Winter 1999 Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series

In Winter 1999, 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 and tea.


Elisabetta Villari (Ancient Greek History, University of Genoa)
On Some Motifs in Walter Benjamin

Catherine Soussloff (Art History, UC Santa Cruz)
After Aesthetics: Visual Representation, Jewish Identity, and Cultural Studies

David Turnbill (Comparative Studies in Art, Science and Religion, Deakin University, Australia)
Travelling, Mapping, and narrating: Aboriginal, Maori, Pacific Islander and Western Ways of Knowledge and Place-making

Sandria Freitag (Executive Director, American Historical Association)
Acts of Seeing: Mass-Produced Visual Images in the Creation of Modern India

Laurence Rickels (Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies, UC Santa Barbara)
Resistance in Theory

Manu Goswami (Politics, UC Santa Cruz)
Rethinking Modularity: Beyond Objectivist and Subjectivist Approaches to Nationalism

Emily Honig (Women’s Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
Sexing the Cultural Revolution


Samantha Frost (Women’s Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
Faking It: Madness, Morals, and Hobbe;s “Thinking Bodies”



Elisabetta Villari is a Researcher in Ancient Greek History at the University of Genoa. She is also a visitor at the Center for the Winter Quarter. Her research encompasses two areas: the biography in Greek antiquity, and modern classical historiography and philosophy of history, with an emphasis on Walter Benjamin. She has recently published a book in Italian on Benjamin�s encounter with the late nineteenth-century German historian and philosopher Johan Jakob Bachofen, known for his theory of matriarchy. During her time at UCSC, Professor Villari will work on several ongoing research projects on Benjamin, among them an intellectual biography of his exile years in Paris.

Catherine Soussloff has taught Art History at UCSC since 1987. She presently holds the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Chair in Art History. Her book, The Absolute Artist: The Historiography of a Concept was published by University of Minnesota Press in 1987. Her edited volume, Jewish Identity in Modern Art History,, will be published by UC Press early in 1999. Two of her essays, “The Concept of the Artist” and “Historicism in Art History” were recently published in the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (Oxford, 1998). Her work in progress includes a book on Jewish identity and aesthetics, essays on performativity and the historicized body in European visual representation, and a historiography of media discourse.

David Turnbill is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. Her book Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China After Socialism was published this spring by UC Press. This study of three generations of Chinese women silk workers proposes a cross-cultural approach to modernity that “treats it as a located cultural imaginary, arising from and perpetuating relations of difference across an East-West divide.” Rofel argues that “other modernities” are neither exclusively local nor variations on a universal model. Rather, “[t]hey are forced cross-cultural translations of various projects of science and management called modernity.” Rofel is also co-editor of Engendering China: Women, Culture, and the State (Harvard, 1994). Her talk is part of a current project on transnational culture, cosmopolitanism, and gender and sexuality in contemporary China.

Sandria Freitag is Executive Director of the American Historical Association and a historian of South Asia (see page 1). Freitag writes that her current work is “a theorized approach to the creation and dissemination of new visual mass media reflecting on community and national identity in South Asia, 1870-1970. The time period and technological context of the project crosses the divide between British colonial India and the independent state, and so tells us much about how a colonized area becomes ‘modern,’ particularly in the intersection of global and local visual practices and constructions of meaning.”

Laurence Rickels teaches in the Departments of Art, Comparative Literature, Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies, and Film Studies at UC Santa Barbara and works as a psychotherapist at the Westside Neighborhood Medical Clinic in Santa Barbara. He is the author of Aberrations of Mourning, (1988), Der unbetra-uerbare Tod (1990), The Case of California (1991), and The Nazi Psychoanalysis Chronicles, which will be appearing in three installments with the University of Minnesota Press: 1) Only Psychoanalysis Won the World Wars; 2) Crypto Fetishism,; 3) Psy Fi. The Chronicles complete the series on Unmourningwhich began with Aberrations of Mourning and continued with The Case of California. Rickels�s current theoretical work addresses resistance to the transferential setting within theoretical bodies of work (Benjamin and DeMan) and/or receptions of Freud (M. Klein, M. Graf, and Otto Gross).

Manu Goswami received her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Chicago Department of Political Science. Her dissertation, entitled “The Production of ‘India’: Colonialism, Nationalism and Territorial Nativism, 1870-1948,” integrates recent developments in studies of nationalism, the political economy of globalization, and socio-spatial theory to rethink the complex dynamic between colonial modernity and anti-colonial nationalism. Professor Goswami has a forthcoming article in Comparative Studies in Society and History (vol. 40, 4, 1998) which analyzes the nationalization and naturalization of conceptions of economy and territory in late nineteenth-century colonial India from a comparative historical and global perspective. Her talk is drawn from a work-in-progress which frames contemporary debates about nationalism through the optic of recent calls to mediate the canonical opposition between objectivity and subjectivity. It attempts to propose an alternative perspective on nationalism through a critical reconstruction of Benedict Anderson�s theory of modular nationalism.

Emily Honig is Professor of Women�s Studies and History at UC Santa Cruz. A historian of China, she is the author of Sisters and Strangers: Women in the Shanghai Cotton Mills (1986), Creating Chinese Ethnicity (1992), and Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980�s (coauthored, 1988). Her current research focuses on gender and sexuality during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-76).

Samantha Frost recently received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Women�s Studies department at UC Santa Cruz. A political theorist with special interests in modern, contemporary, and feminist political theory, as well as histories/theories of the body, she is currently working on a project that uses Thomas Hobbes and his iconographic status within political theory to explore how bodies shape the contexts within which we make political judgments.