2007 Events & News
January 11, 2007
Lecture: Marianne Kamp, Kluge Fellow, discusses her book New woman in Uzbekistan, at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building. [Press Release]
January 25, 2007
Michael Brose, Kluge Fellow, "What's in a name?: Foreigners in Ming dynasty China at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building.
Some assume that, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the power and influence of non-Chinese was minimal or even nonexistent. Michael Brose contends, however, that many non-Chinese entered China along with the Mongols (ruled 1230s-1368) and that they continued to play an important part in post-Mongol China. A close examination of their unusual adopted Chinese-style surnames gives us some clues as to their identity. Brose will discuss this and the methodology and sources he employed in documenting their activities and status.
February 13, 2007
Charles Kupchan Named Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar [More Information]
February 21, 2007
Pamela Geller, Kislak Fellow, "Ancient Bodies: A Humanistic Bioarchaeology of the Pre-Columbian Maya" at 12:00 P.M. in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building
According to Geller, the Maya occupied, and continue to occupy, an ecologically and linguistically varied geographic range, extending from southeastern Mexico to northern Central America. Diversity aside, the Maya shared numerous core beliefs and practices. Their treatment of bodies-amongst other things like religious ideology, architectural style, and political entanglements-emphasizes such cultural cohesion. Yet, Mayanists have generally regarded bodies with ambivalence. In her talk, Geller will draw on evidence of ancient Maya bodies-culled from human remains, ethnohistory, ethnography, and artistic renderings-to examine beliefs and practices related to identity. Identity is an important mechanism for organizing societies, instigating socialization, and exploring embodied subjectivities. It is not just the stuff in people's heads, as many cultural theorists of the late modern individual would have us believe. Materializing (or ‘corporealizing') identity facilitates reconstruction of ancient individuals' life histories and their adoption of certain social personas, as two examples from the pre-Columbian Maya demonstrate.
February 22, 2007
Krzysztof Jaskulowski, Kluge Fellow, on Western and Eastern ideas of nationalism at 12 in 119, Thomas Jefferson Building
In his talk, Jaskulowski will focus on Hans Kohn who is generally regarded as the founding father of modern academic research on nationalism. It is argued that he was first to adopt a more neutral stance toward nationalism, one that made sustained attempt at dispassionate analysis of the phenomenon in order to define, classify and explain it. However, not only did he bring in a new and fresh perspective to the subject by producing broad comparative studies but he was responsible for introducing one of the basic and long-lasting themes to the study of nationalism, namely a strongly moralistic distinction between a good nationalism, which he associated with the West, and a bad nationalism typical for the non-Western world. Jaskulowski will discuss three questions: first, how did Kohn conceptualize the differences between the two types of nationalism? Second, how and why did he come to his conclusions and, finally, if it can be argued as some authors claim, that his discrimination between the two types of nationalism are valid and useful?
March 7, 2007
Maurice Jackson on Anthony Benezet: The founding father of Atlantic emancipation.
Anthony Benezet (1713-1784), educator and abolitionist, was a Huguenot who, facing persecution in his native France, settled in Philadelphia with his family in 1731. There, he founded the African Free School and counted among his students the future Black Abolitionist leaders, Absalom Jones and James Forten. Benezet’s many letters and pamphlets framed anti slavery arguments that influenced men such as Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush and Patrick Henry, in America and in England, John Wesley, Granville Sharpe, Thomas Clarkson and Lord Wilberforce. In France, his writings translated by the Société des Amis des Noirs, had a profound effect on Mirabeau, Condorcet, and the Abbé Raynal. The African abolitionists, Olaudah Equiano, Ottobah Cugoano, both quoted from and praised his works highly. In his talk, Jackson will demonstrate how Benezet’s ideas and tactics proved pivotal in igniting the Atlantic anti slavery crusade of the 18th century
March 19, 2007
Oxford University Professor Raymond Dwek Appointed To Chair of Technology and Society [More Information]
Lecture: "NAACP: Writing a history" Patricia Sullivan, at 12:00 Noon in LJ-119
Symposium: "Commercializing University Research - Threats and Opportunities - The Oxford University Model," at 2:00 pm in LJ-119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building [More Information] [View Webcast]
Lecture: James Sanders, Kluge Fellow, "The Vanguard of the Atlantic World: Contesting Modernity in Nineteenth-century Latin America," at 12:00 noon in LJ-119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building.
The conventional scholarship suggests that nineteenth-century Latin Americans saw their societies as backwards compared to the modern civilizations of Europe. Focusing on Mexico, Colombia, and Uruguay, I argue that a counter-discourse of modernity emerged in Latin America that challenged this view. A generation of writers, politicians, soldiers and intellectuals envisioned the Americas as the font of progress, asserting that the future of the world would be found in their own republican, democratic and racially diverse societies. However, beginning in the 1870s and 1880s, more and more Latin Americans began to accept the European vision of modernity, and, therefore, to rethink their commitment to political innovation and democratic equality.
2007-08 Class of Kluge Fellows Selected [More Information]
Lecture: Shigemi Inaga, Chair of Modern Culture, "Modern Japanese Arts and Crafts in Kyoto: From Asai Chu to Yagi Kazuo" at 4 p.m. Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building
American Cities Research Institute [Schedule]
Lecture: "Creating Adam and Eve: Body, soul and gender in sixteenth-century Germany," Kathleen Crowther-Heyck, at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building
This talk explores the meanings and uses of the story of Adam and Eve in 16th-century Germany. It focuses on two sets of stories about what happened to Adam and Eve after the fall: "Adam legends" from the Middle Ages and "catechism legends" from the 16th-century.
The Adam legends were a very popular set of stories about the lives of Adam and Eve after the fall. The legends provide extra-biblical embellishments such as how Adam and Eve tried to do penance in order to be readmitted to Paradise, how angels served as midwives at the birth of Cain and taught Eve to breast-feed, and how Adam learned the arts of agriculture. The catechism legends were also stories about the lives of Adam, Eve and their children after the fall, but they were produced by Lutheran writers in the second half of the16th-century. These stories tell how God came down from heaven to test Cain, Abel, Seth and other offspring of Adam and Eve on their catechism, and how He rewarded the children who could recite their catechism with wealth, honor and power, and punished those who could not with poverty, shame and servile status.
Dr. Crowther-Heyck argues that these very different stories about life after the fall reflect different theological understandings of original sin and its consequences. She also uses analysis of these stories to explore continuities in the ways people approached the Bible and used biblical history to make meaning out of their own experiences.
Lecture: "Ruin and Restoration: An Eyewitness Frames the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864)," Tobie Meyer-Fong, at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building
Considered one of the most horrifying civil wars in world history, the Taiping Rebellion lasted for more than a decade (1850-1864) as government forces, local militias, foreign mercenaries, and rebels struggled to achieve dominance over urban strongholds and to maintain control over their own unruly troops. In the process, lives, buildings, and texts - the building blocks of community and cultural heritage - were decimated, ruined, and scattered. In the aftermath of disaster, individuals and communities engaged in processes of restoration - both physical and metaphorical.
While the tumultuous events of this war have been rewritten strategically (by the ream) in what must be one of the more voluminous and politicized historiographies in the modern China field, little attention has been paid to questions of destruction and recovery. This talk focuses on an illustrated pamphlet, “An Iron Man’s Tears for Jiangnan,” published in Suzhou just as the war was ending, and designed to encourage donations in support of the countless refugees displaced by the war. In it, the author, a local philanthropist and advocate of “moral transformation,” illuminates the politically and ideologically redemptive potential that he found in the devastating violence that he had witnessed.
Lecture: "Kim Jong-il and North Korean Films," Suk-Young Kim, at 12:00 noon in LJ-119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building.
The world’s understanding of Kim Jong-il is often linked to his personal obsession with film, but little is known about how and why film serves as a window through which the outside world can have a glimpse of the enigmatic North Korean leader. This talk explores Kim Jong-il’s relationship with film on various levels, such as the filial duty to protect his father’s legacy and desire to gain political capital through artistic achievement on both domestic and international fronts. Rarely seen film clips selected from a wide variety of genres, such as political propaganda, family melodrama, musical, children’s animation, and Hong Kong style martial arts films will be shown.
Lecture: "For the eyes of the Dear Leader: Fashion and body politics in North Korean Visual Arts," Suk-Young Kim, at 12:00 in LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building
Communist regimes are often described as "drab," but North Korea is highly fashion conscious - a place where style and politics go hand in hand. For decades, North Korea's political leaders have been preoccupied with designing uniforms for almost every sector of society. Fashion, especially women's fashion, is seen as a national project, meant to promote group identity and ideology. Like many authoritarian regimes, North Korean designers have been drawn to masculine, military styles that seem to embody revolutionary spirit. But women's fashion in North Korea also openly allows for a contradictory sense of traditional femininity. This talk explores the representation of ideal body in North Korean visual media, such as theater, film, magazine illustrations, paintings and posters.
Kay Kaufman Shelemay Appointed To Chair of Modern Culture [More Information]
July 9 - August 3
International Research Seminars on Decolonization
[More Information (external link)]
Kay Kaufman Shelemay: "Music in the Ethiopian American Diaspora: A Preliminary Overview" will be presented at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. [More Information]
October 1, 2007
Congressman Major Owens and Distinguished Panel To Discuss "A New Challenge to Black Congressional Caucus" [More Information]
Holy Moses! A Cultural History of the Ten Commandments" To Be Presented by Jenna Weissman Joselit [More Information]
Lecture: "What seemed to be or not to be a 1528 letter of Bartolomé de las Casas to Charles V: an historiographical opinion about the Parecer," David Orique, Kislak Fellow, at 12:00 in LJ-119. Thomas Jefferson Building
David Orique is studying a rare manuscript (dated 1528) written by Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566), a Spanish Dominican priest, first bishop of Chiapas, Cuba, and advocate of the rights of indigenous native people of the Americas. Although he originally planned to research Las Casas' epistemological development by comparing this document, found in the Library's Jay I. Kislak Collection, with Las Casas' writings from 1516, Orique's research indicates that the letter was written in 1542, not in 1528. Orique will explain how he came to this conclusion and suggest possible implications for future scholarship on Las Casas.
November 29 at 4:00pm
Lecture: "Containing Runaway Fear in Foreign Policy: Recovering Our National Identity," by William F. May, holder of the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics, at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. The lecture starts at 4:00pm, Thursday, November 29, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington D.C. [More information - View Webcast]
December 5 at 12:00 noon
Lecture: "A Money Doctor from Japan: Megata Tanetaro in Korea, 1904-1907," Michael Schiltz, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 in the Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building
It is by now established knowledge that Japanese colonialist policies versus Korea cannot have been motivated by economic profits. Literature on Japanese imperialism does, however, fail to address the role of a series of monetary and financial reforms the Japanese government sought to implement after the peninsula had been turned into a protectorate. This paper demonstrates how the 'Megata reform', as it came to be called, factually turned Korea into a subsidiary of the Japanese economy. It was a tool aimed at macroeconomic control; it attempted to redefine the position of Korea as one element in an holistic Japan-led Lebensraum (later referred to as the Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere).
Lecture, "Which Chile, Allende? Henry Kissinger and the International Repercussions of the Portuguese Revolution,” Mario del Pero, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 in the Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building [ More information ]
The Portuguese revolution of 1974 lead to the downfall of one the last authoritarian regimes in Western Europe and opened a chaotic transition in Portugal. The international repercussions of the revolution were particularly relevant in Southern Europe, where other rightist regimes were about to collapse and where the Italian Communist party aimed at re-entering the national government. The U.S. and its main Western European allies clashed repeatedly over the correct course of action in Portugal, its influence on events elsewhere and the risk of a "Chilean-solution" of the Portuguese crisis.