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Lecture series opens humanities research to public


Published September 13, 2013

The Humanities Institute (HI) again will present its signature annual discussion series, Scholars@Hallwalls, dedicated to research and scholarship in the humanities in Western New York.

All talks will take place at 4 p.m. at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave. on the dates below, and are free and open to the UB and Western New York communities.

The series was established to connect UB humanities scholars with the community through presentations by HI faculty fellows who discuss their cutting-edge research in terms that are clear to people in other disciplines and outside academia. 

The events are casual and social, as well as intellectual. Audience members are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and complimentary wine as they discuss with the presenters such issues as the effects of 9/11 on literature, the importance of the biography in history, and much more.

Throughout the year, the series will feature eight provocative and award-winning humanities scholars. The four fall speakers and their lecture titles are:

  • Sept. 20: “Do Biographies Matter? Exploring Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859),” Andreas Daum, professor of history. Daum plans to discuss the biographical genre, which is often dismissed in today’s humanities scholarship, through an analysis of the biographies of Humboldt, a noted Prussian geographer, naturalist and explorer.
  • Oct. 18: “Latin American Development in a Neoliberal Age,” Marion Werner, assistant professor of geography. Werner will address recent development policies designed to promote export industries in the global South, despite many challenges including serial financial crises.
  • Nov. 15: “Two Dictionaries, One Poet, and a Mughal Prince’s Struggle against British Colonialism,” Walter Hakala, assistant professor of English and Asian studies. Hakala will explore the work of Urdu poet Mirza Jan ‘Tapish’ and the influence behind his Shams al-Bayan fi Mustilahat al-Hindudtan (The Sun of Speech on the Idioms of Hindustan).
  • Dec. 6: “Transnational Politics and the Post-9/11 Novel,” Joseph Conte, professor of English. Conte suggests that literature post-Sept. 11, 2001, reflects the increase in concerns over transnational politics and issues that cross national, geographic, cultural, religious and racial borders.

To learn more about upcoming events through the Humanities Institute, visit the HI website.