Winter 2008 Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series

In winter 2008, 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.



January 16
B. Ruby Rich
(Community Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
From ID to IQ: Looking Back at the New Queer Cinema Movement

January 23
Roland Greene
(English and Comparative Literature, Stanford University
Piracy and Early Modern Globalization: Limahong in Luzon, 1574

January 30
Wendy Brown
(Political Science, UC Berkeley)
Porous Sovereignty, Walled Democracy

February 6
Jelani Mahiri
(University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Santa Cruz)
Of Oxen, Slaves, Cowboys and Indians: Analyzing the Legend of Bumba-meuboi, a Brazilian Musical Drama

February 13
Ian Hacking
(Visiting Professor, Philosophy, UC Santa Cruz)
Will You Be Known by Your Genes or The Company You Keep?

February 20
Sarika Chandra
(Center for Cultural Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
From Fictional Capital to Capital as Fiction: Globalization and the Intellectual
Convergence of Business and the Humanities

February 27
Eric Porter
(American Studies, UC Santa Cruz)
Race Music and Reconstruction in Post-Katrina New Orleans


March 5
Christopher Connery
(Literature, UC Santa Cruz)
Political Tourism in a Problem Country: Teaching Moby Dickin Cyprus


B. RUBY RICHis Professor of Community Studies at UCSC. She is the author of Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement (Duke, 1998). Her current project, for which she just completed a residency at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, is a new volume tentatively titled: The Rise and Fall of the New Queer Cinema, combining her early definitive essays in this field with new writing that reconsiders New Queer Cinema’s later development and looks beyond the Anglo-American models that defined its early years. This talk looks at current manifestations of the NQC energy and examines the extent to which it has moved beyond the big screen into the art world and the internet, and beyond early identity politics into less easily defined terrains as seen, for example, in the work of François Ozon, which she is now researching. In 2007, Professor Rich received Yale University’s James Brudner Award for outstanding contributions to gay and lesbian scholarship, and in 2006 she received an Honorary Life Membership Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

ROLAND GREENE is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. His research and teaching are chiefly concerned with the early modern literatures of England, Latin Europe, and the transatlantic world. He has recently finished a book about the early modern cultural semantics of five words: blood, invention, language, resistance, and world. He is also interested in the literary and cultural expressions of contemporary Latinity, especially Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Cuban-American poetry and other writings, as well as their counterparts in Latin America; in modern and contemporary poetry, especially the experimental traditions of the Americas; and in the problems and opportunities of comparative literature.

WENDY BROWN is Professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley, where she is also a member of the Critical Theory faculty. Her most recent books are Edgework: Essays on Knowledge and Politics(Princeton, 2005), Regulating Aversion: A Critique of Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire(Princeton, 2006), and Les Habits Neufs de la Politique Mondiale: Neoliberalisme et Neo-Conservatisme (Les Prairies Ordinaires, 2007). She is working on a project that refracts the newly ubiquitous phenomenon of nation-state walling through the theoretical problematic of sovereignty.

JELANI MAHIRI completed his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in Sociocultural Anthropology and is currently a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology at UCSC. His research is concerned with forms and ideologies of work, leisure, education, and expressive culture as ways to understand broader issues of social inequality, civic participation, identity, and creativity in the past and present. He is currently working on two book projects; the first, provisionally titled Laboring at the Interstices: Camelôs [Unlicensed Sidewalk Vendors] and The Struggle for a Space to Work in São Paulo, Brazil, expands upon informal economy studies and recent research on cities and citizenship to rethink the articulation of work and citizenship in the formation of modern subjectivities in contemporary Brazil. A second book project, tentatively titled Accenting Play, explores the bumba-meu-boi, or “oxdance,” an enormously popular, though underexplored, Brazilian musical drama. Linking the particulars of performances to issues of power and representation, the book will examine bumba-meu-boi celebrations as polysemous, multi-functional, and multi-sensory events: as brincadeira or “play” as participants refer to it, as religious devotion, as entertainment, as touristic destination, and as economic development opportunity.

IAN HACKING is teaching in the UCSC Philosophy Department this term. He recently retired from the Collège de France, where he was chair of Philosophy and History of Scientific Concepts. His most recent books include Mad Travellers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illness (Free Association Books, 1999), The Social Construction of What? (Harvard, 1999), An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic(Cambridge, 2001), and Historical Ontology(Harvard, 2002). A new edition of The Emergence of Probability (Cambridge) appeared in 2006. His talk for the colloquium is a follow-up on a piece published in Daedalus, Fall, 2006, whose intended title was “Biosocial Identity: Which Biology? Whose Society?” The essay is online at

SARIKA CHANDRA is Assistant Professor of English at Wayne State University. She works in the areas of globalization studies and contemporary American literary/cultural studies. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled Dislocalism: Re-Assessing Americanism in the Age of Globalizationthat examines the rhetoric of obsolescence and innovation in a contemporary global context, and analyzes how particular genres such as American travel, tourist, and immigration narratives adapt to the new reality of globalization. The book also analyzes the ways globalization both stands for real changes in the economy and yet serves the highly ideological function of representing such changes as politically and economically inevitable. Her second book project centers on the topic of globalization and food, dealing with issues of agribusiness, scarcity, politics, and culture. Her talk addresses the implications of (inter)disciplinary practices as literary/cultural studies turns to issues of economics, finance, and corporatization so as to understand globalization even as business and management theory turns to notions of culture and literary fiction for the same ends.

ERIC PORTER is Associate Professor of American Studies at UCSC. His research interests include black cultural and intellectual history, U.S. cultural history, critical race studies, and jazz studies. He is the author of What Is This Thing Called Jazz?(California, 2002), winner of an American Book Award, and is currently completing a book on W.E.B. Du Bois’s writings from the 1940s and 1950s. This talk draws from a new, collaborative project (with UCSC Art professor Lewis Watts) that examines the transformation of the New Orleans music scene after Hurricane Katrina and the complex racial politics of the mobilization of music to rebuild and repopulate the city.

CHRISTOPHER CONNERY is Professor of World Literature and Cultural Studies at UCSC. Trained in East Asian Studies, several articles and his first book, Empire of the Text: Writing and Authority in Early Imperial China (Rowman and Littlefield, 1998), were on early imperial Chinese literati culture. He has also published a number of pieces and edited journal issues from two on-going research projects, one on the ocean in capitalist thought, and one on the global 1960s. His co-edited volume with Rob Wilson, The Worlding Project: Doing Cultural Studies in the Era of Globalization (New Pacific Press) appeared in autumn, 2007. His talk is based on his reading and experiences in Nicosia, Cyprus, where he went in the autumn of 2007 to teach in the English department and to consider questions of the political.