Mark Anderson

April 9 – Mark Anderson: “Franz Boas, George Schuyler and Miscegenation: A Chapter in the History of Anthropology, Race/Racism, and the Harlem Renaissance”

Mark Anderson works on the politics of race and culture, particularly in the Americas. He is currently working on a project tentatively titled Anthropology and Race/Racism: From The Harlem Renaissance to Decolonizing the Discipline, which traces anthropological approaches to race/racism from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Mark Anderson is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UCSC.

Kris Alexanderson

CANCELLED – April 16 – Kris Alexanderson: “Transoceanic Politics and Dutch Maritime Conciliation in East Asia during the 1930s”

Due to a medical emergency, this event has been cancelled. – April 12, 2014

Kris Alexanderson’s current work examines the collaborative efforts of the Netherlands East Indies’ colonial administration, Dutch shipping businesses, and Dutch foreign consulates in port cities across the Middle East and Asia to control the flow of anti-Western and anti-colonial ideas—including pan-Islamism, Communism, and pan-Asianism—across its colonial borders during the interwar period.

Kris Alexanderson is Assistant Professor of History at University of the Pacific


Susan Harding

April 23 – Susan Harding: “Secular Trouble: Anthropology, Public Schools, and De/regulating Religion in late 20th Century America”

Susan Harding’s recent work explores the nexus of secularism, Christian revivalism, Civil Rights, and decolonialization as they imploded in the controversy over a federally funded elementary school curriculum in Anthropology. She reads the curriculum as a national secularizing project that triggered Christian efforts to regulate secularism.

Susan Harding is Professor of Anthropology at UCSC.


Morton Axel Pedersen

April 30 – Morten Axel Pedersen: “Collaborative Damage: A Comparative Ethnography of Chinese Infrastructure Projects in Mozambique and Mongolia”

Morten Axel Pedersen has conducted fieldwork in Mongolia, the Russian Far East, and Western China on topics as diverse as shamanism, political cosmology, post-socialist transition, infrastructure, social networks, and hope. He is currently completing a comparative ethnography of Chinese Resource-Extraction projects in Mongolia and Mozambique.

Morten Axel Pedersen is Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Copenhagen.


Lauren Berlant

May 7 – Lauren Berlant: “On Being in Life Without Wanting the World: On Biopolitics and the Attachment to Life”

This talk is located in a shattered, yet intelligible zone defined by being in life without wanting the world–a state traversing misery and detachment that, the talk claims, is well-known to historically structurally subordinated people (people of color, of non-normative sexuality, proletarianized laborers . . .). Reading with Claudia Rankine (Don’t Let Me Be Lonely), the novel and film of A Single Man (Christopher Isherwood, 1964; Tom Ford, 2009), and Harryette Mullen (Sleeping with the Dictionary (2002), it describes life at the limit of optimism in terms of a dissociative poetics.

Lauren Berlant teaches English at the University of Chicago. Her national sentimentality trilogy — The Anatomy of National Fantasy (1991), The Queen of America Goes to Washington City (1997) and The Female Complaint (2008) — has morphed into a quartet, with Cruel Optimism (2011) addressing precarious publics and the aesthetics of affective adjustment in the contemporary US and Europe. Her interest in affect, aesthetics, and politics is also expressed in the edited volumes Intimacy (2000), Compassion(2004), and On the Case (Critical Inquiry, 2007). Her most recent sexuality books are Desire/Love (2012) and, with Lee Edelman, Sex, or the Unbearable (2014). Her current projects are to do with modes of comic and of recessive affective performance in relation to critical theory, political emotion, and imaginaries of the social.


Martin Holbraad

May 14 – Martin Holbraad “How Myths Make Men in Afro-Cuban Divination”

Martin Holbraad’s main field research is in Cuba, where he focuses on Afro-Cuban religions and revolutionary politics. Author of Truth in Motion: the Recursive Anthropology of Cuban Divination (Chicago, 2012), Holbraad currently directs a major comparative project on the anthropology of revolutions.

Martin Holbraad is Professor of Social Anthropology, University College London and Co-Director of Cosmology, Religion, Ontology and Culture Research Group (CROC).

Despina Kakoudaki

May 21 – Despina Kakoudaki “Robots and Slaves: History, Allegory, and the Structural Logic of the Robot Story”

Despina Kakoudaki’s work focuses on literature, film, visual and cultural studies, and the history of technology. Her forthcoming book, Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema, and the Cultural Work of Artificial People, traces our fascination with mechanical and constructed people, such as robots, cyborgs, androids and automata.

Despina Kakoudaki is Associate Professor of Literature at American University.

Gopak Balakrishnan

May 28 – Gopal Balakrishnan “Breakthroughs of the Young Marx”

Offering an intellectual history of the phases of Marx’s thought from his dissertation on Greek philosophy to The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Gopal Balakrishnan seeks to explain why the emergent syntheses of this early Marx broke down in the aftermath of the failures of the revolutions of 1848.

Gopal Balakrishnan is Professor of History of Consciousness at UCSC.

Screening and Panel Discussion: The Stuart Hall Project: Revolution, Politics, Culture, and the New Left Experience

Stuart Hall ProjectA major success in Britain last Fall, “The Stuart Hall Project” is now being distributed in the USA. See the review and interview links below.

It will be screened at UCSC on Tuesday evening, February 25th. 7:30 PM, Studio C. (Communications 150)

The film, 102 minutes, will be followed by an informal panel and general discussion animated by James Clifford (History of Consciousness), Jennifer Gonzalez (HAVC), and Herman Gray (Sociology).

Read reviews of the film here and here.

Generously funded by the Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence. Co-sponsored by The Center for Cultural Studies and the Department of Film and Digital Media.

Warren Montag

Jan 15 – Warren Montag: “Althusser’s Lenin”

Warren Montag’s research has two foci: French and Italian thought of the 1960s and 1970s, especially Althusser; and Literature and Philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. His recent book concerns the emergence of a necro-economics from French economic thinkers to Adam Smith (and beyond, from Malthus to Von Mises).

Warren Montag is Brown Family Professor of Literature, English Department at Occidental College.