Spring 2007 Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series

In spring 2007, 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 11
Georges Van Den Abbeele
(Dean of Humanities, UC Santa Cruz)
Globalizing the Enlightenment

April 18
James Buzard
Literature, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Autoethnography, Narrative, Interruption

April 25
Daniel Laforest
(Center for Cultural Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
Rediscovering America: The Secret Link Between Alan Lomax’s Writings and Quebec’s Cinéma Direct Tradition

May 2
Seth Moglen
(English, American Studies, & Africana Studies, Lehigh University)
Mourning Modernity: Literary Modernism and the Injuries of American Capitalism

May 9
Eugene Holland
(French and Italian, Ohio State University)
Schizoanalysis, Nomadology, Fascism: Just How Close Have We Come?

May 16
Matthew O’Hara
(History, UC Santa Cruz)
Modernity Via the Whip: Self and Collective in the Holy Schools of Christ, New Spain

May 23
Kimberly Lau
(American Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
Body Language: Notes on Discourse, Ethnography, and Embodiment


May 30
María Puig de la Bellacasa Mejia
(Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow and the Center for Cultural Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
Matters of Care


GEORGES VAN DEN ABBEELE became Dean of Humanities at UC Santa Cruz in July 2006, coming from UC Davis, where his positions included Director of the Pacific Regional Humanities Center and Professor of Humanities. A renowned scholar of French literature and theory, world literature and cultural studies, and emergent global and transnational discourses, including studies of Vietnamese literature, Asian American writing, and Belgian literature, identity, and culture, Van Den Abbeele was also responsible, through numerous scholarly studies and translations, for introducing the work of Jean-François Lyotard to the English-speaking world. His numerous books include Travel as Metaphor: From Montaigne to Rousseau(Minnesota, 1992), French Civilization and its Discontents: Nationalism, Colonialism, Race (co-edited with Tyler Stovall, Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), and the forthcoming The Retreat of the French Intellectual. His talk investigates some recent attempts to think about the 18th century in a properly global way.

JAMES BUZARD is Professor and Chair of Literature at MIT. His work centers on British fiction, travel writing, and cultural institutions in a global context, with particular focus on the discourses of travel and tourism. In addition to articles on travel and tourism, autoethnographic authority, and Victorian ethnography, he is the author of The Beaten Track: European Tourism, Literature, and the Ways to “Culture,” 1800-1918 (Oxford, 1993). His most recent book is Disorienting Fiction: The Autoethnographic Work of 19th-Century British Novels (Princeton, 2005). His reading of Dickens, Bronte, Eliot, et. al. as “metropolitan autoethnographies” not only filiates these texts to earlier versions of the autoethnographic mode, but also traces the influences these novels exerted on later instances of national ethnographic imaginings. His talk is from his current book project, which is an extension of the argument of Disorienting Fiction into the modernist era. 

DANIEL LAFOREST is a Resident Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Literature from the Université de Québec at Montréal. His project at the Center is on the past, present, and possible futures of the notion of hinterland in North America. His talk is drawn from his forthcoming book,Le Pays Incertain de Caïn: Pierre Perrault et la Poétique du Territoire (Caïn’s Uncertain Country: Pierre Perrault and the Poetics of Territory). He writes, “I try to show how the crossing of U.S. internal and ideological boundaries in Lomax’s ‘discovery’ of the blues, as a subjective reconstruction of the hinterland, have informed and influenced Perrault’s groundbreaking conception of the ‘cinema direct’ (or ‘cinema-vérité’).”

SETH MOGLEN is Associate Professor in the English Department at Lehigh University, where he also teaches in the American Studies and Africana Studies Programs, and where he has recently been appointed Director of the Humanities Center. In 2006 he wrote an introduction for and edited a new edition of T. Thomas Fortune’s Black and White: Land, Labor, and Politics in the South, a neglected nineteenth-century masterpiece of the African-American radical political tradition (Simon and Schuster, 2006). His talk is drawn from his forthcoming book Mourning Modernity: Literary Modernism and the Injuries of American Capitalism(Stanford, 2007). Moglen contends that American literary modernism can be understood as a collective cultural effort to mourn for the destructive effects of modern capitalism. In developing this argument, he will offer both a revisionary account of the politics of American modernism and a psychoanalytic model for thinking more generally about what it means for societies to grieve over destructive social transformations.

EUGENE HOLLAND is Professor of French at the Ohio State University. He specializes in contemporary social theory; modern French history, literature, and culture; and postcolonial and transnational literature and politics. In addition to a number of articles on poststructuralist theory, and particularly the work of Gilles Deleuze, he is the author of Baudelaire and Schizoanalysis: The Sociopoetics of Modernism (Cambridge, 1993) and Introduction to Schizoanalysis (Routledge, 1999). He writes, “The aim of this paper is two-fold: (1) to improve the concept of fascism offered by Deleuze and Guattari by (a) resolving/mitigating the differences between divergent versions of the concept in their writings and by (b) bringing the concept into closer contact with what we know about real historical instances of fascism and fundamentalism in inter-war Europe and North America, respectively; and 2) to use this concept to better understand the senses in which the current Bush regime can be considered fascist.”

MATTHEW O’HARA is Assistant Professor of History at UC Santa Cruz, having previously taught at New Mexico State University. His work centers on race, religion, and ethnicity in colonial Mexico. In addition to many articles on these and related topics, his work includes the forthcoming A Flock Divided: Race, Religion, and Politics in Mexico, 1749-1857 (Duke) and Imperial Subjects: Race and Identity in Colonial Latin America (co-edited with Andrew Fisher, Duke). He writes, “In the eighteenth century, Catholic sodalities called Holy Schools of Christ flourished in the cities of New Spain (Mexico). The Holy Schools were decidedly hybrid institutions: they promoted an intense regimen of physical mortification, but they combined it with internal or mental prayer. The talk addresses a number of questions regarding religious practice in New Spain, and the place of religion in a larger narrative of Latin American modernity.”

KIMBERLY LAU is Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Santa Cruz, having recently taught at the University of Utah. Trained in Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania, she is one of the important innovative voices in new folklore studies, extending its scope into areas of race, gender, political economy, and globalization. Her book New Age Capitalism: Making Money East of Eden (Pennsylvania, 2000) is an important study of the discourse and marketing of new age products and practices, including tai chi, aromatherapy, yoga, and macrobiotics. Her talk is on her ethnographic work with Sisters in Shape, a black women’s health and fitness project based in Philadelphia.

MARIA PUIG DE LA BELLACASA MEJIA is a postdoctoral fellow affiliated with the Center for Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz, having received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) in 2004. Her work is at the intersection of feminist philosophy and science studies, and her articles and book chapters include “Building Standpoints” (with Sarah Bracke) in The Standpoint Reader (ed. Sandra Harding Routledge, 2004) and “Divergences Solidaires: Autour des Politiques Féministes des Savoirs Situés” (Divergences in Solidarity: On the Feminist Politics of Situated Knowledges, Multitudes, 12, 2003). She contextualizes her talk by noting that “feminists have reclaimed the work of caring, rethinking its significance in personal/private relationships, envisioning care as a generic relational experience with political, ethical and epistemological implications. Thinking of care politically remains an uneasy move in some circles, as it implies thinking through gendered boundaries dividing affects from reason, body from mind, and remunerated from unremunerated labor.”