Friday, January 21, 2011

CFP: Material Networks, Networked Materials, Bard Grad Symposium, Due 3/1

2011 Graduate Symposium Call for Papers:
Material Networks | Networked Materials

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.
- Henry Melvill, Golden Lectures, 1855

A network, as a universal concept, is any interconnected system of people and objects. Networks are a primary and innate function of all cultures, promoting communication and exchanges of objects and ideas. These networks can exist across expanses of time and distance. Our vision of the "material network" focuses on the objects and ideas of exchange, the messages they convey, and their changing identities and associations across diverse temporalities, geographies and cultures.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

• Patrimony
• The practice of collecting
• Coercion, occupation, and foreign missions
• War, looting, and spolia
• Correspondence and gift exchange
• Travel and trade

The conference will take place on May 6, 2011 at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City. Students currently enrolled in a graduate program are invited to submit an abstract not to exceed 500 words and twenty minutes, as well as a current C.V. in PDF format to Please send your submission before Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Accepted speakers will be notified via email by the middle of March.

Graduate Student Symposium Committee
c/o Professor Deborah Krohn
Bard Graduate Center
38 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
Visit the website at!/event.php?eid=125359297529060

CFP: Places and Displacement: Grad Student Conference (Deadline 1/30)

Call for Papers

Places and Displacement:
A Graduate Student Conference

April 1, 2011

Graduate students are invited to submit proposals for the annual graduate student conference in international and global history, sponsored by the Columbia University Department of History and Center for International History, to take place at Columbia University in New York City on April 1, 2011.

This year’s conference will focus on the issues of place. Place indicates the intersection of communities and geography. It asks us to consider the meanings and attachments people assign a city, country, or region. A sense of place can give meaning to a location or community. It can also be conspicuous in its absence. We understand displacement broadly, not merely as the forced and voluntary movements of people.

Displacement encompasses the ways place can dissolve, the ways individuals and communities transcend places, and how culture, ideas, and technologies are reshaped as they move from place to place.

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

- places in imagination and memory
- cartographical interpretations of place
- refugees, stateless peoples, indigenous communities and displaced persons
- displacement and its effect on labor and market
- fashion, architecture, style and urban planning in relation to place
- colonial and post-colonial claims to place
- contact zones and borders
- gender and places
- religion and its effect on places
- place and the construction of race, nation and ethnicity

Specialists from Columbia University will provide commentary.

We see the conference as an opportunity to problematize place and examine its role in history and historiography. We welcome papers that explore the topic from either a theoretical, empirical, or methodological perspective or a combination of these approaches. We welcome submissions from all time periods and geographic regions that offer a transnational, international, or global approach to the conference theme. We encourage interdisciplinary research and, although proposals with a historical perspective are particularly welcome, we will also consider contributions from fields including but not limited to anthropology, economics, literature, philosophy, religious studies, political science, sociology, geography, law, architecture and urban planning, and public policy.
Limited funding for travel and assistance in arranging accommodation may be available.

Graduate students interested in participating should submit a paper abstract not exceeding 300 words and a recent CV not exceeding 2 pages as email attachments (Word or PDF) by January 30, 2011 to Gil Rubin and Anna Danziger, at Participants will be notified in February. Feel free to contact the conference coordinators, Aurélie Roy ( or Mark Judd ( for additional information about the conference.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Topics in Lit Cultures: Money and Other Modern Fictions

Draper has a number of interesting Topics class on offer this spring, some of which we've been highlighting over the last few months. One in particular that we'd like to call attention to is "Topics in Literary Cultures: Money and Other Modern Fictions" taught by Prof. Rebecca Colesworthy. The class will be held on Thursdays from 6:20 - 8:20 in the Draper Map room. A description of the course is below; please contact Draper directly at 212.998.8070 or via email at if you are interested in enrolling.

Topics in Literary Cultures:
Money and Other Modern Fictions

The thing that differentiates man from animals is money.

-Gertrude Stein, “All About Money” (1936)

This course will explore various connections between economics and literature in creative and critical texts since the mid-19th century, with a strong focus on modernist and early 20th-century writings. For years, modernism was characterized as an assemblage of movements and figures united in their hostility to the market if in nothing else. In recent years, a host of critics—especially feminist and materialist critics—have challenged this view. We will approach the question of the relationship between modern art and commerce from a somewhat different angle, examining how writers across disciplines suggest that language and literature are like money and that money is like language and literature.

Questions to be addressed include: how are we to conceptualize the relationship between art and the everyday realities of modern life? How do literary and economic genres distinguish themselves from one another? At the same time, what are the effects of events in economic history and financial crises on literature and intellectual production more generally—for example, on theories of language, subjectivity, authority, community and so on? If we treat money as a “fiction,” then what becomes of oppositions such as those between “real” and “fake,” “true” and “false,” “material” and “textual”? How are literary and monetary forms (not only coins, but paper money, checks, credit cards) similar? What is the relevance of economic notions such as “credit,” “value,” and “exchange” to literary studies? Why might it be appealing or useful to cast money and other economic phenomena as “fictions”? Why in turn are metaphors of “economy” appealing or useful for conceptualizing literature and other systems of representation? What are the stakes and limitations of these interdisciplinary appropriations and comparisons?

Readings will include:

Edgar Allan Poe (“The Goldbug,” “The Purloined Letter”)

Charles Baudelaire (prose poems from Paris Spleen)

André Gide (The Counterfeiters)

Gertrude Stein (Tender Buttons)

John Dos Passos (Manhattan Transfer)

Virginia Woolf (Three Guineas)

Karl Marx (excerpts from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts and Capital, vol. 1)

Sigmund Freud (The case history of The Rat Man and assorted short essays)

Georg Simmel (“The Metropolis and Mental Life” and excerpts from The Philosophy of Money)

Jean-Joseph Goux (“Numismatics” and excerpts from The Coiners of Language)

Jacques Derrida (Given Time I: Counterfeit Money)

Marc Shell (excerpts from Art and Money)

Upcoming Events at La Maison Française

La Maison Française

New York University

EVENTS January / February 2011

Monday, January 24, 7:00 p.m.

Florence Gould Event (in French)

A Special Edition of French Literature in the Making


Les 100 ans des Editions Gallimard

Presented with the additional support of Sofitel, Open Skies, CulturesFrance, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Thursday, January 27, 7:00 p.m.



Writer; author of Napoléon à Moscou; A Passion for Freedom: The Life of Astolphe de Custine; Elisabeth d’Angleterre et Marie Stuart ou les périls du mariage; Garçon, un cent d’huitres. Balzac et la table

Proust and Balzac: A Closer Look at the Baron de Charlus

Tuesday, February 1, 7:00 p.m.

Reading (in French)


Professor of French, NYU; novelist; author of Alaska; L’Oeuvre des mers, a cycle of five books, including

Un adieu au long cours (L’Olivier/Le Seuil, 2011); à coups du pieds de mouche (Le Bleu du ciel, 2011)

Long cours & pieds de mouche

Wednesday, February 2, 7:00 p.m.

Institute of French Studies Colloquium



CNRS, Centre d’Histoire Sociale du XXe siècle;Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, visiting professor, NYU; author of Etre français: les quatre piliers de la nationalité (Ed. de l'Aube, 2011)

Being French: The Four Pillars of a Nationality

Thursday, February 3, 7:00 p.m.



Professor, Departments of Romance Languages and Visual/Environmental Studies, Harvard University; author of Cartographic Cinema; The Self-Made Map; An Errant Eye (University of Minnesota Press,2010)

An Errant Eye: Poetry and Topography in Early Modern France

Monday, February 7, 7:00 p.m.



Assistant Professor of French, Columbia University; author of L’Adieu au voyage. L’ethnologie française entre science et littérature; co-author, Claude Lévi-Strauss. L’homme au regard éloigné

French Anthropology and Literature:

From Mauss and Bataille to Lévi-Strauss and Barthes

Tuesday, February 8, 7:00 p.m.

Lecture (in French)


Professor, Université de Grenoble-3; CNRS; visiting professor, NYU; author of L’Avenir des Humanités. Économie de la connaissance ou cultures de l’interprétation ; Mythocratie. Storytelling et imaginaire de gauche

Société de la connaissance ou cultures de l'interprétation?

Tuesday, February 15, 7:00 p.m.

Institute of French Studies Colloquium

Panel Discussion

Haiti: The Unfinished Independence

Jean-François Brière, Universityat Albany, SUNY; Jonathan Katz, Associated Press;

Margaret L. Satterthwaite, NYU School of Law; Chelsea Stieber, NYU (moderator)

Wednesday, February 16, 6:15 p.m.

Illustrated Lecture

Location: Michelson Theater (Rm. 648)

Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

721 Broadway


Chef du Service, Archives françaises du film (CNC); vice-président, Fédération internationale des archives du film

Occupation, Collaboration, Resistance, 1940-1944:

Short Propaganda Films Made in France

Sponsored by Cinema Studies, La Maison Française, Remarque Institute, NYU/CNRS Center

Thursday, February 17, 7:00 p.m.



Professor and Chair, Department of French and Italian, Princeton University; author of The Place of Thought. The Complexity of One in Late Medieval French Didactic Poetry; co-editor, The Troubadors: An Introduction and The Cambridge Companion to Medieval French Literature

Animals and the Ethics of Medieval Reading


February 24-26

Festival of New French Writing: French & American Authors in Conversation

Organized by the Center for French Civilization and Culture, NYU; CulturesFrance, and the Cultural Services

of the French Embassy

Curated by Olivier Barrot & Tom Bishop

Location: Hemmerdinger Hall

Silver Center, NYU, 1st Floor

100 Washington Square East (at Waverly Place)

In English and French. Simultaneous translation available for this event.

Schedule follows:

Thursday, February 24


Opening Remarks

7:15 p.m.

Annie Ernaux & Rick Moody

Moderated by Chad Post

8:45 p.m.

Stephane Audeguy & Jane Kramer

Friday, February 25

2:30 p.m.

Pascal Bruckner & Mark Lilla

Moderated by Adam Gopnik

4:00 p.m.

Joann Sfar & Ben Katchor

Moderated by Françoise Mouly

7:30 p.m.

Atiq Rahimi & Russell Banks

Moderated by Lila Azam Zanganeh

Saturday, February 26

2:30 p.m.

Amin Malouf & (to be announced)

Moderated by Judith Miller

4:00 p.m.

Philippe Claudel & A.M. Homes

Moderated by John MacCarther

Full details on festival website:


La Maison Française is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The building re-opens a half-hour before evening programs.

All events are open to the public and free of charge unless otherwise indicated.


CFP: UCLA English Grad Conference: Negation and Negativity: Theory, Form, and Representation


UCLA English Department

2011 Southland Graduate Conference

“Negation and Negativity: Theory, Form, and Representation”

June 3, 2011

Keynote Speakers:

Joseph Bristow and Sianne Ngai, UCLA Department of English


"You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember


I remember

Those are pearls that were his eyes.

"Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?"

-T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Un-situated voices in arguably the most canonical poem of the twentieth century tell us everything and nothing: a proliferation of "no's" and negations that compel us to read but also derail our desire for meaning. Yet, however obscure, we can agree that this "nothing" continues to signify, that despite connoting a lack of knowledge or existence it persists in living, that despite being part of a "waste land" it still constitutes material waste.

Articulations of negation and the negative always threaten to produce their own non-existence. How do we even theorize that which appears untheorizable? Negation has been formative to dominant critical discourses from the Hegelian dialectic to the Freudian unconscious, and in recent years has reemerged as the subject of texts considering queer theory and the death drive (Edelman), ideology and capitalism (Zizek), denial and affect (Ver Eacke, Ngai), and politicized bodies (Butler, Agamben). Each of these critical engagements with negation grapples with the unsayable, absent, or at times shapeless nature of the subject but also prompts productive questions. How can negativity be enabling, reified, or further undone? Indeed, is our contemporary cultural life saturated with negativity? For instance, how do gendered and racial acts of erasure from nationalist sentiment to ethnic cleansing function? How does new media negate traditional boundaries and hierarchies? Yet, in what ways is negativity a trans-temporal or trans-historical phenomenon?

Papers may address any aspect of literary and cultural negation including, but not limited to, the following:

Absence and productivity: authorship, "death of the author," erasure of authority

Negative feelings: affect, anxiety, depression, melancholy, the sublime

Genre and form: the gothic, banned books, partial manuscripts, literary waste, the fragment

Literature and math: nullification, neutrality, negative numbers

Human bodies: ability and disability, transgression, manipulation and mutilation, trauma

Negative subjectivity, blankness, and death: deanimation, reanimation, abortion, loss; what substantiates or negates a subject?

Negative theology

Self-consuming economies: commodity fetishism, the literary marketplace, the labor of reading

Negative language: the “unsayable,” denials, evasions, negative tropes, silences, voids

Eroticism: negative or excessive desires, the forbidden, the taboo and the fetish, dissonance

Aesthetic mappings of negativity: photography, film, visual arts

“Inoperative communities”: political alterity and absence

Technologies of the discipline: acts of inscription or erasure, paying homage, critical disavowals

Abstracts for 20-minute papers and panel proposals are due by Wednesday, 16 March 2011. Please paste the abstract (200-300 words) or panel proposal into the body of an e-mail message and submit to Panels should consist of three papers and may include a respondent. Include your name(s), contact information, department(s), and institution(s). Prospective conference participants will be notified by Friday, April 1, 2011. The conference will be held at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Congrats to Megan Schmidt, Winner of Best Academic Achievement Prize, Kingston University

Draper extends its congratulations to Megan Schmidt, who has just been awarded the prize for the Best Overall Academic Achievement at London's Kingston University. Prior to enrolling at Draper, Megan completed a master's degree in Human Rights and Genocide Studies at Kingston, and is being recognized for her excellence in that program. She will be giving the 'vote of thanks' speech at the program's graduation ceremony in London this weekend.

Congrats, Megan!

Give Bigotry No Sanction: Exploring Religious Freedom and Democracy: Symposium, 1/31

Facing History – along with New York University and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development – are sponsoring a symposium on “Give Bigotry No Sanction: Exploring Religious Freedom and Democracy.” The symposium will take place on Monday, Jan. 31 at 7:00 PM in the Kimmel Center, Rosenthal Pavilion, 60 Washington Square South, and will be preceded by a reception at 6:00 PM.

“To Bigotry No Sanction, to Persecution No Assistance"—So wrote George Washington in a landmark letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790. Drawing on this classic exchange about religious freedom, Facing History and Ourselves now begins a public dialogue on the nature of citizenship, religious liberty, and equality in a democracy.

Please join us for a symposium at New York University on Monday, January 31, as we launch Give Bigotry No Sanction: Exploring Religious Freedom and Democracy, a multi-year initiative exploring issues of religious freedom and intolerance around the world. Symposium speakers include NYU president John Sexton, dean of Harvard Law School Martha Minow, and Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the U.S. Department of State Farah Pandith.

To register, please visit the RSVP site:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Announcing Spring 2011 Grad Student Workshops at Bobst

Hello from the NYU Libraries:

As another spring semester kicks off, we're offering a chance to brush up your skills with a series of Graduate Student workshops. These workshops focus on learning how to organize your bibliographies, finding out to how to track down tricky citations, understanding the intricacies of processing and analyzing data, and even simply knowing your way around an American research library. For the complete listing of these sessions, and to sign up, go to:


You may have noticed that during the last month of the Fall semester we opened our long-awaited Research Commons on the 4/5 floors of the library. The Commons integrates spaces and services designed to enhance productivity and enrich the research process. Come visit the commons and find amenities suggested by, and designed for, graduate student researchers. Lastly, pay a visit to the 10th floor Graduate Student Exchange. The Exchange extends our efforts to provide graduate students spaces that encourage conversation and collaboration and provide a place for grad students to decompress and recharge.

We have been working hard over the past few years to expand and improve our services and spaces to fit your needs, and we hope you'll help us keep improving.

We look forward to meeting you and wish you the best of luck this semester!

-- The NYU Libraries Graduate Student Working Group