The Humanities Research Center awards competitive grants to host lectures, symposia, and speaker series that are intended to spark programming and curricular development in areas that do not fit within departmental structures, help develop innovative paradigms for conducting humanities research, or ask new questions within existing paradigms.
Exploring the Mind through Music 2016
Principal Investigator(s): Anthony Brandt, Xaq Pitkow
June 6, 2016
Shepherd School of Music will host its 3rd international “Exploring the Mind through Music” Conference. The goal of the Conference is to promote collaboration between musicians and scientists and spur research, as well as increase public interest in this growing field. Because music is a universal feature of human culture, music cognition research has implications in fields as diverse as anthropology, biology, electrical engineering, linguistics, psychology and sociology. By bringing artists and scientists together, the Conference will help position Rice as a leader in promoting inter-disciplinary collaboration in this important field. [Program]
Being Spiritual but Not Religious
Principal Investigator(s): William B. Parsons
February 19, 2016
This conference will focus on the determining "past" cultural strands, "present" circumscription, and possible future(s) of the "spiritual but not religious movement" (SBNRM). As a whole, it will delve into issues concerning present characterizations and definitions (including genealogies/histories/definitions of relevant terms [e.g.,"religion", "spirituality," mysticism"], empirical data, sociological surveys, and cultural factors; past cultural strands (i.e., the various and complex historical and cultural roots that have aided its formation and rise [e.g., western and eastern mysticism, transcendentalism, esotericism, democracy/capitalism, the rise of the therapeutic social space and psychology, secularization/disillusionment, etc.]), and possible futures (which includes consideration of the various problems, defenses, and critiques that are now being leveled for and against it [e.g., spiritual narcissism, pop culture, sustainability, perennialism, gender, race, structural cohesiveness, etc.]).
Mariano Azuela y la narración de lo urgente: Primer Centenario de Los de Abajo
Principal Investigator(s): Jose Aranda, Manuel Gutierrez, Nicolas Shumway
March 13, 2016
2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Mariano Azuela’s highly influential novel, Los de Abajo. Hailed then and now as the Novel of the Mexican Revolution, this anniversary year compels a revisit of the critical legacies of this work that has marked popular and elite Mexican culture in unprecedented ways.
New Perspectives on the Mid-Nineteenth-Century United States
Principal Investigator(s): John Boles, Randal Hall, Bethany Johnson, Caleb McDaniel
February 19 to February 20, 2016
With this conference, timed to coincide with the completion of the published Papers of Jefferson Davis, a group of leading American historians will meet at Rice University to consider what it means to look unblinkingly on the nineteenth-century United States as a nation in which Jefferson Davis, more than Lincoln, was in many ways the typical figure. Like the preeminent African American historian W. E. B. DuBois, we "wish to consider not the man, but the type of civilization which his life represented," with papers focused less on Jefferson Davis than on the forces –territorial expansion, slavery, capitalism, nationalism, Civil War memory, and empire– with which his life intersected at crucial moments in the history ofthe United States. The result will be a stimulating symposium that will contribute to a larger rethinking of nineteenth-century American history and its· lasting influence on our own time.
Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies
Principal Investigator(s): Kyle G. Sweeney, Carolyn Van Wingerden, Linda Neagley, Diane Wolfthal
February 18 to February 20, 2016
Established in 2002, Vagantes is North America’s largest and most successful medieval studies conference for graduate students. The primary aim of this national conference is to provide graduate students from all fields and disciplines the opportunity to discuss their research on any aspect of medieval studies while highlighting the resources of the host institution. In addition to some 30 student presentations, this conference will feature two keynote speakers, a workshop with two conservators from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and a tour of the Menil Collection’s medieval and Byzantine collections with an internationally recognized scholar.
Atlantic Environments and the American South
Principal Investigator(s): Blake Earle; Andrew Johnson; Randal Hall
February 05 to February 06, 2016
This conference explores how people altered, interacted with, and thought about the environments of the American South in the Atlantic World. While the past decades have seen the phenomenal growth of both environmental history and Atlantic studies they have, curiously, remained separate lines of inquiry. This conference seeks to place these two dynamic subfields in direct dialogue.
Rice Linguistics Society
Principal Investigator(s): Christina Willis Oko, Lisa Jeon
This is the sixth biennial conference held by the Rice Linguistics Society (RLS) run by graduate students. The conference welcomes presentations from all areas of linguistics as well as from other fields (particularly in the Humanities and the Social Sciences) where language is used as the primary source of data. This year conference brings as a Keynote speaker, Dr. Dennis R. Preston, linguist and Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University.
Emerging Disciplines Lecture: Architecture 2.0
Rodolphe el-Khoury, Dean of the School of Architecture, University of Miami
November 20, 2014/100 Herring Hall
More than ever before, the line between the digital and real worlds is increasingly blurred. Computers and communication devices have functioned as a separate layer within our lives but they are increasingly becoming integrated into objects and environments. Rodolphe el-Khoury describes a not-too-distant future in which “the internet of things” will become a reality. In this world, our homes, workplaces, and the objects within them will all be wirelessly connected, intelligent, and responsive.
The American Yawp
November 7-9, 2014
“American Yawp” is a collaboratively-built, open-access American history textbook constructed through the cooperative energies of nearly 300 prominent historians. This event goes beyond merely putting a textbook online and will involve the critical reflection on the nature of the digital medium and strategies for the practical construction of new resources. The conference will bring together several contributors to consider the future of textbooks in an open digital age.
Technology, Cognition, and Culture Lecture: The Emerging Research Environment & the Digital Public Library of America
Dan Cohen, Executive Director, Digital Public Library of America
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
A new environment for scholarly research is emerging out of the steady accumulation of digitized sources over the last two decades, contemporary models for accessing those sources, and novel methods for searching, sorting, and mining them in ways that forge new connections and enhance serendipity. With a look at the Digital Public Library of America’s approach to research and discovery, Cohen will survey today’s and tomorrow’s electronic landscape.
Dan Cohen is the Founding Executive Director of the DPLA, where he works to further the DPLA’s mission to make the cultural and scientific heritage of humanity available, free of charge, to all.
Technology, Cognition, and Culture Lecture: David Shaffer, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Engineering the Future of Education
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Dr. Shaffer looks at the future of education through the lens of two decades of research and development of educational games and simulations. His talk shows how the spread of digital tools frame both the challenges and solutions to the problems of education in a time of cognitive, social, and economic change. David Williamson Shaffer is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the departments of Educational Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction, and a Game Scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. He is the chief PI on the Epistemic Games grants.
Before coming to the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Shaffer taught grades 4-12 in the United States and abroad, including two years working with the Asian Development Bank and US Peace Corps in Nepal. His M.S. and Ph.D. are from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he taught in the Technology and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Shaffer studies how new technologies change the way people think and learn. His particular area of interest is in the development of epistemic games: computer and video games in which players become professionals to develop innovative and creative ways of thinking.
Reporting from the Front Line: The Middle East and the Challenge to Tell the Truth
May 9, 2014
Speaker: Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent for The Independent
[in collaboration with the Arab-American Educational Foundation]
Robust Action and the Rise of the CCRMA-lites: The Emergence, Sustenance and Renewal of Computer Music at Stanford
Andrew Nelson, Assistant Professor of Management and Bramsen Faculty Fellow in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon
April 18, 2014/307 Sewall Hall
Nelson's research focuses on the diffusion and commercialization of scientific and technological knowledge, and on the influence of institutional factors and network structures on these processes. His ongoing research projects focus on the fields of digital music, green chemistry, information technology, and biotechnology. In the 1960s, a small group of musicians, hackers, engineers, composers, and psychologists established a computer music program, “CCRMA,” at Stanford University. Their efforts, while fraught with difficulties, laid the foundation for a new academic field and for a suite of technologies that, to this day, form the backbone of modern media and audio technology companies. In this presentation, I explore the emergence, sustenance and renewal of the Stanford computer music program. My analysis employs Padgett and Powell’s concept of “multivocality,” exploring the ways in which key participants framed the same activities in different ways to different audiences, leveraging these differences to garner new resources and to build legitimacy among a diverse constituency. I also explore how the flexibility of the technologies themselves enabled this strategy, while simultaneously presenting unique challenges tied to this very flexibility. Ultimately, my analysis of the Stanford computer music program serves to extend multivocality into a new empirical setting, while also elaborating upon the ways in which new technological capabilities can co-evolve with different rhetorical frames, both supporting and emerging from them.
April 2, 2014
Speakers: Melani McAlister, George Washington University, Fady Joudah, Poet, and Khaled Hafez, Visual Artist
[in collaboration with Fotofest]
Al-Andalus and its Afterlife: Moorish Spain and the "Muslim Problem" in Europe Today
March 21, 2014
Speaker: Charles Hirschkind, Associate Professor of Social Anthropology
[in collaboration with the Arab-American Educational Foundation]
How Neuroscience Can Make the Humanities More Human: The Example of Neuroarthistory
John Onians, Professor of Visual Arts Emeritus and Director of the World Art Research Programme, University of East Anglia
February 11, 2014/Founder's Room, Lovett Hall
Within the 'humanities' there has been surprisingly little reflection on what it is that make us human. Thus, although there is general agreement that the miraculous mental products we study depend on such attributes as socialisation, language, and culture, little thought is given to the attributes of our unique biology on which they, in turn, ultimately depend. Today, however, thanks to discoveries about the brain made possible by new technologies this is changing, and new revelations are transforming the understanding of our humanity. These revelations empower - indeed require - each humanities discipline to look again at its materials to explore what light the new neuroscience can shed on old problems. Neuroarthistory does so for the visual arts, but given the revolutionary significance of its upgrading of the role of passive visual exposure in human mental formation and its downgrading of the role of the conscious and the verbal, its findings have, it will be argued, profound implications for all the others.
Sectarianism in the Middle East: History and Political Exploration
February 7, 2014
Speaker: Ussama Makdisi, Professor of History and Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies, Rice University
[in collaboration with the Arab-American Educational Foundation]
Shipwreck! Excavating the Gnalić, a 16th Century Merchant Ship lost off the Coast of Croatia
Luis Filipe Viera de Castro, Associate Professor, Frederic R. Mayer Fellow II of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University
January 31, 2014/117 Anderson Hall (School of Architecture)
Castro is an expert in post-medieval seafaring and the techniques of underwater excavation. He has excavated various wrecks, particularly those of Portuguese and Spanish ships involved in the India and Americas trade. He is currently working on a project in Italy on the history of a river over time, an excavation of a 16th century wreck in Croatia, and a 2D and 3D modeling of nautical remains.
Africa at AD 1000: Scalar Transformations and Global Interactions at the Turn of the Millennium
This conference will explore regional transformations that occurred across Africa in the crucial centuries that straddle AD 1000. Papers will address the period leading up to and beyond the end of the millennium, thus exploring the basis for dramatic transformations that occurred at that time: the emergence of large-scale complex societies, significant increases in long-distance trade, and transformations in the scale of production and consumption. Through this focus, the conference challenges the way that AD 1000 is often offered as a hard break in the historical trajectory of the African past.
David Killick, Professor of Anthropology, University of Arizona; Kathryn de Luna, Assistant Professor of History, Georgetown University
Vincent Serneels, Professor of Archaeometry, Universite de Fribourg; Susan McIntosh, Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Anthropology, Rice University
Peter Robertshaw, Professor of Anthropology, California State Univ., San Bernardino; Jeffrey Fleisher, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Rice University
Earth, Air, Water, Fire represents the first major symposium on the works of award-winning contemporary poet and activist Brenda Hillman, whose poetry represents a high watermark for poetic engagements with both the politics and the lived experience of ecology, energy and climate change. A consideration of this particular author’s poetic accomplishments offers the opportunity to consider the larger landscape of eco-poetics and activism in North America.
Volatility of Meaning
Nicole Brossard, Poet and Novelist
November 22, 2013/Kyle Morrow Room in Fondren Library
Where do we stand in the new configuration of meaning, its redistribution in art, science, socio-cultural identity and its accelerated renewal through new technologies of communication? Why is it that telling a story in a political meeting is now much more of consequence than telling the truth or having ideas? Stories are at the origin of cultures, of civilization, because they are links to figure out our relation to time and space, desire, meaning and ethics. “I don’t want to talk about me but to spy the century, the noise and the germination of the time” -Ossip Mandelstam.What happens when words like storytelling, new lexicon and creativity prove to be efficient concepts to manage, to sell, to impose political agendas? Where is the poet, the novelist, the intellectual, the feminist in that landscape of morphing meaning? Some answers are bound to be about the energizing core of language. Brossard’s writing pushes the boundaries of convention, reconceiving language itself as a part of a quantum universe with its paradoxes, non-linear organization, and multiple, simultaneous states of meaning. She has been instrumental in catalyzing feminist collaborations among artists in multiple media as well as co-founding literary journals. Her work ushers an emerging new discipline of writing as a medium that can engage, enact, and further complex conceptions of the universe and the order of things.
Enlightened Graphics: Blake and New Technologies
Joseph Viscomi, The James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
November 1, 2013/Founder's Room in Lovett Hall
“Enlightened Graphics: Blake and New Technologies” will introduce and demonstrate the William Blake Archive, a hypermedia resource for the study of Blake’s art and poetry integrating editions, catalogues, databases, and digital tools. To date, the Archive includes over 6400 images from 42 collections and has published 127 electronic editions of Blake's illuminated books, manuscripts, watercolors, paintings, color prints, and engravings. Conceived in 1993, it is one of the oldest digital humanities projects extant; it is considered the “gold standard” in digital editing and was the first electronic scholarly edition to receive the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition (2003) and to receive the Approved Edition seal from the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions (2005). The Blake Archive is among the National Endowment of the Humanities’ Top Humanities Web Sites and was awarded the MERLOT Classic Award (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) for 2011.
Holy Monsters, Sacred Grotesques
October 25-27, 2013
An interdisciplinary investigation of the cultural work of the monstrous figure: marking crisis, interrogating cultural boundaries and traversing thresholds between the normative and the pathological.
October 25, 2013
This one-day symposium, geared towards graduate students in literary studies, addresses several central aspects of academic publishing, and gives the opportunity to receive guidance on how to proceed with the publication of their own materials. Visiting speakers for this event all have a comprehensive understanding of graduate education in the United States and how publishing is an integral part of a graduate’s transition into the profession.
Race and Nation in the Age of Emancipations: A Symposium on the Atlantic World
February 21-24, 2014
This event seeks to explore the complicated relationship of race, citizenship, and national identity during the tumultuous long nineteenth century. By examining this connection in particular contexts within a broad Atlantic perspective, this symposium will contribute to a better understanding of if, how, and why enslaved and free blacks throughout the Americas came to understand themselves as citizens of a particular nation (or possibly multiple nations) during an era of emancipation. Along with several panels focusing on varying aspects of this topic, the symposium will also feature a roundtable on the Atlantic World as a field, analytical concept, and pedagogical tool. Visit http://raceandnation.wordpress.com/ for a full schedule and list of speakers.
Alligator-Horses: Documentary Film Becomes Creative Non-Fiction
Documentary filmmakers Brian Huberman, associate professor of visual and dramatic arts, and Edward Hugetz, Interim Provost at the University of Houston-Downtown, have completed their three hour film series and seek the assess the result and their efforts by inviting four speakers who play central roles in the film. Alligator-Horses uncovers the experience of young people in the 1830's who found unlimited freedom to act in America's growing cities. Speakers will address the effectiveness of the documentary and how well it addresses early 19th century urban America.
As Others See Us: The British Perspective on Nineteenth-Century US History
April 3-6, 2014
The Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH) convene every fall in the United Kingdom to sponsor and showcase scholarship in US history and culture. As Others See Us is an extension of these meetings, bringing British historians to the Rice campus for networking, discussion, and partnerships. Scholars will present on various topics in US history over the course of three days with two keynote addresses from US-based historians.
On Sectarianism in the Modern Middle East
Friday, April 11, 2014 - Saturday, April 12, 2014
The premise of this symposium is that there is no single, peculiar problem of sectarianism in the Middle Eastern region, but rather particular arenas and contexts that make various sectarian problems imminent. This event is not open to the public.
Dis/Locating Culture II: Narratives and Epistemologies of Displacement
December 7, 2012
The colloquium is a continuation of the 2011 Dis/Locating Culture conference at Rice, in which scholars explored the notion of knowledge and displacement. The conference examines representative cultural artifacts (literary, artistic, theoretical) in order to explore the repositioning of knowledge and aesthetics that grew out of colonial experiences and evolved into contemporary transcultural reterritorializations of linguistic practices, genres, and traditions. Focusing on Asia, Brazil, and the Middle East, the conference will further reflect on displacement, migration, and relation. These three invite us to think about culture beyond national and disciplinary boundaries; they also force a reflection that displaces Eurocentric paradigms of knowledge, opening a rich, multidimensional map through which to challenge unequal power relations within the Global South.
This conference was organized by Bernard Aresu, L.H. Favrot Professor of French Studies and Luis Duno-Gottberg, associate professor of Hispanic studies
Race and PlaceThe Past and Present of Race and Place in Houston, Texas
February 26-27, 2013
“The Past and Present of Race and Place in Houston, Texas” brings new work on the history of race in Houston into conversation with current investigations of the city’s racial landscape in order to probe the ways that historical and contemporary scholarship inform one another, and, in places, to highlight how such work offers solutions to current problems rooted in the ways race works, and has worked, in the city.
This conference was organized by Alexander Byrd, associate professor of history and Emily Straus, postdoctoral fellow at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Beyond Multiculturalism?: Brazil as a Model for Affirmative Action Policies in Contemporary Latin America
March 5, 2013
This conference brings together historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists from Brazil and the United States to reflect on the question: Is Brazil "good-to-think-with" as a model for framing affirmative action policies in contemporary Latin America? While the question indicates a focus on policy, several conceptual questions and interests arise for historian, anthropologists, and sociologists.
This conference was organized by Elizabeth Farfan-Santos, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, HRC
New Directions in Anthropology
March 22-23, 2013
A collaboration between the Departments of Anthropology at Rice and the University of Texas, New Directions in Anthropology will represent the overlapping strengths and questions of the two departments and new directions in the field at large. Specifically, students and faculty from the two universities will study experts and expertise, the study of Latin America and the US-Mexico border, and the study of aesthetics, media, and genre. This conference also offers an important opportunity for conversations on graduate student professionalization, undergraduate advising, and graduate student advising and pedagogy.
This conference was organized by Eugenia Georges, professor of anthropology; Marcel LaFlamme and Ian Lowerie, graduate students, anthropology
Digitization in the Humanities
April 5-7, 2013
Collaborating with scholars at Oxford University, Rice will hold an interdisciplinary workshop to provide baseline instruction for scholars at various stages of familiarity with digitization. The purpose of the workshop will be to further develop research skills and facility with innovative software tools and nurture better understanding of the field overall. This workshop offers an opportunity for further instruction in digital methodologies and provides opportunities to build inventive collaborations between digitization and humanistic research.
This conference was organized by Anne Chao, Rice University; Hilde De Weerdt, University of Oxford
Medical Futures Lab Symposium
April 26, 2013
The Humanities Research Innovation Fund will be supporting the 2012 Medical Futures Lab symposium. The Medical Futures Lab is a new digital medical humanities collaboration between Rice, the University of Texas Health Science Center, and Baylor College of Medicine and is supported by a Rice Faculty Initiatives Fund. The Lab will offer pedagogical training, hands-on critical thinking and design, publication, and dissemination online. The purpose of the Lab is to pioneer innovative approaches and methods for medical education that can keep pace with the accelerating information technologies driving the mobile, social, personalized and global health practices of our contemporary knowledge economy.
This conference was organized by Kirsten Ostherr, associate professor of English
Rice Seminar "Human Trafficking Past and Present" Closing Symposium
May 2-3, 2013
Co-directed by Rice University history professors James Sidbury and Kerry Ward, this seminar began with the history of slavery and slave trading, considering both U.S. and global histories of slavery through the 19th century. With these foundational discussions in mind, the course turned to modern forms of human trafficking, exploring how 20th century political initiatives sought to globalize the suppression of slavery through human rights discourses. This closing symposium will feature each of the seminar participants presenting summaries of their work this year and two keynote speakers.
Technology, Cognition, and Culture Lecture: Interaction Design and the Active Experience of Music
David Wessel, Professor of Music, UC-Berkeley
October 18, 2011
Music search engines, play list generators, streaming audio, and portable players have taken much of the focus of music technology. The emphasis is on delivery, and experiencing music is by playback - playback while jogging, while working about the house, and even while studying. In this talk, in the hope of providing an antidote, Wessel will examine the role of bodily action in the experience of music and the importance of human computer interaction design in the development of computationally-based musical instruments.
Dunia na Nchi Moja: Tanzania and the World
October 14-15, 2011
This conference explored the relationship between a space defined as the modern nation-state of Tanzania and the relationship between the local and the global in historical context. Papers in the workshop ranged from the time long before the existence of ideas about the space named Tanzania, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, German East Africa, Mrima, or Zanj – to the present, when Ujamaa and Bongo Flava (Tanzanian hip-hop) have global currency.
This conference was organized by Kerry Ward (history).
Consciousness, Intentionality, and Phenomenality
October 27-29, 2011
Professor Charles Siewert, a distinguished philosopher of mind and recent recipient of an endowed chair in Philosophy at Rice, is author of The Significance of Consciousness (Princeton University Press, 1998). This seminal book on the philosophical and conceptual understanding of phenomenally conscious experience and its relationship to the intentionality of the mental shapes this conference and its goals. The conference convened the world's leading scholars on this topic in order to share research that reflects the state of the art and to set the agenda for future work. The past several decades have witnessed a tremendous amount of research by philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists on the nature of the mind. Mental phenomena such as thoughts, beliefs, desires, actions, sensations, perceptions, memories, and experiences form our ideas of ourselves as subjects and as human beings. Three concepts are at the core of our current philosophical understanding of the mental: (i) intentionality, (ii) consciousness, and (iii) phenomenality (or the phenomenal). This conference aimed to build a collective strategy to tackle remaining questions on these topics and to identify the most appropriate methodologies and argumentative strategies, and was organized by Steve Crowell (Chair of the Department of Philosophy).
Revolution and Representation: Germany, 1917-23
November 11-12, 2011
The Weimar Republic has long been regarded, historically as well as theoretically, as a test case for the possibilities and limits of constitutional democracy. While most assessments of the Weimar Republic have understandably focused on the disintegration of democratic structures in Germany and the rise of the Nazi Party, the proposed workshop addresses the early phase of the Weimar Republic, examining the transition from an authoritarian nation-state to what has been one of the most liberal democracies in twentieth-century Europe. Bringing together experts from the U.S., Germany, the UK, and Ireland, the workshop investigates the political and cultural effects of this transition as well as the legal framework within which this transition occurred. This conference was organized by Peter Caldwell (history) and Christian Emden (German studies).
Dis/Locating Culture: Narratives and Epistemologies of Displacement
December 9-10, 2011
The colloquium will examine representative cultural artifacts (literary, artistic, theoretical) in order to explore the repositioning of knowledge and aesthetics that grew out of colonial experiences and evolved into contemporary transcultural reterritorializations of linguistic practices, genres, and traditions. There will be a focus on the French, Spanish, and Portuguese experience and broadly revolve around three topoi - inextricably esthetic and theoretical: displacement, migration, and relation. These three invite us to think about culture beyond national and disciplinary boundaries; it also forces a reflection that displaces Eurocentric paradigms of knowledge, opening a rich, multidimensional map of cultural flows between the Americas, Africa, and Europe. This conference is organized by Bernard Aresu (French studies) and Luis Duno-Gottberg (Hispanic studies).
Women in Philosophy Symposium
Friday, March 9, 2012
This symposium aimed to gain a richer, more accurate understanding of the situation in the profession and at Rice. The discussion focused on understanding the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in philosophy, both through causes unique to the field and those common across academia. There was also an aim to discuss ways forward, in teaching, mentoring, hiring, and on the career path beyond appointment. This symposium was organized by the philosophy department.
As a result of this event, Gwen Bradford, assistant professor, was invited to submit a report on our workshop by the organizers of the leading blog relating to women's issues in the profession; view it here.
Sports Writing and the Writing of Sport: The Rice International Sports Colloquium
March 30-31, 2012
This colloquium sought to place the analysis of sports writing firmly at the center of the emerging discipline of sports studies. The study of sports writing calls for an interdisciplinary team with a strong anchor in literary studies and cultural analysis. This conference built upon on the firm foundations of a preliminary, international event held at the University of Cambridge in 2010. This conference was organized by Alexander Regier (English).
Reappraising Revolutions: France and Haiti
April 20, 2012
This conference undertook a comparative history of the French and Haitian Revolutions in the effort to uncover potentially new and exciting connections and affinities between these two movements, but also better throw into relief the political, social and cultural distinctiveness of each revolutionary episode. This conference was organized by Kenneth Loiselle (HRC External Faculty Fellow 2011-12 and Department of History at Trinity University)
May 4-5, 2012
Renaissance Posthumanism explored the connections between the cultures of early modern Europe and current work in the posthumanities. The project culminated in a symposium followed by an edited collection that will bring together scholars of national and international renown to address the intersection of early modern literary, cultural, and historical studies and notions of the human as viewed through the lens of recent work referred to under the rubric of "the posthuman." Did Renaissance humanism in fact produce the vision of the human against which much posthumanism militates? How might emerging theories of “the posthumanities,” which tend to emphasize highly contemporary forms of media and technology with little reference to their longer histories, benefit from incorporating the tangle of humans, animals, environment, and machines that comprises Renaissance humanism? This conference was organized by Joseph Campana (English).
Global Modernities: 1750-1920
May 18-19, 2012
This interdisciplinary project within the humanities began with the recognition of faculty strengths in eighteenth- and nineteenth- century studies across departments and geographic specializations. It also responds to the increasing globalization of these historical fields, which have been enriched by attention to relations among nation states and national cultures.
October 28, 2010 and December 3, 2010
This series explored the common ground of a broad concept concerning the production of knowledge and expertise in order to address the many conditions and constraints on scientific research, including organizational imperatives, material infrastructure, inter-institutional entanglements, and the definition of epistemic authority. Speakers broadened the inquiry to include natural sciences, ethics, politics, economics, law, and aesthetics. The series was organized by James D. Faubion, professor of anthropology, and Dominic Boyer, associate professor of anthropology.
Surrealism and the Americas
November 4-6, 2010
Focusing on the interactions and patterns of influence among surrealist artists and collectors within the Americas who have been marginalized within dominant narratives of Surrealism and European exile, this conference addressed three primary areas: 1) the reception of Surrealism by collectors and curators in the Americas; 2) Latin American artists’ engagement with the surrealist project; and 3) Surrealism’s “after-life” in art and criticism in the Americas since the 1960s. Featured presenters led historians of art and photography from the US, France, Mexico, Australia, and the UK and a keynote address by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This conference was organized by Graham Bader (Assistant Professor of Art History).
Beyond Socialism and Liberalism? Transnational Perspectives from Eastern Europe and East Asia
January 28-29, 2011
"Beyond Socialism and Liberalism?" explored whether our inherited oppositional understandings of socialism and liberalism can really account for the new kinds of political ideas and social subjectivities, the new aesthetics and mediated forms of knowledge and the new relations of practice and property that have emerged in China and Eastern Europe after the collapse of Cold War geopolitics. We investigated what new kinds of analytical strategies and conceptual categories might emerge by taking the hybridity (rather than incommensurability) of socialist and liberal influence as our point of departure. One provocative consideration was that we may need to think beyond the categories of socialism and liberalism altogether, these categories having been deeply embedded in the political ontologies of modern (western) Europe in its historical phase of state consolidation and colonial expansion in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Guest speakers included: Ann Anagnost (U Washington), Elizabeth Dunn (U Colorado-Boulder), Lisa Hoffman (U Washington-Tacoma), Janine Wedel (George Mason University) and Alexei Yurchak (U California-Berkeley). This conference was organized by Dominic Boyer (Associate Professor of Anthropology).
Emerging Disciplines II
February 25, 2011
Continuing a discourse begun at the initial Emerging Disciplines event in September 2009, this symposium featured prominent scholars from across academic disciplines shaping important new fields of scholarly inquiry. Participants discussed the research questions that have served as the impetus for their new approaches, the methodological strategies that their emerging field entails, intellectual opportunities and challenges requisite to the emerging field, graduate student engagement, strategies for sustaining new research models, and other related issues. The speakers represented a broad range of interdisciplinary fields, including digital humanities, architecture and geography, business history and corporate strategy, history and sociology, moral psychology and neuroscience, and literature and digital technologies. Guest speakers included: Katherine Hayles (Duke University), John May (UCLA), Christopher McKenna (University of Oxford), Randolph Roth (Ohio State University), Jeffrey Schnapp (Stanford University), and Liane Young (Boston College). To view the webcast of this event, click here.
This one-day symposium was hosted by Rice University's Humanities Research Center, with support from the Dean of Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Panel 1, Moderator: Sarah Whiting
Jeffrey Schnapp (Harvard University) "Knowledge Design"
John J May (University of Toronto) "One Continuous Lie" (excerpts from The Control Papers)
Panel 2, Moderator: Richard Grandy
Randolph Roth (Ohio State University) "Can We Learn to Play Well with Others? Enlisting the Humanities, the Sciences, and the Social Sciences in the Study of Violence"
Liane Young (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) "The Brain Behind the Moral Mind"
Panel 3, Moderator: Mary Poovey
Katherine Hayles (Duke University) " How We Think: Transforming Power and Digital Technologies"
Christopher McKenna (University of Oxford) "The Very, Very Long View: Reintegrating Corporate Strategy and History"
Round table with symposium presenters (Moderator: Caroline Levander)
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Literature at Duke University and author of (among others) How We Think: The Transforming Power of Digital Technologies (2009), Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary (2008), My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts (2005), Writing Machines (2002), and How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics (1999).
"How We Think: Transforming Power and Digital Technologies"
Compared to the practices of print-based research, the Digital Humanities initiate new kinds of research strategies, new forms of pedagogy, and new modes of explanation and expression. This talk will explore the implications of these changes and speculate on the future of the Digital Humanities as an emerging discipline.
John J. May
John J. May is an Assistant Professor in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Urban Design at the University of Toronto. May is a graduate of Harvard University (Architecture) and UCLA (PhD, Geography). He previously held joint appointments in the departments of Geography and Architecture + Urban Design at UCLA, where he was also a research fellow in the Institute of the Environment.
"One Continuous Lie" (excerpts from The Control Papers)
Within the short span of a few decades, the digital control surface has supplanted nearly all other representational techniques within the design fields (including industrial, architectural, landscape-architectural, and urban design). In doing so it has rather silently erased an older mode of representation--which was essentially geometrical and mechanical--substituting in its place an entirely different visual logic, rooted in an ongoing coalescing between statistical reasoning and electrical engineering. Although the most obvious effects of this substitution are aesthetic, its reverberations are in fact extensively epistemological and even (increasingly) ontological, undercutting and refashioning certain long-standing conceptual divisions among technology, subjectivity, perception, and political agency.
McKenna is University Reader in Business History and Strategy at the Said Business School, a Fellow of Brasenose College, and the Research Director of the Novak Druce Centre for Professional Service Firms, all within the University of Oxford. A graduate of Amherst College and the Johns Hopkins University, McKenna’s research focuses on the historical development and evolving strategies of professional firms and their role in the global transformation of business, nonprofits, and the state. His first book on the growth of the elite management consulting firms, The World's Newest Profession, was awarded the Newcomen-Harvard Book Award by the Business History Review, the Hagley Prize by the Business History Conference, and named one of the best books of the year by the Financial Times. McKenna's next book, Partners in Crime, will examine the international history of white collar crime from the eighteenth century to the present.
"The Very, Very Long View: Reintegrating Corporate Strategy and History"
McKenna will talk about a re-emerging discipline that is reuniting two academic fields that were divided for more than thirty years: corporate strategy and business history. Corporate strategy, an academic discipline which began in the 1960s through the work of historian Alfred Chandler is now returning to its origins in business history through the work of a group of “Neo-Chandlerians” who are challenging the ahistorical theories of the recent scholarship. The re-emerging discipline is pushing both business historians to consider more clearly the long-run strategies of corporate executives and corporate strategists to reconsider their analytical theories within the long-run evolution of industries and firms.
Roth is Professor of History and Sociology at Ohio State University. Randy’s work focuses on the history of violent crime and violent death. His most recent book is American Homicide (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009), an interregional, internationally comparative study of homicide in the United States from colonial times to the present. He is also the co-founder and co-director of the Historical Violence Database (http://cjrc.osu.edu/researchprojects/hvd/), a collaborative effort to gather data from medieval times to the present on accidents, homicides, suicides, and non-lethal assaults. Randy recently received the Teaching Award of the Ohio Academy of History (2007) and the Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (2009).
"Can We Learn to Play Well with Others? Enlisting the Humanities, the Sciences, and the Social Sciences in the Study of Violence"
We humans are, as primatologist Franz de Waal observes, a “bipolar” species. Our capacity for cooperation, teamwork, friendship, empathy, kindness, forbearance, forgiveness, compromise, and reconciliation is unparalleled, because our happiness and survival depend on the strength of our social groups and on our commitment to them. But we also have an unparalleled capacity for competition, factionalism, hostility, sadism, cruelty, intransigence, and domination. Which side of our nature prevails depends on historical circumstances, especially the effects of those circumstances on our feelings and beliefs (a humanistic concern) and the impact of those feelings and beliefs on our brains, hormones, and behavior (a scientific concern). I will discuss the deep patterns that social science historians are discovering in the history of homicide, and suggest how collaboration among humanists, scientists, and social scientists could further our understanding of why humans can be prone to violence in one circumstance and to nonviolence in another.
Jeffrey T. Schnapp
Before moving to Harvard in 2011, Jeffrey T. Schnapp occupied the Rosina Pierotti Chair of Italian Studies at Stanford, where he founded the Stanford Humanities Lab in 2000. A cultural historian with interests extending from antiquity to the present, his most recent books are Italiamerica,Speed Limits, and The Electric Information Age Book (forthcoming with Princeton Architectural Press). His pioneering work in the domain of digitally augmented approaches to cultural programming have included curatorial collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Iris and Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Canadian Center for Architecture. His Trento Tunnels project — a 6000 sq. meter pair of highway tunnels in Northern Italy repurposed as a history museum – was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale. He is Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature and also regularly teaches courses at the Graduate School of Design. He currently directs metaLAB(at)Harvard, a brand new digital humanities and arts research center hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Knowledge Design [=KD] is an unidentified disciplinary object that has been seen by a few observers of the contemporary scholarly scene. The cohort of true believers in KD, once a small but dedicated group associated with the art/technology, counterculture/cyberculture criss-crossings of the late 1960s, has recently grown thanks to the digital turn of the past few decades. True believers describe KD as the field of experimentation that arises when the well-oiled machinery of print culture finds itself jammed by a volatile intermedia mix with the consequence that the form that knowledge assumes can no longer be considered a given. Knowledge-making and knowledge-design become radically intertwined endeavors. Most cool-headed observers doubt the field's existence (or, if it does exist, would prefer that it become the business of Schools of Education).
Liane Young is a post-doctoral associate in the Brain & Cognitive Sciences Department and a visiting scholar in the Philosophy Department at MIT. Starting Fall 2011, she will be an an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College. Young studies the cognitive and neural basis of human moral judgment. Young's research employs methods of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), examination of patient populations with selective cognitive deficits, and modulating activity in specific brain regions using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Young received her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 2008, and her B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard University in 2004.
"The Brain Behind the Moral Mind"
When we make moral judgments of people's actions, we consider not only the outcomes of the actions but also people's mental states concerning their actions. Typically, beliefs and intentions match the outcomes: when a person thinks she is sweetening her friend's coffee by putting sugar in it, she is usually not mistaken. Mismatches occur, however, in the case of accidents (e.g., when the ''sugar'' is in fact poison) and failed attempts to harm (e.g., when the ''poison'' is in fact sugar). The current work uses behavioral methods, functional neuroimaging (fMRI), TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), and neuropsychological methods to characterize the cognitive and neural mechanisms for judgments of innocence and guilt. Behavioral and MRI results suggest that mental states such as beliefs and intention matter more for moral judgments of harmful actions than actions considered to be morally impure (e.g., incest avoidance, food taboos).
Thinking Across the African Past: Archaeological, Linguistic, and Genetic Research on Precolonial African History
March 11-13, 2011
This international conference brought together archaeologists, linguists, geneticists and historians who use a range of methodologies to study the early history of Africa (and elsewhere). Despite a long tradition of varied scholarly approaches to Africa’s past, the complementary nature of archaeological and historical-linguistic data, assumed in the first decades of African Studies, came under fire in the 1970s and 1980s. The resulting hiatus of multiple studies to inquiry characterizing the last decades of the 20th century posed a severe challenge to studying the early history of Africa’s oral societies. With the advent of genetic research in Africa and advances in archaeology and linguistics, this conference will reassess the possibility of interdisciplinary research in the reconstruction of African history. This conference was organized by Susan McIntosh (Professor of Anthropology), Kathryn de Luna (Assistant Professor of History), and Jeff Fleisher (Assistant Professor of Anthropology).
The Classics Renewed: New Approaches to the Latin Poetry of Late Antiquity
March 17-19, 2011
With a look ahead to the Carolingian Age, this international conference examined a pivotal era in western literary history, from the third to the sixth century CE. Topics included the use of poetry to advertise, appeal to, or resist political power; the role that poetry plays in preserving cultural identity; and the development of a Christian Latin poetic tradition, in which authors worked with classical forms, but fitted them to new religious content to produce a hybrid literature. While the focus was on poetic texts, presenters also considered later Roman political and military history, late-antiquity art and architecture, and Christian controversy. This conference was organized by Scott McGill (Associate Professor of Classical Studies).
Private Places, Public Power
Friday, April 8, 2011
Private space is premised on the ability to exclude, whereas public space embodies an ideal of access to all members. The territoriality of public and private is seen most clearly when those boundaries are transgressed or challenged, transgressions which may come either from marginal groups or from those in power. Through the lens of four unusual case studies—Jewish homes in interwar Paris and Berlin, Walter Benjamin’s childhood memories, Adolf Hitler’s private homes, and maps of Auschwitz—this symposium explored the physical and imagined connections between the private individual and public power as expressed through objects, housing, site plans, and other embodied spatial forms.
Instruments in Manufacturing
June 17-18, 2009
With a major grant from the National Science Foundation, and with additional support from the HRC, this two-day workshop presented and critiqued papers to be collected into a published volume. Since 1985, much work has been done on the critical role of instruments in the Scientific Revolution. This collection sought to continue and correct that effort by focusing on the role of instruments in the Industrial Revolution, a topic thus far neglected, in order to enrich current scholarship on the relationship between science and technology. Organized by Cyrus Mody, assistant professor of history.
Emerging Disciplines I
September 18, 2009
Featuring prominent scholars from across academic disciplines who are shaping important new fields of scholarly inquiry. The international selection of speakers represented a broad range of fields, including music and the mind, neurohistory, cultural economy, broad-spectrum history, cognitive approaches to art history, Judaic studies, and new approaches to Americas studies.
Panel 1, Rice Faculty Chair: Martin Wiener
Daniel Smail (Harvard University) "Deep History: A Broad Spectrum Approach to the Study of the Past"
Hermann Herlinghaus (University of Pittsburgh) "From Transatlantic Histories of 'Intoxication' to a Hemispheric 'War on Affect': On the Paradox of Narconarratives"
Panel 2, Rice Faculty Chair: Jim Faubion
Mary Poovey (New York University) "What is Cultural Economy?"
Todd Presner (University of California Los Angeles) "Digital Humanities 2.0: A Report on Knowledge"
Panel 3, Rice Faculty Chair: Diane Wolfthal
Aniruddh D. Patel (The Neurosciences Institute) "The Growth of Music Neuroscience"
Pamela Sheingorn (Baruch College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York) "Perceiving the Object: Cognitive Studies and Art History"
Daniel Smail (Harvard University) "On the Prospects for a Neurohistory"
Round table (Moderators: Caroline Levander and Charles Henry)
Hermann Herlinghaus, University of Pittsburgh
"From Transatlantic Histories of 'Intoxication' to a Hemispheric 'War on Affect': On the Paradox of Narconarratives"
What are the uncommon driving forces behind this new field of Hemispheric-American Studies? A complex array of questions around which cultural, “pharmacological,” and bio-political concerns commingle relates to the status that conflicts over psychoactive substances have been acquiring. Psychoactives have passed, in the course of three centuries, from being highly esteemed commodities of transatlantic exchange and stimuli of modern life styles to matters that are today either banned, or restrictively codified. Using narcotics as a focus for transdisciplinary historicization can make evident how the Western Hemisphere has become the decisive scenario of conflict across which processes of long duration spanning discovery and colonization, modernization, and contemporary adjustments to geopolitical and psycho-cultural imperatives of advanced globalization link together. At the same time, paying attention to informal economies, spreading across and along the Mexican-American border and other zones, and to the way symbolic “narconarrative” territories are currently reshaping parameters of ethical imagination and epistemological debate in the Americas can help challenge existing boundaries regarding the fields of American studies, U.S. Latino studies, and Latin American literary and cultural criticism.
Aniruddh D. Patel, The Neurosciences Institute
"The Growth of Music Neuroscience"
The past decade has seen a rapid rise in the study of music and the brain, prompted by the application of neuroscientific tools to long-standing questions about music and the mind. Dr. Patel will discuss how neuroscientific methods have recently been applied to the much-debated question of whether human music is a biological adaptation.
Mary Poovey, New York University
"What is Cultural Economy?"
Dr. Poovey will discuss this emerging genre, which lies at the crossroads of the humanities and the social sciences. Contributors to the new journal, The Journal of Cultural Economy, and to the book series related to the journal use interpretive paradigms and empirical analysis to explore the changing relations between the three main organizing concepts of social and cultural study: culture, the economy, and the social.
Todd Presner, University of California Los Angeles
"Digital Humanities 2.0: A Report on Knowledge"
While computational tools have been used in certain fields within the Humanities for several decades, the pervasive "digital turn" in the last five years has begun to transform the very state of knowledge -- that is to say, the ways we access and think about information within humanistic disciplines, how we produce and share knowledge, and even what we mean by knowledge. As our cultural heritage as a species migrates into digital formats (most of which are created and dictated by standards developed in the corporate world), the significance of the Humanities is not diminished but rather ever more vital to understand, contextualize, critique, and evaluate the technologies that are steadily re-constituting what, where, and how we know. As an emergent field, Digital Humanities represents a cross-disciplinary array of practices, methodologies, and interventions that variously critique, apply, and develop these technologies. Dr. Presner will focus on the growing intersections between programmable web applications (Web 2.0), the emergence of the field of Digital Humanities, and the question of the human vis-à-vis digitally-mediated knowledge.
Pamela Sheingorn, Baruch College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York
"Perceiving the Object: Cognitive Studies and Art History"
The cognitive turn is in process in a wide range of disciplines and promises to provide art historians with significant new ways of describing viewer response. From how the mind-body perceives to how it remembers, the findings of neuroscience can help us comprehend the ways observers function in the presence of works of art. Specifically, through primary metaphors and mirror neurons, conceptual blending and the enactive view (to give some examples), cognitive studies offers a foundation in the mind-body itself for analyzing the impact on spectators of complex works. Such an approach enables study of the visual narratives and artifacts that combine text and image and that will be the focus of Dr. Sheingorn's talk.
Daniel Smail, Harvard University
(Dr. Smail delivered two talks)
"On the Prospects for a Neurohistory"
One of the most crucial findings of the modern science of the brain is that important human institutions and cultural traits can have neurobiological effects, some passing and others more permanent. Insights like these are generating fascinating studies in fields like economics, political science, and law, and Dr. Smail will demonstrate that neurobiological insights also have important consequences for the study of history.
"Deep History: A Broad Spectrum Approach to the Study of the Past"
For centuries, Western history was framed in the comfortable certainty that human history could be no older than Creation itself, an event that was thought to have taken place some 6,000 years ago. The time revolution of the 1860s changed all that as a scientific reality, and only in recent years have historians become aware of the need to accept the long chronology of the natural sciences and to frame a seamless human history that extends into the distant past. But even as historians are moving into the deep history of humankind, archaeoscientists are increasingly bringing their tools to bear on the recent past. What emerges from this disciplinary conjuncture is broad spectrum history, a history that freely crosses both methodological as well as chronological divisions.
Hindu Transnationalisms: Origins, Ideologies, Networks
November 19-22, 2009
This seminar was part of a two-year network project “The Public Representation of a Religion Called Hindusim,” funded largely by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK. At Rice, participants focused on Hindu nationalist organizations in diaspora, which are at once pluralist and sectarian, and which must tackle two sets of local issues: those that are relevant to migrant communities and those that are relevant in India. This dynamic provided an opportunity for the development of new forms of public Hindu identity.
Humanism & Revolution: Eighteenth-Century Europe and its Transatlantic Legacy
December 11-13, 2009
Focusing on the legacy of the European Enlightenment on both sides of the Atlantic, this conference sustained international partnerships with scholars at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and the University of Cambridge, England. Supported by the School of Humanities at Rice as well as German federal funding and private foundation support from the German Mercator-Foundation, participants addressed a rich set of questions prompted by the concept of revolution, which has taken a central place in political and philosophical thought since the eighteenth century and which seems to rely on hopes for historical human progress. Organized by Uwe Steiner, professor of German studies and department chair, and Christian Emden, associate professor of German studies.
Museums and the Medical Humanities: Our Continuing Conversation
February 19, 2010
This day-long symposium advances the discussions generated by the 2008-09 Bienniel Menil Rice Lectures "Museums and the Medical Humanities: The Arts of Transformation." The program explored a nexus of themes concerning embodiment, creativity, trauma, diagnosis, medicine, healing, reflection, and transformation. Drawing on their distinctive backgrounds and areas of expertise, the speakers addressed the ways in which shared issues inform their museum collections or have emerged as salient concerns in their clinical interactions and professional practices. In particular, speakers considered the ways in which themes of embodiment emerge differently (and similarly) in the contexts of a fine arts museum, a natural science museum, and a medical or hospital setting. In so doing, this program fostered an innovative, transdisciplinary conversation that spans a cross-over audience including the academic community, the museum world, and the Texas Medical Center. The symposium was free and open to the public: students and alumni are warmly encouraged to attend.
In addition to funding by the HRC, this symposium was also funded through the Faculty Initiatives Fund, Office of Research, awarded to symposium chair Marcia Brennan, associate professor of art history.
Society for Seventeenth-Century Music
March 4-7, 2010
Some of the most prominent musicologists in Europe and America are members of this international society, which has met annually since 1993. The Shepherd School of Music hosted the conference in 2010 in expectation of strengthening bonds between musical performance and the study of music as an academic discipline, as well as between the School of Music and the School of Humanities. Up to one hundred registrants attended a program of paper presentations, roundtable discussions, and lecture-recitals, a workshop on seventeenth-century dances from several European traditions, and concerts by Ensemble Caprice and Ars Lyrica. Organizer: Gregory Barnett, associate professor of musicology: firstname.lastname@example.org
Epistemic Ecologies Lecture Series
March and April, 2010
This series explored the common ground of a broad concept concerning the production of knowledge and expertise in order to address the many conditions and constraints on scientific research, including organizational imperatives, material infrastructure, inter-institutional entanglements, and the definition of epistemic authority. Speakers broadened the inquiry to include natural sciences as well as ethics, politics, economics, law, and aesthetics. The series was organized by James D. Faubion, professor of anthropology.
Crossing Borders: Visualizing Jewish/Christian and Jewish/Muslim Relations in Medieval and Early Modern Times
March 14-15, 2010
This conference built on the assumption that the borders between the minority Jews and the dominant cultures in which they lived were permeable, allowing not only violent persecution but fruitful cultural exchange. Scholars from a variety of disciplines examined illustrated chronicles, the Arena Chapel in Padua, coins, architecture, calendars, prints, and lesser-known manuscripts. Additional support came from the support of the Departments of Art History, History, and Religious Studies, the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance, and the Jewish Studies Program. The conference was organized by Diane Wolfthal, the David and Caroline Minter Professor of Art History and department chair. It was open to the broader community with times for discussions set aside throughout the day.
Histories of the Hidden God
April 15-18, 2010
This mini-conference included several scholars studying Jewish and Early Christian mysticism before the advent of the Kabbalah, within Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity. This era was left largely unexplored because the mystical tradition has long been assumed to have begun in with Dionysus the Areopagite around the Fifth Century CE. These scholars, therefore, were asking new questions in an emerging field, examining Jewish and Christian scriptures, pseudepigrapha, apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic, Hermetic, Patristic, Neo-Platonic, and Hekhalot literature.
Promises and Agreements
October 17-19, 2008
This conference examined the subject of promises and agreements from the perspectives of social, moral, legal and political philosophy. Co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Dean of Humanities, and James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. Organized by Hanoch Sheinman (philosophy).
New Ways of Analyzing Variation
November 6-9, 2008
The 37th Annual Meeting of the New Ways of Analyzing Variation conference showcased research on language variation according to social groupings including studies on the ethnography of speaking, language and social class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality, language in the schools, and more.
Exploring the Mind through Music
March 27-29, 2009
This conference brought together distinguished scientists and musicians to discuss music's role in human cognition and behavior. Speakers includes: Dr. Jonathan Berger (Stanford), Dr. Anthony Brandt (Rice), Dr. David Eagleman (Baylor College of Medicine), Dr. David Huron (Ohio State), Dr. Fred Lerdahl (Columbia), Dr. Isabelle Peretz (University of Montreal), Sarah Rothenberg (Da Camera of Houston), Dr. Ron Tintner (Methodist Hospital, Houston), Dr. Mark Tramo (Harvard), Dr. Gottfried Schlaug (Harvard) and more. Co-sponsored by Dean Robert Yekovich and The Shepherd School of Music, the Center for Performing Arts Medicine at Methodist Hospital, and Rice University's Office of the President through a grant from the University's Faculty Initiatives Fund awarded to organizer Anthony Brandt, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Shepherd School of Music. For more information contact Dr. Brandt at email@example.com.
Instruments in Manufacturing
June 17-18, 2009
With a major grant from the National Science Foundation, and with additional support from the HRC, this two-day workshop presented and critiqued papers to be collected into a published volume. Since 1985, much work has been done on the critical role of instruments in the Scientific Revolution. This collection sought to continue and correct that effort by focusing on the role of instruments in the Industrial Revolution, a topic thus far neglected, in order to enrich current scholarship on the relationship between science and technology.
Sociology of Music Performance in the Twenty-First Century
October 13-14, 2007
Young Musicians and Their Careers: Highlights from the Longitudinal Study of Music Involvement, 2001-2007
Shoshana Dobrow, Assistant Professor of Management Systems, Fordham University
Dr. Dobrow's research addresses the question of why people make seemingly irrational decisions to pursue extraordinarily competitive, challenging music career paths. This presentation offered highlights from an ongoing longitudinal survey study of talented young musicians. Dobrow investigated the nature of subjective orientation - the sense of calling.
Venturing Beyond the Beyond: A Symposium on the Visual Imagination and Mystical Hermeneutics of Elliot R. Wolfson
October 26, 2007
Bringing together a panel of distinguished scholars, this symposium took Elliot R. Wolfson’s groundbreaking writings on Jewish mysticism and his related paintings and poetry as points of departure for lectures focused on the reenvisioning of embodiment, time, beauty, ritual practice, angelic presence, and issues of transgression, law and honesty. The symposium intentionally coincided with Dr. Elliot Wolfson's (NYU) appointment as a senior fellow in the Humanities Research Center. Dr. Wolfson himself offered concluding reflections on the papers.
Contact: Jeffrey J. Kripal firstname.lastname@example.org or Marcia Brennan email@example.com.
January 25-27, 2008
This major conference was designed to coincide with Hans Poser's (TU-Berlin) appointment as Lynette S. Autrey Visiting Professor in the Humanities Research Center. The Leibniz Society of North America (LSNA) endorsed this as the inaugural conference in its initiative to launch an annual conference series, with the aim of further energizing and improving Leibniz scholarship on this continent.
Writing the History of Human Rights in 20th-Century Europe
March 21-22, 2008
Lora Wildenthal and Daniel Cohen in Rice’s Department of History organized this conference to showcase new historical work on human rights and to address the difficulties of writing histories of human rights. Sessions addressed the fin de siècle and the first world war, the interwar period and the second world war, and the post-1945 period. Topics addressed included, among many others, “The Soviets at Nuremberg: International Law, Propaganda, and the Making of the Postwar Order,” “Jewish displaced persons and refugee policy,” “Advocating Dignity: Historical Perspectives on Human Rights Struggles and Global Politics,” and “East and West German responses to struggles for independence and national liberation in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.”
The Genesis of Syntactic Complexity
March 27-29, 2008
This interdisciplinary conference aimed to bring together work on language evolution, historical change, language acquisition, and evolutionary biology, as well as cognitive and neurological studies. Sponsored primarily by the Department of Linguistics.
Orality and Literacy VII: Oral-scribal dimensions of scripture, piety, and practice in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
April 12-14, 2008
Benefiting from the distinct field of oral traditional literature, which concerns itself with the study of compositional, performative, and aesthetic aspects of living oral traditions and texts dependent on them, the conference proposed to examine the three faiths in their historically appropriate media context, seeking to overcome assumptions about the verbal arts that are entrenched in typographic modes of thinking. The conference provided the philological, textual study of the monotheistic religions with fresh insights and significant challenges as it seeks to reexamine the largely Western paradigm of the three monotheistic faiths as quintessential religions of the book. Co-sponsors included the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance, the Office of the Dean of Humanities, and the History and Religious Studies Departments.
The Birds Now
April 13-14, 2006
Lee C. Edelman - Chair of the English Department, Fletcher Professor of English Literature, Tufts University
Tom Cohen - Chair of the English Department, SUNY Albany
Susan Lurie - Associate Professor of English, Rice University
Joshua D. Gonsalves - Assistant Professor of English, Rice University
Autrey Symposium - Aristotelian Natural Philosophy
March 24-25, 2006
Focused on the research interests of Pierre Pellegrin, Autrey Visiting Professor, Rice University Humanities Research Center
Robert Bolton, Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University
Sean Kelsey, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Los Angeles
Andrea Falcon, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Concordia University
Mary Louise Gill, Professor of Philosophy and Classics, Brown University
Robin Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Texas A&M University
Autrey Symposium - The Hacienda and the Plantation: Historical, Political, and Cultural
March 23-24, 2006
George Baca, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies, Goucher College
Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, Vanderbilt University (Webcast)
Michael Hanchard, Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University (Webcast)
José E Limón, Boatright Regents Professor in American and English Literature, University of Texas at Austin
Suzette Spencer, Assistant Professor of English, University of Connecticut
Jennifer Wilks, Assistant Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin
Apocalypticism and Crisis in Ancient Judaism
October 12-13, 2006
George Nickelsburg, Professor Emeritus of Religion, University of Iowa - "Enoch and the Beginnings of Apocalypticism"
Matthias Henze, Watt J. & Lilly G. Jackson Associate Professor in Biblical Studies, Rice University - "Baruch and the Decline of Apocalypticism"
México y Estados Unidos: nuevas posiciones y contraposiciones
April 1, 2006
José Antonio Aguilar Rivera (CIDE, Mexico City): "La persuasión multicultural en México y Estados Unidos"
Rebecca Biron (University of Miami): "Modernities on Parade: William Faulkner and Elena Garro"
Robert McKee Irwin (UC Davis): "Border Studies/Estudios de la Frontera: el legado de Anzaldúa"
Mauricio Tenorio Trillo (University of Chicago): "De la 'brown Atlantis' y los intelectuales mexicanos"
Javier D. Durán (University of Arizona): TBA
María Socorro Tabuenca (Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico): TBA
Intersections of Opera and Film
April 1, 2006
Jeongwon Joe (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music): "Film Divas and the Gendered Dichotomy Between Vocal and Instrumental Music"
Michal Grover-Friedlander (Tel Aviv University): "Callas Forever: The Afterlife of an Operatic Voice"
Marcia J. Citron (Shepherd School, Rice Univ.): "Cavalleria rusticana as the Climax of Coppola's Godfather Trilogy"
Helen M. Greenwald (New England Conservatory of Music): "The Opera That Would be Film: Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place"
"Callas Forever" (introd. by Profs. Grover-Friedlander and Joe)
"The Godfather" (introd. by Prof. Marcia Citron)
Beggars and Choosers: Motherhood is Not a Class Privilege in America
March 9-28, 2006
Women's History Month Exhibit
Lecture: Rickie Solinger, co-curator and historian - "Nine Ways of Looking at a Poor Woman"
Things/Matter: The Object and Its Representation in Literature and Art
March 24-25, 2006
Keynote Speaker: Susan Staves, Professor Emerita of English Literature, Brandeis University
For additional information, click here.
Changing Perceptions of the Public Sphere
December 15-17, 2005
Contact: Christian J. Emden
The Anthropology of Intellectuals
October 28-29, 2005
James D. Faubion (Rice University)
Lesley Fordred Green (University of Cape Town, Smithsonian)
Dominic Boyer (Cornell University)
Douglas Holmes (SUNY Binghamton)
Paul Rabinow (U. C. Berkeley)
George E. Marcus (Rice University, U. C. Irvine)
Aristotelian Natural Philosophy in Later Greek Antiquity
Disciplinary Flashpoints: Conversations Between History and Literature
April 1-2, 2005
Figurations of Knowledge: The CSC in the Context of Higher Learning
Werner Kelber, The Director of the Center for the Study of Cultures and the Isla Carol and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies at Rice University
March 14, 2005
Beyond Tradition and Modernity: Gender, Genre, and the Negotiation of Knowledge in Late Qing China
March 4-6, 2005
Reinventing Hispanism in the Age of Globalization Symposium
February 26, 2005
Southern National Bank Conference, "The Transformation of the South in the Twentieth Century"
February 25-27, 2005
Technology, Cognition, and Culture Lecture Series
Doug Greenberg, President and CEO of the Shoa Foundation
February 10, 2005
The Late Medieval City: Architecture and Urbanism
January 29, 2005
Working Across the Disciplines: Writing a History of the Early West African States and Empires, 800-1500 C.E.
(Part of the Early West African States and Empires Workshop)
David Conrad (Professor of History at SUNY Oswego)
Paulo Farias (Professor of History at University of Birmingham - England)
Roderick McIntosh (Professor of Anthropology at Rice University)
Susan Keech McIntosh (Professor of Anthropology at Rice University)
November 9, 2004
Language in Use: Culture, Society, and Change Workshop
October 23-24, 2004
Annual International Symposium and Meeting of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association
April 22-25, 2004
Tenth Biennial Linguistics Symposium
March 31-April 4, 2004
Beyond the Clash of Civilizations: Missionaries, Conversion, and Tolerance in the Ottoman Empire Conference
April 2-3, 2004
Afghan Women after 9/11 Symposium
March 18-19, 2004
Sonali Kolhatkar, "Building Empire on the Backs of Women"
Meena Nanji, screening of clips from her film "A Grain of Sand"
Anne Brodsky, "An Incomplete Liberation: RAWA, Afghan Women, and the Need for Continued Resistance"
Locating Pop Cultures: Negotiating Place, Interrogating Class, Constructing Identity Graduate Student Symposium
March 12-13, 2004
The Return of the Repressed: Working through Freud in Religious Studies
December 5-7, 2003
Technology, Cognition, and Culture Lecture Series
Stephen Murphy, Professor of Medieval Art and Gothic Architecture at Columbia University
November 4, 2004
38th Annual Western Literature Conference
October 29-November 1, 2003
Orality and Literacy III: Memory International Conference
October 10-12, 2003
Women and Gender in Islamic Societies Lecture Series
DR. AZIZAH AL-HIBRI, Professor of Law at University of Richmond
"The Qur'anic Worldview: A Womanist Perspective"
April 21, 2003
DR. AMINA WADUD, Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University
"Text, Gender and Reform in Islam"
March 31, 2003
ZAINAB SALBI, Founder and President of Women for Women International
"Understanding a Refugee Woman's Reality"
March 26, 2003
The Young Leibniz International Conference
April 18-20, 2003
Heidegger and Transcendental Philosophy Conference
April 3-5, 2003
Tradition and the Challenge of Modernity: Politics, Poetics and Gender in Late Qing China, 1840-1911
March 7-9, 2003
Rice Women's Conference
Connecting, Communications and Networking
February 7-9, 2003
"The Jewish Museum Berlin: Historical Roots and Contemporary Relevance"
W. MICHAEL BLUMENTHAL
Director of the Jewish Museum, Berlin
November 12, 2002
"Literature in the Twenty-first Century: A Technological Revolution"
Part of the Technology, Cognition & Culture Lecture Series
N. Katherine Hayles (Professor of English at University of California, Los Angeles)
October 24, 2002
6th Conference on Conceptual Structure, Discourse, and Language: Language, Culture, and Mind
October 11-14, 2002
Keynote speakers: JOHN LUCY (Univ of Chicago, Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics)
SUSANNA CUMMING (University of California, Santa Barbara)
RONALD LANGACKER (University of California, San Diego)
For more information, please refer to the website at http://www.rice.edu/csdl.
International Herder Society Conference
September 26-28, 2002
Queer and There: Travel and Commodified Desires
An interdisciplinary symposium on lesbian and gay tourism. Featured Dennis Altman and Jasbir Puar.
April 13, 2002
Memoria: Memory and Commemoration in Medieval Christianity and Judaism
The Neil J. O'Brien Conference for Medieval Studies
April 7-9, 2002
The Two Cultures - Plus One
Part of the Lecture Series "Technology, Cognition and Culture"
Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University
April 2, 2002
Ninth Biennial Rice University Symposium on Linguistics
Speech Perception in Context: Beyond Acoustic Pattern Matching
March 13-16, 2002
Central Texas Philosophy of Science Consortium Meeting
March 1, 2002
Shifting Terrains: Translations and Identity-Formations in an Era of Transnationality
2002 Rice Graduate Symposium, Dept. of English
February 22-23, 2002
Africa and the African Diaspora: Past, Present, Future
44th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association
November 15-18, 2001
Written Text and the Rise of Literate Culture in the Ancient World
Second part of the April 2000 conference, "Written Text and Transformations of Thought and Expression in Classical Greece"
November 1-3, 2001
Moonlight on the Ganges: Interpreting the Exotic in Early American Popular Song
Thomas E. Jenkins (Trinity University)
Assistant Professor of Classical Studies; Former Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Rice University
Karim Al-Zand (Rice University)
Visiting Assistant Professor, Shepherd School of Music
October 24, 2001
First part of the Lecture Series "Technology, Cognition and Culture"
Mark C. Taylor (Williams College)
Cluett Professor of Humanities, Director of the Center for Technology in the Arts and Humanities
October 22, 2001
New Modernisms III
3rd Annual Conference of the Modernist Studies Association
Further information: MSA Website
October 12-15, 2001
A Symposium and Exhibition Studying African-American Culture, Contemporary Architecture and Community Keynote Address by bell hooks
October 11-13, 2001
Cameroon Transitions and Transformations: Multidisciplinary Perspectives of a Society at the Crossroads
April 6-8, 2001
Memory of Violence and the Violence of Memory in the Middle East and North Africa
Conference exploring the intersection of memory, violence, and politics, initiated by the thesis that historical narratives situate themselves at the intersection of competing collective memories.
March 23-25, 2001
Narrative 2001: An International Conference
Conference bringing together some 300 international scholars in English, foreign languages, law, history, and philosophy.
March 8-10, 2001
Economic Planning in Republican and Early PRC-China: Path-Dependency and Institutions
Transition Economics Speaker Series 2001
One-day conference investigating the Republican Chinese and early PRC context of the institutional origins of socialist economic planning.
February 24, 2001
Asian American Literature and Films
Symposium bringing together writers and filmmakers for a discourse on transformative Identity politics in the Asian American arena.
February 23-25, 2001
C. Vann Woodward's Origins of the New South
Symposium addressing different aspects of Woodward's seminal work, published in 1951.
February 23-25, 2001
Wisdom and Wisdom Literature in the Ancient Mediterranean
Symposium with guest speakers Richard Martin (Stanford University, Classics) and William Hansen (University of Indiana at Bloomington, Classical Studies and Folklore Studies).
February 17, 2001
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Conference hosted by Matthias Henze (Religious Studies, Rice U.) that will deal with the Qumran Scrolls found in Israel in the 1940s and shrouded in controversy ever since.
February 10, 2001
The Future of Feminist Critique: Ethics, Agency, Politics
An interdisciplinary conference exploring how feminist analysis can speak to fundamental questions about the nature of subjectivity, the ethical claims of difference, the meaning of social justice, and the efficacy of political action. November 3-5, 2000
Written Text and Transformations of Thought and Expression in Classical Greece (conference)
Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Medieval Spain: colloquium on works in progress
April 13-16, 2000; Baker Hall, International Conference Facility
Miner Lounge, Rice Memorial Center, April 12, 2000
Second Floor Conference Room, Rice Memorial Center
Causation and Interpersonal Manipulation in Languages of Central and South America (Eighth Biennial Rice University Symposium on Linguistics)
April 6-9, 2000
Collaborative Urbanisms (series of workshops pairing local and national urban scholars with key players in the revitalization and economic growth of downtown Houston)
Saturdays, February 26, March 4 & 25, April 8
Path-Dependency and Transition Economics Series (year-long series of workshops on matters of political economy and cultures of production and consumption)
Queering Past and Present (symposium)
February 26, 2000; Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library
Landscapes Through Asian Pacific/American Media (film festival / conference)
February 18-20, 2000; Rice Media Center
The Enigma of Gift and Sacrifice (conference)
March 26-27, 1999
Text and Commentary (symposium)
March 17, 1999
Asian American Stories on Film (film festival / conference)
January 29-31, 1999
Symposium: The Road to Plandom: Non-Socialist and Pre-Socialist Economic Planning in Republican China and Europe, 1935-1950
January 30, 1999
Constructing Hildegard: Reception and Identity, 1098-1998
November 20-21, 1998
19th-Century Anglo-American Conceptions of Space March 19-22, 1998
Marcel Duchamp and Rethinking the Creative Act
March 21-23, 1997
History and the Limits of Interpretation Symposium
March 15-17, 1996
The Body of Christ in the Art of Europe and New Spain, 1150-1800
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Dec. 21, 1997 - April 12, 1998.
News Release: Body of Christ