|October 16: Joan D. Frosch|
Who is (Not) Human?
Abstract: The sinister constructions of personhood which fostered genocide and slavery haunt us. From Michael Brown, to Trayvon Martin, to Steven Sotloff, and over 1500 unnamed victims of the Ebola virus, the world appears to wonder: "Who is (not) human?" Whose life is one to value, respect, if not exceptionalize, and, whose life can we stand to lose, if not take? The recognition of humanity is clearly a matter of life and death. What race, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, ability, sexual orientation, nationality, language, or age privileges the status of the human, "who manifests a subjectivity—that is, a consciousness like our own—that would allow us to consider each of them, taken individually, as another self?"
Thursday, October 16, 10 am, Charles B. Wang Center Theater
|October 22: Ruth B. Bottigheimer|
Fairy Tales and City Life:
Abstract: Tales that express human aspirations for and the achievement of a good life here on earth, fairy tales are closely related to city living with its possibilities for moving up the social and economic ladder. Even more importantly, when fairy tales emerged during the Italian Renaissance, magic itself shifted dramatically. Now fairies and magical creatures lost their backstories together with their complicated and complicating enmities and friendships, and instead wielded magic principally to benefit the girls and boys, men and women they wanted to help. Without histories of their own fairy tale fairies stopped became entirely human-centered. Professor Bottigheimer’s innovative approach to fairy tale history has aroused attention worldwide. Although her first talk on the subject brought a fist-shaking and shouting audience to its feet in 2005 and provoked the Journal of American Folklore to devote an entire issue to attacking her pathbreaking work, her writings have since come to be seen as opening new understandings of the ways in which the humble fairy tale expresses core attitudes that developed with city living, a money economy, and human-centered modern society.
Wednesday, October 22, 4:00 pm, Humanities Institute 1006
|October 27: Li Wei|
Multilingualism, Social Cognition, and Creativity
Abstract: This talk explores the issue of how multilingual language users process social information and the potential impact of multilingualism on creativity. It reviews existing linguistic and psycholinguistic research on multilingualism and social cognition, and reports ongoing investigations that aim to understand the dynamics of multilingualism and the links with creative and critical thinking. Conceptual and methodological issues that emerge from this research and the implications for research design will also be discussed.
Monday, October 27, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater
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