemporary World and of its website ( He was political columnist of the newspaper L'Alto Adige. He is a contributor for several cultural and political newspapers, such as Le Monde diplomatique and il manifesto. Among his recent works are: Politica come movimento. Il pensiero di Herbert Marcuse (Il Mulino, 2005); Disobbedienza (Il Mulino, 2011), Disobedience in Western Political Thought:  A Genealogy (Cambridge University Press, 2013); Secrets Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort (Princeton University Press, 2013).

"Ice Cycles" - An Environmental Humanities Colloquium event meditating on the precarity of the Artic icescapes, with multimedia performance with NY-based dance troupe Time Lapse. Old Cabell, 8PM. [Sponsored by IHGC.]

May 4, 2016

Please mark your calendars! On May 4, New York-based dance troupe Time Lapse is coming to Charlottesville to perform "Ice Cycle" in the Old Cabell Auditorium at 8pm. This multimedia piece, with choreography by Jody Sperling and music by UVA Music Professor Matthew Burtner, meditates on the precarity of Arctic icescapes in an era of global climate change. Initial comments call this performance "astounding, gorgeous, heartbreaking, and necessary." "Ice Cycle" is a crucial example of the growing body of art that translates the abstract fact of climate change into sensory details and narratives that hold people's attention. We are fortunate to have the chance to see it performed live.  The event is FREE and open to the public; you must reserve your ticket through the UVA Arts Box Office.


"Postcolonial Tragedy" - Public Lecture by Ato Quayson, Professor of English & Director, Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies, University of Toronto, Bryan Hall 229, 4:30-6:00PM

April 22, 2016

April 22nd, Friday, Faculty Lounge: 2.00pm-3.30pm: Graduate Workshop - "Spatial Concepts for Postcolonial Literary Inquiry" Contact Prof Jennifer Wicke to reserve space in grad workshop:

BIO: Ato Quayson is Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto, where he has been since 2005.  Prior to that he spent a decade on the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, and was also Director of the Centre for African Studies and Fellow of Pembroke College.  Professor Quayson's has published widely in postcolonialism and African studies, diaspora studies, disability studies, and urban studies among others.  His two most recent books are Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism (Duke University Press, 2014) and The Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

"Understanding the Recent Rise in Islamophobia” with Evelyn Alsultany (U of Michigan), 12-1:30PM, New Cabell 236

April 20, 2016

This talk is part of UVA's "Power, Violence and Inequality" seminars produced by Department of Politics Professors Denise Walsh and Nick Winter. More information on Evelyn Alsultany at, and also  Professor Alsultany will also begiving a public lecture on Wednesday, April 20, 3:30-5pm, in Minor 125, entitled “Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Patriotic Arab Americans, Oppressed Muslim Women, and Sympathetic Feelings.” 


"Terrible Beauty" - Graduate English Students Association (GESA) Annual Conference - April 15&16

April 16, 2016

Reading by PAUL MULDOON, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet and Poetry Editor, The New Yorker Magazine. "Rising to the Rising: Poetry and Politics in Ireland," 4:30PM, Nau Hall 101

April 16, 2016

“Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Patriotic Arab Americans, Oppressed Muslim Women, and Sympathetic Feelings” with Evelyn Alsultany (U of Michigan), 3:30-5pm, Minor 125

April 15, 2016

This talk is part of UVA's "Power, Violence and Inequality" seminars produced by Department of Politics Professors Denise Walsh and Nick Winter. More information on Evelyn Alsultany at, and also  Professor Alsultany will also be giving a research talk as well on Wednesday, April 20, 12-1:30pm, in New Cabell 236, entitled "Understanding the Recent Rise in Islamophobia.”  

"Terrible Beauty" - Graduate English Students Association (GESA) Annual Conference - April 15 & 16

April 15, 2016

"Pop-Up Maker's Day & Cafe," 2-5pm @OpenGrounds, sponsored by IHGC

April 13, 2016

"Pop-Up Maker's Day & Café." Celebrate student and community makers, thinkers, do-ers, and creators. Drop in and participate in a mini-workshop, grab a cup of coffee at the pop-up cafe, or make your mark on a fun community art project. 2:00-5:00PM, OpenGrounds, 1400 University Avenue
(** IHGC is a delighted key sponsor of this student-organized event, produced by OpenGrounds in collaboration with the Tom Tom Founders Festival.)

Toward Peace in Korea: 2015 Women Cross DMZ

April 11, 2016