Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Updated Information on "Entangled Trajectories: Integrating Native American and European Histories"

"Entangled Trajectories: Integrating Native
 American and European Histories" 

Washington DC, April  9 – 10, 2015

This conference will explore how the encounters between European and Amerindian cultures after 1492 contributed to the first age of globalization.  Unlike many histories that cast Native Americans and Native cultures primarily as passive victims of colonizers’ actions and ideas, this event investigates the role of native actors in the creation of the modern world in both hemispheres.  A central ambition of the conference is to highlight the way that Native American history is, indeed, global history.  Scholars will present their research from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including those of history, art history, literature, cultural anthropology, and philosophy.

Organized by Ralph Bauer (University of Maryland) and Marcy Norton (George Washington University).

Elizabeth Boone (Tulane University) will deliver the conference's keynote address at the Mexican Cultural Institute at 6:45 pm on Thursday, April 9.

Speakers: Ned Blackhawk (Yale University) Galen Brokaw (Montana State University) Margaret Bruchac (University of Pennsylvania) Matt Cohen (University of Texas, Austin) Nancy Farriss (University of Pennsylvania) Karen Graubart (University of Notre Dame) Byron Hamann (Ohio State University) Dana Leibsohn (Smith College) James Maffie (University of Maryland) Barbara Mundy (Fordham) Neil Safier (John Carter Brown Library) Birgit Brander Rasmussen (Yale University) David Silverman, (George Washington University) Coll Thrush (University of British Columbia), Nancy van Deusen (Queen’s University) Molly Warsh  (University of Pittsburgh) Jace Weaver (University of Georgia). 

Regular panels will take place on the campus of the George Washington University and are open to the public.

For those planning on attending, RSVPs are requested by sending an email to efeeney@historians.org or please visit http://entangledtrajectories.eventbrite.com?s=33801046.

The conference is organized under the auspices of the Early Americas Working Group and sponsored by the Kislak Family Foundation, George Washington University, University of Maryland, National History Center, and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

** Feel free to like our page on Facebook, Entangled Trajectories Conference April 2015, and follow us on
Twitter @ETrajectories for more updates.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Symposium: Transition, Scale and Catastrophe

Please mark your calendar now for this daylong symposium! Admission is free, but you must REGISTER HERE if you plant to attend.

Transition, Scale and Catastrophe @ GW

9 AM
Coffee and bagels

Karl Steel, "Barely Life"
Stephanie LeMenager, "No Words"

Coffee break

Lynn Tomlinson, "Lost House"
Anne Harris, "Anamorphic Reach"


Steve Mentz, "Ship Wreck"
Stacy Alaimo, "Anthropocene Dissolves"

Closing Roundtable

4-5.30 PM
Reception at Gallery 102 (Smith Hall, Academic Center). [This is the student art gallery which will have an exhibit on "Photography and Accident"]

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ania Loomba, Crossing Boundaries: Friday Feb. 13

Please join us on Friday February 13 as Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, presents a talk in Rome Hall 771 (801 22nd St NW) at 3 PM:
Crossing Boundaries: Race, Postcoloniality and the Early Modern 
Is the “early” in “early modern” the same as “early” in “early colonial”? How do these temporal boundaries rely on spatial divisions that continue to structure our  thinking? Viewing the Renaissance through a postcolonial lens, and viewing the postcolonial in the light of a longer temporal frame, can help us cross some of these boundaries and rethink modernity.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Symposium on Transition, Scale and Catastrophe: March 20

Please mark your calendar and save the date! On Friday March 20 the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute will hold an all day symposium on "Transition, Scale and Catastrophe." The event will take place in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room, Gelman Library 7th floor.

Presentations include:
Karl Steel, "Barely Life"
Stephanie LeMenager, "No Words"

Lynn Tomlinson, "Lost House"
Anne Harris, "Anamorphic Reach"

Steve Mentz, "Ship Wreck"
Stacy Alaimo, "Anthropocene Dissolves"

Lynn Tomlinson will screen her award winning film The Ballad of Holland Island House as part of her presentation (the image above is taken from that film). Reception to follow. More details soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Save the dates: "Entangled Trajectories: Integrating Native American and European Histories”

Please save the dates – April 9 and 10 – for an exciting inter-disciplinary conference, “Entangled Trajectories: Integrating Native American and European Histories.” 

Elizabeth Boone will deliver a public lecture at the Mexican Cultural Institute on April 9 at 6:45, and there will be sessions at George Washington University on April 9 and 10. Confirmed speakers include: Ned Blackhawk (Yale University); Galen Brokaw (Montana State University), Margaret Bruchac (University of Pennsylvania), Matt Cohen (University of Texas, Austin), Nancy Farriss (University of Pennsylvania), Karen Graubart (University of Notre Dame), Byron Hamann (Ohio State University), Dana Leibsohn (Smith College), James Maffie (University of Maryland), Barbara Mundy (Fordham), Nancy van Deusen (Queen’s University), Birgit Brander Rasmussen (Yale University), David Silverman, (George Washington University), Molly Warsh  (University of Pittsburgh).

The conference is organized by the Early Americas Working Group and co-sponsored by the Kislak Family Foundation, George Washington University, University of Maryland, National History Center, and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

For questions, please contact conference co-organizers Ralph Bauer (bauerr@umd.edu) or Marcy Norton (mnorton@gwu.edu).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Workshop on Human-Animal Studies: Feb. 18 (plus other Feb. events)

February is a short month, but filled with exciting GW MEMSI events. On Friday February 13, Ania Loomba of the University of Pennsylvania will present a talk in Rome Hall 771 (801 22nd St NW) at 3 PM: "Crossing Boundaries: Race, Postcoloniality and the Early Modern." On Friday February 27, Heather Bamford, George Washington University, will present at our works in progress lunch (Rome Hall 771, 11:30 PM: precirculated paper).

AND on Wednesday February 18, the GW History Department and Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute invite you to a Workshop on Human-Animal Studies:
“Noah’s Ark and Climate Change” (Jeffrey Cohen, English)
“Aping Humans: A History of Simian Actors from Blind Gew to Snooky the Humanzee” (Holly Dugan, English)
Moderated by Marcy Norton (History)
5:30 – 7 pm February 18
411 Phillips Hall (Academic Center, 801 22nd ST NW)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jonathan Hsy, "Ecolinguistics in Theory and Practice"

Please join us this Friday January 23 at 3 PM in Rome Hall 771 (801 22nd St NW) for GW's own Jonathan Hsy, "Ecolinguistics in Theory and Practice." Reception to follow. A description of the talk is below.

This presentation considers how medievalists can intervene in ecolinguistics, a burgeoning interdisciplinary field attending to the dynamic relationship between language and environment (physical and cultural). On a conceptual level, ecolinguistics rethinks implicit biological metaphors that ground disciplines of philology, linguistics, and literary study (linguistic “trees” and stemma); thinking about languages as mobile organisms rather than a rooted plants offers a more flexible approach to how languages behave in complex adaptive systems or transform over time. In this talk, I examine how medieval linguistic theory speaks to modern-day approaches to "language death" and indigenous language preservation. I also ask how ecoloinguistics alters our understanding of the "deep time" of linguistic origins and the animacies of language itself.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rebecca Laroche: January 12 & 13

An invitation from Holly Dugan:

Dear MEMSI members,

I write to invite you to an informal lunch and coffee with Rebecca Laroche next Monday, January 12th and to hear her presentation on transcribing and coding archival recipes as part of the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective on Tuesday, January 13th at 4:15 (in my and Leah Chang's graduate course on early modern women writers in Rome 771).

Rebecca Laroche is Associate Professor of English at the University of Corado-Colorado Springs and the author of Medical Authority and Englishwomen's Herbal Texts, 1550- 1650 (Ashgate, 2008). She's also a founding member Early Modern Recipes Online (http://emroc.hypotheses.org/), which is part of the recipes project (http://recipes.hypotheses.org/). She's a tremendous (and inspiring) resource about women writers, archival research, and digital humanities, particularly on the role of gender in digital projects that deal with the past. I know that the start of the semester is a very busy time of year, but it should be a fascinating series of conversations. I hope you can join us.
Her visit to our campus is generously funded by GWU's Digital Humanities Institute and Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute. 

Please email me (hdugan@gwu.edu) if you'd like to attend lunch, coffee, or her presentation next week.

all best,
Holly Dugan

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gordon Braden, Suicide in the Third Person (January 29)

Please join us on Thursday January 29th for this co-sponsored event, and share the invitation with anyone who might be interested:
Emeritus Professor of English University of Virginia
Suicide in the Third Person:
How Shakespeare made his Romans Seem Roman

Thursday, January 29th
Media and Public Affairs Building 310 805 21st St. NW Washington DC (Foggy Bottom Metro)
Reception at 6:30 PM; Lecture at 7:00 PM Free and open to the public

Sponsored by the The George Washington University Dept. of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (MEMSI)
For more information, contact kwasdin@gwu.edu

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Plagues, Witches, and War: A MOOC Postmortem

Burnable Book and Bruce Holsinger
Bruce Holsinger
(Fiction Writer and Professor of English, University of Virginia)
Sponsored by the GW Digital Humanities Institute, in coordination with
GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies InstituteEnglish, and Creative Writing
Date: Friday, December 5
Time: 7 PM (includes talk followed by Q&A)
Place: Marvin Center Amphitheater, George Washington University
Drawing from a case study at the University of Virginia, this lecture explores the controversies, university politics, and economic challenges surrounding the emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) over the last several years.
Bruce Holsinger is a fiction writer and literary scholar at the University of Virginia. His critically-acclaimed debut novel, A Burnable Book, and its forthcoming sequel, The Invention of Fire (William Morrow/HarperCollins), are set in the alleys and halls of medieval London. His nonfiction books have won major awards from the Modern Language Association, the Medieval Academy of America, and the American Musicological Society, and his research has been supported with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Musicological Society, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He appears regularly on National Public Radio and has written for The Washington Post, The NationThe Chronicle of Higher Education, and other publications.
[Download the event flyer: PDF or Word]

NOTE: Prof. Holsinger also plans to meet informally with a group of students and faculty earlier in the day over lunch at 1pm in Rome 771 (food will be provided). Please email Prof. Jonathan Hsy (jhsy at gwu dot edu) if you'd like to reserve a spot (although please be aware that currently enrolled GW students will be given first priority).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monstrous Knowledge November 14: Two Events!

Please join us for two monstrous events, co-sponsored by the Graduate School Field Committee for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Maryland; the GW Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literatures; and GW MEMSI.
I. Seminar with Kathleen Perry Long, Asa Simon Mittman and Surekha Davies, 12 PM. Three essays for discussion will be circulated in advance and a light lunch will be provided. RSVP to GWMEMSI@gmail.com by November 6 to reserve a spot and receive the readings.  
II.  Symposium: Monstrous Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Europe International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room, GWU Gelman Library 7th floor, 3 PM. Featuring:
Monstrous Knowledge in Early Modern France: The Case of Hermaphrodites(Kathleen Perry Long, Romance Studies, Cornell University) 
Monstrous Knowledge in Medieval England: The Case of Race (Asa Simon Mittman, Art and Art History, California State University, Chico) 
Monstrous Knowledge in the Age of Exploration: The Case of 'Imaginary' Monsters (Surekha Davies, History, Western Connecticut State University)

Medieval and Early Modern Studies in English, the George Washington University

The doctoral program in English at the George Washington University invites applications for a funded PhD in medieval or early modern studies. Our program has wide strengths in postcolonial and transnational approaches to literature and culture; performance theory and cultural studies; race, ecology and critical animal studies; digital humanities; and disability studies.

The poster below will give you a good idea of faculty strengths. We especially welcome students who can make use of the unparalleled archive of the nearby Folger Shakespeare Library, an institution with which we have a close relationship.

More information and the link to apply may be found here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Now in Print: Inhuman Nature

(for the 2014-15 calendar click here)

We are happy to announce that through an ongoing partnership between Oliphaunt Books and punctum books, the new title Inhuman Nature has just been released. You can download the book or purchase it in hard copy at either site -- but if you do decide to secure the e-version, may I suggest that you make a donation to punctum along the way? If everyone who reads the book in electronic form pays five or ten dollars to support open access publishing, then the impact will be significant. Bear in mind that open access is not free, and a great deal of labor went into producing the volume.

Inhuman Nature is the third title published by Oliphant and would not have been possible without the unflagging support of Eileen Joy. A participant at the panels from which the book derives as well as a longtime forger of new worlds for humanities research, Eileen has both my abiding gratitude and admiration. Oliphant is sponsored by the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute, a scholarly center funded by a collaboration of the GW Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of the Provost, and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. I am grateful to the twenty-faculty members in nine departments who belong to the center for making it all work, somehow.

This book had its genesis in “Ecologies of the Inhuman,” a roundtable at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. The event generated so much lively conversation that we reconstituted the gathering several months later in Washington DC, under the auspices of GW MEMSI. Ian Bogost joined us for that second event and astonished us with his passion for Marie de France … and his willingness to embrace this group of medievalists and early modernists interested in what happens when ecology is framed nonanthropocentrically. Carolyn Dinshaw participated in both the roundtable and the MEMSI symposium, and I thank her for her engagement. Creative presentations, camaraderie, and some late nights at the Venetian Room of the Hotel Lombardy ensured a shared sense of endeavor that culminated in this book. Here's the table of contents:

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen — Introduction: Ecostitial / Steve Mentz — Shipwreck / Anne Harris — Hewn / Alan Montroso — Human / Valerie Allen — Matter / Lowell Duckert — Recreation / Alfred Kentigern Siewers — Trees / James Smith — Fluid / Ian Bogost — Inhuman

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014-15 Events: A Provisional Calendar


The first big MEMSI event of the year is the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Annual Lecture with Rebecca Bushnell, president of the Shakespeare Association of America. The talk is at 3 pm on Friday September 5 in Post Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus (free shuttle from multiple campus locations). Followed by a reception.

Also this year:

[October 24-25: Don't miss Knowing Nature at UMD College Park!]

November 14: Monstrous Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room, Gelman Library 7th floor, 3 PM. The symposium will be preceded by a lunchtime seminar with work circulated in advance. More information shortly
  1. Monstrous Knowledge in Early Modern France: the Case of Hermaphrodites (Kathleen Perry Long, Romance Studies, Cornell University)
  2. Monstrous Knowledge in Medieval England: The Case of Race (Asa Simon Mittman, Art and Art History, California State University, Chico)
  3. Monstrous Knowledge in the Age of Exploration: The Case of 'Imaginary' Monsters (Surekha Davies, History, Western Connecticut State University)

Dec 5: Bruce Holsinger reads from his celebrated historical fiction A Burnable Book

Feb. 13: Ania Loomba, University of Pennsylvania, visiting scholar

March 20: Symposium on "Transition, Scale and Catastrophe" with Stacy Alaimo, Stephanie LeMenager, Steve Mentz, Karl Steel and more. 
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room, Gelman Library 7th floor

April 9-10: "Entangled Trajectories: Integrating European and Native American Histories" at GW and the Library of Congress.
We will also have a few more events along the way, including a works in progress breakfast series. Stay tuned to the blog!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rebecca Bushnell to Deliver Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Annual Lecture Sept. 5

The English Department is pleased to announce one of the very first events of the new academic year.  On Friday, September 5, at 3:00 PM, Professor Rebecca Bushnell will deliver the Dean's Scholars' in Shakespeare Annual Lecture.  The Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Program is directed by Professor Holly Dugan.  This lecture will take place in the Academic Building (Post Hall) of GW's Mount Vernon Campus.

Professor Rebecca Bushnell is the President of the Shakespeare Association of America and professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of numerous books, including Green Desire: Imagining Early Modern English Gardens (Cornell University Press, 2003) and Tragedy: A Short Introduction (Blackwell, 2005) and the editor of Companion to Tragedy (Blackwell, 2005)

Professor Rebecca Bushnell

Her talk is entitled  “What ist’ o’clock?”: Comic and Tragic Temporality in Shakespeare.

How do characters and audience experience time in Shakespeare's plays and why does it matter? This lecture will pursue a general theory of comic and tragic time in performance, in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. The Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Annual Lecture is designed for a broad audience.  It is free and open to the public, and it will be followed by a reception. 

Information on the free shuttle between Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campus can be accessed here.

A Companion to Tragedy
Edited by Rebecca Bushnell

Part of the purpose of this event is to welcome the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare to GW.  Students in this two-year, 16-credit program will be residing in Cole Hall and taking courses on Mount Vernon.

The Shakespeare Annual Lecture series features distinguished Shakespearean scholars each year and brings cutting-edge work to GW's campus.

(cross posted from the GW English Blog)