Fall 2020 Seminar Series: “Indian Ocean Worlds and the Anthropocene”
Fall 2020 Seminar Series: “Narrative in the Age of Political Extremism”
Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World
A discussion with Dr. Nükhet Varlik
Thursday, October 15 @ 4pm
Organized by the Antigone Working Group, the Antigone Film Series is curated by Andrés Fabián Henao Castro, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston and 2018-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory, a partnership between Duke University, the University of Bologna (UNIBO), and the University of Virginia.
About the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures
The Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures (IHGC) offers a vision at once local and global, and a mission both academic and socially engaged.
IHGC Fall 2019 Distinguished Visitor
October 4, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm | Bryan Hall Faculty Lounge
UVa's Puzzle Poetry working group was launched in the fall of 2017 by Neal Curtis and
Brad Pasanek as an experimental and collaborative endeavor. The group seeks to treat
poems as puzzles, isolate the substance of prosody, and apprehend shape as a medium.
They are makers, coders, and subformalists.
A new IHGC lab on Asian Cosmopolitanisms aiming to reconceptualize the study of Asia
across the disciplines of the humanities and interpretive social sciences.
Consortium of Humanities Centers & Institutes 2018 Annual Meeting | June 13-17, 2018
A conference on Humanities Informatics that showcased the power of the humanities
to address the urgent questions about the ‘human’ in our information age.
Achille Mbembe Lecture
"Negative Messianism in the Age of Animism" | September 18, 2017
Global South Initiative
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia $3.47 million to launch a major humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences has matched the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.
News & Announcements
Mellon Fellows Seminar - Michael Puri, “Mimetic Musical Modernism: The Case of Maurice Ravel”
Fri Feb 19
Department of Music, University of Virginia
** Seminar: February 19, 2021: “Mimetic Musical Modernism: The Case of Maurice Ravel”
“If human beings suddenly ceased imitating, all forms of culture would vanish.” This striking statement by René Girard not only ascribes to mimesis the ability to generate culture, but also implicitly challenges scholars to determine how mimesis operates within the cultural field they study. Many have risen to this challenge, but the question still remains: How does mimesis operate within western music, especially during the modern era?
The music of the French composer Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) can help us to answer this question. Mimesis manifests itself variously in this music, but most pointedly in two contrasting modernist forms that I refer to as “genealogical” and “commercial.” Genealogical mimesis involves modeling new works on old, and conceives of composition as craft. Commercial mimesis involves the replication, circulation, and transformation of mass-market artistic idioms, such as exoticism. In commercial mimesis, music is a commodity.
The first step in my project is to examine the interaction of these categories within Ravel’s music. I then widen the investigation to include a broader swath of modernist music. Finally I situate this body of musical practice within the emergent cultural-intellectual discourse on mimesis at the turn of the twentieth century. Guided by figures such as Tarde, Nietzsche, Frazer, Mauss, and Freud, this discourse gradually pivoted from conceiving mimesis as a threat to western civilization to advancing it as a foundational principle.
Michael J. Puri is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Ravel the Decadent: Memory, Sublimation, and Desire, published by Oxford University Press, and is currently completing another monograph that explores some fascinating but hitherto unrecognized relationships between Ravel and German music. His research into French and German music of the long nineteenth century has been published widely and has received support from a variety of institutions, including a year-long residential fellowship at the National Humanities Center and the Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society.
Mellon Fellows Seminar - Neeti Nair, “The Problem of Belonging after the Partition of India”
Fri Mar 05
Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC.
** Seminar: January 22, 2021: “The Problem of Belonging after the Partition of India”
How did the partition of the Indian subcontinent resolve the problem of belonging for minority religious communities – in India, Pakistan, and later, Bangladesh? If Pakistan was designed to create a ‘homeland’ for the Muslims of the subcontinent, was India meant to serve as a homeland for the Hindus? How, then, did the Hindus of Pakistan and the Muslims of India learn to live and build community in these newly majoritarian countries? Did the state ideologies of secularism and Islam enable both minorities and majorities to flourish on terms of equality? In ‘The Problem of Belonging after the Partition of India’, I examine debates on political representation alongside literary representations of religious minorities as a way to understand how the contradictions wrought by the partition were sought to be resolved in subsequent decades. This is part of a longer book length project on India’s Partition: Politics, Culture, Memory.
Neeti Nair is an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia and Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. She is the author of Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India, Harvard University Press and Permanent Black, 2011. Her articles have appeared in scholarly journals such as Modern Asian Studies, Indian Economic and Social History Review, and the Economic and Political Weekly, as well as in media outlets such as The Print, the Indian Express and India Today. Nair has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, American Institute of Indian Studies, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Mellon Fellows Seminar - Joshua White, “An Epic Tale of Sorrow and Joy: Slavery, Migration, and the Mediterranean Journeys of an Ottoman Manuscript”
Fri Mar 19
Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
** Seminar: March 19, 2021: “An Epic Tale of Sorrow and Joy: Slavery, Migration, and the Mediterranean Journeys of an Ottoman Manuscript”
What meaning did a fictional Ottoman tale and the manuscript containing it have to those who copied, read, heard, and owned it? An Epic Tale of Sorrow and Joy is an interdisciplinary microhistory that explores the many meanings, uses, and journeys of an otherwise unremarkable manuscript—the only extant copy of an eponymous Ottoman Turkish story of forced migration, fortune, and loss set in the seventeenth-century Mediterranean—held at the British Library. Tracing the parallel lives of the story’s characters and the manuscript’s early nineteenth-century Ottoman and European owners, this study considers the contexts in which such manuscripts were produced, consumed, collected, and sold, and the lives of the migrants, travelers, and slaves that inspired them. By following this unique manuscript from Izmir to Istanbul and Corfu to London, I aim to bring to light a lost history of cultural exchange and appropriation, travel and migration.
Joshua M. White is Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia. A specialist in the social, legal, and diplomatic history of the early modern Ottoman Empire and Mediterranean world, he is the author of Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean (Stanford University Press, 2017).
Mellon Fellows Seminar - Sarah Betzer, “The Long Eighteenth Century?”
Fri Mar 26
Associate Professor of Art History
McIntire Department of Art, University of Virginia
** Seminar: March 26, 2021: “The "Long" Eighteenth Century?”
“The "Long" Eighteenth Century?” – The focus of my research while a Mellon Humanities Fellow takes off from the ubiquity of the phrase: "the long eighteenth century." Proliferating in calls for participation and panel descriptions throughout art history and visual culture studies, if the mark of an elongated eighteenth century is inescapable, this terminology merits further scrutiny. During my period as a Mellon Fellow, I will consider the rise of a "long" eighteenth century alongside the significant transformation of art historical inquiry into expanded geographical and cultural terrains. What is meant by the "long" eighteenth century? From which vantage points, and for whom, is it long? And to what ends has this elongation been directed? And what impact, if any, has a "worlding" of art history had upon humanistic thinking about the relative length or shortness, the narrowness or breadth, of the eighteenth century? My consideration of these questions will take the form of a historiographic analysis–rooted in art history but with a vantage onto scholarship in allied humanistic disciplines–that will appear in a special issue of Journal 18 that I am co-editing with Prof. Dipti Khera (New York University/Institute of Fine Arts), and that will appear in late 2021.
Sarah Betzer is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Virginia. A specialist of modern European art and art historical theory and methods, her research, teaching, and graduate supervision is orientated to the intersections of art theoretical debates and artistic process; the enduring power of the classical past; and the dynamics of gendered and sexed bodies in representation. She is the author of Ingres and the Studio: Women, Painting, History (Penn State University Press, 2010), and Animating the Antique: Sculptural Encounter in the Age of Aesthetic Theory (forthcoming, Penn State University Press). Her essays have appeared in The Art Bulletin, Oxford Art Journal, Art History, and Sculpture Journal.
Citizenship, Belonging, and the Partition of India
Fri Apr 09
Mellon Global South Initiative
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia $3.47 million to launch a major humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will match the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.
Clay Endowments & Grants
The Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC) invites proposals for funding from the Buckner W. Clay Endowment to support innovative work in the global humanities at the University of Virginia. The Endowment provides an ambitious basis of support for faculty and student research and teaching to be conducted under the auspices of the IHGC. Faculty and students from across all schools and disciplines at the university are welcome and encouraged to apply.
The Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory is a new research entity jointly promoted by the University of Virginia, Duke University and the University of Bologna. It is conceived as an intellectual space for scholars coming from different research fields and geographical regions to work together on the redefinition of the humanities in a global age.