Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guest entry! Maia Ramnath and Intro to Global Histories students

Dear students, when we first posted Professor Ramnath's guest entry, our blog did not allow comments. We've changed that and are re-posting, so if you would like to contribute a comment as she invites you to, please do!

Professor Ramnath introduces and the students contribute below...

After wrestling all week with what to post on the department blog-- should I try to convey my daily attempts to integrate theory and practice, to study the historical translation of ideas into action, to translate ideas into action myself, to embody imagination, to seek both physical and intellectual exertion through political and artistic challenge? Should I offer random observations on things seen, heard or eaten? What would best represent a slice of Draper life?-- I decided to pass the buck. Or, as we say in pedagogy, I employed the Socratic method. I put these two questions to my students: What is the most interesting thing you've done in the past month or plan to do in the next month? What is the coolest insight you've read, heard, or thought in any of your classes so far this semester? Their answers form the beginning of a mosaic. Please feel free to add to it.

Most exciting thing that's happened to me in the past two months: moving to New York hands down!!! I love this city. I've ran into some cool actors, got some great food, passed ridiculous amounts of time at GOOD coffee shops. I love the city and the city loves me back.
insight...I'd have to go with my most beloved philosopher, the only economist I can read and enjoy, Karl Marx. Just rereading him today and got to the last of his Theses on Feuerbach, "Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it" If he only knew how much and what way his views changed the world...

The most interesting thing I did this month was to see Maurice Sendak's original drawings and illustrations for "Where the Wild Things Are" at the Animazing Gallery in Soho and the Morgan Library. Hopefully, the movie will be just as interesting. My most interesting new insight is that now I think way too much about Orientalism and Colonization. Just because Max becomes king of the "Wild Things" doesn't necessarily mean it's an allegory about colonizing powers.....

Flava Flav came into the place where I work and talked about spiritualism to me for 20 minutes. He was wearing that giant clock. has made me rethink our discussion of capitalism, of which I am not a fan, since if we didn't have capitalism, we would definitely not have Flava Flav in his present evolution. Mostly, I have considered the fact that if a man wearing a clock can make money in capitalism, who am I to judge, and further, if this makes capitalism the most brilliant or most absurd system in the world.

I spoke to a Chinese man who plays the violin on the subway. I always see him when I come home. He say he does not do it for tips. He plays for the people who come home after work. He says the music he plays is melancholy and he means it to be that way. It makes me want to cry, but in a good way-to release the toxins of the day, the hustle, the bustle, the faking, the making, the taking, the rush, the maze, the crazy, the insanity, the hopelessness, the apathy, the shit, the rats, the roaches, he plays it away like a pied piper with his violin. Classical-music used as a weapon against apathy.
Global history is blowing my mind.

The most interesting thing I've done in the last month is see Vermeer's Milkmaid at the Met. The coolest insight I've had in class is that Clement Clarke Moore, the guy who wrote the Night Before Christmas, was also a Hebrew scholar and an abolitionist.

The coolest thing I've done recently was go to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for the Feast of St. Francis and Blessing of the Animals. I've never been to a church service of any denomination with a camel before! I don't have any specific insights- rather, I just have a general appreciation for my Draper courses- Intro to Art Worlds and Intro to Global Histories. We've studied terms like globalism and modernity, ideas which I thought I could explain before but now realize have no clear cut definitions.

A group of friends and I went on a three day canoe trip at the Delaware Water Gap which turned into something more or less like a three day "survival" trip. The coolest thing I learned in a class is that Thomas Hobbes, according to the professor, didn't believe in God, despite his abundant references in the Leviathan.

The most interesting thing I have done, or will do, is go to my church that is in Times Square that's run by 15 people who came from Oregon 2 years ago. The most interesting thing I've thought in class is that I realize how interesting certain things are to me, and how those same things aren't interesting to others.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An invitation from CLAGS...

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies is delighted to announce our annual Graduate Student Mixer, Tuesday October 20th from 5:30-7:00pm. Come and meet other graduate students working in LGBT studies, acquaint yourself with CLAGS staff and board members, and get a tour of the CLAGS office. The mixer will be held in the CLAGS office, room 7115, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Avenue (between 34th and 35th streets). Refreshments will be served. RSVP to

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Call for Papers: People, Power, and Pragmatism (Notre Dame): Deadline for Submission this Friday, 10/16

People, Power, and Pragmatism: The Future of Development in Our Changing World

The Human Development Conference at the University of Notre Dame
February 26-27, 2010


This is a reminder that the deadline for abstract submissions for The Human Development Conference at the University of Notre Dame is this Friday, October 16. Friday will be the last day for your students to submit abstracts.

Please remind those within your academic departments, centers, and institutions of this opportunity and encourage your students to consider applying. Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate. Please see the Call for Papers, which can be found at the Ford Family Program website, for further information.

We thank you for your time and hope to see both you and your students at the conference.


Andrew Seelaus Barbara Vi Ho Colleen Moran
Co-Chair Co-Chair Outreach Manager
Human Development Conference
Ford Family Program for Human Development Studies and Solidarity
University of Notre Dame

Draper student presenting at NYU Literature Colloquium

Draper student Hilarie Ashton will be presenting at the NYU Colloquium in American Literature and Culture on Wednesday, October 21st at 6pm, right across the street from Draper. More info is below.

The New York University
Colloquium in American Literature and Culture
"The Urban (as) Flaneur: Narrator and City in Edgardo Vega Yunque's The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow Into The Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle"
Hilarie Ashton, New York University

"White People Were Returning to Dean Street: Contact Zones and Gentrification in Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude"
Katie Daily, Boston College

Wednesday, 21 October
6:00 p.m.

13-19 University Place, room 222
New York University

All are welcome!
Refreshments will be served.

Hilarie Ashton is a Masters Candidate in the Draper Program for Humanities and Social Thought at New York University.
Katie Daily is a doctoral student in English Literature at Boston College.

For more information:

Horizons of Translation Series: Representations of Translation in Latin American Fiction (Wednesday, 10/14)

“Horizons of Translation”

Organized by the Department of Comparative Literature and cosponsored by the Humanities Initiative, New York University, “Horizons of Translation” public lecture series extends over fall 2009 semester. Showcasing the strengths in translation studies of NYU’s Department of Comparative Literature and drawing into dialogue specialists in the subject from other universities, the series is designed to address the growing centrality of translation – as practice and as metaphor – to a variety of fields and theories. This interdisciplinary series brings a range of perspectives on translating theory and philosophy, on genre-specific questions, on translation and conflict, on the translational strategies of transnational literature, on the status of Arabic texts in world literature, among others. The regions highlighted are: Latin America, the USA, Europe, and the Arab world. For further information, please e-mail Hala Halim (

(10/14 @ 6:00)

Rosemary Arrojo

(Binghamton University)

“Representations of Translation in Latin American Fiction: Rodolfo Walsh, Moacyr Scliar, and the Subverted Space of the Translator's Footnotes”

19 University Pl. Room 222

(10/22 @ 6:00)

Waïl Hassan

(University of Illinois)

"From Literature in Translation to Translational Literature: Ahdaf Soueif and the Politics of Writing in English"

19 University Pl. Great Room

The last two talks in this series will be:

(11/11 @ 6:00)

Roger Allen (University of Pennsylvania) “The Happy Traitor: Tales of Translation”

19 University Pl. Great Room

(12/3 @ 6:00)

William Granara (Harvard University)

"Translation, Cultural Conflict, and the Literary Text"

Deutsches Haus. 42 Washington Mews

Want to study in Germany? Learn about DAAD

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Information Session

Myoung-shin Kim, Program Officer, Research Grants and Study Scholarships at the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) will be at NYU to discuss possibilities for research and study in Germany on Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 3:00-4:30 p.m. at Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews.

To RSVP for this event, email Kristofor Larsen at

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lecture Series: Rethinking Transnational Processes: Talk, 10/23

A Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences Presents:

NYU-CNRS 2009-2010 Lecture Series

Rethinking Transnational Processes
and Multiple Modernities in the Atlantic World

October 23, 2009
2 - 4 pm, 4 Washington Square North, Conference room, 2nd floor

Roger Sansi
(Goldsmiths College, University of London)

Encountering Images in Candomblé: events, representations, and iconoclasm

"Images" are a problem in the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé in two senses. First, the presence of Catholic images in altars has been questioned by the "reafricanization" movement in the last decades, as a form of "syncretism". Second it is often said that taking pictures or videos of rituals is not allowed. However, in my ethnographic experience, both religious images, pictures, and videos are used in many Candomblé houses. How can we understand this contradiction? What is the problem with images in Candomblé after all? To answer this question, we will have to examine the transformation of the practices and notions of "representation" within Candomblé itself, as a result of the incorporation of the modern discourse of "culture" by Afro-Brazilian elites.

Roger Sansi (PhD University of Chicago 2003) is Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He works on Afro-Brazilian religion and culture and international contemporary art. His recent publications include Fetishes and Monuments. Afro-Brazilian art and Culture in the 20th century (Berghahn Books, 2007) and Sorcery in the Black Atlantic, coedited with Luis Nicolau Parés (University of Chicago Press, in press).

Stefania Capone,
Aisha Khan,

4 Washington Square North New York NY 10003 212-992-7488

NYU Media, Culture, and Communication Program: Neil Postman Graduate Conference, 10/30

Event Date & Time

Friday, October 30, 2009
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Helen Mills Theater
(137 West 26th Street)

This conference is free and open to all those interested as seating allows. Please RSVP so we have an accurate count for catering. Thank you!

Schedule of Presentations

9:00 Doors open | Coffee served

9:15 Welcome

* Marita Sturken, Chair
* Rod Benson, Director of Graduate Studies

9:30 Panel I – Vision, Sound and/as Commodity

* Jamie Berthe, “Deconstructing Tarzan or Reconstructing Racial Hierarchies?”
* Melissa De Witte, “Memory and the Spectacle: Phantom and fantasy in a new economy of the image”
* Jennifer Heuson, “Soundscapes of the Black Hills: An acoustemology of the American West”
* Faculty moderator: Martin Scherzinger

11:00 Panel II – Politics of Memory

* Lisa Gitelman, "Daniel Ellsberg and the lost idea of the photocopy"
* Hatim El-Hibri, “Sectarianism, Maps and Beirut: From the French Mandate through the end of the civil war (1920-1991)”
* Christine Weible, “How the creation of museums and memorials at the site of the ex-ESMA is impacting collective memory of the Dirty War in Argentina
* Scott Selberg, "Cognitive Fever: Remembering Alzheimer's at the National Library of Medicine"
* Faculty moderator: Nicholas Mirzoeff

12:45 Lunch served

1:30 Brian Larkin, Anthropology, Barnard College, Columbia University

2:45 Break

3:00 Panel III – Media Activism

* Victor Pickard, "Crises and Opportunities in the Ongoing Struggle for Public Service Media"
* Evan Brody, “(De)scribing Disease: Capitalist HIV imagery and cultural memory”
* Dwaipayan Banerjee, “Media Activism in its Local Place: Lessons from Bhopal
* Marco Deseriis, “The Faker as Producer: Politics of fabrication and the three orders of the fake”
* Faculty moderator: Allen Feldman

4:45 Reception | Drinks served

Display of NYU Achival Treasures: Thursday, 10/15

Discover the bounty of the Tamiment-Wagner Labor Archives, the Fales Library and Special Collections,
and the New York University Archives at the Display of NYU Archival Treasures!

Stop in at any point to view selections from and learn about the archival collections at Bobst Library. The display will include historic photographs of NYU, yearbooks from the early 1900’s, art from the Downtown artists collection, historic cookbooks and NYU sports memorabilia. Open to all students, faculty and staff of NYU.

Thursday, October 15
Bobst Library
Seminar Conference Room 1-17A (behind the Circulation desk at Bobst)

Hosted by the NYU student chapter of the Society of American Archivists in celebration of American Archives month.
For more information contact Keara,