Civic Reflection Facilitation Training
On Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9, the Center for the Humanities is partnering with the Center for Civic Reflection in Chicago, Illinois to host two exciting events, and we would love for you to attend.
Friday, February 8, 4:15 p.m., JRC 101
Public talk: "Bridging the Gap: Connecting the Humanities to Social Justice and Community-Based Work"
The Grinnell community will have the opportunity to hear from Center for Civic Reflection Associate and 2010 Grinnell alum, Becca Bernstein, and Center for Civic Reflection Director, Dr. Adam Davis, as they discuss how they use the humanities to get people thinking and talking across difference about social and civic issues. Becca will discuss her personal experience at Grinnell and why and how she believes the practice of civic reflection can be useful for the Grinnell community, while Dr. Davis will discuss how the Center for Civic Reflection has put the humanities into practice to engage communities, take on social issues and deepen civic discourse. In addition to directing the Center for Civic Reflection, Dr. Davis is the editor of several books, including Taking Action and The Civically Engaged Reader,and teaches with the Odyssey Project, a college-level humanities program for low-income adults. Dr. Davis received his Ph.D. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago.
Saturday, February 9, 10:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m., ARH 302
The training will give a select group of Grinnell faculty, students, staff and community members the opportunity to learn the practice of civic reflection, build and hone their facilitation skills, and explore how to use the humanities (poems, short stories, photographs, etc.) to spark discussion about issues in their communities, classrooms and institutions in a hands-on, interactive way. During the training, participants will participate in a civic reflection discussion, plan and lead discussions of their own, and receive resources and next steps for how to make reflective dialogue happen at Grinnell and elsewhere. The training is FREE and lunch will be provided. If you are interested in attending, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, January 28th. This training is limited to 30 participants and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Center for Civic Reflection is a national leader in dialogue and reflection. CCR has trained more than 7,000 people to facilitate reflective discussions in their organizations and communities, and led over 20,000 people in public, community, and workplace dialogues. CCR has worked extensively with colleges and universities across the US, including University of Chicago, Tufts University, University of Iowa and Northwestern University, to increase their capacity for dialogue across difference, improve relationships among faculty, students, staff and community members, and deepen student and staff commitment to civic engagement. To learn more about the Center for Civic Reflection, please visit http://www.civicreflection.org/.
Humanities for Life Speaker: Farid Esack
Tuesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m., JRC 101
"The Humanities for and Beyond the Human - Reflections of a Progressive Islamist"
Areas of Specialization: Islam, Ethics & Religion, Gender, Inter-Faith Relations, AIDS Advocacy
Our speaker, Farid Esack, is a Distinguished scholar of Islam from South Africa, but as you will see from the biographical note below, he is also a multi-talented intellectual and activist who presents a rare opportunity for us at Grinnell. Prof. Esack is an activist who was part of the struggle against apartheid, and who works today in many organizations for gender equality, inter-faith relations, and in support of HIV positive South Africans.
FARID ESACK is a South African scholar of Islam who completed the Darsi Nizami, the traditional Islamic Studies program, in Madrasahs in Karachi, Pakistan. He did his PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK) and post-doctoral work on Biblical Hermeneutics at the Philosophisch Theologische Hochschule, Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt-am-Main. Prof. Esack has held academic appointments at University of the Western Cape, at Amsterdam, Hamburg and Gadjah Mada Universities and Union Theological Seminary in New York. A former Distinguished Mason Fellow at the College of William & Mary, and the Besl Professor in Ethics, Religion and Society at Xavier University in Ohio, he has also held a joint appointment for two years at Harvard University in the Divinity School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as the William Henry Bloomberg Professor.
Prof Esack is the author of several publications including Qur'an, Liberation & Pluralism: An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity Against Oppression, On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today and An Introduction to the Qur'an (all by Oxford: Oneworld). His current major field of interest and commitment is Islam and AIDS. He is the author of a series of publications dealing with this area including Islam, HIV & AIDS – Reflections Based on Compassion, Responsibility and Justice. More recently (2009) he co-edited Islam and AIDS – Between Scorn, Pity and Justice, with Sarah Chiddy. He has also published widely on Islam, Gender, Liberation Theology, Inter-faith Relations, Religion & Identity and Qur'anic Hermeneutics.
Formerly a National Commissioner on Gender Equality appointed by President Nelson Mandela, he is also a veteran of struggle against Apartheid and an activist in the inter-religious solidarity movement for justice and peace and that struggle, he played a leading role in the United Democratic Front, the Call of Islam, the Organisation of People Against Sexism and the World Conference on Religion & Peace.In addition to his academic pursuit, he continues his activism through Positive Muslims, an organization working with Muslims who are HIV positive in South Africa, and through the several development boards on which he serves in South Africa and internationally.
Annual Humanities Student Symposium
The Board of the Humanities Center has selected excellent essays by students from many disciplines and we are very excited about the upcoming event. Everyone is invited to come to the panels on Monday, April 29 and Tuesday, April 30 to support the scholarly and creative work of our students. A second exciting feature of the Annual Humanities Student Symposium is the keynote address by Christopher Newfield on Monday, April 29, 7.30 pm in JRC 101.
Monday, April 29
12:00 p.m., JRC 101
"Gender, Politics, and Identity" Eunice Ahenkorah, Allison Moore, Grace Mendel
4:15 p.m., JRC 101
"Gender and Authority" Sivan Philo, Anna Banker, Emily Sortor, Ebony Chuukwu, Dylan Bondy
7:30 p.m., JRC 101 Keynote speaker, Christopher Newfield
“The Return of Creativity: Literacy Theory v. Innovation Theory”
Prof. Newfield teaches literature, theory, and American Studies in the English Department at UC Santa Barbara. He has published extensively on higher education in the United States, particularly the state of public universities. His books include The Emerson Effect: Individualism and Submission in America (Chicago, 1996); Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (Duke, 2003), and Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (Harvard, 2008). His research focuses on the processes of creativity and innovation, with a double focus on cultural and technological factors. He publishes on a range of topics that include the effects of higher education on society, corporate culture, culture and economics, the role of identity in socio-economic development, civil rights history, and the future of the middle class, He has conducted extensive fieldwork in a range of technology-dependent industries and has wide experience with the university side of copyright, patenting, and technology transfer. He is the author of many articles on higher education funding and policy, cultural theory, innovation studies, as well as solar energy policy and collaboration in nanoscience.
Tuesday, April 30
4.15 p.m., JRC 101
"Art as Politics: Collaboration and Commemoration" Andrea Lakiotis, Elizabeth Sawka, Irene Bruce
7.30 p.m., ARH 102
"Representing Divinity and Power" William Jones, Mary Rellergert, Jennelle Nystrom, Swayam Bagaria
Conversation in the Humanities Lunch
Monday, May 6, JRC 209, 12:00 p.m.
Theme: "Critique/Critical Thinking"
Jennifer Dobe, lecturer in philosophy
Jonathan Larson, assistant director of Off-Campus Study
Tyler Roberts, professor of religious studies
Lunches will be available for the first 20 faculty members who respond. R.S.V.P. required by noon on Thursday, April 25 to Jan Graham [grahamj] or ext. 4384.
Fall 2012 Events
Conversations in the Humanities Lunch
Friday, September 14, JRC 209, 12:00 pm
Theme: “Ethnographic Research: Theory Interrupted”
Doug Caulkins, professor emeritus of anthropology, "From Maximizing to Satisficing: High Technologists in Silicon Glen"
Karla Erickson, associate professor of sociology, "A Lack of Resistance"
Kelly Herold, associate professor of Russian, "The world is smaller than you think: A surprising moment in Ethnographic Research"
Lunches will be available for the first 20 faculty members who respond. R.S.V.P. required by noon on Monday, September 10 to Jan Graham [grahamj] or ext. 4384.
Dr. Milian Kang
Thursday, September 27, 4:15 p.m., JRC 101
"Nailed: Race, Gender and Immigration in Body Labor"
Professor Kang is a feminist sociologist who studies labor. Her most recent project The Managed Hand (University of California, 2011) won five prestigious book awards for excellence. Drawing from rich and compelling interviews, Miliann Kang takes us inside the nail industry, asking such questions as: Why have nail salons become so popular? Why do so many Asian women, and Korean women in particular, provide these services? Kang discovers multiple motivations for the manicure-from the pampering of white middle class women to the artistic self-expression of working class African American women to the mass consumption of body-related services. Contrary to notions of beauty service establishments as spaces for building community among women, The Managed Hand finds that while tentative and fragile solidarities can emerge across the manicure table, they generally give way to even more powerful divisions of race, class, and immigration.This event is co-sponsored by GWSS, the Rosenfield Program, Center for the Humanities, Center for International Studies, and the Sociology department.
Conversations in the Humanities Lunch
Friday, October 5, JRC 209, 12:00 pm
Cara Jones, professor emeritus of anthropology, "From Maximizing to Satisficing: High Technologists in Silicon Glen"
Mirzam Perez, assistant professor of Spanish, "TBA"
Sarah Purcell, associate professor of history, dircetor of the Rosenfield Program, "Mapping Henry Clay's 1852 Funerals"
Lunches will be available for the first 20 faculty members who respond. R.S.V.P. required by noon on Friday, September 28 to Jan Graham [grahamj] or ext. 4384.
Humanities Book Talk
Friday, October 12, BCA 152
Book discussion about Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble"
Presenters: Terri Geller, assistant professor of English; Vanessa Lyon, assistant professor of art, and Alan Schrift, professor of philosophy.
This event is open to the public.
Humanities for Life Speaker: Jon Winet
"Public Humanities in a Digital World: a report in progress from The University of Iowa"
Tuesday, October 30, 4:15 p.m., JRC 101
Areas of Specialization: Artist, Digital Humanities, Presidential Elections
Jon Winet is a New Media artist, researcher and educator, and serves as director of DSPH – The University of Iowa Digital Studio for the Public Humanities, launched in August 2011. He joined the faculty of The University of Iowa School of Art & Art History in 2002. In 2006 he was appointed director of the Experimental Wing of The University of Iowa Virtual Writing University. He is also a member of the faculty of International Programs.
He directs "The University of Iowa UNESCO City of Literature Mobile Application Development Team," an interdisciplinary research project spotlighting Iowa City's UNESCO City of Literature designation. In October 2010 the team launched City of Lit, an app for Apple mobile devices.
He is currently working on "Our Las Vegas," a networked electronic public art project for the Las Vegas Arts Commission, and on "First in the Nation," a New Media documentary project on the run-up to the 2012 Iowa Caucuses and U.S. presidential election.
"The Electoral College," a New Media project exploring the 2008 U.S. presidential election and democratic practice in America was featured in 2007-2008 exhibitions and projects at the San Francisco Art Institute; American University Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.; the UnConvention, Minneapolis-Saint Paul; and Add-Art, an online project for Eyebeam, New York, New York.
Conversations in the Humanities Lunch
Theme: "Art as Nation in Transnational Europe"
Friday, November 9, JRC 209, noon
Kelly Maynard, assistant professor of history, "When Opera Threatened the Republic: The Wagner Problem in France"
Deborah Michaels, assistant professor of education, "Teaching Art as National Belonging: Claims to European Identity through Art in Slovak History and Civics Textbooks Post-1989"
Gemma Sala, assistant professor of political science, "Nationalism and Modernity in the Streets of Barcelona"
R.S.V.P. required by noon on Tuesday, November 6 to Jan Graham [grahamj] or ext. 4384.
CONVO Speaker: Charles Hirschkind
“Salafi Islam, Online Ethics and the Future of the Egyptian Revolution”
Wednesday, November 28, 12:00 p.m., JRC 101
Areas of Specialization: Religion, anthropology of the senses, media theory, language and performance, Islam and the Middle East.
Charles Hirschkind is associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research includes religious practices, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community in the urban Middle East and Europe. His book, "The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics" was awarded the 2007-2008 Sharon Stevens First Book Prize by the American Ethnological Society. He is also the co-editor, with David Scott, of "Powers of the Secular Modern: Talal Asad and his Interlocutors." Other recent publications include "Beyond Secular and Religious:
An Intellectual Genealogy of Tahrir Square," "Is There a Secular Body?" and "Media, Mediation, Religion". His current project is based in southern Spain and explores some of the different ways in which Europe's Islamic past inhabits its present, unsettling contemporary efforts to secure Europe's Christian civilizational identity.
Humanities for Life Speakers: Meena Khandelwal and H. S. Udaykumar
"Mechanical Engineer and Feminist Anthropologist Talk about Trees"
Tuesday, December 4, ARH 302, 4:15 p.m.
H. S. Udaykumar, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Iowa
Meena Khandelwal, Anthropology and Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, University of Iowa
Meena Khandelwal and H.S. Udaykumar tell the story of an unlikely collaboration sparked by a brief conversation about a solar cooker project. Professor Udaykumar took a group of engineering students to visit a village in Rajasthan, India. They found that women and girls were now trekking long hours to find and haul firewood that was once available just outside their homes—simply to cook a meal. Availability of a solar cooker, they thought, would not only address the problem of deforestation but would also reduce women's workload and result in girls going to school. Their efforts to build an inexpensive and functional solar cooker and their consideration of perspectives from cultural anthropology and gender studies led to an awareness that the cooking fuel problem is technological, environmental, cultural and political. Khandelwal and Udaykumar will discuss their efforts to trace the linkages between forests, energy, gender relations, health, consumption and culture and between the local and global processes.
End of Semester All Faculty Reception
Thursday, December 13, Grinnell House, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
The Center for Humanities will recognize books published by faculty in this calendar year. Please join us even if you need to show up a bit late due to other commitments.