Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SLAS Faculty Research Seminar: Diversity, Culture, Theory, and Data: Science on Human Variety. Monday, November 7th from 12:30-2:00.


Please join us for this semester's faculty research seminar, which is being held on Monday, November 7th from 12:30-2:00 in Dekalb 206. This is a brown bag affair, so bring your lunch. We will provide coffee. Below you will find a description of the seminar. I hope to see you there.


Andrew W. Barnes, Ph.D.
Dean
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Pratt Institute
200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
718.636.3570

 

Diversity, Culture, Theory, and Data: Science on Human Variety
B. Ricardo Brown and Christopher X J. Jensen

Human variety plays a pivotal role in history: how we interpret human diversity dictates what kind of society we construct. Over the last three hundred years, science has played an increasingly influential role in explaining and interpreting human variety. How has the rise of science influenced our conception of human variety? Does science shed light on the nature of our differences or simply legitimize prevailing cultural conceptions of difference? Through this talk, we will address these questions by considering the historical trajectory of how science conceptualizes human variety. Starting with the battle between the monogenists and the polygenists of the 18th and 19th centuries, Ric will describe how the cultural conflict over slavery was reflected in battles between scientific camps. He will discuss how prevailing culture influenced the questions scientists asked, the theories they posited, and the way they used data to validate these theories. Ric will explain how increasing access to information about the natural world -- paired with changes in the way science was pursued -- eventually led to the key insights of Charles Darwin, whose theories in large part displaced previous conceptions of human variety. Chris will then consider how post-Darwinian science has conceptualized human variety, beginning with eugenics and ending with the revolution in genomic technologies. Shifts in the culture of science and the culture in which science operates, as well as increased access to genetic data, have all transformed how we interpret human variety. Nonetheless, echos of past scientific shortcomings still reverberate through the present-day science of human genomics. The talk will conclude with the opportunity for the audience to discuss how present-day science influences our understanding of human variety.
 
  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cave Canem Brings the Drama: A Cave Canem Benefit, October 24, 2011

Cave Canem Brings the Drama
Annual Benefit Performance
October 24, 2011

Free for Pratt Faculty, Staff, and Students.

Cave Canem presents its annual fall benefit performance, directed by Ted Sod. Lili Taylor, Suzzanne Douglas, Samantha Maurice, Tracie Morris & John Douglas Thompson will perform selections from dramatic works by award-winning writers: Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination, Jessica Hagedorn’s Stairway to Heaven, May Joseph’s Fled, and Claudia Rankine & Casey Llewellyn’s Existing Conditions.
Pratt Institute
200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

For those outside of Pratt:  Purchase your ticket today!

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Critical and Visual Studies Speaker Series: Tina Campt on "The Motion of Stillness: Diaspora, 'Stasis' and Black German Vernacular Photography"


The Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies' 2011-2012 
Critical and Visual Studies Speaker Series 
Presents


TINA CAMPT

"The Motion of Stillness: Diaspora, 'Stasis' and Black German Vernacular Photography"

Wednesday November 16th, 12.30-2 pm

ALUMNI READING ROOM
Pratt Library

 

TINA CAMPT

The Motion of Stillness: Diaspora, ‘Stasis’ and Black German Vernacular Photography






Tina Campt is Director of Africana Studies and Professor of Africana and Women’s Studies at Barnard College. Campt’s work theorizes gendered, racial and diasporic formation in black communities in Germany, and Europe more broadly. Her monograph, Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (2004), examined the mutual constitution of racial and gendered formation among German Blacks in the Third Reich. Campt has edited special issues of Feminist Review, Callaloo and small axe, and together with Paul Gilroy, co-edited the volume, Der Black Atlantik (2004). She has published numerous articles, including her recent essay, “Family Matters: Diaspora, Difference and the Visual Archive,” which appeared in 2009 in the journal Social Text. Her second book, Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe, explores early twentieth century family photography of Black Germans and Black Britons and will be published by Duke University Press in January 2012.