Sunday, February 24, 2013

Social Science and Cultural Studies Speaker Series presents Nona Shepphard in conversation with Gregg Horowitz, Thursday, February 28th, 5pm.

*ROOM CHANGE*
Social Science and Cultural Studies Spring Speakers Series
co-sponsored with the Department of Humanities and Media Studies

Presents 

 Nona Shepphard
Associate Director and Creative Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) 

 in conversation with 
Prof. Gregg Horowitz
Chair, Department of Social Science & Cultural Studies


Thursday, February 28th
5:00pm
Alumni Reading Room, 4th floor,
Library 
ENGINEERING 307

Pratt Institute
Brooklyn, N. Y.




Nona Shepphard is a playwright, actress, and Associate Director and Creative Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). She is also a freelance writer, director and deviser with over 150 productions and 40 commissioned plays to her credit. Her plays for young people, which have received several awards, have been seen in the USA, Canada, Europe and Russia. Her recent writing includes Signs of a Star-Shaped Diva (GraeaeTheatre Company at the Theatre Royal Stratford East).  For more information: http://www.rada.ac.uk/about-rada/rada-introduction
Pratt Institute
Main Brooklyn Campus
200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

David Harvey: The Contradictions of Capital. Social Science and Cultural Studies Speaker Series, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 5pm.


Social Science and Cultural Studies Spring Speakers Series 

Presents
David Harvey
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology & Geography
Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)
 The Contradictions of Capital
 
February 26th, 5:00pm

Alumni Reading Room, 4th floor,

Library
Pratt Institute

Brooklyn, N. Y.




Geographer David Harvey is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). A leading social theorists of international standing, he received his PhD from University of Cambridge in 1961. Widely influential, his work has contributed greatly to broad social and political debate; most recently he has been credited with restoring social class and Marxist methods as serious methodological tools in the critique of global capitalism. He is a leading proponent of the idea of the right to the city, as well as a member of the Interim Committee for the emerging International Organization for a Participatory Society. In 2007, Harvey was listed as the 18th most-cited intellectual of all time in the humanities and social sciences by The Times Higher Education Guide.  Professor Harvey's many books include: The Limits to Capital (1982, 1996), The Condition of Postmodernity (1989), Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography (2001), Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development (2006), Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom (2009), and Social Justice and the City (1973, 2009).  Professor Harvey also presents the online lecture series:  "Reading Marx's Capital" An open course consisting of a close reading of the text of Marx's Capital Volume I in 13 video lectures. For more information, see: http://davidharvey.org/ 


Pratt Institute


Main Brooklyn Campus
200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Social Science and Cultural Studies Spring 2013 Speakers Series




Social Science and Cultural Studies 

Spring Speakers Series

2013








1. Brendan Fernandes

Artist, Brooklyn

February 5th, 5:00

Alumni Reading Room, Pratt Libaray



"Talking Identities: The Art of Brendan Fernandes"

Bio: Born in Kenya of Indian heritage, Brendan Fernandes immigrated to Canada in 1989. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA (2005) from The University of Western Ontario and his BFA (2002) from York University in Canada. He has exhibited internationally and nationally including exhibitions at The National Gallery of Canada, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Art and Design New York, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Art Gallery of York University, Manif d’Art: The Quebec City Biennial, The Third Guangzhou Triennial and the Western New York Biennial through The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Fernandes has participated in numerous residency programs including The Canada Council for the Arts International Residency in Trinidad and Tobago (2006), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Work Space (2008) and Swing Space (2009) programs, the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum (2009), The New Work Residency at Harvestwork, NY (2009), the Gyeonggi Creation Center Residency at the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea (2009) and ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany. He held the position of Artist in Residence at The School of Visual Arts, NY, in the graduate program for computer arts (2008). He was the recipient of a New Commissions Project through Art in General, NY (2010) and was the Ontario representative for the 2010 Sobey Art Award. His works is currently featured in “Oh Canada” the largest survey of contemporary Canadian art ever produced outside Canada at the MASS MoCa. Fernandes’ work was recently acquired by the National Gallery of Canada. He is based between Toronto and New York.

His work is represented by Diaz Contemporary, Toronto >
www.diazcontemporary.ca



2. Professor David Harvey

Professor of Anthropology, CUNY Grad Center

February 26th-Alumni Reading Room



Bio: He is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). A leading social theorists of international standing, he received his PhD from University of Cambridge in 1961. Widely influential, he is among the top 20 most cited authors in the humanities. His work has contributed greatly to broad social and political debate; most recently he has been credited with restoring social class and Marxist methods as serious methodological tools in the critique of global capitalism. He is a leading proponent of the idea of the right to the city, as well as a member of the Interim Committee for the emerging International Organization for a Participatory Society. In 2007, Harvey was listed as the 18th most-cited intellectual of all time in the humanities and social sciences by The Times Higher Education Guide.



3. Nona Shepphard (co-sponsored with Humanities Department) Tracie Morris

Associate Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts

February 28th

5:30 Alumni Reading Room in conversation with Gregg Horowitz



  
Bio: Nona Shepphard is a playwright, actress, and Associate Director and Creative Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). She is also a freelance writer, director and deviser with over 150 productions and 40 commissioned plays to her credit. Her plays for young people, which have received several awards, have been seen in the USA, Canada, Europe and Russia. Her recent writing includes Signs of a Star-Shaped Diva (GraeaeTheatre Company at the Theatre Royal Stratford East). 

 



4. Professor Amy Gansell (Cisco)

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Design, Pratt Institute

March 6th, 5pm

Seminar Room 2nd Floor Dekalb



Bio: Amy Gansell is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Pratt's History of Art and Design department.  She is a specialist of ancient Mesopotamian visual and material culture, c. 3000 to 500 BCE. Her areas of scholarly interest include ancient aesthetics, figural representation, ivory sculpture, dress, and landscape. She has written a number of essays and articles, as well as contributed to museum catalogues and educational publications. She is currently writing a book about female beauty in ancient Mesopotamian royal court during the early first millennium BCE.



Topic: "Concepts of Feminine Beauty and Adornment in Ancient Mesopotamia Illuminated through Near Eastern Cultural Practices of the Twentieth-century to the Present"
 
Abstract:
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how can we recuperate notions of beauty from the depths of the past? While we cannot ask the ancient Mesopotamians what they see as beautiful, interdisciplinary research can uncover multiple facets of their aesthetics. In an effort to interpret ancient Mesopotamian ideals of feminine beauty, I have examined surviving artworks, texts, archaeological remains, and Near Eastern cultural practices of the twentieth century to the present. A primary theme of my investigation, across media and disciplines, is adornment. In relation to ancient evidence, this paper particularly discusses my field research, conducted in 2003 and 2006, on traditional Syrian bridal costume and earlier ethnographic reports documenting regional values of feminine beauty.


5. Professor Lisabeth During and Professor Ross Poole (May Joseph)

Lisabeth During: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Pratt Institute

Ross Poole: Professor of Political Science, New School

March 19th, 5pm

Seminar Room 2nd Floor Dekalb



Bio: Lisabeth During is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pratt Instittue. She studied theology at Cambridge University, taught for many years in the Philosophy Department at the University of New South Wales, and now works at Pratt Institute of Art and Design in Brooklyn. She has published on Hegel, Artaud, George Eliot, Surrealism and André Bazin. Most recently, she co-edited with Lisa Trahair a special issue of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities on Belief in Cinema which revisits themes from André Bazin (17.4, December 2012). Her “The Book of Chastity: Studies in an Ascetic Ideal” will be out soon.



Bio: Ross Poole is the author of Morality and Modernity (Routledge, 1991), Nation and Identity (Routledge, 1991) and many articles and book chapters. Recent work includes 'Two Ghosts and an Angel,' Constellations 16(1) (2009) and 'Misremembering the Holocaust: Universal Symbol, Nationalist Icon, or Moral Kitsch?' in Memory and the Future, ed. Amy Sodaro et al. (Macmillan Palgrave, 2011). He teaches philosophy and politics at the New School for Social Research.



Topic: 'Rape and the Republic: Lucretia, Livy, Augustine, Machiavelli'



Abstract: "RAPE AND THE REPUBLIC"


The story of Lucretia is well known. She was the virtuous wife of a Roman nobleman who committed suicide after being raped by Sextus Tarquinius, the son of the king. Her body was displayed in the forum and the enraged citizens, led by Junius Brutus, expelled the Tarquins and established the Roman Republic. Slightly less well known is the story of Virginia. Fifty or so years after the rape of Lucretia, Claudius Appius, a patrician with tyrannical ambitions, attempted to enslave the daughter of a respected plebeian in order to have his way with her. When all seemed lost, her father seized a butcher’s knife and killed her -- to ‘make her free,’ as Machiavelli had it. After Virginia’s body was displayed in the forum, the citizens and the army forced Claudius Appius into exile, and the republican order was restored.


What do these stories tell us? What is it about rape that demands a political response? Why is republican rule established – and then re-established – through the death and display of a woman? Do these stories tell us something, not merely about republican forms of political order, but about the nature of sovereignty as such? In addressing these questions, we will consider, not merely the canonical account of Livy, but also the interpretations of later writers, especially St. Augustine, Machiavelli, and Lessing.


We will also consider, though more briefly, whether these ancient stories have anything to say to contemporary liberals anxious to keep the state out of their bedrooms, or to fathers ready to murder daughters in the name of honor.



6. Professor Hanna Rose Shell

Leo Marx Career Associate Professor of Society, Technology, and Society, M.I.T.



March 26th 9:30 Talk in Carl Zimring's Sustainability Class

March 26th 12:30 Crit Viz and Sustainability Student Lunch in 2nd Floor Seminar Room, Dekalb Hall
March 26th 5:30 Formal Presentation, Library Alumni Reading Room


Bio: I work on the skins of things, excavating histories of technology and media from the surface layers of natural and man-made objects. I use tools from the fields of the history of science and technology, media production, art history, media studies and material culture studies to analyze the production, use, and transformation of often-overlooked, even marginalized, material artifacts located at the interstices of the found and the fabricated.


Through my analysis, I break down increasingly untenable divides between production and consumption, art and technology, and invention and reuse. From camouflage netting, old clothes, decomposing vegetable matter, and other artifacts of creative repurposing, I uncover historical shifts in modern epistemologies of self, nature and representation. Through my work, I not only contribute to the academic fields in which I am based, but also provide a vital historical and creative context for present-day concerns with the engineering of sustainable environments through innovations in transformational and biomimetic technology.
Critical media practice is a working method that both guides my analytic framing and provides interpretive data. As an example, my film Blind (2009) and my site-specific installation Camoufleurs (2008) accompany the book Hide and Seek. Producing the film and the installation, as well as the feedback I received from viewers and other participants, was crucial to the development of my theoretical and historical argument.  
More information: http://web.mit.edu/sts/people/shell.html



7. Professor Josiah Brownell

Assistant Professor of History, Pratt Institute

April 24th, 5:00 pm

Seminar Room 2nd Floor Dekalb



Bio: I am an assistant professor of history at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. I have a law degree from the University of Virginia and a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. My research focuses primarily on comparative settler colonialism, in particular the law and politics of race and state sovereignty in 20th century Africa. I have a monograph published by IB Tauris in 2010 titled: The Collapse of Rhodesia: Population Demographics and the Politics of Race, and have had articles published in The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, The Journal of Southern African Studies, and The Canadian Journal of History.



Topic: "Selling Settlerism: The Propaganda of the Katangan and Rhodesian Lobbies in the United States, 1960-1980"



Abstract: This paper will analyze the propaganda discourses of the US-based Katanga and Rhodesia lobbies. It is a part of my larger research project comparing the province of Katanga’s attempted secession from the Congo with the colony of Southern Rhodesia’s fifteen year secession from the British Empire. Though separated by several years and several hundred miles, these two secessionist movements make for a natural comparison, but it is a comparison that has not been adequately studied by historians. Deconstructing their propaganda gives a view as to how these regimes and their American supporters viewed independent Africa, the modern West, the United Nations, and the international state system. Among other things, it will highlight the tension between these lobbies’ rhetoric highlighting the affinities between their regimes and the West and their rhetoric which emphasized these regimes’ authentically ‘African’ character. In addition, this analysis will compare and contrast the differences between the rhetoric employed by these two lobbies, and argue that even though they both began within the same decade these two secessionist movements were born into very different regional and global contexts.

Matthew Carlin - An Interview with Silvia Federici, Jan., 2013 (excerpt).

On October 23, 2012, the Department of Social Science & Cultural Studies was pleased to host a talk by Silvia Federici on "Witch-hunting past and present in the global political economy.”  The following is an excerpt from an interview with Prof. Federici with Matthew Carlin.  Prof. Carlin is an Assistant Professor in our department and one of the organizers of the Speakers Series.




Interview with Silvia Federici 
January, 2013
Matthew Carlin and Silvia Federici


Q1. Much of your work has centered around clarifying the link between the establishment and subsequent expansion of capitalism, and the degradation of women-specifically how the reproduction of labor inherently depends on the exploitation of women's bodies. In spite of your work on this topic in the books Caliban and the Witch, as well as your collection of essays in Revolution at Point Zero, the issue pertaining to the relationship between capitalism and the exploitation of women has (at best) remained ancillary, and (at worst) been completely neglected within the vast majority of contemporary analyses of global capitalism.
First, how might you explain this omission? Secondly, why do you think it is imperative for any effective resistance to global capitalism to understand the gendered dynamics of the accumulation of capital and the reproduction of labor today?
A. There are several feminists writers who have analyzed the relationship between capitalism and the exploitation of women. Think of Maria Mies, Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Ariel Salleh, and many others including many eco-feminists who have shown that there is a connection between the way women has freely appropriated women’s labor and the way in which it has appropriated the wealth of nature, lands, seas, forests==all treated as free resources to be used, destroyed, even exhausted without any thought of the social and ecological cost involved.
It is important to bring special attention to the exploitation of women in capitalism because women still are the main subjects of the reproduction of the work-force. This means that by analyzing how capitalism exploits women we gain insights concerning the changes in the reproduction of the work-force, the needs of the labor market, the models of family and femininity this (re)production requires, and the struggles that women are making on this terrain. Looking at capitalism from the viewpoint of ‘women’ we can see the profound crisis of social reproduction which is confronting us, in every part of the world, how important it still is for capital and the state to control women’s sexuality and reproductive capacity; why the state needs to regulate women’s bodies. We also understand the relation between women’s resistance to procreation (in some countries) and the politics of immigration. Most important, perhaps, is that by looking at the exploitation of women we can see (a) the political meaning of the neo-liberal program—its destruction of the means of livelihood of millions which is immediately reflected in the pauperization of women, especially in Third World countries, its attempt to create populations without rights providing labor-power at a minimal cost, its relentless destruction of people’s lives and the environment, the sense of hopeless and rage these politics generates—hopelessness and rage that translate into more violence against women and against children. (for example The second cause of death for unborn children is violence against their mothers). (b) by the same token, it is women today who are best responding to these new forms of primitive accumulation.
Precisely because their means of reproduction are being destroyed and because they are those most responsible for the reproduction of their communities women are leading in the effort to create new communal form of life. Cooperative forms of reproduction, enabling them to survive despite their very limited access to monetary income. I am not alone recognizing that women are leading the way in the construction of the commons and the transformation of daily life starting from the terrain of reproduction.

Q2: In your answer you refer to reproduction. In fact, reproduction is a theme that runs throughout your work, and serves as the point around which you analyze both the history of capitalism and its current neo-liberal form. In your answer above you seem to pose two forms of reproduction against one another: the capitalist reproduction of the workforce and the concomitant exploitation of women's bodies, and women's reproduction in terms of the workforce and communal forms of socio-cultural life.
Can you explain exactly what you mean by "reproduction" and how it relates to capitalism and the exploitation of women?

A. By “reproduction” or better by reproductive work I refer to the complex of activities, relations, and institutions that in capitalism produce and reproduce labor-power, that is people capacity to work, and in particular procreation, domestic work, and sex work. However, labor power does not have an independent existence. It subsists in living individuals. Therefore reproductive work has a double character; it is at the same time the reproduction of the individual and the reproduction of labor-power and this duality is often the site of a conflict, which has been very important for women to recognize. As I have often pointed out, it was important to recognize that in capitalism the reproduction of individuals has been subsumed (though never completely) to the production of workers for the labor market. This has enable us to disentangle activities that are necessary for the development of our capacities from activities that are instrumental to the preparation of workers for exploitation. This distinction, this disentanglement has allowed women to see that they can refuse “housework” without necessarily undermining the well-being of the people they care for, because much domestic work is the work of being a disciplinarian, the work of reducing expectations. From this point of view the challenge is to transform reproductive work, from work that reproduces people for the market to work that reproduces them for the struggle.
Recognizing that reproductive work in capitalism is work that reproduces labor-power also enables us to see that domestic/ family/sexual/ relations are ‘relations of production.’ That is, they are shaped by the logic of capitalist production, which means that a particular type of worker requires a particular type of family etc. This recognition too has had a liberatory effect, as it has enabled us to understand that much of the misery of family life is generated by the constraints under which it operates, its function in the social assembly line.

*The complete interview will be published in the coming months and made available to Critical and Visual Studies students upon its completion.

Silvia Federici
Professor Emerita and Teaching Fellow at Hofstra University 
Silvia Federici is a long time feminist activist, teacher and writer.
 In 1972s she was a co-founder of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the international campaign for wages for housework in the United States and Internationally. In 1990 she was a co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa and from 1991 to 2003 she was one of the editors of the CAFA newsletter. In 1995 she helped found the Radical Philosophy Association Anti-Death Penalty Project.
She has taught at the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and she is now Emerita Professor at Hofstra University (Hempstead, New York).
Federici has authored many essays on feminist theory, women’s history, political philosophy and education. Her published books include: Revolution at Point Zero. Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle; Caliban and the Witch. Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation; Enduring Western Civilization: The Construction of the Concept of Western Civilization and its Others (editor); Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities (co-editor).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Assistant Professor Position in our Department -- Immigration/Diaspora


We have a new position for a tenure track Assistant Professor in Immigration & Diaspora studies with preference "given to candidates who can contribute to the Department’s World History program or to building a departmental Minor in Psychology."  Here is the official notice with the link to apply:

POSITION SUMMARY:
 The Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Pratt Institute invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor with expertise in the study and teaching of immigration and diaspora. Areas of specialization might include, but are not limited to, Memory, Trauma, Genocide, War Crimes, Stateless Peoples and Human Rights. This is a full-time, tenure-track faculty position available August 2013.

Pratt is an internationally recognized school of architecture, art, design, information science, writing, and critical and visual studies.  Its strong programs in architecture, film, video, photography, computer graphics and other areas of art and design draw students from diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds.  The Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies contributes to the students’ core education and also has its own major in Critical and Visual Studies. The Institute is located on a 25 acre campus in the historic Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn.

POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:
-        Teach six courses per year to students from a range of disciplines.
-        Contribute to either the department’s World History program and/or the Minor in Psychology.
-        Develop curriculum in Social Science and Cultural Studies.
-        Advise students.
-        Serve on department, School and Institute committees.
-        Provide outreach to other departments in the Institute.
-        Complete individual research projects.
-        Perform all other related activities as required.

SALARY is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

QUALIFICATIONS:
The successful candidate will have a Ph.D in a core area of the social sciences, history, psychology or philosophy. ABD will be considered only for otherwise exceptionally accomplished applicants. While disciplinary field is open, preference will be given to candidates who can contribute to the Department’s World History program or to building a departmental Minor in Psychology. Candidates must have at least one (preferably two) year’s college level teaching experience in an institution other than the one in which terminal degree was earned. Strong evidence of future scholarly productivity is essential.

TO APPLY:
Please submit only your cover letter, resume/CV, and the names and contact information for three professional references.  Review of application will begin on February 25, 2013 and continue until the position is filled.

PRATT INSTITUTE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER AND RECOGNIZES AND VALUES THE BENEFITS OF A DIVERSE WORKFORCE
Job Location
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Position Type
Full-Time/Regular
https://pratt-edu.silkroad.com/epostings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobinfo&jobid=311&company_id=16145&version=1&source=ONLINE&JobOwner=992641&startflag=1
      

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Brendan Fernandes: "Talking Identities: The Art of Brendan Fernandes" Feb. 5, 5pm.

Social Science and Cultural Studies Spring Speakers Series 
Presents
Brendan Fernandes
 Artist
February 5th, 5:00 
Alumni Reading Room, 4th floor,
Pratt Library 
Brooklyn, N. Y.
 
 Talking Identities: The Art of Brendan Fernandes
Brendan Fernandes-Photo-NatG


Bio: Born in Kenya of Indian descent, Brendan Fernandes immigrated to Canada in 1989. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA (2005) from The University of Western Ontario and his BFA (2002) from York University in Canada. He has exhibited internationally and nationally including exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum, Museum of Art and Design New York, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Mass MoCA, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Art Gallery of York University, Deutsche Guggenheim, The Bergen Kunsthall , Manif d’Art: The Quebec City Biennial, The Third Guangzhou Triennial and the Western New York Biennial through The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Fernandes has participated in numerous residency programs including The Canada Council for the Arts International Residency in Trinidad and Tobago (2006), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Work Space (2008) and Swing Space (2009) programs, and invitations to the Gyeonggi Creation Center at the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea (2009) and ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011). He was the recipient of a New Commissions Project through Art in General, NY (2010) and was the Ontario representative for the Sobey Art Award (2010). Fernandes is based between Toronto and New York.   
More Information: http://www.brendanfernandes.ca/
Brendan Fernandes: From Hiz Hands 
http://www.artingeneral.org/exhibitions/505
Pratt Institute
Main Brooklyn Campus
200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Directions:  http://www.pratt.edu/about_pratt/visit_pratt/