Eric Hayot presents “What Happens to Literature If Persons Are Artworks?”

Eric Hayot, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at Pennsylvania State University, will present a talk at UC Berkeley entitled “What Happens to Literature if Persons are Artworks?” The event will take place on Thursday, February 12 at 4:00pm in the Maude Fife Room (Wheeler Hall, 3rd floor).

Hayot for blog

The premise of the talk is that the ethics of reading that dominates the human sciences is borrowed essentially wholesale from a Romantic relation to the humanistic object of study, one of whose origins can be found in Kant. Hayot argues that this ethics is neither practically nor philosophically viable, and so he proposes an alternative to it that also, along the way, would produce a new way of thinking about the relationship between humans, artworks, and the market.

The first decade of Hayot’s career focused on what he describes as “the ways in which China (and a variety of correlates each working to undermine the geographic, cultural, or political singularity of the word “China”) have affected the intellectual, literary, and cultural history of the West (similarly undermined).” His “Chinese Bodies, Chinese Futures” is available in Representations 99 (Summer 2007).

Sarah Winter presents “ ‘Have-his-carcase’: Habeas Writs, (Human) Rights, and Pickwick”

WinterSarah Winter, Professor of English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut, will present an upcoming talk at UC Berkeley entitled “’Have-his-carcase’: Habeas Writs, (Human) Rights, and Pickwick.”

The event will take place on Monday, December 8 at 5pm in 306 Wheeler Hall. The talk will focus on a pre-circulated paper (to obtain a copy, contact Wendy Xin at wendy.xin@berkeley.edu). The event is sponsored by the Nineteenth Century British Cultural Studies Townsend Center Working Group and the Florence Green Bixby Chair in English.

Sarah Winter’s essay, “Darwin’s Saussure: Biosemiotics and Race in Expressions,” winner of the North American Victorian Studies Association’s Donald Gray Prize for the best article in Victorian studies from 2009, is available in Representations 107 (Summer 2009).

Quirk Historicism

Quirk Historicism and the End(s) of Art History: A One-Day Symposium

Organized by Nicholas Mathew and Mary Ann Smart

QH poster.pptx

Saturday, Nov. 1, UC Berkeley
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall, Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley

In many humanities disciplines, the past twenty years or so have witnessed a dramatic expansion in the types of objects and ideas that can be meaningfully invoked in the course of historical study. One consequence of this has been a new reveling in the allure of objets trouvés or historical micronarratives – the conversion of the obscurity, strangeness, and distance of historical debris into a form of rhetoric, which frequently acts as a substitute for more conventional forms of argument or exposition. The emergence of this tendency, which we’re calling Quirk Historicism, is thus partly a story about how historical study has been turned into a kind of aesthetic experience.   

Participants include Nicholas Mathew, Mary Ann Smart, James Davies, Emily Dolan, Deirdre Loughridge, James Currie, Benjamin Piekut, Aoife Monks, Ellen Lockhart, Benjamin Walton, Thomas Laqueur, and Alan Tansman.

To find out more, visit the conference website at http://quirkhistoricism.wordpress.com.

 

“Poetry and the Price of Value”

Representations author Christopher Nealon in conversation

On Friday, October 17, the UC Berkeley English department colloquia on 20th/21st-Century Literature and Poetry and Poetics present a conversation with Christopher Nealon, professor of English at Johns Hopkins University. The conversation will be based around a pre-circulated paper, “Poetry and the Price of Value.” The event will take place at UC Berkeley in Wheeler Hall 300, at 2pm.

Poetry and the Price of Value (Christopher Nealon)

Christopher Nealon’s essay, “Reading on the Left,” is available in Representations 108 (Fall 2009).

 

“Designing Histories of Slavery for the Age of the Database”

Representations board member Stephen Best hosts event with Vincent Brown

Vincent Brown Lecture

On Friday, October 17, The Black Room and the Institute of International Studies will co-sponsor a talk by Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of History and Professor of African & African-American Studies and the Director of the History Design Studio at Harvard University.

This presentation considers three graphic histories of slavery—a web-based animation of Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, a cartographic narrative of the Jamaican slave revolt of 1760–61, and a web-based archive of enslaved family lineages in Jamaica and Virginia—that illustrate how the archive of slavery is more than the records bequeathed to us by the past; the archive also includes the tools we use to explore it, the vision that allows us to see its traces, and the design decisions that communicate our sense of history’s possibilities.

The event will take place at UC Berkeley in the Maude Fife Room (Wheeler Hall 315) at noon.

What Was African American Literature?

Representations’ Best, Lye, and Otter in conversation with Kenneth Warren

On Friday, September 12, UC Berkeley English department faculty and Representations board members Stephen Best, Colleen Lye, and Samuel Otter will join Kenneth Warren, Professor of English at the University of Chicago, for a roundtable on Warren’s book, What Was African American Literature? (Harvard University Press, 2011). The roundtable will take place at UC Berkeley in the Maud Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall, from 12-2 pm.

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On or About 1814

On or About 1814: A Symposium on Literature in History

September 20-21, 2014
300 WheelerHall, UC Berkeley

Convened by Representations editorial board member Ian Duncan.

on-or-about-1814-5On or About 1814 brings together a group of scholars to mark the bicentenary of Walter Scott’s Waverley, published in July 1814, and other literary events associated with “that fated year” (Robert Louis Stevenson).  Along with works published in Britain in 1814, participants explore a range of ways of thinking about historical dates and periods and what such data might mean for the study of literature. The format will feature short (15-20 minute) papers with plenty of time for discussion and a seminar-style workshop on Waverley and Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

Speakers include James Chandler (Chicago), Adriana Craciun (UC Riverside), Claire Connolly (Cork), Simon During (Queensland), Penny Fielding (Edinburgh), Rae Greiner (Indiana), Sara Hackenberg (San Francisco State), Yoon Sun Lee (Wellesley College), Ian Duncan (UC Berkeley), Deidre Shauna Lynch (Harvard), Ann Rigney (Utrecht), and  Matthew Wickman (Brigham Young).

Full program and details to be announced shortly. Please address inquiries to Ian Duncan, iduncan@berkeley.edu.

Seeing/Knowing Conference at UC Berkeley in September

2014_Conference_logo_small
2014 Conference on Neuroesthetics

Seeing Knowing: Vision, Knowledge, Cognition, and Aesthetics

Speakers include Deborah Aschheim, Harold Cohen, James Elkins, Line Cecilie Engh, Cristina Grasseni, Derek Hodgson, Ellen Lupton, Alan MacEachren, Aaron Marcus, Marcos Nadal, Aude Oliva, William Seely, Colin Ware, Peter Wells, and Johanna Drucker (convener).

What is the connection between vision and knowledge? Do historical and cultural experiences become embodied in visual cognition? How do designers of digital and networked platforms draw on aesthetic as well as analytical tools to create engaging graphic environments?

This conference, scheduled for September 6th and 7th at UC Berkeley, brings together scholars, artists, and cognitive scientists working at the intersection of perception, cognition, representation, and design. At its core is a conviction that the field of “visual epistemology” is poised for a long-overdue systematic articulation.

Topics include the history of vision and its role in early human social organization, the modeling of artificial vision as a set of principles for composition, the investigation of brain patterns and responses to aesthetic activity, and the function of graphic structures in design for cross-cultural communication. Speakers include artists and researchers from graphic design, information visualization, art history, paleo-anthropology, artificial intelligence, geography, and visual studies.

SEEING KNOWING SCHEDULE

Sponsored by the Minerva Foundation

Register

 

Philosopher Catherine Malabou at Berkeley

Una’s Lecture
Photo of Catherine Malabou.

Monday, April 14, 2014 | 6:00 pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

French Philosopher Catherine Malabou teaches at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University in London. She is the author of The Future of Hegel (2005), What Should We Do with Our Brain? (2008), Plasticity at the Eve of Writing (2009) and Self and Emotional Life: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Neuroscience (2013)Her work has created the foundation for a wide range of current research focusing on the intersections between neuro- and biological science and the humanities. Her Una’s lecture, “Odysseus’ Changed Soul,” will offer a contemporary reading of Plato’s myth of Er (Republic, Book 10).

Professor Malabou’s short essay “The King’s Two (Biopolitical) Bodies” will appear in Representations 127, available in July 2014. In residence at Berkeley through the month of April, she will be a featured speaker in the interdisciplinary conference  “Animation/Reanimation” April 18, 2014 and participate (along with Representations editorial board member David Bates) in a two-day workshop April 11-12, entitled “Plasticity and Pathology: The History and Theory of Neural Subjects.”