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Seminars

Comparative Slavic

Organizer: Kaitlyn Sorenson

Historically, the philological traditions of Slavic Studies have proven somewhat resistant to comparativist inquiry. Yet Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, as well as a long overdue reckoning with... more

ACLA Undergraduate Seminar "Revisiting the City"

Organizer: Nicoletta Pireddu

Since antiquity, cities have been pivotal elements in collective and personal histories. As physical and imagined spaces, they have fostered narratives of grandeur and downfall, center and periphery... more

Illiberal Cultures

Organizer: Rachel Greenwald Smith

Print, television, and online media have been reminding us since at least 2016 that “liberal democracy is under threat” around the globe. The ascendance of right-wing illiberal groups and political... more

Read My Desire Again

Organizer: Nathan Gorelick

2024 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the initial publication of Joan Copjec’s Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists. While this text remains formative to psychoanalytic theory and... more

Environment as Comparative Method

Organizer: Christine Okoth

In a 2021 piece for The Funambulist, Renisa Mawani asks: “what would it mean to foreground the role of European ships as agents and expressions of international law implicated in the genocide of... more

Understanding Calligraphy

Organizer: Chloe Estep

Calligraphy is often understood as a literati or religious practice which exists (or did exist) within certain historical social and material networks. But what happens when those networks fall away... more

Humor and Amusement in Translation: Not Losing it

Organizer: Ashmita Mukherjee

In a world gradually opening itself to diversity, cultural perceptions are greatly influenced by translation of emotions, and their expressions in public discourse and art. But what happens when... more

Together in the Nineteenth Century

Organizer: Dominic Mastroianni

In this seminar we propose to explore nineteenth-century conceptions of community and togetherness. How, we ask, did nineteenth-century writers reimagine what it means to be together, and seek to... more

Literary Production under Socialism and Capitalism

Organizer: Sandy Zhang

As Perry Link comments on literature from the Soviet Union, “if works written in opposition to coercion seem wanting as ‘pure art,’ they can nevertheless be very good, as Irving Howe has noted, at... more

Aestheticism Now!

Organizer: Aleksandar Stevic

To whom does aestheticism belong? Traditionally critiqued as an outgrowth of western bourgeois culture, aestheticism, with its assorted attributes (including aesthetic detachment, disinterestedness,... more

Film and the House(hold)

Organizer: Christine Prevas

This seminar is interested in cinematic representations of the house or household, both as an architectural space and as an economic and social structure. The formations of the house and the... more

What Has (African) Literature Got to Do With It?

Organizer: Yuan-Chih (Sreddy) Yen

In his 1986 lecture, “What Has Literature Got to Do With It?”, Chinua Achebe maintains that “we must not see the role of literature only in terms of providing latent support for things as they are,... more

Life in Ruins: Inhabiting Empire’s Sacrifice Zones

Organizer: Hannah Cole

Empire, as Ann Stoler suggests, does not so easily recede in the folds of a bygone era. The imperial formations it leaves in its wake, instead, point to “processes of ongoing ruination [. . .] that ‘... more

Transnational Arabic Studies

Organizer: yasser elhariry

What do the words Arab and Arabic mean today? What have they meant historically? What continuities and ruptures do they signify in contemporary discourses of the Middle East? In a world where... more

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