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

Amitav Ghosh

Fall 2020 Seminar Series: “Indian Ocean Worlds and the Anthropocene”
Register Here
 

Deborah Baker

Fall 2020 Seminar Series: “Narrative in the Age of Political Extremism”
Register Here

Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World

A discussion with Dr. Nükhet Varlik
Thursday, October 15 @ 4pm
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Annual Report 2019-20

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Antigone Film Series

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. 

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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.

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HistoREMIX Humanities Week | Feburary 23-28, 2020 

Jane Taylor

IHGC Fall 2019 Distinguished Visitor 
October 4, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm | Bryan Hall Faculty Lounge
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Puzzle Poetry

Puzzle Poesis

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. 

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Asian Cosmopolitanisms

Asian Cosmopolitanisms

A new IHGC lab on Asian Cosmopolitanisms aiming to reconceptualize the study of Asia
across the disciplines of the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

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CHCI

Humanities Informatics

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.

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Achille Mbembe

Achille Mbembe Lecture

"Negative Messianism in the Age of Animism" | September 18, 2017

WATCH THE LECTURE

Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh

IHGC Writer-in-residence
Watch his lectures

Global Map

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.

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News & Announcements

Fri Oct 30
10:00 am - 12:00 pm | Webinar
Mellon Fellows Seminar - Allison Bigelow, “Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World”

Mellon Fellows Seminar - Allison Bigelow, “Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World”

Fri Oct 30


Allison Bigelow

Tom Scully Discovery Chair Associate Professor of Spanish

Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, University of Virginia

** Seminar:  October 30, 2020:  “Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World”

REGISTER HERE

 

Project Summary

I am beginning a new project at IHGC, one that builds from the methods that I developed in my first book, Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture for the University of North Carolina Press, May 2020). My new project turns from mining to agriculture, another critical vernacular science and a root paradigm of settler colonialism. In what I am tentatively titling Women of Corn, Men of Corn: The Meanings of Maize Agriculture in the Early Americas, I will compare agricultural technologies and the techniques of maize cultivation in two regions of the hemisphere, Mayan-speaking Mesoamerica, where men grew crops, and the Algonquin-speaking Chesapeake, where women took charge of farming. This framework of similarity and difference will allow me to analyze how gender influenced agricultural life, and how agricultural patterns shaped gender systems, before and after the European invasion.

 

Biography

Allison Bigelow is the Tom Scully Discovery Chair Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. She is the author of Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture for UNC Press, 2020), the first book-length study of the technical and scientific vocabularies that miners developed in early modern Iberian colonies. Her research on Indigenous knowledge production, gender systems, and colonial science has been funded by the NEH, ACLS, and Huntington Library, and it is published in journals like Anuario de estudios bolivianosEarly American LiteratureEarly American StudiesEthnohistoryJournal of Extractive Industries and Societies, and PMLA. With Rafael Alvarado (https://datascience.virginia.edu/people/rafael-alvarado) she is the co-PI of the UVA Multepal Project, a scholarly and pedagogical initiative in digital Mesoamerican studies. Multepal's current focus is to prepare digital critical editions of the sacred book of the Maya K'iche', Popol Wuj (https://multepal.github.io/popolwuj/). At IHGC, Allison is beginning a new project, tentatively titled Women of Corn, Men of Corn: The Meanings of Maize Agriculture in the Early Americas, which will compare agricultural technologies in two regions of the Americas: Mesoamerica, where men grew crops, and the Chesapeake, where women took charge of farming.

Fri Oct 30
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Webinar
Amitav Ghosh, “Future or Past? Climate Change as seen from the Global North and South”

Amitav Ghosh, “Future or Past? Climate Change as seen from the Global North and South”

Fri Oct 30


Amitav Ghosh, “Future or Past? Climate Change as seen from the Global North and South”

Friday October 30, 2020 | 3.00-4.00 pm | Zoom link (no registration required)

In the West, no matter whether in economics, science or indeed, fiction, climate change is almost always imagined in relation to the future.  In the global south the imagining of climate change is markedly different. This talk will examine some of the differences between the two perspectives.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of ReasonThe Shadow LinesIn An Antique LandDancing in CambodiaThe Calcutta ChromosomeThe Glass PalaceThe Hungry Tide, and the three volumes of The Ibis Trilogy; Sea of PoppiesRiver of Smoke and Flood of Fire.The Circle of Reason was awarded France’s Prix Médicis in 1990, and The Shadow Lines won two prestigious Indian prizes the same year, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar. The Calcutta Chromosome won the Arthur C. Clarke award for 1997 and The Glass Palace won the International e-Book Award at the Frankfurt book fair in 2001. In January 2005 The Hungry Tide was awarded the Crossword Book Prize, a major Indian award. His novel, Sea of Poppies (2008) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2008 and was awarded the Crossword Book Prize and the India Plaza Golden Quill Award.

Fri Oct 30
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Webinar
Amitav Ghosh Fall 2020 Seminar: “Indian Ocean Worlds and the Anthropocene”

Amitav Ghosh Fall 2020 Seminar: “Indian Ocean Worlds and the Anthropocene”

Fri Oct 30


As the impact of climate change intensifies, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Indian Ocean region, with its fast-accelerating economies, its innumerable oil and gas producers, its collapsing ecosystems, its vulnerable yet rapidly-increasing populations, and its swiftly-expanding carbon footprint, will be the theatre in which the future of the world will be decided. How will the ongoing changes affect the material and cultural lives of the region’s peoples, who are simultaneously drivers and victims of climate change? Many of the world’s major zones of conflict are already clustered around the Indian Ocean, and the region is also the theater of many accelerating arms races. How will these developments affect the global balance of power? What lessons might past climatic shifts offer for the future? These are some of the issues that will be discussed over the four two-hour sessions of this workshop. 

For more information, e-mail Bruce Holsinger (bwholsinger@gmail.com)

October 30: Indian Ocean Worlds and the Anthropocene

 

  • Markus Vink, “Indian Ocean Studies and the New Thalassalogy,” Journal of Global History, 2, pp 41-62.
  • Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen and John McNeill, “The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature,” Ambio, 36:8, Dec 2007 (publication of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)
  • Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement, part I, “Stories” University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Climate and Capital: On Conjoined Histories,” Critical Inquiry, 41:1, 2014, pp 1-23.
  • Elizabeth Deloughrey, “Toward a Critical Ocean Studies for the Anthropocene” English Language Notes, 57:1, April 2019
Mon Nov 02
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm | Webinar
NEW DATE & TIME: Deborah Baker, "In the Heart of Whiteness; Charlottesville, Modernism, and White Supremacy"

NEW DATE & TIME: Deborah Baker, "In the Heart of Whiteness; Charlottesville, Modernism, and White Supremacy"

Mon Nov 02


Deborah Baker, "In the Heart of Whiteness; Charlottesville, Modernism, and White Supremacy"

Zoom link (no registration required)
To understand the Unite the Rally of 2017, I will talk about a forgotten episode in the city's history when another white supremacist chose Charlottesville as the staging ground for a race war. This earlier event illuminates in unsettling ways how academia and high modernism conspired to re-center whiteness in the American mainstream.

Deborah Baker was born in Charlottesville and grew up in Virginia, Puerto Rico and New England.  She attended the University of Virginia and Cambridge University.  Her first biography, written in college, was Making a Farm: The Life of Robert Bly, published by Beacon Press in 1982. After working a number of years as a book editor and publisher, in 1990 she moved to Calcutta where she wrote In Extremis; The Life of Laura Riding.  Published by Grove Press and Hamish Hamilton in the UK, it was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1994.  Her third book, A Blue Hand: The Beats in India was published by Penguin Press USA and Penguin India in 2008. In 2008–2009 she was a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis C. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at The New York Public Library.  There she researched and wrote The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism, a narrative account of the life of an American convert to Islam, drawn on letters on deposit in the library’s manuscript division. The Convert, published by Graywolf and Penguin India, was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in Non-Fiction. In August 2018, she published her fifth work of non-fiction, The Last Englishmen: Love, War and the End of Empire.

Mon Nov 02
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Webinar
Deborah Baker Fall 2020 Seminar: “Narrative in the Age of Political Extremism” (Part II)

Deborah Baker Fall 2020 Seminar: “Narrative in the Age of Political Extremism” (Part II)

Mon Nov 02


For more information, e-mail Bruce Holsinger (bwholsinger@gmail.com)

IHGC Fall Seminar with Deborah Baker

Narrative in the Age of Political Extremism”

 

Mondays, 3.00-5.00pm

 

Dates

October 26

November 2

November 9

November 16

 

 

We are living in a time of rising extremism and increasing polarization around the world.  This trend has been accompanied by acts of millenarian terror, generally committed by men who believe themselves and their identities and beliefs to be facing an existential threat.  What narrative strategies can be used to dramatize the conflict between those who want to destroy civil society, replacing civic norms with ones in which they are the unquestioned arbiters, and those who seek to protect the status quo? In this seminar we will look at works of fiction and narrative non-fiction that have captured this struggle in all its moral, political, and historical dimensions.

 

Reading list:

The Convert by Deborah Baker (narrative non-fiction)

One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway by Asne Sierstad  (narrative non-fiction)

American War by Omar el Akkad (futurist fiction)

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (speculative fiction)

Defying Hitler by Sebastien Haffner (posthumous memoir)

Mellon Global South Initiative

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

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. 

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Bologna

Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory

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.

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Mapping Indigenous/UVA Relations: Stories of Space, Place, and Histories is a participatory action methodological project that focuses on sparsely documented Indigenous relations with the University of Virginia. This project combines archival materials related to Indigenous histories and presences in and around UVA with Virginia tribal citizens’ personal digital stories that...

My research focuses on sabils, or charitable water fountains, as a key location for exploring vernacular water architecture and investigating the underlying conceptual frameworks that give them life. Sabils are important parts of the built environment of Cairo, drawing on religious precedence and enacting everyday ethical notions of reciprocity. They are particularly important in the changing...

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...

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...

“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...

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...

Since the mid-1980s, art photographers from metropolitan France have been training their lenses on places throughout the country they call home. Their work constitutes a dynamic, thoughtful, and altogether transformative way of envisioning what on the surface might seem like perfectly mundane locations, but which the photographs endorse as landscapes endowed with the capacity to expand and...

I am beginning a new project at IHGC, one that builds from the methods that I developed in my first book, Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture for the University of North Carolina Press, May 2020). My new project turns from mining to agriculture,...

Higher Powers: Alcohol and After in Uganda’s Capital City is a collaborative monograph (co-authored by George Mpanga and Sarah Namirembe) that draws on four years of fieldwork carried out with Ugandans working to reconstruct their lives after attempting to leave problematic forms of alcohol use behind.  Given the relatively recent introduction of Western ideas of alcoholism and...

Project Summary: My project on Byzantine urbanism and Athens in particular, seeks to reconstruct the topography and spatial layout of Byzantine Athens (4th-15th c AD), and better understand contemporary living conditions and socio-economic activities in the city. Emphasis is placed on city-making processes and particularly the role of non-elite, ordinary people in them. Similar to...

Project Summary: My current book project reframes narratives of photography’s origin and originality by zooming into the first one hundred years of photography in Senegal (1860-1960). Senegal has received significant attention as one of the epicenters of modernism in the Black Atlantic, and yet, the advent of photography in the country in the 1840s has hardly been considered in...