Category Archives: Humanities


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. 



RTC Colloquium: Islands of Resistance

RTC colloquium event posterPlease join the Department of Humanities for a Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium on Wednesday, November 14 titled “Islands of Resistance.” Dana Van Kooy, associate professor of english in transnational literature and literacy theory and culture, will present “Islands of Resistance: Geography as a Configuration of Political Resistance and Atlantic History” (see abstract below). This essay draws attention to Haiti, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic as differently scaled geopolitical literary spaces that represent multiple cultures and histories of resistance.

Please join us 12 p.m. (noon) Wednesday, November 14 in Rozsa Center room 120 (choral room).

Abstract:

Islands of resistance. The phrase commonly refers to isolated pockets of organized and oppositional force. Significantly, when interpreting the phrase, the emphasis falls more on the geographical features of an island than on the refusal to comply. The geographical imagery encircles and confines resistance: limiting its effectiveness to a series of singular actions or to a small, containable  collective movement. In the cultural imaginary, the island represents a point of stasis in the midst of an immensely larger—very fluid and indomitable—natural force. However, the island’s characteristics—its isolation, its remoteness from everywhere else, and its unique ecology—also produce a synecdoche: the world is an island. What I find relevant here is how geographical markers reconfigure the politics of the phrase, both positively and negatively.  Continue reading