Winter 2004 Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series

In winter 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. 


Donna Haraway
(History of Consciousness, UCSC)
Companion Species & Other Messmates: Canine Insight on Acquiring Genomes in Technoculture

January 21
Manuela Ribeiro Sanches
(Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa)
Where is the Post-Colonial?: In-Betweenness, Identity and “Lusophonia” in Trans/National Contexts

January 28
Megan Thomas
(Politics, UCSC)
Authority, Authenticity, and the Native Voice: Ethnographies of and by Filipinos in the Late 19th Century

February 4
Deborah Whaley
(Center for Cultural Studies, UCSC)
Disciplining Women, Respectable Pledges, and the Meaning of a “Soror”: Reconstituting the Cultural Politics of Violence in a Predominantly Black Sorority

February 11
Peter Limbrick
(Film and Digital Media, UCSC)
Cinema’s Imperial Mode: British Empire Films and their Transnational Contexts

February 18
Scott Barclay
(Politics, UCSC)
Cause Lawyers as Legal Innovators for the State: The Case of Civil Unions in Vermont and the Religious Law Conflict in Israel

February 25
Earl Jackson
(Literature, UCSC)
Is Gone Better? Existence as Practice and Theory in Korean Cinema

March 3
Anna Tsing
(Anthropology, UCSC)
Engaged Universals




DONNA HARAWAY’s most recent book is The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (Prickly Paradigm, 2003). Of her talk she writes, “The root meaning of ‘companion’ in companion species is ‘com panis’ or ‘with bread.’ I am interested in messmates; i.e., in those who eat together—or eat each other—in evolutionary, social, and intimate personal history. Thinking well about messmates turns out to require a baroque array of temporalities and spatialities. The current landscape in cultural studies is cluttered with descriptions of entanglements of bodies, meanings, monies, histories, agencies, and much else. I want to further complicate the knot by tying in some threads from human-dog relatings. I am, in short, interested in those who ‘partake of each other’ in species-making ways. Derrida will make a cameo appearance, followed by a restorative cast of middle-aged women who breed dogs and know rather more about animals.”

MANUELA RIBEIRO SANCHES is Assistant Professor in the Department of German Studies at the University of Lisbon, and a Resident Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies. She writes, “Portugal has defined its national identity through its colonial and imperial histories, thus making of its post-colonial condition a contradictory question that unites in a most obvious way the rupture or the continuities that link the country to its former colonies. How is this ‘in-betweenness’ to be interpreted? What are the ‘origins’ of discourses on Portuguese hybridity? How is the post-colonial understood in contemporary Portugal, and how does this understanding influence the reception of postcolonial studies in ‘Lusophone’ contexts? How can post-colonial studies contribute to a decentering of these approaches and understandings?”

MEGAN THOMAS is Assistant Professor of Politics. Her talk draws on her book project, Orientalist Enlightenment: The Emergence of Nationalist Thought in the Philippines, 1880-1898, examining texts written by educated, creolized natives of the Philippines during the last decades of Spanish colonial rule at the end of the 19th century. She notes, “Those authors, some of whom were central figures in the nationalist movement, wrote folkloristic and ethnographic accounts of different ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines. They self-consciously adopted the European sciences of folklore and ethnography and yet they claim authority as experts precisely because of their status as natives, even when writing about a group of which they were not a member. These texts call colonial authority into question and prefigure later debates about the theory and practice of ethnographic fieldwork.”

DEBORAH WHALEY, Resident Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies, has taught at the University of Kansas and at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Whaley is author of “To Capture a Vision Fair: Margaret Walker and the Predicament of the African American Female Intellectual,” in Maryemma Graham (ed.), Fields Watered with Blood: Critical Essays on Margaret Walker
(Georgia, 2001) and “The Neo-Soul Vibe and the Postmodern Aesthetic: Black Popular Music and Culture for the Soul Babies of History,” American Studies (Fall 2002). Her talk “will explore the way a historically Black sorority creates and struggles to make meaning of the use of violence as a rite of passage. Black sorority women use ethnic-specific rites to redistribute cultural flows of power within their subculture and in so doing, they produce new registers for understanding the complex social function of violence and the cultural politics of Black feminine identities.”

PETER LIMBRICK is Assistant Professor of Film and Digital Media. His book project, On Location: Cinema, Empire, and Colonial Space, traces the production and circulation of films of and about empire and colonialism. It is, he writes, “particularly concerned with the ways in which race, gender, and sexuality are conceived and maintained through the representations of colonial and postcolonial spaces and geographies. The project tangles with established connections between cinema, nation, and genre to instead propose an imperial cinematic mode that can be traced through widely dispersed historical moments and contexts.”

SCOTT BARCLAY, Visiting Associate Professor in the Legal Studies Program, is the author of An Appealing Act: Why People Appeal in Civil Cases(Northwestern, 1999) and co-author of “The States and Differing Impetus for Divergent Paths on Gay Rights, 1990-2001,” Policy Studies Journal 31 (2003). His current research considers the legal, social, and political struggle over same-sex marriage. He writes, “Cause lawyers—lawyers who systematically pursue a cause on behalf of a socially marginalized group—develop new legal rights as a means to alleviate the targeting of this oppressive authority against a particularly marginalized social group. Instead of operating only from an oppositional position…some cause lawyers enter into a symbiotic relationship with selected parts of the state. … In this symbiotic relationship, the law becomes the shared language that allows these actors with divergent goals temporarily to occupy a common space.”

EARL JACKSON, Associate Professor of Literature, in Spring 2004 will be Visiting Professor of Cinema Studies at Korean National University of the Arts. He is the author of Strategies of Deviance: Essays in Gay Male Representational Agency(Indiana, 1995) and “Polylogic Perversity,” GLQ 9.4 (Winter 2003). About this talk he writes, “Given Korea�s turbulent modern history, it is not surprising that a considerable number of Korean films raise questions concerning the meaning of human life in general and specific individual lives. It is important to read these questions not thematically but cinematically. Obaltan[Aimless Bullet, 1960] is a fictional drama and considered a masterpiece of the Korean golden age. Nappeun Yonghwa[Bad Movie, 1997] is an experimental quasi-documentary featuring runaway or abandoned youth and homeless adults. Each foregrounds the tensions between the represented subject and the system of representation and illuminates the political stakes therein.” In conjunction with this talk, Obaltan will be shown on Tuesday, February 24th at 7 PM in Social Sciences I, Room 159. 

ANNA TSING is author of In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-Way Place (Princeton, 1993) and co-editor of Nature in the Global South: Environmental Projects in South and Southeast Asia (Duke, 2003). Her talk is drawn from her forthcoming book Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connections, of which she writes, “Environmental activists, illegal loggers, transnational mining corporations, nature hikers, crony capitalists, and village elders vie for attention in this book, in which Indonesian rainforest politics provides the site for an exploration of the contingencies of global connection. Here global capitalism and utopian social mobilizations make appearances through the grip of cultural encounter, and liberal universals are realized in the sticky materiality of ‘friction.’”