Of Interest Events for Week of February 9, 2015

Of Interest Events for Week of February 9, 2015

 

Monday, Feb 9 / CRISIS IN THE CULTURES OF CAPITALISM / Ching Kwan Lee / “Buying Stability in China: Markets, Protests and Authoritarianism” / 4:00-6:00pm / Humanities 1, Room 210

Monday, Feb 9 / ITALIAN STUDIES / Robert Davis / “The Socio-Economy of Head Hunting in Late Renaissance Italy” / 5:00-6:30pm / Stevenson Fireside Lounge

Tuesday, Feb 10 / CENTER FOR EMERGING WORLDS / Noah Salomon / “Understanding Conflict in South Sudan” / 6:30-7:30pm / Social Sciences 2, Room 75

Tuesday, Feb 10 / Institute of the Arts and Sciences / LASER: Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous / 6:45pm / DARC Room 108

Wednesday, Feb 11 / CENTER FOR EMERGING WORLDS / Noah Salomon / “When the State is Everywhere: Rethinking the Islamic Public Sphere” / 3:15-4:45pm / Humanities 1, Room 202

Wednesday, Feb 11 / FILM + DIGITAL MEDIA WEDNESDAY NIGHT CINEMA / “Indoctrination” & “A Day in the Life of Consumers” / 7:00pm / Studio C (Communications 150)

Thursday, Feb 12 / CENTER FOR EMERGING WORLDS / Noah Salomon / Manuscript Reading Seminar: “The People of Sudan Love You, Oh Messenger of God”/ 10:00am-12:00pm / Social Sciences 1, Room 261

Thursday, Feb 12 / LIVING WRITERS SERIES / Luis Alfaro / 6:00-7:45pm / Humanities Lecture Hall, Room 206

Friday, Feb 13 / CHICANO LATINO RESEARCH CENTER / Carmen Boullosa / “Texas: The Great Theft” / 10:00am-12:00pm / Humanities 1, Room 210

Friday, Feb 13 / FRIDAY FORUM FOR GRADUATE RESEARCH / Delio Vásquez / “Criminalized Politics and Politicized Crime: Illegal Black Resistance in the 60s and 70s” / 12:00-1:30pm / Humanities 1, Room 202

Friday, Feb 13 / HISTORY DEPARTMENT / Martin Devecka / “Polly Want a Caesar? Talking Birds and Prophetic Birds in Early Imperial Rome” / 4:00-5:30pm / Humanities I, Room 520

 

* To advertise your unit or department’s event in the “Of Interest” section of this weekly bulletin, please e-mail complete event information in text format (no PDFs) to cult@ucsc.edu no later than noon on Friday of the prior week.

* Additional information and regular updates on many “Of Interest” events can be found on the IHR website.

 


 

OF-INTEREST EVENT DESCRIPTIONS:

Monday, Feb 9 / CRISIS IN THE CULTURES OF CAPITALISM / Ching Kwan Lee / “Buying Stability in China: Markets, Protests and Authoritarianism” / 4:00-6:00pm / Humanities 1, Room 210

This talk outlines China’s trajectory of commodification and the counter-movements by state and society in the past quarter century. Unpacking the class specific dynamics and experiences of precarization, I discuss how the commodification of land, labor, housing and the environment has triggered collective struggles by farmers, workers and the middle class. To maintain social stability, the Chinese state has responded, on the one hand, with new social protection policies of uneven effectiveness, and on the other, a practice of “buying stability” which unwittingly commodifies state authority and citizen’s rights, sowing seeds of precariousness in the regime’s authoritarian governance.
Ching Kwan Lee is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Michigan before moving to UCLA. Her publications have focused on labor, social activism, political sociology and development in China and the Global South.

Lee is author of Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt (2007), and Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women (1998). Her edited and co-edited books include From the Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, Workers and the State in a Changing China (2011); Reclaiming Chinese Society: New Social Activism (2009), Re-envisioning the Chinese Revolution: Politics and Poetics of Collective Memory in Reform China (2007) and Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation (2007).

She is currently working on two book manuscripts. One is on forty years of state and society relation in China, and the other on Chinese investment in Zambia.
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Monday, Feb 9 / ITALIAN STUDIES / Robert Davis / “The Socio-Economy of Head Hunting in Late Renaissance Italy” / 5:00-6:30pm / Stevenson Fireside Lounge

A distinguished professor of Early Modern Italy, Venice, and the Mediterranean, Professor Robert Davis has written or co-authored eight books and many articles that deal with a variety of topics, including slavery in the Mediterranean, Venetian shipbuilding, masculinity and the rituals of public violence, and Venice as a modern tourist city. His broad interests are always anchored by his fascination with the lives of ordinary people. Professor Davis’ current work is on brigandage in Early Modern Italy.

This lecture is co-sponsored by Italian Studies, the History Department, and Stevenson College. Contact: clpolecr@ucsc.edu
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Tuesday, Feb 10 / CENTER FOR EMERGING WORLDS / Noah Salomon / “Understanding Conflict in South Sudan” / 6:30-7:30pm / Social Sciences 2, Room 75

The recent outbreak of violence in South Sudan was quickly described in the media as a re-emergence of atavistic tendencies within its population and understood within the framework of a tribal conflict between two age-old enemies. While ethnic idioms have emerged as ways of organizing and motivating violence, today’s civil war in South Sudan is emblematic of much larger tensions built into the very blueprint of the world’s newest nation. In this lecture, Salomon will draw on his research in Sudan and South Sudan to contextualize the current conflict within a understanding of Sudanese/South Sudanese politics at large, as well as offer some examples of how these politics have been experienced by the diverse communities that have lived through them.
Moderated by Mark Massoud, Assistant Professor of Politics and Legal Studies, UCSC
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Tuesday, Feb 10 / Institute of the Arts and Sciences / LASER: Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous / 6:45pm / DARC Room 108

Featuring:

Lewis Watts is Professor Emeritus of Art at UC Santa Cruz. He is a photographer, curator, and archivist, examining the “cultural landscape” of African American Communities. He is co-author of New Orleans Suite, Music and Culture in Transition (2013) and Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era (2006) and his work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and publications.

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Associate Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz and co-director of the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the world’s largest technical research groups focused on games. He also directs the Playable Media group in UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media program.

Deanna Shemek is Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching centers on Renaissance studies and focuses on the crossroads between literary, historical, art historical, and political materials. Shemak has recently embarked on a digital humanities project aimed at preservation, access, and creative study of the European Renaissance.

Trained primarily as an animal behaviorist, Colleen Reichmuth conducts research in the areas of comparative cognition, bioacoustics, and behavioral ecology. Dr. Reichmuth currently heads the Cognition and Sensory Systems Laboratory, based at UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Lab. She has a B.Sc. in Biology, a M.Sc. in Marine Science, and a Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences, all from the UC Santa Cruz.
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Wednesday, Feb 11 / CENTER FOR EMERGING WORLDS / Noah Salomon / “When the State is Everywhere: Rethinking the Islamic Public Sphere” / 3:15-4:45pm / Humanities 1, Room 202

PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE.

Studies of the post-colonial state in the Muslim world have relied too often on a hard and fast distinction between state and civil society, official discourse and the public sphere. Questioning both the gloomy premise of an absolute space of discipline in the former and the utopian idealism of an unfettered democratic space of deliberation in the latter, my paper seeks to interrogate the continuing salience of the state/public sphere distinction on both conceptual and empirical grounds. Drawing off recent literature on the state from anthropology and political theory, while adding ethnographic observations from the Sudanese experiment with the Islamic state into the mix, my paper seeks to challenge the apotheosis of state sovereignty on which such theories of the public sphere are based, resituating the state within the political practice of everyday life. Through a close ethnographic reading of a movement in contemporary Islamic poetry in Sudan—an under-examined dwelling place for both the state and the public sphere—I will examine how state projects become spaces of creative deliberation and how the public sphere comes to rely on modes of subjectivation central to state ideology. In doing so, I hope both to put into question the coherence of these central categories of political analysis, as well as to lay bare the complicated inner-workings of the Islamic state as it seeks at once to monopolize political power and to extend it into new domains.

Event is free and open to the public. For more information contact lrofel@ucsc.edu or sjetha@ucsc.edu
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Wednesday, Feb 11 / FILM + DIGITAL MEDIA WEDNESDAY NIGHT CINEMA / “Indoctrination” & “A Day in the Life of Consumers” / 7:00pm / Studio C (Communications 150)

INDOCTRINATION (1987, 43 min.)

This film is about a five-day seminar designed to teach executives to “sell themselves” better. This course, designed for managers, teaches the basic rules of dialectics and rhetoric and provides training in body language, gesture and facial expression. The aim of selling something has always been a principle of mercantile action. Yet it was only through the marriage of psychology and modern capitalism that the idea of selling oneself was perfected.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CONSUMERS (1993, 44 min.)

In this highly conceptual piece, Farocki pieces together every moment of a typical day, from dawn to nightfall, using only television advertisements. Taken out of context and streamed seamlessly together, these German commercials of the 80s and 90s reveal the unsettling oppressiveness and mania of a consumer-driven society.
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Thursday, Feb 12 / CENTER FOR EMERGING WORLDS / Noah Salomon / Manuscript Reading Seminar: “The People of Sudan Love You, Oh Messenger of God”/ 10:00am-12:00pm / Social Sciences 1, Room 261

Featuring Professor Noah Salomon, Assistant Professor of Religion, Carleton College.To receive readings, please email sjetha@ucsc.edu
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Thursday, Feb 12 / LIVING WRITERS SERIES / Luis Alfaro / 6:00-7:45pm / Humanities Lecture Hall, Room 206

The Creative Writing Program presents Luis Alfaro in the Winter 2015 Living Writers Series.
Luis Alfaro is a Chicano writer and performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance and journalism. He is also a producer and director who spent ten years at the Mark Taper Forum as Associate Producer, Director of New Play Development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative.
His work has been shown at venues including La Jolla Playhouse, Smithsonian Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art in London, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Magic Theatre, Goodman Theatre-Chicago, and Latino Chicago and Playwrights Arena in Los Angeles. His plays and performances include Oedipus el Rey, Electricidad, Downtown, No Holds Barrio, Body of Faith, Straight as a Line, Bitter Homes and Gardens, Ladybird, Black Butterfly, and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
He teaches at the University of Southern California (in the Graduate Playwriting Program, Solo Performance, and Youth Theater) and California Institute of the Arts (in Solo Performance and Actors Studio).
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Friday, Feb 13 / CHICANO LATINO RESEARCH CENTER / Carmen Boullosa / “Texas: The Great Theft” / 10:00am-12:00pm / Humanities 1, Room 210

Carmen Boullosa is one of Mexico’s leading novelists, poets, and playwrights, whose works interweave speculative, historical, and psychological themes with a powerful feminist point of view and a sharp satirical wit. She has published fifteen novels, among them El complot de los románticos (winner of the Premio de Novela Café Gijón in 2008), Las paredes hablan, La virgen y el violin, and perhaps most famously, Llanto. Her works in English translation include They’re Cows, We’re Pigs; Leaving Tabasco; and Cleopatra Dismounts, all published by Grove Press, and Jump of the Manta Ray, with illustrations by Philip Hughes, published by The Old Press. Her novels have also been translated into Italian, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian. A prominent essayist and journalist, she writes a regular column for El Universal in Mexico City. She has taught at Georgetown, Columbia, and New York University, as well as at universities in nearly a dozen other countries. She is currently Distinguished Lecturer at the City College of New York.

In her latest novel, Texas: The Great Theft (Deep Vellum, 2014), originally published as Tejas: La gran ladronería en la frontera norte (Editorial Alfaguera, 2013), Carmen Boullosa challenges US versions of the romantic origins of Texas. Set on the eve of the US Civil War in the fictional twin border cities of Bruneville and Matasanchez, the novel depicts relations among gringos, German immigrants, Mexican landowners and laborers, escaped slaves, Apaches, and Comanches. In the words of the Dallas Morning News’ Roberto Ontiveros, it “sardonically explodes and seductively reins itself back in with a panoptic prose that stares down hard into the absurd and uncomfortable prejudices that have historically split this region.”

For an advance PDF copy of the novel in Spanish and/or in English, please contact Kirsten Silva Gruesz (ksgruesz@ucsc.edu).
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Friday, Feb 13 / FRIDAY FORUM FOR GRADUATE RESEARCH / Delio Vásquez / “Criminalized Politics and Politicized Crime: Illegal Black Resistance in the 60s and 70s” / 12:00-1:30pm / Humanities 1, Room 202

When political agents engage in criminal acts, and when criminals engage in political acts, both groups are forced to face the language of the state, in particular legal discourse through indictment, prosecution, and imprisonment. How these groups portray themselves and their intentions during these moments of state interpellation reveals a lot about the epistemological relationship between political resistance and criminal activity. In my attempt to explore this terrain, I look at two African American organizations from the 1960s and 70s: the Black Liberation Army and the Chicago-based Black P Stone Nation/El Rukns gang. I also draw on insights and language from the histories of other “political criminals,” such as the California Radical Prison Movement and the French Illegalists (early 20th century anarchists who embraced criminality). I examine the contradictory ways that participants depict themselves, and how these epistemological frames help them pursue their goals.

The Friday Forum is a graduate-run colloquium dedicated to the presentation and discussion of graduate student research. The series will be held weekly from 12:00 to 1:30PM and will serve as a venue for graduate students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts divisions to share and develop their research. Light refreshments will be available.

For more info, or to inquire about joining the roster of presenters for Spring quarter contact: fridayforum.ucsc@gmail.com
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Friday, Feb 13 / HISTORY DEPARTMENT / Martin Devecka / “Polly Want a Caesar? Talking Birds and Prophetic Birds in Early Imperial Rome” / 4:00-5:30pm / Humanities I, Room 520

In Republican Rome, birds had served as the messengers of the gods, communicating in ways that only a few religious specialists could fully understand and interpret. At the turn of the first century CE, these same birds began to speak plain Latin, apparently endorsing the new regime of the Caesars in language that anyone could understand. On closer examination, however, these talking birds turn out to be transmitting a much more troubling message about the constitution of the Roman body politic at a moment of uncertainty and rapid change.

Martin Devecka is a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University who will join the Classical Studies faculty at UC Santa Cruz in 2015-16. He is a cultural historian with a special interest in applying the methods of sociology to the ancient world. Current projects include a comparative history of ruins, a historical zoology of the Roman Empire, and an investigation of peripatetic attitudes toward technology.
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