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Humanities Institute presents programming

Published September 12, 2013

Lewis Powell, assistant professor of philosophy, will launch the Humanities Institute’s 2013-14 New Faculty Seminar Series with a talk on Sept. 18 titled “Malebranche vs. Hume on Whether Belief is Voluntary.”

The lecture, as will all others in the series, takes place at 3:30 p.m. in 830 Clemens Hall, North Campus. The seminars are free and open to the public.

Other faculty members scheduled to speak this semester as part of the series are Katja Praznik, assistant professor, Department of Media Study and the Arts Management Program, on Oct. 9 and David Alff, assistant professor, Department of English, on Dec. 3.

Praznik will talk about “Autonomy or Disavowal of Socioeconomic Context? The Precarity of Cultural Workers in Slovenia since the 1980s”; Alff will discuss Paper Projections: Aaron Hill’s Beech Oil Bust (1714-1716).”

For abstracts, visit the Humanities Institute’s website.

The New Faculty Seminar Series features the work of new faculty members in the humanities. By bringing together scholars from a variety of fields, the series is designed to initiate and encourage interdisciplinary conversations.

The Humanities Institute this fall also will present a symposium on the work of influential Martinique poet, author and politician Aimé Césaire, one of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature.

The symposium, “Aimé Césaire’s 100 First Lights: Aesthetics, Alternative Subjectivities, and Global Human Relations,” will take place Sept. 27-28 in 930 Clemens.

Scheduled to speak are Jean-Jacques Thomas, UB Distinguished Professor and Melodia E. Jones Chair, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; Aliko Songolo, Halverson-Bascom Professor of French and African Languages and Literature, and chair of African Languages & Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kaiama Glover, assistant professor of French, Barnard College; and Gary Wilder, professor of anthropology, City University of New York.

For more information, contact Christian Flaugh at

Other Humanities Institute programming for the fall includes an Oct. 4 meeting of the Early Modern Research Workshop, which unites scholars and graduate students with research and teaching interests focused on the period between 1450 and 1800. Ralph Bauer, associate professor and director of graduate studies, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of Maryland will present “The Alchemy of Conquest: Prophecy, Discovery, and the Secrets of the New World” at 12:30 p.m. in 310 Clemens.

The Eco-critical Studies Research Workshop, which connects faculty and graduate scholars exploring perspectives concerning ecology, environmental crisis and the creative arts, will present a lecture by Steve Mentz, professor and director of graduate studies in the English Department, St John’s University. Mentz will discuss “Ocean Thinking” at 4 p.m. Nov. 8 in 306 Clemens.