Spring 2004 Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series

In spring 2004, the Center for Cultural Studies will continue to host a Wednesday colloquium series, which features current cultural studies work by campus faculty and visitors. The sessions are informal, normally consisting of a 30-40 minute presentation followed by discussion. We gather at noon, with presentations beginning at 12:15. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches; the Center will provide coffee, tea, and cookies. 


Unless Otherwise Noted
April 7
George Lipsitz
(American Studies, UCSC)
Popular Culture and Digital Capitalism: De´tournement and Retournement

April 14
Ivaylo Ditchev
(Cultural Anthropology, History and Theory of Culture,
Sofia University, Bulgaria, and Rockefeller Fellow, UC Santa Cruz
The City as Stage of the New Life

April 21
Peregrine Horden
Medieval History and History, University of London)
Mediterranean Excuses: Historiography of a Region Since Braudel

April 28
Carla Freccero
(Literature, UCSC)
Queer Spectrality

May 5
Ruth Frankenberg
American Studies, UC Davis)
Living Spirit, Living Practice: Poetics, Politics, and Epistemology
Note: This colloquium, cosponsored with the Departments of Sociology and Women’s Studies, will be held in the College Eight Red Room.

May 12
David Cope
(Music, UCSC)
Experiments in Musical Intelligence

May 19
Elizabeth Castle
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSC)
Behind the Scenes at the Big House: The Politics of Race Politics at President Clinton’s Initiative on Race

May 26
Ben Carson
(Music, UCSC)
Compositional Economy and Self-Identical Bodies in New Music




GEORGE LIPSITZ is an internationally acclaimed scholar of race, culture, social identities, and popular culture in the U.S. His many books include The Possessive Investment in Whiteness (Temple, 1998), and Dangerous Crossroads (Verso, 1994). About his talk he writes, “The best scholarship in Cultural Studies has long revolved around what the French Situationists call de´tournement—which in the age of industrial capitalism meant inflecting standardized products with local meanings. In the age of digital capitalism, however, these oppositional practices are promoted by the system itself as a form of retournement—recapturing the dynamic and resistant practices of consumption for dominant ends. Cultural production itself changes under these conditions, as capital out-sources the work of product differentiation to consumers as part of a fully integrated and linked system of production, distribution, and consumption.”

IVAYLO DITCHEV is Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of History and Theory of Culture at Sofia University, Bulgaria, and a Rockefeller Fellow at UC Santa Cruz for winter and spring quarters, 2004. His publications include “The Eros of Identity,” in Balkans as Metaphor, ed. Savic Bielic (MIT, 2002), and From Belonging to Identity: Politics of the Image (LIK, 2002). Ditchev’s project, “Globalizing Civic Ritual: Imported Forms of Belonging and Legitimation in the Balkans,” centers on social life, cultures of consumption, and styles of urbanism from the Soviet period. While at UC Santa Cruz, he is working on a book-length study of imported rituals and the role of the media in the dissemination of ritual practice.

PEREGRINE HORDEN is a Reader in Medieval History and Director of Graduate Studies in History at the University of London. He has published widely in global history, medieval history, and medical history. Horden is the co-author, with N. Purcell, of The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History, a history of the relationship over the past 3,000 years. In Volume One, published by Blackwell in 2000, Horden and Purcell write, “Rather than being a problem whose relevance we should contest, the political and ethnic untidiness of the Mediterranean could turn out to be inspiring. Dense fragmentation complemented by a striving towards control of communications may be an apt summary of the Mediterranean past.”

CARLA FRECCERO’s books include Popular Culture: An Introduction (NYU 1999) and the coedited (with Louise Fradenburg) Premodern Sexualities(Routledge 1996). Her Queer/Early/Modern is forthcoming from Duke. Freccero’s historicized psychoanalytic and deconstructive readings track the envocation of ghosts—and ghostly returns—across a wide archive. In this talk, drawn from a final section of the book, Freccero reads a proleptic spectral relation to the Other in the ethnographic work of the 16th century French Calvinist Jean de Léry. Using Derrida’s concept of spectrality, Freccero proposes a model for a kind of anti-historicist historiography that brings together temporality, affect and the hope for an ethical and more just relation to the past, present, and future.

RUTH FRANKENBERG is Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Davis. Her research focus has been on whiteness, feminist and interdisciplinary theory, and, more recently, religion and spiritual practices in the contemporary United States. Her books include: White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness (Minnesota, 1993) and the edited volume Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism(Duke, 1997). This talk will be held in the College Eight Red Room, as part of the Department of Sociology colloquium series.

DAVID COPE is an award-winning author and composer whose compositions have been widely recorded and performed in the U.S. and abroad. His New Directions in Music (Waveland) is now in its seventh edition. Since 1981, he has been working on a project titled Experiments in Musical Intelligence, a computationally based composition program which has produced works in the styles of Bach, Mozart, Stravinsky, Palestrina, and Joplin. These works have been discussed and reproduced in three of his books: Computers and Musical Style (A-R Editions, 1991), The Algorithmic Composer (A-R Editions, 2000), and Virtual Music (MIT, 2001). The project suggests that long-held conceptions of musical genius and individual style might be in need of revision. To obtain Experiments in Musical Intelligence and other music by David Cope go to

ELIZABETH CASTLE is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Cruz. She works in Native American Studies, with a focus on Native American women’s activism, and has published widely in that area. Her book Women Were the Backbone and Men were the Jawbone: Native American Women’s Leadership and Activism in the Red Power Movement is forthcoming in 2005 from Oxford. Her talk is based on (PIR) and as a delegate for an NGO consultative organization at the United Nation’s World Conference Against Racism (WCAR). She writes: “These events have major and relatively unexplored implications for the history of racial politics, reparations, and social movements in a global context. In addition to exploring these implications, I will share how behind-the-scenes interpersonal behaviors around race and color undermined the abilities of both PIR and WCAR.”

BEN CARSON is a composer and theorist who engages a variety of scientific and critical theories of mind in order to investigate musical consciousness. His music has been performed in cities throughout the western U.S. and Canada, as well as at international festivals. About his talk he writes, “An earlier conversation among practitioners of art music distinguishes Romantic individuation and ‘developing variation’ as alternative ‘compositional economies’ from which to understand musical subjects as allegorical expressions of human identity. Works of Schoenberg and Boulez can be heard as a ‘progressive’ revival of the aesthetics of individuation. A consideration of poet/critic Traise Yamamoto’s notions of body and identity and Chaya Czernowin’s 1999 opera Pnima Ins Innere (1999)—addressing the problem of collective memory among the descendants of victims of trauma—suggests that performative ‘embodiment’ and related ensemble practices are bases for a narrative formation of ‘unspeakable histories’.”