FloodZone, featuring photography by Anastasia Samoylova, explores what it looks like to live in the southern United States at a time when rising sea levels and hurricanes threaten the most prized locations with storm surges and coastal erosion. Samoylova’s lyrical photographs are deceptive, drawing us in with a seemingly documentary promise of a palm-treed paradise. Their alluring color palette — filled with lush greens, azure blues, and pastel pinks — gives way to minute details that reveal decaying infrastructure, encroaching flora, and displaced fauna.
In this talk, Emek Ergun will explore the political role of translation in facilitating transnational feminist transformations and connectivities. She will discuss the transatlantic journey of Hanne Blank’s Virgin: The Untouched History — a popular feminist book demystifying the man-made histories of virginity in western geographies — via her Turkish translation and its reception. This lecture is part of the Spring 2024 Humanities Forum.
In 1947, Martin Heidegger wrote what is now known as his “Letter on Humanism,” which is rich and revealing. At the center of the Letter stands a singular, pointed claim: that all previous “humanisms,” have failed to recognize the “proper dignity of human being.” Drawn from a book in progress, this talk by Sean D. Kelly of Harvard University will explore questions of our proper dignity, and the threat to it posed by the technological age. This event is part of the Spring 2024 Humanities Forum.
The annual Low Lecture features Kevin Dawson, associate professor of history at the University of California, Merced, who will speak on Liquid Motion: Canoeing and Surfing in Atlantic Africa and the Diaspora, 1444–1888. “Liquid Motion” examines how African women and men perceived, understood, and interacted with oceans and rivers through swimming, underwater diving, surfing, canoe-making, and canoeing. Africans inspire us to rethink assumptions about maritime history, by considering maritime traditions that Westerns lacked. Enslaved Africans carried these maritime traditions to the Americas, where they used them to benefit their exploited lives and enslavers exploited them to generate wealth. This event is part of the Spring 2024 Social Sciences Forum.
Drawing on her forthcoming book, Disorienting Politics: Chimerican Media and Transpacific Entanglements, Fan Yang mines 21st-century media artifacts such as Firefly and House of Cards to make visible the economic, cultural, political, and ecological entanglements of China and the United States. This event is part of the Spring 2024 Humanities Forum.