Upcoming UCB Workshop on Bodies and Political Configurations

Rethinking Political Bodies: A Workshop

Oct 7 – Oct 8, 2016
Faculty Club, University of California Berkeley

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Featuring Representations editorial board members Alexei Yurchak and David Bates, along with Camille Robcis, Nima Bassiri, Ethel Matala de Mazza, Danilo Scholz, Rebecca Gaydos, and Stefanos Geroulanos

The relationship between biological concepts and political concepts is longstanding — the “body politic” has always been a dominant metaphor for theorizations of political community. However, organicist models of the state have been thoroughly tainted by 19th and early 20th century ideas of unity, homogeneity, and racial purity. Today, bio-politics is a ubiquitous frame for analysis, yet the biological dimension is often underdeveloped. This workshop takes as its starting point the idea that modern biological concepts provide important resources for thinking about organization, order, control, and other key political problems. Papers will explore new links between bodies and political configurations, on the ground and within theoretical discourses. For more information, visit the workshop web page.

Supported by the UC Berkeley Department of Rhetoric

T. J. Clark Lecture

NASSR 2016 poster finalOn Friday, August 12, T. J. Clark will give one of two keynote lectures for the 24th Annual Conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR). The lecture, “Too Deep for the Vulgar: Hazlitt on Turner and Blake,” will take place at 6 pm in room 2050 of the Valley Life Sciences Building at UC Berkeley.

Clark is Professor Emeritus of Modern Art at Berkeley and was a long-time member of the Representations editorial board. His books and other writings, several of which found form originally in Representations, have influenced a generation of scholars.

The NASSR conference will take place from August 11 to 14 at various venues in Berkeley. More information and a full program are available at http://nassrberkeley2016.wordpress.com/.

“Maroons and World History”

maroon-web-urlRepresentations board members Stephen Best and Elisa Tamarkin, Associate Professors of English at UC Berkeley, will participate in an upcoming conference on “Maroons and World History.” The conference will take place on Thursday, May 5, at the Bancroft Hotel. Papers will be pre-circulated and registration is free, but required. More information and schedule details can be found here.

 

Other participants in the conference include Bryan Wagner (Associate Professor of English at UC Berkeley), whose essay “Disarmed and Dangerous: The Strange Career of Bras-Coupéé” appeared in Representations 92 (Fall 2005).

 

Algorithms in Culture events

In this undated photo made available by Google, Denise Harwood diagnoses an overheated computer processor at Google’s data center in The Dalles, Ore. Google uses these data centers to store email, photos, video, calendar entries and other information shared by its users. These centers also process the hundreds of millions of searches that Internet users make on Google each day. (AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou)

(AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou)

Supported by a joint grant from Representations and the Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society presents a discussion on the topic of “Algorithms in Culture.” At this event, an interdisciplinary faculty working group will share their reflections about the place of algorithms in their disciplines and research. The discussion will take place on Friday, April 29, at 10:30am in 470 Stevens Hall, UC Berkeley. The event inaugurates an ongoing conversation that will be pursued further in a day-long workshop on May 13.

While algorithms are a foundational concept in computer science, there is increasing interest about the roles algorithms play in politics, media, science, organizations, and identity in everyday life. As algorithms become more prevalent and visible in contemporary life, issues around their development and deployment will continue to rise, both in academia and public discourse. In recent years, there has been a growing academic literature taking algorithms as an object of cultural inquiry, as well as many conferences and workshops focused on studying algorithms from a more social scientific or humanistic perspective. In response to this growing approach to algorithms as culture, this interdisciplinary group of scholars will take up algorithms as an object of study in order to examine them as computation, culture and their role in the construction of the self in this event to develop a special section of a journal that explores this topic.

Steven Justice on Historicism

Representations’ Steven Justice will present the 2016 Gayley Lecture at UC Berkeley

HISTORICISM: A EULOGY

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On Wednesday, APRIL 20, from  7:00 to 9:00 PM in 300 Wheeler Hall (Maude Fife Room), UC Berkeley

Steven Justice is Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley and author of Writing and Rebellion: England in 1381 (California, 1994) and Adam Usk’s Secret (Penn, 2015). He is currently writing a series of books on belief and historical inquiry.

In addition to his editorial work for Representations, Justice’s written contributions include “Did the Middle Ages Believe in Their Miracles” (103, Summer 2008) and “Inquisition, Speech,and Writing: A Case from Late-Medieval Norwich” (48, Fall 1994).

“Difference/Distance: Picturing Race Across Oceans in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries”

Pirogue-de-lIle-de-Paque.

Todd Olson, Professor of Art History at the University of California, Berkeley and member of the Representations Editorial Board, will participate in a conference on “Difference/Distance: Picturing Race Across Oceans in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.” The conference will take place on April 15 in 308A Doe Library, UC Berkeley; further schedule details can be found here.

 

In addition, the conference will feature papers by Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby (Professor of Art History at UC Berkeley) and Krista Thompson (Professor of Art History at Northwestern University). Grigsby and Thompson published related work in the Representations 113 special issue “New World Slavery and the Matter of the Visual” (Winter 2011), which they co-edited with Huey Copeland (Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University).

Representations’ Beate Fricke on “Making Marvels, Faking Matter”

Beate Fricke, Associate Professor of Art History and member of the Representations Editorial Board, will participate in a conference on “Christianity and Capitalism.” Organized by the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies with support from the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, the conference will take place in the Geballe Room of the Townsend Center (UC Berkeley) on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12.

 

More details about the schedule can be found here. Other participants include Aden Kumler (University of Chicago), Mark Peterson (UC Berkeley), David Hawkes (Arizona State University), Carl Wennerlind (Barnard), Ivonne del Valle (UC Berkeley), Shannon Stimson (Georgetown), John Martin (Duke), Ethan Shagan (UC Berkeley), and Elizabeth Honig (UC Berkeley).

Ross Posnock presents “Fighting Words: Challenging ‘Surface’ and ‘Reading’ via William James, Susan Sontag, and J. D. Salinger”

Idea 1Ross Posnock, Anna Garbedian Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, will present a talk at UC Berkeley entitled “Fighting Words: Challenging ‘Surface’ and ‘Reading’ via William James, Susan Sontag, and J. D. Salinger.” The event will take place on Thursday, February 25, from 5 to 7pm in 300 Wheeler Hall.

Posnock’s essay, “’Don’t think, but look!’: W. G. Sebald, Wittgenstein, and Cosmopolitan Poverty,” can be found in Representations 112. Part of a special issue on “The Way We Read Now,” Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus’s theory of surface reading can be found in “Surface Reading: An Introduction” (Representations 108).

Symposium on Imagination

Symposium on the Imagination

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Natura Morta, 1956, Giorgio Morandi

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 | 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley

A day-long conversation exploring the riches of the imagination among scholars, including Representations editors and authors David Bates, Victoria Kahn, Anthony Long, Mary Ann Smart, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, and Paula Varsano.

Caroline Levine in conversation with Kent Puckett and Alex Woloch

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Caroline Levine, Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will participate in an upcoming discussion of her new book, Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (Princeton UP, 2015). The conversation discussants include Kent Puckett, Associate Professor of English at UC Berkeley and member of the Representations editorial board, and Alex Woloch, Professor of English at Stanford University. The talk, sponsored by Stanford’s Center for the Study of the Novel, will take place on Thursday, February 18, at 5:30 pm in the Terrace Room of Margaret Jacks Hall, Stanford University.