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Dean's Lecture Series: Utopia/Dystopia

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Tuesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 PM, 1008 Humanities Bldg    

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm

"Utopian Histories and Post-Anthropocene Futures: From Thomas More to The WetLand Project"

Bethany Wiggin, University of Pennsylvania

Focusing a long historical lens on the present brings the scope of human effects on the planetary present into sharper focus. This longer anthropocene history also reveals powerful critiques of global modernity. What are the utopian archives we might draw from as we collaborate to provide more forms of refuge?

Bethany Wiggin is Associate Professor and Graduate Chair, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities and Graduate Chair of German. Her present book project is Germanopolis: Utopia Found, Lost, and Re-Imagined in Penn's Woods. She holds a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship for a project to make a hidden river's past, present, and future visible. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 4:00 pm 

"Utopia/Dystopia:The Uses of Time Travel"

Constance Penley, University of California at Santa Barbara

Chris Marker's La Jetée (1963) teaches us how to think with time travel. How can we use time travel to imagine more utopian futures within a dystopian present? Two examples: Marker’s 1984 film 2084 and the GALA Committee’s Melrose Place collaboration (TOTAL PROOF: The GALA Committee 1995-1997

Constance Penley is Professor of Film and Media Studies and Founding Director and Co-Director Emeritus of the Carsey-Wolf Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her books include The Future of an Illusion: Film, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis, NASA/TREK: Popular Science and Sex in America, and the forthcoming Teaching Pornography. Penley is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Award and the Kenneth Burke Society Prize in Rhetorical Criticism.




Spring 2016 Dean's Lecture Series: Un/conventional War

Wed., March 2, 2016: Patrick Deer, New York University – “America’s Wars and Recent Memory: the Struggle for Lost History in Iraq War Writing.”

Wed., March 30, 2016: David Silbey, Cornell University – “Losing Imperial Wars: The United States and Irregular Warfare, 1898-2015."

 Wed., April 20, 2016:Mariano Siskind, Harvard University – “Latin American Literature and World War I: Notes Towards a Redefinition of Global Modernism.”

Fall 2015 Dean's Lecture Series: Indegeneity

Wed., September 30, 2015: Judith Zeitlin, Anthropology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst – “Indigeneity in Late Colonial Mexico: Rethinking Notions of Blood and Identity”

Wed.,October 21, 2105: Shannon Speed, University of Texas at Austin – "Indigenous Women Migrants in the Era of Neoliberal Multicriminalism"

Mon., November 2, 2015: Luis Caramo-Huechante, University of Texas at Austin – "The Racialized Site of Sounds: Mapuche Art and Territorial Memory in Times of Acoustic Colonialism"



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