2008 Events & News
January 9, 2008
The Kislak competitions with application dates of January 31 and February 28 have been postponed.
January 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm
Lecture: "Globalization through the centuries," by Herman Van Der Wee, holder of the Chair of the Countries and Cultures of the North in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. The lecture starts at 4:00 pm, Thursday, January 17, in room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. [ More Information - View Webcast ]
January 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm
Lecture: "Consuming Landscapes: Parkways in Germany and the United States, 1920-1970," by Tom Zeller, Kluge Fellow. One of the earliest environmental repercussions of the 20th century's car culture were new roads celebrating landscape. In a seemingly paradoxical fashion, a new technology was used to embellish nature. This talk will explore the way roads have been redesigned for the automobile as parkways since the 1920s in the United States and Germany, what meanings they acquired, and how drivers and passengers experienced them. The lecture starts at 12:00 pm, Wednesday, January 23, in room 119, of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. [ View Webcast ]
March 20, 2008
Lecture: "The Second Great Migration: Religious Refugees and the Remaking of America, 1678-1690," Owen Stanwood, Kluge fellow, at 12:00 in LJ-119. Thomas Jefferson Building. [More information] - [Webcast]
March 21, 2008
A lecture by Oussama Romdhani [More information]
April 3, 2008
Lecture: "God and Gandhi: The radical spiritual politics of the Reverend John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964)," Joseph Kosek, Kluge Fellow, in Dining Room A, Madison Building, at Noon.
Webcast: God and Gandhi
Though hardly remembered today, John Haynes Holmes was one of the most important American religious radicals of the twentieth century. A socialist, antiracist, and pacifist, he was also among the very first popularizers of Mohandas Gandhi’s ideas in the United States. More controversially, Holmes steadfastly opposed his country’s participation in both world wars. The career of this remarkable dissenter offers a window on the creative possibilities and wrenching paradoxes of religious nonviolence.
April 7, 2008
Distinguished scholar and child-development expert Edith Ackerman will present "The Anthropology of Digital Natives" at 4 p.m. in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building. [More information] [View Webcast]
April 11, 2008
2008-09 Class of Kluge Fellows Selected [More information]
April 16, 2008
Lecture: "Mapping the New Empire: Britain’s General Survey of North America, 1763-1782," Max Edelson, Kislak Fellow, at 12 in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building [Webcast]
Britain’s decisive victory in the Seven Years’ War dramatically enlarged its American empire. Once confined to the coastal plain, British North America extended after 1763 from Hudson’s Bay to the Florida Keys and past the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, at least on paper. To understand these new territories and bring them under control, the Board of Trade launched the General Survey of North America. The maps and charts created by this vast cartographic project were intended as blueprints for an expansive new empire. Although the unfinished Survey collapsed during the chaos of the American Revolution, its findings were incorporated into the famed Atlantic Neptune atlas and appeared on maps issued to British commanders. Through the War for Independence and beyond, the General Survey provided a critical foundation of geographic knowledge about the continent.
April 17, 2008
Lecture: "An Empire for a King: The Conquest of Algeria at Louis-Philippe's Versailles,"
Jennifer Sessions, Kluge Fellow, at 12, in Whittall Pavilion [Webcast]
Versailles is best known today as the palace of Louis XIV, but in the nineteenth century, the chateau had another life as a museum of national history. The history museum's galleries are now mostly closed to the public, but in its heyday, one of its largest and most popular sections was a suite of rooms devoted to the French conquest of Algeria. The creation and reception of these galleries, commissioned by King Louis-Philippe and decorated by the painter Horace Vernet over the 1840s, offers a unique window into the politics and culture of empire in nineteenth-century France.
April 17, 2008
Larson Fellowship application deadline
In the 1880s and 1890s illustrated posters displayed on walls throughout Paris were accused of turning the city into a bazaar and mounting an aggressive assault on the eyes and souls of passersby. This lecture will examine "poster mania," a topic of late nineteenth-century commentary that linked the viewing of publicity to pathology and madness. French writers appropriated the concepts of hypnosis and subconscious suggestion in order to investigate the powerful attraction of the poster's accentuated visuality and psychological impact.
Though often treated by historians, political scientists, and the American public as of lesser consequence than the Executive, the U.S. Congress has historically served as the crucible of American democracy. In continual interaction and evolution as an institution, Congress has molded and directed national policy affecting the lives of virtually every American citizen. Its history is as diverse and complex as the nation and is waiting to be told in its entirety. Stathis’ continuing effort to capture the essence of that story focuses on the historical evolution of the twin functions of Congress: to legislate for the nation and to represent the people.
June 12, 2008
Lecture: "Breaking the Bonds of People and Land: Native American Removal in the United States and Mexico," Claudia Haake, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 noon in Whittall Pavilion [View webcast]
The lecture will draw some general conclusions from an investigation of two cases of Native American forced migration: the Delawares in the United States and the Yaquis in Mexico. Although the basic intention behind the removal policies was the same in both countries, the ways in which they were carried out were oftentimes different. In both the Delawares and Yaquis examples, greed and land hunger on the part of the U.S. and Mexican governments appears to have been the main reasons for the forced migration of these indigenous people. Yet, variations in method, circumstances, and legality occasionally disguised the reality. While the Delaware tribe was/is a so-called domestic dependent nation and the Yaquis were at least nominally Mexican citizens, both removal policies are illustrative of colonialism in action - indigenous peoples were forced from their proprietary homelands. Clearly, the rise of the nation-state as well as periodic nation building or re-building in both countries was instrumental in bringing about the removal. Both Mexico and the United States were advancing technologically, and improvement in communications and transport contributed to the successful removal of these two tribes in a number of different ways. However, a closer look at the two cases in question suggests an increasing awareness on the part of both the U.S. and Mexican governments was the determining factor in bringing about the forced migrations.
June 16-July 11, 2008
"Rethinking America in a Global Perspective"
An NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers at the Library of Congress
[More Information (external link)]
June 23, 2008
Library of Congress to Select $1 Million Kluge Prize Winner; "America's Nobel" for Study of Humanity to be Given Dec. 10 [More information]
July 10, 2008
Lecture: "Translating ‘History’: Rajatarangini and the Making of India’s Past,” Chitralekha Zutshi, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 noon in Whittall Pavilion [Webcast]
Nineteenth-century European orientalists and philologists considered the Rajatarangini-a twelfth-century Sanskrit historical narrative from Kashmir-as the only Indian text to which the status of “history” could be accorded. This paper analyzes several late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century translations of this text by both Europeans and Indians to illustrate the mediated nature of the process of colonial and nationalist production of knowledge about India’s past-indeed of the idea of history itself-in British India.
July 15, 2008
Kluge Fellowship application deadline [More information]
July 17, 2008
Lecture: "'Remember Belgium' - Poetry as Propaganda during the First World War," Geert Buelens, Kluge fellow, at 12:00 in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building. [Webcast]
In 1914 the case of Gallant Little Belgium stirred political and artistic attention and emotion all over the world. Invaded by “the Huns”, the Belgians found themselves at the heart of a propaganda battle in both warring and neutral nations. The writing of war poems became part of the war effort. American poets as well joined in.
This talk will address the use of poetry as propaganda, using First World War poems about Belgium by poets such as e.e. cummings, Witter Bynner, Ford Madox Ford and prominent Russian, Italian and Scandinavian poets.
July 23, 2008
Lecture: “Cruelty, Savagery, and the Formation of a National Community in the Bohemian Reformation,” Joel Seltzer, Kluge fellow, at 12:00 in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building. [Webcast]
The Bohemian Reformation of the fifteenth century was a seminal event in the history of late medieval Europe. Seltzer contends that for the first time, the authority of the Roman Church over Latin Christendom was broken by a religious reform that sought to return to the primitive roots of the early Church. Anticipating the Protestant Reformation by a full century, the Bohemian reform emphasized the authority of the Bible, preaching and reading the Gospels in the vernacular, clerical poverty, and the lowering of divisions between clergy and laity. Additionally, this reform led to five crusades, civil war, and the hardening of linguistic divisions between Czechs and Germans.
This talk will explore the role of medieval chronicle writing in establishing and maintaining this national, Czech-speaking religious revolution. It will focus particularly on the rhetorical uses of violence as a means of binding the Czech community literally over the “dead bodies” of the fallen, and creating a sense of a national destiny centuries before the advent of the modern ideology of nationalism.
This talk will consider images of dying, the afterlife and rebirth, and notions of human embodiment and personhood, in Tibetan Buddhist literature, art and medicine. Dr. Garrett argues that the use of knowledge about dying and birth in Buddhist meditation compels us to revise our understanding of the categories of medicine and religion. Tibetan medical and religious scholars alike have developed complex theories of embryology, for example, and this research has used the history of embryological knowledge in Tibet to emphasize the importance of maintaining a historically and culturally specific understanding of medicine and religion and their interaction.
September 18, 2008
Lecture: “‘Will there be peace again?’: some aspects of Vietnamese representations of the Vietnam War and its aftermath,” Subarno Chattarji, Kluge fellow
For over a decade literary works by Vietnamese veterans and civilians has been published in the US. These can be classified into various groups: those written by North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese, communists and anti-communists, Vietnamese living in Vietnam and Vietnamese-Americans. In all these categories - which are themselves fluid - the one common thread is the Vietnam/American war and its aftermath. In fact this thread reaches back in time to a historical and cultural memory of Viÿt Nam as a land constantly under attack and at war. In a poem titled ‘Conclusion’ Nguyÿn Bÿnh Khiêm (1491-1585) wrote: ‘Will there be peace again, as in the old times?/Be sorry for both sides: they keep on fighting./Brooks of blood everywhere, avalanches of bones./Terror sends the fish to the bottom, the birds to the thickets./What good does it do anyone?’ Written in the sixteenth century these lines reverberate in the context of twentieth century carnage.
Themes such as the love of one's land, the horrors of war, life in re-education camps, the travails of being a refugee and exile in the US run through the writings. The lecture will look at the politics of translation and publication within US academia. It will also examine the reconfigurations of the Vietnam/American War within certain US and Vietnamese contexts and competing memories created by this body of writing.
September 25, 2008
Lecture: “Abkhazia and the New Cold War,” Paul Crego, Kluge Staff fellow, at 4:00 PM in West Dining Room, James Madison Building [Webcast]
Before the summer of 2008, it is likely that most Americans had never heard of Abkhazia. Dr. Crego discusses the history, language and culture of the Abkhazian people and the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict as it developed in the late Soviet period through the 1992-1993 war. Abkhazia in the context of geopolitical conflicts will also be covered. Further, he will discuss his assessment that Abkhazia has become a Russian military colony.
November 13, 2008 at 12:00 pm
Lecture: “The Natural Nation: Tropical Imaginings and Ecologies of Abjection in Brazilian Literature,” Mark Anderson, Kluge Fellow, in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
Brazil is paradise; everyone knows that. European explorers of the region praised its exuberant greenery and natural abundance, and some even imagined themselves to be honing in on the Garden of Eden. During the twentieth century, nationalist discourses of mestiçagem and brasileridade proclaimed Brazil a perfectly blended racial and cultural utopia. Effective in creating a homogenous national identity spanning cultural and geographical diversity, the official discourse of Brazil as a natural, racial, and cultural paradise also implied the marginalization of anyone (or anywhere) that did not conform to its designs. The rebellious nature and cultural wilds of places like the interior Sertões of Northeastern Brazil, Mato Grosso, and the Amazon Basin embodied a challenge to national definition. Largely unmapped, demarcated only cursorily, they were in Brazil, but they were not Brazil. This presentation traces the formation of an early 20th century Brazilian literature of ecological otherness that frequently represents environmental and cultural difference not only as abjection, but also as a threat to the modern nation.
November 13, 2008 at 4:00 pm
Lecture: "India and the United States - Reinventing Partnership," by Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, holder of the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. The lecture starts at 4:00 pm, Thursday, November 13, in room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
[ More Information ] [Webcast]
December 3, 2008
Historians Peter Brown, Romila Thapar Named Recipients of $1 Million 2008 Kluge Prize for Study of Humanity.
[ More Information ]
December 3, 2008 at Noon
Lecture:“Spaces of Calculation: Street Addressing and the Making of a Geo-coded World,” Reuben Rose-Redwood, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 PM in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
[ More Information ]
December 16, 2008 at Noon
Lecture: “Model City: Buildings and projects by Paul Rudolph for Yale and New Haven,” Timothy Rohan, Kluge Fellow, at 12:00 in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
In this lecture, Timothy M. Rohan from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst discusses the exhibition he curated, “Model City: Buildings and Projects by Paul Rudolph for Yale and New Haven”, which draws upon works from the Paul Rudolph Archive in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) was one of the most innovative American architects of the post-World War II period. The exhibition situates thirteen works for Yale and New Haven by Rudolph in the context of postwar modernism, urban renewal, and their aftermath. The exhibition was timed to coincide with the restoration of Rudolph’s best-known structure, the Yale Art and Architecture Building (1958-1963, and rededicated as Rudolph Hall).
Though often seen in the past as self-indulgent, singular demonstrations of the architect’s virtuosity, works such as the Art and Architecture Building are discussed here as belonging to a series of carefully considered and situated experiments in urbanism made possible by committed patronage. During the 1950s and 1960s, New Haven Mayor Richard C. Lee enlisted important Modernist architects such as Rudolph to remake the city into a nationally recognized laboratory for urban renewal that came to be known as the “Model City.” At the same time, Yale president A. Whitney Griswold transformed the university’s campus into a “museum of Modern architecture” with buildings designed by leading architects of the time, including Rudolph. As chairman of Yale’s department of architecture (1958-1965), Rudolph found many opportunities to test his ideas of structural expression, monumentality, urbanism, and pre-fabrication in projects for the campus and city. At a time when demolition was the preferred tool for redevelopment, Rudolph’s regard for existing structures and the traditional forms of the city distinguished his urbanism from the efforts of most of his contemporaries. Rohan believes that Rudolph’s thinking about how buildings could grow and evolve over time is increasingly relevant.