2017-2018 Humanities Center Events

Faculty Seminars (Preregistration Required) - 9/22, 10/20, 11/17, 12/15, 2/16, 3/23/ 4/13 and 5/11 (2-4pm)

This one-year faculty seminar explores the Public Humanities and Public Arts here at Lehigh.  Like our colleagues around the country and around the world, many scholars in the humanities and arts at Lehigh are thinking about ways to collaborate with broader publics, broader communities.   We have specialized knowledge and expertise, but we want humanistic insights and artistic practices to circulate as widely as possible in our society.  We want to collaborate with other experts in our disciplines, but we also want to learn from those with other forms of knowledge and to collaborate in fresh ways with our friends, neighbors and comrades who do not live inside the university as we do.  As many perceive an intensifying crisis in the humanities and arts within higher education, with shrinking enrollments and diminished funding, we also perceive exciting new opportunities to broaden the scope of our work by bringing humanistic thought back into the town square and engaging more fully in urgent civic debates of our time.  During a period of frightening political reaction, we believe the humanities and arts have an important role to play in imagining more humane and democratic communities, more just and dynamic futures.  Fresh collaborations among humanists, artists and activists provide one path forward.

Humanities and arts faculty in this seminar share ongoing projects at Lehigh and in our community and read conceptual works.  Some examples of conceptual works might include: Doris Sommer’s The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities, T. J. Demos’s Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology,  or editor Peter Brooks’s The Humanities and Public Life.  Finally, we will discuss the existing infrastructure for supporting Public Humanities and Arts at Lehigh – and we will dream together about what intellectual and creative ecosystem will enable newly productive work.
Seminar Facilitators: Mary Foltz (English), Seth Moglen (English)
Faculty Seminars (Preregistration Required) - 9/15, 10/13, 11/10, 12/8, 2/2, 3/2, 4/6 and 5/4 (1-3:30pm)
This one-year faculty seminar explores modern populism.  Populism is not new.  But political events in the past year have thrust populist ideas and politicians onto center stage from what were, until very recently, the fringes of cultural and political life.   The seminar considers the relationship between contemporary populisms and populisms of the past, between populisms of the global South and North, and between populism and longstanding ethnic and racial divisions.   In teasing out these relationships, we also attend to larger issues of how populist ideas are tied to both neoliberalism and its critics.
We will begin with important recent scholarship that helps set the stage for discussing the recent populist resurgence: Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land (2016) and Peer’s A Question of Order (2017).  We will then build a corpus of materials to cover based on the interests of the workshop participants and the direction of workshop discussion.   We will also look at some classic analysis of populism, such as Hofstadter’s “Paranoid Style in American Politics” (1964), contemporary decompositions of populism’s elements, and contemporary intellectual confrontations with populism’s implications.
Seminar Facilitators: Ziad Munson (Sociology), Nandini Deo (Political Science)
October 11, 2017 at 4:10pm in the Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall – Maria Barbara Zepeda Cortes
February 14, 2018 at 4:10pm in the Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall – Miguel Pillado
April 25, 2018 at 4:10pm in the Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall – Matthew Bush
WRITIING RETREATS (Preregistration Required) – 9/8, 10/27 ad 12/11
During the 2017-18 academic year, the Humanities Center will host a series of writing retreats for faculty in the humanities.  These retreats will provide a comfortable, distraction-free space to focus on writing.  Participants will trade in phones, emails, meetings, and texts in return for breakfast, lunch, coffee/tea, and other amenities that the Humanities Center will supply.
September 8, 2017 at 4:00pm at the Bethlehem Public Library - Unveiling of HD Plaque
October 5 and 6, 2017 at 4:10pm in the Scheler Humanities Forum, Linderman Library, 200 - Sharif Youssef lecture and discussion
November 9-10, 2017 at 4:10pm in the Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall - Haideh Moghissi lecture and discussion (part of Populism seminar)
APRIL 29-20, 2018 - Northeastern Public Humanities Consortium Conference