Published March 14, 2013
Over the past few decades, scholars in all disciplines of the humanities have sought to question, critique and transcend frames of reference dominated by nation states.
“A critical mass of academics has expressed dissatisfaction with these categories of knowledge,” notes Carl Nightingale, associate professor in the Department of Transnational Studies, College of Arts and Sciences. “Most of the subjects they teach about—such as the New Deal, or modern fiction, or slavery, or immigration, or avant-garde filmmaking, or the feminist movement—are all subjects that transcend national or regional borders: They are “transnational,” he explains.
UB recognized the evolution of this body of scholarship by founding the Department of Transnational Studies, the first such department in North America. The new department brings together faculty from several interdisciplinary departments and programs that have long pioneered investigations in transnational studies: African and African American Studies, Gender Studies, American Studies, Native American Studies, Latino Studies and Caribbean Studies.
To mark this occasion, the Humanities Institute and the Department of Transnational Studies are presenting a conference, “The Transnational Turn in the Humanities,” March 22 and March 23 in the Grand Marquis Ballroom at the Hotel @ The Lafayette in downtown Buffalo. Nightingale is conference organizer.
The goals of the conference are:
To critically explore the intellectual history of transnational studies.
While the wide focus of the conference is upon transnational work within the humanities as traditionally defined, organizers also welcome humanities-inspired scholarship from the social sciences.
The conference is unique in that it is not only transnational, but also “transdisciplinary.” Most conversations about the transnational turn occur within separate disciplines. The speakers at this conference include many of the most prominent North American scholars in transnational studies from across the humanities disciplines. Speakers and their topics are:
The conference will be held from 9-5 p.m. Friday and 9-11:45 a.m. Saturday.
A copy of the conference schedule can be found on the conference website. While the conference lunches are free to all conference attendees, attendees must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to be guaranteed a meal.
In addition to the conference, the Humanities Institute and the Department of Transnational Studies have organized a lecture series, “Transnational Tuesdays.” Visit the website for the remaining lectures this semester.