Winter 2007 Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series

In winter 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.


*Please note new location*

January 17
Dana Frank
History, UC Santa Cruz)
Local Girl Makes History: Investigating the Politics of History in Northern California

January 24
Wlad Godzich
Literature, UC Santa Cruz)
Postmodern Allegory Revisited

January 31
Melissa L. Caldwell
(Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz)
Gardening for the Soul: Living Organically in the Russian Countryside

February 7
Jeannette Mageo
(Anthropology, Washington State University, and Center for Cultural Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
Dreaming Culture: U.S. Boyfriend and Girlfriend Dreams

February 14
Chiung-chi Chen
(Center for Cultural Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
The Mystery of Muted Singers: Ritual Opera in Contemporary Taiwan

February 21
Paul Bové
(English, University of Pittsburgh)
Poetry Against Torture

February 28
Kimberly Jannarone
(Theater Arts, UC Santa Cruz)
Antonin Artaud and the Age of the Crowd

March 7
Jody Greene
(Literature, UC Santa Cruz)
Hostis Humani Generis 



DANA FRANKis a historian specializing in labor, women, consumer culture, and twentieth-century trade politics in the U.S. and Central America. She is the author of Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism (Beacon, 1999); Purchasing Power: Consumer Organizing, Gender, and the Seattle Labor Movement, 1919-1929 (Cambridge, 2004), Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America (South End, 2005), and co-author of Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century (Beacon, 2001). Her talk is drawn from her forthcoming book, which explores the politics of U.S. cultural and social history through an examination of four semi-monuments from Santa Cruz to the San Francisco Peninsula: a redwood tree slice at Big Basin State Park, the Cave Train Ride at the Boardwalk, two stone cats by Highway 17 in Los Gatos, and the Pulgas Water Temple alongside Crystal Springs Reservoir.

WLAD GODZICH teaches Literature and Critical Studies at UCSC, and has most recently edited an issue of Concentric on “Who Speaks for the Human Today” with the participation of several graduate students at UCSC. His talk takes as its point of departure Fredric Jameson’s famous essay on “The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.” He writes, “I seek to determine Jameson’s debt to Benjamin, and what Benjamin was trying to do with his notion of allegory. Finally, I examine the so-called ‘postmodern coup’ of February 28, 1997 in Turkey and its ‘allegorical’ (?) rendition in Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. This work is part of a larger project on Literature and its New Contexts, in which I contend that globalization, the end of metaphysics, and the supplanting of the verbal by the image radically alter what we have understood by literature.”

MELISSA CALDWELL, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, is the author of Not by Bread Alone: Social Support in the New Russia(California, 2004), and co-editor of The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating(Blackwell, 2005). Her talk is drawn from her current book project, “The Spirit in the Land: Russia’s Organic Economy,” which examines the significance of summer cottages, gardening, and nature for Russian experiences of community, civil society, and new forms of market capitalism. She writes, “Through the productive labor of turning the soil and harvesting its bounty, Russians create a ‘time out of time’ in which both the community and the nation are affirmed and enhanced.”

JEANNETTE MAGEO is a cultural anthropologist whose current work focuses on dreaming and its relationship to subjectivity, identity, and emotion. She has published on Samoan, Tahitian, and Balinese child development, Samoan sexuality, transvestism, spirit possession, and folklore, as well as Samoan and Rotuman colonial history. She consulted for and appeared in a documentary made for Channel 4 in Britain, Paradise Bent: Boys will be Girls in Samoa, which is framed by her historical interpretation of Samoan transvestism and which won a Silver Plaque in the “Documentary-Humanities” section of the Chicago International Television Awards. In this talk, Dr. Mageo investigates how contemporary U.S. undergraduates constitute gender identities through girlfriend and boyfriend relationships in dreams.

CHIUNG-CHI CHEN, is an ethnomusicologist. This talk, drawn from her book-in-progress, examines the transformation of performing practice, from singing to silence, in contemporary Taiwanese ritual opera. Ritual opera in the late 1970s took a turn to what Chen calls muted ritual opera. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Taiwan, this talk moves beyond purely textual analysis and examines the social premise of the change in ritual opera. By investigating the dialectical relationship and dynamic between sound and spectacle in contemporary Taiwanese ritual opera, Chen sheds light on issues concerning ritual form and meaning as they adapt to the modern urbanized context.

PAUL BOVÉ, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, is editor of boundary 2, an international journal of literature and culture. His books include In the Wake of Theory (Wesleyan, 1992), Mastering Discourse: The Politics of Intellectual Culture (Duke, 1992), Intellectuals in Power: A Genealogy of Critical Humanism (Columbia, 1986), as well as the edited volume Edward Said and the Work of the Critic: Speaking Truth to Power (Duke, 2000). He writes, “I am writing three books at the present: first and foremost, a reading of Henry Adams; second, a barely started text on the movements from God to neo-conservatism (or, from Milton to Wolfowitz); and third, a collection of lectures entitled ‘Poetry Against Torture.’”

KIMBERLY JANNARONE is Assistant Professor of Theater Arts at UC Santa Cruz. She has published in Theatre SurveyTheater Journal, and New Theatre Quarterly on Antonin Artaud, Alfred Jarry, and Witold Gombrowicz, and won the 2005 Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize for her writing on Artaud. Her talk is drawn from her book project, “Artaud and His Doubles,” which places Artaud’s works in the context of theatrical and intellectual history of the 1920s and 1930s. Jannarone reads his call for a “theater of cruelty” in the light of the aftermath of World War I in Western Europe, especially the surge in irrationalism, vitalism, and mysticism that characterized much of the interwar era and found articulation in new performance practices that worked with notions of crowds rather than audiences.

JODY GREENE is Associate Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz and the author of The Trouble with Ownership: Literary Property and Authorial Liability in England, 1660-1730 (Pennsylvania, 2005). Of this talk she writes, “This new project is part of a longstanding interest in the figure of the pirate, particularly as that figure crops up in unlikely discursive registers: genre theory, the history of sexuality, or, as here, international law. I am interested in the way the pirate’s status as hostis humani generis, an enemy of humankind, precipitates crises of categorization with relation to nation, violence, commerce, law, empire, and humanity itself. The contemporary War on Terror makes use of the figure of the pirate as both analogy and precedent for the terrorist. In so doing, it perpetuates a productive instability at the heart of international law and the law of nations, which has been dependent from its inception on the existence of a category of persons deemed enemies of humanity itself.”