Past Humanities Talks and Events



Lecture Series for Spring, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center 3024:

Kyoko Omori, "The Sound of Silents: Modern Japanese Film Cultures and Global Modernity"

Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literature


Thursday, February 23, 2017 • 4:10 pm • Taylor Science Center G027:

Jonathan Scott Holloway, "Memory and African-American History"

Edmund S. Morgan, Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies, and Dean of Yale College


Thursday, April 13, 2017 • 4:10 pm • Taylor Science Center G027:

David Nirenberg, "History as Revelation: the Case of Relations between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam"

Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Social Thought, Medieval History, Middle East Studies; Member of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge; Dean of the Social Sciences Division, University of Chicago

Lecture Series for Fall 2016

Thursday, April 13, 2017 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center G027

Nhora Serrano, "Editorializing the Columbian Exchange"

Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing, Hamilton College

Monday, October 10, 2016, 4:10 • Taylor Science Center 3024 Classroom

Jane Tylus, "Saying Goodbye to Mary: Leavetaking in Renaissance Art and Literature"

Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, Faculty Director of the Center for the Humanities at NYU

October 27, 2016 • 4:10 pm • Taylor Science Center G027 Kennedy Auditorium


Memory and Identity Lecture Series, 2015-16

Rhodessa Jones

Jill Lepore (David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History, Harvard University)

Dominick LaCapra (Emeritus Professor of History and Comparative Literature, Cornell University)

Melanie Hawthorne (Texas A & M University)

Rebecca (Becko) Copenhaver (Lewis and Clark College)

Keijiro Suga

Fall 2017

Leila Ahmed (Harvard Divinity School), Muslim Women’s Identity

Alex Plakias (Philosophy)

Maria Willstedt (Hispanic Studies)

Azriel (Azi) Grysman (Psychology)

Mark Cryer  (Theatre)

Peter Rabinowitz (Literature and Creative Writing)

Zhuoyi Wang (East Asian Languages and Literature)

Jane Springer (Literature and Creative Writing):  Reading of works (related to Memory and Identity)  Brown Bag

Martine Guyot-Bender (French)

Rebecca (Becko) Copenhaver

Lewis and Clark College

“Philosophy and Modern Memory”

Monday, April 18, 2016 • 4:10 pm • Taylor Science Center G027

Melanie Hawthorne

Texas A & M University

"Forgetting Gisèle d'Estoc"

March 3, 2016 • 4:10 pm • Taylor Science Center 3024

Zhuoyi Wang

Hamilton College Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

"Negotiating the Ideal Womanhood: Rewriting the Legend of Mulan in Late Qing and Republican China"

February 25, 2016 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center 3024

Peter Rabinowitz

Carolyn C. and David M. Ellis ’38 Distinguished Teaching Professor of Comparative Literature, Literature and Creative Writing Department, Hamilton College

"Four-Dimensional Perception: Memory, Regret, Sex, Knowledge, and a Whole Lot of Other Stuff in Proust"

February 11, 2016 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center 3024

Brown Bag:

Mark Cryer

Associate Professor of Theatre

Teaching as Performance

January 29, 2016

Dr. Ellen Hoobler

Cornell College

“Of Software and Ceramics: 3D Digital Modeling and Community Collaboration in Oaxaca, Mexico”

This talk explores two aspects of the search to give ancient tombs new life. First, examining the tombs as teaching tools for undergraduates, who not only  participated in learning software and creating the digital models but also raised important new questions about these spaces.  Second, in more recent work, the team this summer provided 3D printed models of some of these objects to the small community museum in San Juan Guelavía, a Zapotec-speaking town near to Monte Albán.  The lecture will discuss some of the issues of return of digital and printed 3D models, the opportunities and challenges that multiple iterations provide.

DHi Lecture & Workshop Series 2015-2016: "Global DH: Key Issues in Digital Scholarship"

Monday, December 14, 2015 • Noon • CJ 102

Co-sponsored by Hamilton's Dean of Faculty, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the AMST & CMS Programs.


Alex Plakias

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Hamilton College

Disgust and Moral Identity

Friday, December 4


Grace Berg '16 (Emerson Summer Grant recipient) "Penelope and Her Odyssey: A Reception Study"

Grace Berg's research on the figure of Penelope in Homer's Odyssey and Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad  was undertaken in the Summer and Fall of 2015 under the supervision of Barbara Gold in the Classics Department.

Thursday, December 3, 2015 • 4 pm • Taylor Science Center 3024


Maria Willstedt

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hamilton College

Moorish Girls and Cross-Dressing Pages: Chasing the Nymph in Cervantes’s Don Quixote

Thursday, November 12 • 4:10 p.m. • Taylor Science Center 3024


Colum McCann

National Book Award Winner for Let The Great World Spin and author of several other best-selling novels and award-winning short stories.

Thursday, November 5 • 8 p.m. • Fillius Events Barn


Robyn Fivush

Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology at Emory University

Personal and Intergenerational Narratives in Creating Autobiographical Identities

Monday, November 2, 2015 • 4 pm


Sarah Kay (NYU)

"Allegorical or Just Angry? Interspecies Violence in Medieval Bestiaries"

Thursday, October 29, 2015 • 4 pm • Taylor Science Center G027

Frank Lentricchia

Crime Fiction Author and Utica Native

"Conte in Utica: Writing Place and the Limits of Crime Fiction"

Monday, October 26th 4:30 pm Sadove Conference Room

Reading from The Morelli Thing

Tuesday, October 27th 4:30 pm

Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center

Sponsored by the Dean of Faculty


Azriel Grysman

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, Hamilton College

The Many Roles of Gender in Autobiographical Memory: A Work in Progress

Friday, October 23

Tolles Lecture: Zadie Smith

October 21, 2015

Kevin Quashie

Professor of Africana Studies, Smith College

Prof. Quashie will discuss his book The Sovereignty of Quiet. Quashie examines such landmark texts as Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, and Toni Morrison’s Sula to move beyond the emphasis on resistance and to suggest that concepts like surrender, dreaming, and waiting can remind us of the wealth of black humanity.

Tuesday, October 13

Dominick LaCapra

Emeritus Professor of History and Comparative Literature, Cornell University

History, Memory, and Trauma: Problems and New Directions

Thursday, October 8 • 4:10 p.m. • Taylor Science Center G027

Jill Lepore

David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History, Harvard University; Staff Writer for the New Yorker

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

September 24, 2015 • 4:10 p.m. • Taylor Science Center G027


Rhodessa Jones

Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and Women Living with HIV

Ancient Myth as a Tool for Self-discovery and Activism

Tuesday, September 15 • 4:10 p.m. • Events Barn


Thomas Wilson

Conceptions of Heaven and God in the Imperial Cults of China

April 30 • 4:10pm • Science Center 3024

The Asia Forum; co-sponsored by the Humanities Series

Tara McPherson (USC)

Lecture, "DH for the Rest of Us?"

April 23 • 4:10pm • KRJH 127, Red Pit

Workshop, "Writing and Teaching with Scalar: An Introduction"

April 24 • 12:00pm • DHi@CJ102

DHi Speaker Series 2014-2015: "Critical DH: Methods, Pedagogies and Practice"

Milton Marathon

Sunday, April 12, 2015 • Noon - 10pm • Burke Library

Anne Feltovich, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

Words and Things: Why Classics is an Interdisciplinary Study

April 10, 2015 • All-Night Reading Room of the Burke Library

Pauline Yu, President, American Council of Learned Societies

Narratives of the Humanities

Thursday April 9, 2015 • 4:10 pm • Taylor Science Center G027

Laura Pulido,"Beyond Conflict and Cooperation: African Americans and Latinos in the Quest for Social Justice"

Professor Pulido (USC) will review dominant approaches to analyzing relationships between Latinas/os and African Americans in the U.S. within the field of comparative ethnic studies and focus for the need to move beyond "conflict and cooperation" to a truly hybrid understanding of inter-ethnic relations. Using specific case-studies, including court cases, environmental justice struggles, and other efforts to create a more socially just world, Professor Pulido will illustrate the degree to which Latinas/os and African Americans inform each other's political imaginations.

Monday, March 30, 2015 • 4:15pm • KRJH 127, Red Pit

Co-sponsored by the Humanities Series

Gayākṣetra and Ancestral Offerings: Mapping the Multi-layered History of an Ancient Hindu Sacred City

Abhishek Amar, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Hamilton College

Thursday, March 12, 2015 • 4:10 pm • Taylor Science Center 3024

Patrick Lawler - Rescheduled

PATRICK LAWLER is a Writer-in Residence at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY, and teaches at SUNY ESF.  He has published six books of poetry including: A Drowning Man is Never Tall Enough, Feeding The Fear Of The Earth, Underground, and Child Sings in the Womb.  In addition, he has two books of fiction: his novel Rescuers of Skydivers Search Among the Clouds and his collection of short stories The Meaning of If.  He also writes for the stage and the screen--and has had a number of his pieces performed or produced.  Among his awards are two New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, a Constance Saltonstall Grant, the CNY Book Award for Fiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Monday, March 9 • 8pm • Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center

Sponsored by the Dean of Faculty.  Hosted by the English and Creative Writing Department

Kevin Trainor, "The Case of the 'Missing' Pilgrimage Site: The Buddha’s Cave in Sri Lanka"

It is well known that pilgrimage plays an vital role in many religious traditions, and Sri Lankan Buddhists recognize a list of sixteen important pilgrimage sites, widely believed to have been visited by the Buddha during his lifetime. But what do we make of the fact that one of these sacred centers cannot be visited because its location is unknown?  Such is the case of Divaguhava, the Cave of the Buddha’s Midday Rest. This talk will explore the history of this site, highlighting a campaign initiated in 1995 to establish the authentic location of the Buddha’s Cave of the Midday Rest.

Kevin Trainor is Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont and chair of the Religion Department. His book publications include Relics, Ritual, and Representation in Buddhism: Rematerializing the Sri Lankan Theravāda Tradition  (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide (Oxford University Press, 2004; general editor), and Embodying the Dharma: Buddhist Relic Veneration in Asia (SUNY Press, 2004; co-editor with David Germano). He has been a Fulbright senior scholar at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka and a visiting scholar at Cornell University.
Thursday March 5 • 4.10pm • Kirner-Johnson 127 (Red Pit)

Sponsored by History, Asian Forum, Religious Studies, and the Dean's Office


Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer Bartlett is the author of Derivative of the Moving Image (UNM Press 2007), (a) lullaby without any music (Chax 2012), and Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography (Theenk 2014), and co-edited, with Sheila Black and Michael Northen, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos, 2011).  Bartlett has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Fund for Poetry, and the Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. She is currently writing a biography of the poet Larry Eigner, and recently held a residency at the Gloucester Writer’s Center. Bartlett has taught poetry and disability awareness at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, United Cerebral Palsy, the MS Society, and New York Public Schools.

Lecture/Discussion: "Disability and Inclusion in Higher Education"

Wednedsay, March 4 • 5pm • Days-Massolo Center



Thursday, March 5 • 8pm • Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center


English and Creative Writing Reading Series. Funding provided by the Dean of Faculty with support from Women's Studies and Days-Massolo Center.


Anne Clark, "Channeling Religious Emotion: Text and Image in a Medieval Prayerbook

This presentation explores the complex ways in which an illustrated 12th-century Christian prayerbook would have been used by the religious woman who owned it.  The book’s juxtaposition of texts and full-page illustrations provided strong, sometimes ambiguous stimuli for deepening the emotional experience of prayer.  Medieval prayer was supposed to be emotional, and this book represents an innovative attempt to shape a woman’s interior life.   

Anne Clark is Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont.  She received her Ph.D from Columbia University in 1989.  Her field is medieval Christianity, with a particular focus on women’s religious life.  She has published on women’s visionary literature, including two books on Elisabeth of Schönau, and articles on Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, and Gertrude of Helfta. She has also published articles on devotional objects such as images and relics, and on exploring the role of cognitive theory in the study of religion.  Her current research is on illustrated prayer books and religious emotion.

Wednesday March 4 • 4.10pm • Kirner-Johnson 127 (Red Pit)


Dr. Marisa Parham (Amherst)

March 3 - 4, 2015

DHi Speaker Series 2014-2015: "Critical DH: Methods, Pedagogies and Practice"

D.T. Max, “Consider the Writer: The Life of David Foster Wallace” - Rescheduled

D. T. MAX  is a graduate of Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. His new book, Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, was released by Viking Penguin on August 30, 2012 and was a New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery.

Monday, March 2 • 4:10pm • Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center

English and Creative Writing Reading Series.  Sponsored by the Dean of Faculty with support from the Career Center and Philosophy.

International Writers Festival

Friday, February 27, 2015:

Keynote Reading

Chris Abani

8-9 p.m. • Chapel • Reception following in Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center


Saturday, February 28, 2015

“Freedom of Speech” panel discussion, moderated by Doran Larson

Chris Abani, Vijay Seshadri, and Valzhyna Mort

10:30-11:30 a.m. • All Night Reading Room, Burke Library


Poetry Reading

Valzhyna Mort and Vijay Seshadri

4-5 p.m. • Library Commons


Catherine Gunther Kodat

Modernist Dance and the Metapolitics of Cold War Culture

English and Creative Writing Reading Series

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 • 4:10pm • Science Center 3024

Outreach to the Inside: Teaching in Prison

Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, Professor of Comparative Literature, Hamilton College

Thursday, February 19, 2015 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center 3024

D.T. Max - Cancelled due to weather; will be rescheduled

English and Creative Writing Reading Series

Monday, February 9 • 8pm • Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center

Brown Bag: Russell Marcus, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Talking in Circles: On Justification and the Logic of Philosophy

Friday, February 6, 2015 • Noon • All-Night Reading Room of the Burke Library

James Joyce Public Humanities Event

Thursday, February 5 • 8pm • The Pub

Sponsored by the Department of English and Creative Writing

Dr. Dorothy Kim (Vassar)

Lecture, “Disrupting the Digital Archive"

Thursday, February  5 • 4:10pm • KRJH 127, Red Pit

Workshop, "Digital Activism and Its Discontents"

Saturday, February 6 • 12:00pm • DHi@CJ102

DHi Speaker Series 2014-2015: "Critical DH: Methods, Pedagogies and Practice"

Patrick Lawler - Cancelled due to weather; will be rescheduled

English and Creative Writing Reading Series

Monday, February 2 • 8pm • Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center

Brown Bag: David Gapp, Silas D. Childs Professor of Biology

A Whiskey Bottle, Hamilton College, The Pure Food and Drug Act, and Hollywood

Friday, January 30 • Noon • All-Night Reading Room of the Burke Library

Brown Bag: John Bartle, Associate Professor of Russian Studies

The Refugee Project: Perspectives from Utica

December 5, 2014 • All-Night Reading Room of the Burke Library

Sarah Harwell and Gary Leising

English and Creative Writing Reading Series

December 4 • 8 p.m. • Dwight Lounge

Two Events with Dr. Amy Earhart, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University

Lecture: "Race and Critical DH: Pedagogical Interventions”

Earhart will discuss a digital activist model grounded where undergraduate students are participants in canon expansion while learning valuable research and digital literacy skills. She will discuss her recent projects that include White Violence, Black Resistance; Alex Haley's "The Malcolm X I Knew" and Notecards from The Autobiography of Malcolm X; and the Black Radicals Projects.

Wednesday, November 19, 4:10pm, KRJH 127(Red Pit)


Workshop: “Building Undergraduate Partnerships: DH Projects in the Classroom”

Thursday, November 20, 12:00-1:00 pm, DHi Collaboratory, Christian Johnson Hall (CJ)

Co-Sponsors: American Studies Program; Cinema & Media Studies Program

Paul Audi, "Qualitative Structure"

Paul Audi teaches at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 • 4:10pm • KJ 127 (Red Pit)

Sponsored by the Philosophy Department

The Transcultural Imagination: Cultural Translation and the Art of André Kneib

Steve Goldberg, Associate Professor of Art History, Hamilton College

Thursday, November 6, 2014 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center 3024

James Capreedy, "Geography, Digital Mapping, and the Fall of the Roman Empire"

James Capreedy, who has taught at Colby College and Santa Clara University, is now Assistant Professor of Classics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  An alumnus of Hamilton College (BA in Classical Languages, 1994), he received his MA from Tufts and his PhD from The University of British Columbia.  His research focuses on regional alliances in Classical Greece and their relationship with Sparta’s Peloponnesian League; his most recent article on this topic was published last August in Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies.  He has recently become interested in how digital pedagogies can lead to better student learning experiences and is now working on a project that examines how spatial thinking fits into a liberal arts education.

His talk will describe how combining the study of antiquity with the use of digital mapping tools can lead to more advanced levels of analysis, enabling students to define their own spaces to analyze, collect their own data, ask their own questions, and thus frame their own discussions about history.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 • 4:10pm • Science Center 3024

Sponsored by the Classics Department and the Digital Humanities Initiative.  This event is open to the public, free of charge.  Refreshments will be served.

Two Events Featuring Frank Lentricchia

American literary critic, novelist, and literature and film studies professor at Duke University
Reading from his most recent novel Dog Killer of Utica: An Eliot Conte Mystery

Monday, November 3, 2014 • 4:10 pm • Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center

"Writing as an Italian-American?"

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 • 7:30 pm • Burke Library All Night Reading Room

English and Creative Writing Fall 2014 Reading Series.  Sponsored by the President's Office and Dean of Faculty with additional support provided by the Days-Massolo Center.  Hosted by the English and Creative Writing Department.

Brown Bag: Katheryn Doran, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Can Movies Do Philosophy? A Defense of a Bold View

October 31, 2014 • All-Night Reading Room of the Burke Library

Diane Raptosh

English and Creative Writing Reading Series

October 29 • 8 p.m. • Dwight Lounge

Conference Honoring Bob Simon

A confderence honoring Bob Simon's contributions to social and political philosophy and to philosophy of sport will feature David McCabe (Colgate), Norm Bowie (Minnesota, Emeritus), Steven M. Cahn (CUNY), Cesar Torres (SUNY Brockport), and R. Scott Kretchmar (Penn State)

October 25, 2014 • 1-4pm

Sponsored by the Philosophy Department

Against All Odds: Black Women Classicists in the Nineteenth Century

Shelley Haley, Professor of Classics and Africana Studies, Hamilton College

Thursday, October 23, 2014 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center 3024

Richard H. Davis, "Shiva: Crowned King of Madurai"

In the southern Indian city of Madurai, the god Shiva is crowned king every fall in a grand twelve-day festival. In the spring, his wife Minakshi becomes ruler in a still grander festival. How do these rituals seek to establish relationships between humans and their gods, and what do they mean to Hindus in present-day India?

Richard Davis, professor of religion and director of the religion and Asian studies program at Bard College, is author of A Priest's Guide to the Great Festival: Aghorasiva's Mahotsavavidhi (2009); Lives of Indian Images (1997; winner of 1999 A. K. Coomaraswamy Prize); and Ritual in an Oscillating Universe: Worshiping Siva in Medieval India (1991).

October 13, 2014 • Kirner-Johnson 127 (Red Pit)

Reception to follow.  Sponsored by the History Department, the Religious Studies Department, and the Asian Studies Program.  Funding provided by the Dean of the Faculty Speaker's Fund.

Workshop: “The CWRC-Writer: A Scholarly Editor for the Web”

This workshop will introduce the CWRC-Writer editor. It will be framed by a brief overview of the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC) virtual research environment, and by brief introductions to XML text markup and the Resource Description Framework (RDF). A demonstration of CWRC-Writer will be followed by hands-on time. The workshop will conclude with a glimpse of the larger goals to which the editor aims to contribute.

A light lunch will be provided.

October 10, 2014 • 12:00-1:00 pm • DHi Collaboratory, Christian Johnson Hall (CJ)

Part of the DHi Fall 2014 Lecture & Workshop Series, "Critical DH: Methods, Pedagogies and Practice."  Co-Sponsors: American Studies Program; Cinema & Media Studies Program

Visual Passports: Immigration and Comics

Dr. Nhora Lucía Serrano, Visiting Scholar in Comparative Literature, Harvard University

The Yellow Kid. Superman. Wonder Woman. Asterix. Persepolis. The Arrival. Each of these comics and comics strips has played a crucial role in representing, constructing, and reifying the immigrant subject and the immigrant experience in the twentieth century. Dr. Nhora Lucía Serrano, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, will discuss how comics from around the world were shaped by the immigrant story, and how they inscribe and reinscribe the immigrant identity and experience. "Every comic about immigration is a story about an individual, and every comic about this theme wants to show... a story about humanity...a universal story.” - Hélène Bouillon, Curator of the exhibit “Albums-Bande dessinée et immigration: 1913-2013” at the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration in Paris

October 9, 2014 • 5pm • Red Pit

Co-sponsored by Comparative Literature and Days-Massolo.

John Hadity '83: Go-To Guy in Film Finance

October 9, 2014 • 4:15pm • KJ 125

Sponsored by The English and Creative Writing Department and Cinema and (New) Media Studies
Remediating the Editor

Dr. Susan Brown (Orlando Project), Professor, University of Guelph

Starting from the position that