Friday, November 6, 2009

Guest entry by Hilarie Ashton, Draper student

Draper student Hilarie Ashton gave a presentation last month at the NYU Colloquium in American Literature and Culture. Here are some of her thoughts about the experience:

I recently presented a paper at NYU's Colloquium in American Literature and Culture (CALC). The experience was illuminating in several ways, not in the least during the preparation process. The act of writing for the ear rather than the eye feels more different than I thought it would. I found myself having to consciously shorten my clauses as I wrote and revised, and to reduce long, in-text references and quotes. I continually had to remind myself that I was writing both in terms of verbal delivery and auditory comprehension rather than as a traditional class paper or journal article.

The presentation itself worked well in part because of several levels on which my paper synched with the other one: I wrote on neighborhood, identity, and social interaction in Edgardo Vega's novel The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle, and Katie Levy, a PhD student from BU, wrote on combinations of those issues in Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude (which, completely coincidentally, I had come close to finishing earlier that week). The papers' dialogue became really clear during the rich and insightful discussion that followed our readings of our work: people's comments wove together really well, and I got some great ideas for future work. I'd definitely recommend the CALC events to Draper students, whether you'd be interested in presenting or participating as audience to a thought provoking discussion.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bonnie Honig lecture

The Gallatin School of Individualized Study
at New York University

Lectures in Political Theory
“Antigone, Interrupted: Humanism and the Future of Democratic Theory”

A Talk by Bonnie Honig, the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor, Political Science, Northwestern University and Senior Research Professor, American Bar Foundation, Chicago.

· 9 November 2009

· 5:30pm to 7:00pm

· Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts

· 1 Washington Place

· More information:

The personal is political - a guest post by Amber Musser, Gender Politics

In thinking about what to share on the Draper Community blog, I decided to take a slightly personal route.

First, I’m going to tell you a bit about my mother, Camille. She is a Boston-based painter from the Caribbean.

She is also featured in the recent documentary film, “Who Does She Think She Is?”

“Who Does She Think She is?” is a film that documents the lives of five female artists and “their struggles to lead creative lives while balancing family and motherhood.” It is directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, the Academy-Award winning co-executive producer of Born into Brothels. Boll describes the women as “a testament to both the heartbreak and the beauty of a 21st century life lived in art.”

This is where things start to get political. By foregrounding the personal, the film highlights the art of balancing families and careers as well as emphasizing the difficulty that women face in the art world. The under-representation of female artists in museums and galleries is not unknown. The discrepancy between male and female artists in terms of exposure and compensation is large.

So, what does this mean? As someone invested in critical gender studies, I have a number of reactions to the film. I am proud of my mother; proud that she has decided to make art a central part of her life even as it has meant sacrifice and little financial gain. This pride, however, is tempered with sadness and anger at the structural barriers to female participation in the art world and the social negotiation of the role of motherhood. In addition to the issues I've already raised, the film makes visible the tensions in familial negotiations of maternal time. Without financial gain, these women are continually asked to justify time away from their families. Clearly there are numerous gender issues at play including, but not limited to: what does it mean to be a female artist? Is asking these questions reifying already-problematic categories? What types of people fall under these categories and what kinds of art do these people produce? These questions are places where the personal intersects with the political. Art can be a useful tool to help us understand these tensions and open us to up to think differently.

I invite you take up these questions when you explore art in the New York Area. Here’s a list of interesting exhibits/events to get you started:

“The Dinner Party,” the iconic 1970s feminist installation Judy Chicago at the The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

“Gender Patterns: Clothing Makes the…” an installation that explores the concept of gay or lesbian clothing at the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation

“Georgia O’Keffe: Abstraction” challenges the viewer to look at O’Keffe’s work from a different (non-floral) perspective at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Also, be sure to check out the Performa festival which features artists like Kalup Linzy and Tracey Emin among others.

Lastly, here is more information on the film featuring my mother, Who Does She Think She Is?
 There is a screening of “Who Does She Think She Is?” on Sunday, November 8 at 2:45 pm at Symphony Space at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street.

Horizons of Translation Series: "The Happy Traitor: Tales of Translation" (11/11)

NYU's Comparative Literature Department presents the "Horizons of Translation Series"

Roger Allen

11/11 @ 6:00

“The Happy Traitor: Tales of Translation”

19 University Pl. Great Room

The final talk in this series will be:

(12/3 @ 6:00)
William Granara (Harvard University)
"Translation, Cultural Conflict, and the Literary Text"
Deutsches Haus. 42 Washington Mews

Lorraine Daston lecture

The Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the
Humanities Initiative of New York University proudly

Distinguished Faculty Lectures
"Observation as a Way of Life: Time,
Attention, Allegory"
A Lecture by Lorraine Daston
Director, Max Planck Institute for the history of Science, Berlin
12 November, 6:00pm
Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre
for the Performing Arts
1 Washington place
More Information:
Lorraine Daston has published on a wide range of topics in the history of science, including the history of probability and statistics, wonders in early modern science, the emergence of the scientific fact, scientific models, objects of scientific inquiry, the moral authority of nature, and the history of scientific objectivity. She is currently completing a book on "Moral and Natural Orders” and co-editing a volume on "Histories of Scientific Observation.” Professor Daston has taught at Harvard, Princeton, Brandeis, and Göttingen Universities, and at University of Chicago, where she is Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought. She has also held visiting positions in Paris and Vienna and gave the Isaiah Berlin Lectures at Oxford University (1999), the West Lectures at Stanford University (2005, and the Tanner Lectures at Harvard University (2002). Among her recent publications are Objectivity (co-authored Peter Galison) and Thinking with Animals (co-authored with Gregg Mitmann); she has also co-edited Things that Talk, The Moral Authority of Nature, and the early modern volume of The Cambridge History of Science. Two of her books, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment, and Wonders of Nature (co- authored with Katharine Park), were awarded the History of Science Society's Pfizer Prize.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Third Annual Leon Levy Lecture

Thursday, November 5, 6:00 pm
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

ISAW is a center for advanced scholarly research and graduate education, intended to cultivate comparative and connective investigations of the ancient world. It features doctoral and post- doctoral programs, with the aim of training a new generation of scholars who will enter the global academic community and become intellectual leaders. In an effort to embrace a truly inclusive geographical scope while maintaining continuity and coherence, the Institute focuses on the shared and overlapping periods in the development of cultures and civilizations around the Mediterranean basin, and across central Asia to the Pacific Ocean.

*The Historian in the Future of the Ancient World: A View from Central Eurasia

Nicola Di Cosmo
Henry Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian Studies
Institute for Advanced Study

*Third Annual Leon Levy Lecture
Thursday, 6:00 pm
November 5, 2009*

Oak Library
ISAW Building
15 East 84th Street
New York, NY 10028


Much of the making of the ancient world has to do with the movement of peoples, and with the languages, genes, and material cultures they carried from place to place. Central Eurasia from the Pontus to the Baikal was a major theater of population movements from the dispersal of the Indo-Europeans to the migratory waves of the early Middle Ages. While often met with skepticism, the recent encounter between molecular biology and genetic studies with linguistics, archaeology, and physical anthropology has heralded radical changes in the study of the ancient world, if nothing else because all these disciplines have consequently been thrown into closer contact with each other. A dialogue has developed among geneticists, linguists, archaeologists and anthropologists over the past twenty-some years that, while sometimes dissonant and acrimonious, has produced ideas and data that may prove useful for historical research. How should the historian of the ancient world view this development? Does the historian have a role to play? This question will be discussed especially in relation to the study of ancient Eurasian nomads.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

National Security: The Way Forward presentation

The Center on Law and Security

at NYU School of Law


National Security: The Way Forward

a conversation with Philip C. Bobbitt,

Herbert Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence

at Columbia Law School,


Karen J. Greenberg,

Executive Director

Center on Law and Security

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Lipton Hall

108 W. 3rd Street

*This event is free and open to the public*

To RSVP, click here or call 212-992-8854.


One of the nation's leading constitutional theorists, Philip Bobbitt's interests include not only constitutional law but also international security and the history of strategy. He has published seven books: Tragic Choices (with Calabresi) (Norton, 1978), Constitutional Fate (Oxford, 1982), Democracy and Deterrence: U.S. Nuclear Strategy (with Freedman and Treverton) (St. Martin's, 1989), Constitutional Interpretation (Blackwell, 1991), The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History (Knopf, 2002), and, most recently, Terror and Consent (Knopf, 2008).

Bobbitt is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the Club of Madrid. He is a Life Member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. He is a member of the Commission on the Continuity of Government. He has served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Henry J. Friendly (2 Cir.), Associate Counsel to the President, the Counselor on International Law at the State Department, Legal Counsel to the Senate Iran-Contra Committee, and Director for Intelligence, Senior Director for Critical Infrastructure and Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council. Before coming to Columbia he was A.W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School. He is a former trustee of Princeton University; and a former member of the Oxford University Modern History Faculty and the War Studies Department of Kings College, London. He serves on the Editorial Board of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. For the Fall term 2005, he was the James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. For the Spring term 2007, he was the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School at the conclusion of which he joined the faculty of Columbia Law School. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Robert S. StraussCenter for International Security and Law at the University of Texas.

Karen J. Greenberg is the Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law. She is the author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days (Oxford University Press, 2009), co-editor with Joshua L. Dratel of The Enemy Combatant Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge University Press, 2005), editor of the books The Torture Debate in America (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Al Qaeda Now (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and editor of the NYU Review of Law and Security. Her work is featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, The National Interest, Mother Jones,, and on major news channels. She is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations.