Spring 2006 Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series

In spring 2006, 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. 





April 5
Mary John
(Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Sexing the Foetus: Feminist Politics and Method across Cultures

April 12
Rebecca Herzig
(Women and Gender Studies, Bates College, and Resident Scholar, Center for Cultural Studies)
The Burqa, The Brazilian, and Practices of Freedom

April 19
Nacira Guénif-Souilamas
(Sociology, University of Paris)
Bio-politics in Postcolonial France: After the Riots, A New Frenchness

April 26
Eugene McLaughlin
(Sociology, City University, London)
Who is Entitled to Speak for the Nation?

May 3
Ian Wedde
(Writer, Scholar, Curator)
Impure Narratives: Cross-disciplinary Research and the Culture of Tolerance

May 10
Jennifer Reardon
(Sociology, UC Santa Cruz)
Decoding Democracy: Genomes, Ethics, Publics

May 17
Matthew Lasar
(HIstory, UC Santa Cruz)
Why Pacifica Radio’s Civil War Really Matters

May 24
Hairong Yan
(Anthropology, University of Illinois)
Chinese Postsocialism and the Master/Servant Allegory

May 31
Sianne Ngai
(English, Stanford University)
“Interesting” vs. “Curious”



MARY E. JOHN is Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Women’s Studies Programme, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her publications include Discrepant Dislocations: Feminism, Theory and Postcolonial Histories (California, 1996) and the co-edited volumes A Question of Silence? The Sexual Economies of Modern India (Kali for Women, 1998, and Zed Press, 2000), French Feminism: An Indian Anthology(Sage, 2002) and Contested Transformations: Changing Economies and Identities in Contemporary India (Tulika, 2006). Her current research interests include women and political power, the adverse child sex ratio in India, and problems of feminism, with a special focus on Asia.

REBECCA HERZIG is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Bates College. Her first book, Suffering for Science: Reason and Sacrifice in Modern America (Rutgers, 2005), traced the peculiar intertwining of rationality and devotion evident in nineteenth-century scientific communities. Her talk at the Center, drawn from a larger history of body modification tentatively titled The Affliction of Freedom, considers the interpenetration of suffering and domination in emerging practices of self-constitution.

NACIRA GUENIF SOUILAMAS, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris, is the author of Les Féministes et le Garçon Arabe and has written on European racism, queer theory, feminism, and the cultural politics of Arabs in France. About her talk she writes, “In November 2005, France saw an unprecedented series of riots. These events bring to light a new kind of bio- politics, racially informed, that implicitly means to rule bodies rather than to free individuals. Physical and cultural salience and gestures more than individual choices are regarded as proofs of belonging to this new identity and justify rejection from a protected common space with high boundaries.”

EUGENE MCLAUGHLIN is based in the Department of Sociology at City University, London, where he is a member of the Centre for Race and Ethnic Studies. He has written extensively on policing, criminology, and criminal justice and his recent co-edited publications include: Restorative Justice: Critical Issues (Sage, 2003); Crime Prevention and Community Safety: New Directions (Sage, 2002); and Controlling Crime (2nd ed. Sage, 2001). He is currently completing a book entitled The New Policing. Through a critical examination of the Parekh Report, his paper considers the dilemmas British academics confront in intervening in public debates on issues of race and national identity.

IAN WEDDE is a poet, novelist, and founding visionary of the Te Papa National Museum in New Zealand, where he has worked in the Maori/Pakeha border zones for decades. His books include Survival Arts (Faber and Faber, 1988), Tendering: New Poems (Auckland, 1988), How To Be Nowhere: Essays And Texts, 1971-1994 (Victoria, 1995), and the edited Penguin Anthology of New Zealand Verse (1985). His talk expands on case-study material from his recent book Making Ends Meet: Essays and Talks 1992-2004 (Victoria, 2005), focusing on the narratives of contact, exchange and cultural coding enabled by research into museum collections. It argues that “discipline-inclusive and cross-cultural views can work to promote tolerance of ‘difficult’ difference—as against oxymoronic tolerance within smoothly emulsified national brands.”

JENNIFER REARDON is Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz and Adjunct Research Professor of Women’s Studies at Duke University. She taught in the Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University from 2002 to 2004. She is the author of Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics (Princeton, 2004). Reardon is currently investigating the paradoxes and dilemmas that confront researchers, policy makers, and potential research subjects who seek to address the problems of governance and research design created by the emergence of human groups as objects of genomic analysis.

MATTHEW LASAR is the author of two books on the Pacifica radio network and the evolution of public broadcasting in the United States: Uneasy Listening: Pacifica Radio’s Civil War (Black Apollo, 2005), and Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network(Temple, 2000). Lasar writes about broadcasting and telecommunications politics for his Web site, “Lasar’s Letter on the Federal
Communications Commission” (www.lasarletter.com). He teaches U.S. history at UC Santa Cruz. 

HAIRONG YAN is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2002 to 2005 she was a Cotsen Fellow at Princeton University. Her publications include “Rurality and Labor Process Autonomy: The Question of Subsumption in the Waged Labor of Domestic Service,” Cultural Dynamics 18.1 (2006), and “Spectralization of the Rural: Reinterpreting the Labor Mobility of Rural Young Women in Post-Mao China,” American Ethnologist 30.4
(2004). Her talk is drawn from her book project, “Belaboring Development: Migration and Domestic Service in China.”

SIANNE NGAI is Assistant Professor of English at Stanford University. Her first book,Ugly Feelings (Harvard, 2005), presents a study of the aesthetics of minor negative affects, examining their politically ambiguous work in a mix of cultural artifacts produced in the “fully administered” world of late modernity. Her current book project, “Poetry in the Expanded Field,” reexamines American art and literature after 1945 through the lens of minor aesthetic concepts. A chapter from this new project, “The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde,” appeared in Critical Inquiry 31.4 (Summer 2005).