All posts by ersmith

Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men, and Violence

Paul Youngquist, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, will deliver the talk, “Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men and Violence” from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Thursday (April 4) in ChemSci 102.

This talk will focus on how Maroons were depicted by white colonial settlers in Jamaica in the aftermath of the Second Maroon War (1795-96) and connect these portraits to how young black men are represented in the news media today.

This talk is sponsored by the English program in the Humanities department.


41 North Presents FREE SOLO

Alex Honnold on El Capitan
Alex Honnold making the first free solo ascent of El Capitan’s Freerider in Yosemite National Park, CA. (National Geographic/Jimmy Chin)

The 41 North Film Festival makes a brief return to bring you this special screening of the Oscar-winning film for best documentary feature, Free Solo, on March 29th, 7:30 p.m., at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (who was here in 2015 with Meru), Free Solo provides an in-depth look at gravity-defying climber Alex Honnold as he pursues his quest to climb the 3,000 foot high face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park—without ropes or safety gear. Both a nail-biting thriller and an intimate portrait, Free Solo invites to us to reimagine the limits of human potential and witness the human spirit unbound. Sponsored by the Department of Humanities, Visual and Performing Arts, and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. This event is free and open to the public.


Philosophy Professors Deliver Lectures in Czech Republic

U of Pardubice LogoOn November 27th two MTU Humanities Professors delivered joint lectures on ethics, technology and engineering in Europe at the Czech Republic’s European Union sponsored Center for Ethics at the University of Pardubice. Dr. Scott Marratto‘s talk “Situated Agency: Embodiment, Subjectivity and Technology” discussed the question of subjectivity and agency in relation to the ways in which our engagment with technologies transforms our identities. Dr. Alexandra Morrison‘s talk, “Situated Ethics: New Philosophies of Technology and Engineering Practice” discussed how this new way of thinking about the role of our embodied engagement with technologies must fundamentally change the way we teach ethics to STEM students.



RTC Spring Colloquium #1

The first RTC Colloquium for the spring semester has been rescheduled for Wednesday, 2/6, from 12-1pm in Walker 109 with talks by Nancy Achiaa Frimpong (“Skin Colour on Sale: Advertising and Postfeminism”) and Lyz Renshaw (“League of Legislation: Esports and Global Politics”).

Read the abstracts (PDF).

 


Shelly Galliah publishes article, book review, and conference proceeding

RTC PhD candidate Shelly Galliah has published an article in The Activist History Review in which she shares her experience teaching science fiction at Michigan Tech: “Science fiction, especially on a campus so dedicated to STEM and to research, is one of the few places [art and science] may and should meet.”
In September 2018, Galliah published a review of John H. Evans’ book Recasting the Contemporary U.S. Conflict between Religion and Science (University of California Press, 2018). The review was published by Metapsychology Online Reviews.
Galliah also published in the proceedings of the 6th Iowa State Summer Symposium on Science Communication, 2018. The theme of the symposium was “Understanding the Role of Trust and Credibility in Science Communication”. Galliah’s paper, “Perceptions of Problematic Credibility in John Oliver’s “Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate”” concludes that “by taking the time to ‘read the comments,’ researchers might be able to understand how not only comedians but also other climate change communicators might strengthen the appearance of their credibility and build successful strategies to persuade oppositional audiences.”

RTC Best Conference Paper Award

The RTC program is excited to launch the Graduate Student Best Conference Paper Award. This award seeks to recognize and promote excellence in RTC graduate students’ research and scholarship and is made possible thanks to support from the Humanities department. All current students are eligible for the award, which comes with a $500 fund. The RTC encourages students to submit their recent papers for consideration. A student may submit only one paper per year. To apply, please follow these submission guidelines (PDF).


RTC Colloquium: The Injunction to Forget with Dr. Ramon Fonkoué

The RTC Committee will present the last of the Fall Colloquium Series this Wednesday, 12/05 at 1RTC Colloquium #3:00 pm in Walker 109. Dr Ramon Fonkoué will present a paper entitled “The Injunction to Forget: State Engineering of Collective Memory in Postcolonial Cameroon,” adapted from a chapter in his forthcoming book on nation building in Cameroon.

This paper will address the post-colonial state’s attempts to impose a sanitized version of the history of the country’s anti-colonial struggle, the resulting lack of potent symbols for the nascent nation, and the manifestations of the people’s “dissident knowledge.”

Abstract: Upon gaining independence, the leaders of Cameroon denied the status of martyrs to the nationalists who had paid the ultimate price for their opposition to the colonizer. Deprived of this symbolic capital, the state was condemned to an improbable quest for beacons of the nascent nation. Using Michel Foucault’s concept of “discursive formation,” this presentation investigates the state’s attempts to monopolize historiography in the aftermath of Cameroon’s war of independence. In independent Cameroon, the leaders’ claim to legitimacy was undercut by the people’s “dissident knowledge” about the nation’s “silent” heroes. As a result, political discourse, which is divorced from popular memory about the past, sees its performative power undermined by the impossibility to mourn the nation’s deaths. This paper concludes on artistic expressions of defiance to sanctioned discourse on history. 


STEM Docs at the 41 North Film Festival

41 North Film Festival Logo, 41 N Film Festival Nov. 1-4 2018

This year, the 41 North Film Festival will screen five films delving into history, issues and accomplishments relating to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) innovation.

The featured films look at high school students competing for an international prize (“Science Fair”), an early Silicon Valley startup (“General Magic“), internet censorship (“The Cleaners”), the first photograph of the moon taken from space (“Earthrise”) and the first solar-powered flight around the world (“Point of No Return”). Following the showing of “Science Fair” at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 1) there will be a discussion featuring a panel of STEM educators.

Documentaries can bring important context and perspective to our understanding of STEM fields and their impact on the world. The films this year tell both celebratory and cautionary tales that should be both inspiring and thought provoking. —Erin Smith, Festival Director

The festival runs Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 1–4 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Times and information for specific films and events can be found on the festival website. As always, the festival is free and open to the public.


Gareth Williams to Speak on Violence in Contemporary Mexico

williams_colloqThe Humanities Department’s Rhetoric, Theory and Culture 2014-15 Colloquium Series is pleased to welcome Gareth Williams, Professor of Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Michigan. Professor Williams’ talk is entitled “2666, or The Novel of Force.” It will take place on Friday, April 3rd, at 5 pm, in Forestry G002 (refreshments will be available). All are welcome!

Here is the abstract for Professor Williams’ talk:

Upon the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, Simone Weil penned one of her most renowned essays dealing with the relation between force and the foundation of the city, titled “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force”.  Roberto Bolaño’s 2004 novel 2666 is a fictionalized attempt to approach the murder of hundreds of working class women in and around the city of Santa Teresa (Ciudad Juárez) in the deserts of northern Mexico from the 1990s to the present.  The novel also offers a sustained reflection on the double originality of the political, that is, the constitutive relation between reason and force.  At the heart of the novel’s aesthetic is the questioning of the relation between war as the register and experience of the everyday and the contemporary grasped as (im)possible metaphorization, which in turn raises the question of what is possible in literature, in life, in the face of death.

Professor Williams is the author of The Other Side of the Popular: Neoliberalism and Subalternity in Latin America (2002), The Mexican Exception: Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy (2011), and numerous articles examining the relation between cultural history, literature, and political philosophy. He is one of today’s key thinkers about Latin American politics and culture.

For more information, please contact Marcelino Viero-Ramos.

Photo credit: Shaul Schwarz for The New York Times