Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Hakluyt's Witnesses," a lecture by Nandini Das

Join us on Friday, April 12, for "Hakluyt's Witnesses," a lecture by Dr. Nandini Das.

Nandini Das is Professor of English Literature at the University of
Liverpool, UK. She received her first degree from Jadavpur University
(India), won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and was awarded her PhD
from the University of Cambridge. Her recent publications include an
essays on Renaissance prose fiction, Shakespeare, Richard Hakluyt and
early modern travel. She is volume editor of Elizabethan Levant Trade
and South Asia in the forthcoming edition of Richard Hakluyt’s The
Principal Navigations, to be published by Oxford University Press, and
is currently working on Common Places, a book on Renaissance travel
and cultural memory.

Hakluyt’s Witnesses
Why does one go about capturing the experience of travel through words, and how? Philip Sidney in his Defence of Poetry had claimed that ‘it is not gnosis but praxis must be the fruit’ of literature, rhetorically moving the reader from ‘well-knowing’ to ‘well-doing’. What then was the status of travel-writing, where text constantly threatened to substitute for action, and action undermined text’s efforts to record its essential nature with any degree of accuracy? This talk will explore Richard Hakluyt’s attempts to tackle those questions in his monumental Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589 and 1598-1600), which had significant implications both for English travel writing and for English prose.


This event will be held on the campus of The George Washington University, Rome Hall, suite 204. 
The lecture will begin at 3:00 pm and will be followed by a reception at 4:30. 

This event is free and open to the public.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Symposium: Ecologies of the Inhuman


Ecologies of the Inhuman

a MEMSI sponsored symposium at The George Washington University
Friday, April 5 at 3 p.m.
Rome Hall, suite 771 (801 22nd St NW, Foggy Bottom Metro)

This symposium will be a conversation between scholars of medieval and early modern literature, culture and art whose work engages with ecotheory and object oriented philosophy. We are very happy to be able to welcome Dr. Ian Bogost, a videogame theorist, designer, and critic whose recent book Alien Phenomenology: or What It’s Like to Be a Thing, offers a very engaging description of what he calls “tiny ontology.”

Each participant will give a short talk and then the panelists will discuss emerging questions and issues regarding OOP, ecotheory, medieval and early modern studies.

This symposium is free and open to the public.  Please contact Emily at erusse4@gwmail.gwu.edu to RSVP. 

Presentations include:

  • Fluid (James Smith, University of Western Australia) Currently a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia, James studies fluid dynamism as a theme of intellection and imagination in the twelfth century.

  • Trees (Alfred Siewers, Bucknell University) Dr. Siewers is an Associate Professor of English and an Affiliate Faculty member of the Environmental Studies Program at Bucknell University.  His work focuses on ecocriticism, ecopoetics, and ecosemiotics, in medieval and other non-modern literatures.

  • Human (Alan Montroso, George Washington University) Alan is an independent scholar who works with vital materiality, object ontology, lithic matter, ciritical animal studies, queer ecology, liminal spaces, Middle English Breton lais and 12-15th century writers.

  • Matter (Valerie Allen, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY) A Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, Dr. Allen whose recent work addresses ecomaterialism in medieval literature.

  • Post/apocalyptic (Eileen A. Joy, Southern Illinois Univ.–Edwardsville) Dr. Joy is an Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Lead Ingenitor of the BABEL Working Group, and director of Punctum Books. Her current projects explore object oriented philosophy and the post-human.  

  • Shipwreck (Steve Mentz, St Johns University) A Professor of English at St. John’s University, Dr. Mentz’s work focuses on ecotheory and Shakespeare studies.

  • Hewn (Anne F. Harris, DePauw University) A Professor of Art History and director of the Women’s Studies Program at DePauw University, Dr. Harris works with ecotheory and medieval art. 

  • Recreation (Lowell Duckert, West Virginia University) Dr. Duckert is an Assistant Professor of English at West Virginia University and a recent graduate of The George Washington University.  His research focuses primarily on early modern drama and travel writing, as well as ecocriticism and actor-network theory. 


  • Green (Carolyn Dinshaw, New York University) Dr. Dinshaw is a Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, English, and Chair of the Social and Cultural Analysis Department at New York University. Her research interests include medieval literature and culture, theories of historiography and theories and experiences of temporality. 


  • Inhuman (Ian Bogost, Georgia Institute of Technology) A videogame designer, theorist, and critic, Dr. Bogost is the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and a Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also a Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. His recent work engages with object oriented philosophy and “tiny ontology.”