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Upcoming Event: Tom Perrotta at Brandeis

October 27th, 2016

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Perrotta Event

Upcoming Event: Working and Playing With Psychoanalysis

October 20th, 2016

Humanities Administrator

Playing with Psychoanalysis Final 2016

Upcoming Event: Comedy and the Constitution: The Legacy of Lenny Bruce

October 17th, 2016

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Free-speech pioneer. Satirist. Cultural Icon.

Comedian Lenny Bruce’s legacy is the focus of a two-day conference on October 27-28 at Brandeis University.

Join us for two days of speakers and discussion on such topics as Comedic Ancestors and Descendants, Censorship and Law, Religion and Reason, Jewish Humor and the Holocaust, Engendering Comedy, Postwar Popular Culture, and the Language of Comedy.

“Comedy and the Constitution” will mark the formal opening of the collection of archival material that the university acquired from Bruce’s daughter, Kitty Bruce, with a generous grant from the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation.

Keynote speaker: Christie Hefner, Trustee of the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation, founder of Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards, member of board of directors of the Center for American Progress Action Fund

October 27-28, 2016, Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

For more information and to register:

Upcoming Event: Genius for Sale!

October 7th, 2016

Humanities Administrator

Friday, October 14, 2016

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Register here.

Join us for Genius For Sale!, an interdisciplinary conference bringing together scholars and practitioners from the humanities, the creative arts, and the social sciences to explore the ways in which creativity intersects with the market place. By assembling this diverse group of scholars and practitioners, we hope to stimulate discussion about the various forms of creativity and the effects of economic forces upon them and to showcase the methodological differences between the humanities, the creative arts, and the social sciences. Researchers and practitioners will walk away with new ideas about applications, in addition to an understanding of different ways to approach research within and across fields. We hope as a group to expand the growing conversation about the creative arts in their economic and social contexts.

The conference is organized by Kathryn Graddy (Brandeis International Business School) and Robin Feuer Miller (Brandeis University, German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature). Participants include:

Orley Ashenfelter (Princeton University, Economics)
Christopher Bedford (Baltimore Museum of Art)
Philip Ross Bullock (University of Oxford, Modern Languages)
Jane Ebert (Brandeis International Business School)
Elizabeth Ferry (Brandeis University, Anthropology)
William Flesch (Brandeis University, English)
Diana Greenwald (University of Oxford, Economic and Social History)
Mary Harrod (University of Warwick, French Studies)
Anita Hill (Brandeis University, Heller School and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies)
Alice Kelikian (Brandeis University, History and Film)
Sarah Keller (University of Massachusetts-Boston, Art and Cinema Studies)
Susan Lichtman (Brandeis University, Fine Arts)
Provost Lisa M. Lynch (Brandeis University, Heller School and Economics)
Jonathan Paine (University of Oxford, Modern Languages, and Rothschild & Co.)
John Plotz (Brandeis University, English)
Nancy J. Scott (Brandeis University, Fine Arts)
Paul Solman (PBS NewsHour)
William Mills Todd III (Harvard University, Slavic Languages and Literatures)
Pu Wang (Brandeis University, German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature)
Chad Williams (Brandeis University, African and Afro-American Studies)

Book Announcement: Olga Broumas and T Begley, “Jamais Vu”

October 5th, 2016

Humanities Administrator

Jamais Vu is a sounding of individual joints and social folds — the phrasal body creaking, the integral body singing its connections, wave after wave, in the particular mode:

“like a sail I found myself
in material I could carry”

Mneme tremors in the wall-dust of ruined stars. Or we can be literal: Jamais Vu is a series of image and breath-centric lyrics that seek, in the space between voices, the deeper reaches of personal memories, where recollection becomes a reinvention (a re-breathing) of historical figments and figures. From the introduction by april joseph:

“Ancient and (music)noteworthy mystics appear throughout this pureland reminding us of ancestral roots’ voice, of its seekers, seers, mourners and singers. As we sail through the ‘hour of revelation’ we discover a ‘sonar alphabet’ and ‘two language reservoirs.’ (What does your alphabet sing like?) Broumas and Begley ask us to engage in deep play, allowing us to seek the oracle in nature, revealing the imaginary. One reservoir holds a ‘hurricane of sound’ while the other contains ‘bits of god black ribbon | hundreds unseen and outspread on the sand.’ We stand on the shore and feel the tide’s call, its pull so alluring, we only sink deeper into shore becoming ocean.The collaboration carefully articulates what is unknown. Broumas and Begley’s practice of titration gives us a momentary glimpse of what we do not know and reveals the ghost: ‘…darkness gathers | this small corner of silence…’ We enter unrealized space through their anatomy of poetics — placing awareness on the breath, we rest before we take another step further through.”

To find out more about the book click here.

Upcoming Event: Literature as Cultural Ecology with Hubert Zapf

October 5th, 2016

Humanities Administrator

Monday, October 10, 2016, 12-2pm

in Mandel Humanities Center Reading Room (303)
RSVP here – please note that RSVPs are required for this event due to space constraints

Cultural ecology is a new direction in recent ecocriticism and the environmental humanities which is grounded, on the one hand, in a general theory of cultural ecology as a field of transdisciplinary studies that has gained considerable visibility in recent ecological thought. On the other hand, it adapts, translates, and integrates these insights from various disciplines into a more specific theory of literature itself as a medium of cultural ecology. Between an anthropocentric cultural studies perspective, in which nature is dematerialized into a discursive human construct, and a radical ecocentrism, in which cultural processes are basically subsumed under naturalist assumptions, cultural ecology looks at the interaction and living interrelationship between culture and nature, without reducing one to the other. Literature is seen as a cultural form in which this living interrelationship is explored in specifically productive ways, providing a site of critical self-reflection of modern civilization as well as a source of creative cultural self-renewal. This is not merely a question of thematic orientation or content but of the aesthetic processes staged in imaginative texts, which in this sense can be described as functioning like an ecological force within the larger system of cultural discourses. Literature is described as a transformative force of language and discourse, which combines civilizational critique with cultural self-renewal in ways that turn literary texts into forms of sustainable textuality.

Hubert Zapf is Professor and Chair of American Literature at the University of Augsburg, Germany. His main areas of research are Cultural Ecology, English and American Literature, Literary and Cultural History and Theory. He is co-editor of Anglia: Journal of English Philology, of the Anglia Book Series, of the Handbooks of English and American Studies (DeGruyter), and of the book series Text und Theorie (Königshausen & Neumann). His publications include Kurze Geschichte der angloamerikanischen Literaturtheorie, UTB, 2nd ed. 1996; Literatur als kulturelle Ökologie, Niemeyer, 2002; Amerikanische Literaturgeschichte (ed.), Metzler, 3rd ed. 2010; American Studies Today: New Research Agendas (co-ed.), Winter, 2014; Literature and Science (ed.), Special Issue of Anglia 2015; Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology (ed.), De Gruyter, 2016; Literature as Cultural Ecology: Sustainable Texts, Bloomsbury, 2016; Zones of Focused Ambiguity in Siri Hustvedt’s Works: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (co-ed.), De Gruyter, 2016; “Ecological Thought in Europe and Germany,” Cambridge Global History of Literature and Environment, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English, and the American Studies Program.

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