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Guidelines for Provost Lectures »

FALL 2014
October 22: Ruth B. Bottigheimer

ruth bottigheimerFairy Tales and City Life
Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Research Professor in the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory at Stony Brook University, has written extensively about fairy tales. Beginning with Grimms’ Bad Girls and Bold Boys, she moved on to the European originator of fairy tales, Giovan Francesco Straparola in Fairy Godfather. Fairy Tales: A New History provides an archeological approach, beginning with the Grimms and working backward to the earliest efforts to produce a fairy tale kind of story. She has edited several scholarly volumes on the history of fairy tales; and has published nearly 200 scholarly articles in journals and encyclopedias. Bottigheimer, a Fulbright scholar and past Visiting Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Clare Hall, Cambridge, has just published a comprehensive history of the change from magic tales to fairy tales, Magic Tales and Fairy Tale Magic from Ancient Egypt to the Italian Renaissance (Palgrave Macmillan 2014).

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

ruth bottigheimerMultilingualism, Social Cognition, and Creativity
Li Wei is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, where he is also Pro-Vice-Master of the College and Director of the Birkbeck Graduate Research School. He is Principal Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism. His most recent publications include Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism, and Education (with Ofelia Garcia, 2014, Palgrave) and Applied Linguistics (2014, Wiley). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and currently serving as Chair of the University Council of General and Applied Linguistics, UK. Co-sponsored by The Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Communication.

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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