Temple University Home Page CHAT Home Page

2017-2018 CHAT Lectures and Workshops

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

All talks showcase new research by Temple faculty on alternate Thursdays, 12:30-1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge, 10th Floor, Gladfelter Hall.

Displacement Lecture Series

All talks feature distinguished scholars visiting from outside the Temple community and take place on designated Wednesdays (unless otherwise noted), 4:00 to 5:30 pm, Chat Lounge, 10th Floor, Gladfelter Hall.

Professional Development Workshops

These workshops are designed for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences and will feature academic and professional specialists from inside Temple University and outside institutions. Topics include fellowship applications, job search, career development, and digital humanities.

Upcoming Talks

CHAT Graduate Fellows Conference

Being Human: Life, Death, and Discourse

Speaker Portrait Dr. Asha Best, Geography, Clark University

Risk/Management: Reflections on the Death of Eric Garner and the Peril of Black Mobility

Speaker PortraitDr. Kimberly Mutcherson, Rutgers Law School

Marching Toward Our Post-Human Future: Bodies as Shells

Speaker PortraitDr. Shelly Kagan, Philosophy, Yale University

Is Death Bad for You? Two Puzzles About the Badness of Death

Friday, March 23
1:00 - 4:00pm, CHAT Lounge

Reception will follow

This year's CHAT graduate student symposium will address distinct yet overlapping questions related to human representations and conceptions of life and death. We live in an age of medical advancements that are constantly providing new means to prolong life and reduce deaths. This coincides with heightened attention to structural violences in society, as technology simultaneously allows for greater awareness of police brutality and the festering exploitation of black bodies in the US and beyond. We are seemingly left with more questions than answers to what it means to be human, whose humanity is given priority, and how we can use scientific advancements to promote social progress rather than to simply further new means of power and control. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A session. A reception will follow the final talk at 4 PM.

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Yom picAllison Hayes Conroy, Geography and Urban Studies

Youth Peacebuilding in Colombia: La Legión del Afecto

Thursday, March 29
12:30 - 1:50pm, CHAT Lounge

The Legioacuten del Afecto - translated as the Legion of Affection - is a Colombian social network mobilized around peace. It is arguably the most overlooked, yet broadest-based network for peace in Colombia. While the fate of the Legión as a government-financed peacebuilding program is uncertain, it looks to endure as an independent social movement. Its persistence is due both to its historical development and to its emphasis on affective relationships. Examining the Legión del Afecto through a visceral-geographic lens allows social scholars to see the central role that the body has played in motivating and mobilizing Legión peacebuilders across the country.

Allison Hayes-Conroy is assistant professor in Geography and Urban Studies. Her work on visceral geography has advanced examination of the role of the body in social movements, as well as broader social phenomena especially those related to food. Her work on peacebuilding in Colombia and her work on biosocial innovations in graduate education have both been funded by the National Science Foundation.

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Speaker portraitKristin Gjesdal

Staging the Nineteenth Century: Ibsen and the Philosophical Turn in Theater

Thursday, April 12
12:30–1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

Among Edvard Munch's many portraits of Henrik Ibsen, the famous Norwegian dramatist and Munch's senior by a generation, one stands out. Large in scope and with a characteristic pallet of roughly hewed gray blue, green, and yellow, the sketch is given the title "Geniuses." Munch's sketch shows Ibsen, who had died a few years earlier, in the company of Socrates and Nietzsche. In my presentation, I seek to take seriously Munch's bold and original positioning of Ibsen in the company of philosophers, especially the philosophers of the Nineteenth Century.

Kristin Gjesdal is Associate Professor of Philosophy. She is the author of Gadamer and The Legacy of German Idealism (Cambridge UP, 2009) and Herder's Hermeneutics: History, Poetry, Enlightenment (Cambridge UP, 2017), and a number of articles in the areas of aesthetics, philosophy of theater, hermeneutics, and German Idealism. She is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook to German Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford, 2015), the editor of Key Debates in Nineteenth Century European Philosophy (Routledge, 2016), area editor of Nineteenth-Century Philosophy for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and co-editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Hermeneutics.

Displacement Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with with the Global Studies Program

Speaker portraitSerena Parekh, Northeastern University, Philosophy

"Our Moral Obligations to Refugees"

Wednesday, April 25
4-5:30pm, CHAT Lounge

Past Talks

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Co-Sponsored with the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program

Davis PicHeath Fogg Davis, Political Science

Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?

Thursday, September 14
12:30 –1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

Gender matters to many of us personally and socially. But is gender something we should use in the policies that govern institutions such as personal identity documents, public restrooms, college admissions, and sports? If so, then why and how? In Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? Davis tackles these questions, and offers practical strategies for how organizations of all kinds and sizes can design and implement gender policies that are both trans-inclusive and good for everyone.

Heath Fogg Davis is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a Faculty Affiliate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies at Temple University, where he teaches courses on antidiscrimination law and policy. He also consults with businesses, schools, and organizations to help them imagine, develop and implement trans-inclusive policies, and is an appointed member of the Mayor's Commission on LGBT Affairs in Philadelphia. He contributes to MSNBC, NPR and CNN on transgender political issues.

Professional Development Workshops

Speaker portraitNick Sousanis, San Francisco State University

Exploring Diverse Forms of the Dissertation

Thursday, September 14
3:30 - 5:00pm, CHAT Lounge

Comics artist and educator Nick Sousanis is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University where he is developing an interdisciplinary program in comics studies. His book, Unflattening (published by Harvard University Press in 2015), won the 2016 American Publishers Association Humanities award, the 2016 Lynd Ward prize for Best Graphic Novel, and was nominated for a 2016 Eisner Award. Unflattening was named the best graphic novel of 2015 by numerous critics. The Boston Globe and Nature have commissioned original comics by Sousanis and his work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Moscow's Non/Fiction Book Fair, Amsterdam University in the Netherlands, and Microsoft Research. Sousanis has been invited to lecture on comics at such venues as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Stanford University, Harvard University, UCLA, the Jaipur Literary Festival in Boulder, CO, the Brooklyn Book Festival, and the International Visual Literacy Association's annual conference. For more information, follow him on Twitter (@nsousanis) and browse his website.

CHAT Reception
Please join us to celebrate the opening of the new CHAT exhibit.

Speaker portraitTheodore A. Harris: Dis-placed by Conflict

CHAT Gallery
10th Floor, Gladfelter Hall
Temple University
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
3:30 - 5:00pm 12:30

Harris is speaking in a visual language of mixed media collage, assemblage installation, and image poetry, which raise critical questions about how dis-placement redirects our lives, whether it is anti-immigration policy, slavery, war, white supremacy, climate change, car bombings, or "stop and frisk" formalism in art.

About the Artist:
Theodore A. Harris is a collagist, poet and essayist on the intersection of art and politics. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries and museums. He is the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Black Aesthetics.

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Speaker portraitPatrick D. Murphy, Media Studies and Production

Media and the Politics of the Earth

Thursday, September 28
12:30 –1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

Today's global media sustains a potent new environmental consciousness. Paradoxically, it also serves as a far-reaching platform that promotes the unsustainable consumption ravaging our planet. Patrick Murphy musters theory, institutional analysis, fieldwork, and empirical research to map how the media communicates today's many distinct, competing, and even antagonistic environmental discourses, demonstrating how the media pushes us to save the whales even as we are encouraged to devour all the fish. By examining this paradox through case studies of the “greening” of cable TV, online corporate branding campaigns, indigenous media, and the globalization of commercial media, he shows how today's complex, integrated media networks draws the cultural boundaries of our environmental imagination—and influences just who benefits.

Patrick D. Murphy (Ph.D., Ohio University) is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production in the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. He is the author of The Media Commons: Globalization and Environmental Discourses (University of Illinois Press, 2017), co-editor of Negotiating Democracy: Media Transformation in Emerging Democracies (SUNY 2007) and Global Media Studies (Routledge, 2003), and his work has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Displacement Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with the History Department's Urban and Environment Humanities Working Group

Speaker portraitThomas Sugrue, Social and Cultural Analysis and History, New York University

The Origins of the Suburban Crisis: Real Estate and Inequality in 20th Century America

Wednesday, October 4
4:00-5:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

The politics and economics of homeownership are central to understanding race and inequality in modern American history. Drawing from his sweeping new project on the history of real estate, race, and capital in modern America, Sugrue explores the history of one of the most important places in the history of American city planning, a modest Cleveland suburb made famous in the landmark Supreme Court case Euclid v. Ambler (1926), and infamous as ground zero of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis nine decades later.

Thomas J. Sugrue is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University and Director NYU's American Studies Program and also the NYU Collaborative on Global Urbanism. He is author of four books, including The Origins of the Urban Crisis (1996) which won the Bancroft Prize in History; and Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (2008), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History. He has co-edited three books, including The New Suburban History (2006) and Immigration and Metropolitan Revitalization (2017).

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Speaker portraitNora M. Alter, Film and Media Arts

From One to Three: Rethinking Montage in an Age of Multiple Screens

Thursday, October 12
12:30 - 1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

The talk will focus on recent moving image installations by John Akomfrah and Isaac Julien. Both artist/filmmakers are known for their pioneering work in establishing what came to be referred to as a "black avant-garde." In their early work, they sought to challenge and explode the documentary format, which they viewed as a homogenized product of the dominant establishment. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Akomfrah and Julien made single channel work intended for theatrical or television distribution. However, with the new millennium, they both shifted their focus and practice. Their recent work has adapted a new aesthetic strategy that corresponds to an expanded understanding of the diaspora and the recent crisis of migration. Alter argues that the form of the installation is inextricably linked to the crisis of migration.

Nora M. Alter is Professor of Film and Media Arts. Recent books include The Essay Film After Fact and Fiction (2017) and co-editor with T. Corrigan, Essays on the Essay Film (2017). Additionally, she is author of Vietnam Protest Theatre: The Television War on Stage (1996), Projecting History: Non-Fiction German Film (2002), Chris Marker (2006), and co-editor with L. Koepnick of Sound Matters: Essays on the Acoustics of Modern German Culture (2004). Alter has published widely on German and European Studies, Film and Media Studies, Cultural and Visual Studies and Contemporary Art.

Professional Development Workshops

Speaker portraitM.V. Lee Badgett, Professor of Economics, University of Massachussetts, Amherst

From Grad Student to Public Professor

Thursday October 19
3:30 - 5:00 pm, CHAT Lounge

Our work as scholars can matter and be influential on a public level, but the path to becoming a public intellectual, influential policy advisor, valued community resource or go-to person on an issue is not one that most of us are trained for. So how can we land on the public stage and use our research to change hearts, minds, and policy? M.V. Lee Badgett will offer scholars at all stages ways to use their ideas, research and knowledge to change the world. Learn the three strategies of influential scholars - seeing the big picture, developing a strong network, and learning to communicate to many audiences - and how to start using them in graduate school. Get a head start on being a public professor!

M.V. Lee Badgett is a Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute. She is also the director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a professor of economics. She studies family policy issues and labor market discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, and gender. Her latest book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press, 2009), focuses on the U.S. and European experiences with marriage equality for gay couples. She authored and co-edited several books, journal articles, and policy reports. In 2008, Curve Magazine named Badgett one of the twenty most powerful lesbians in academia. The Advocate magazine named her one of "Our Best and Brightest Activists" in 1999 for her research and for her efforts to found the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies (now merged with the Williams Institute). She was named one of the "Out 100" by Out Magazine in 2001 for her first book.

Displacement Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with Phi Beta Kappa and the departments of Sociology and Anthropology

Co-sponsored with with the Global Studies Program

Speaker portraitPaige West, Anthropology, Columbia University

Migration and Displacement in the Contemporary Pacific

Thursday October 26
4:00 - 5:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

In July 2013, the Prime Ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea agreed to the Regional Resettlement Arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea (colloquially known as "The Papua New Guinea Solution") that diverts asylum seekers to Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Since 2013 I have been working with colleagues from the United States and Papua New Guinea to understand the social context that gave rise to this arrangement, the in situ reactions to the arrangement, and the broad social, political, and ecological fallout from the arrangement. We see it as a kind of 'test case' whereby a contemporary global power, in this case Australia, uses its previous colonial relationship with a seemingly sovereign state and its current aid-based economic power to erase the sovereignty of another nation. We are moving into an era of global displacement. In my talk today, I'll tell you some things about the socio-ecological present of The Papua New Guinea Solution and hopefully ask some questions about how we, as scholars, are to bring new tools for analysis to increasingly complex global issues.

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Speaker portraitErin Pauwels, Art History

A Portrait of the Artist: Napoleon Sarony's Photographic Stage

Thursday, November 2
12:30-1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

Napoleon Sarony was once an internationally famous portrait photographer, regarded by his peers in the late nineteenth century as "the father of artistic photography in America." Although since then his legacy has grown somewhat obscure, Sarony's early insistence that photography could be a tool for individual, creative expression had a lasting impact on the medium's reception and practical development. This lecture examines Sarony's performative working method and his professional reinvention through self-portraiture during the 1860s to demonstrate how certain misunderstood aspects of his work, and of early photography more broadly, offer important insight into late nineteenth-century media ecology and the emergence of celebrity culture in the United States.

Erin Pauwels is a scholar of American art and material culture, specializing in painting, photography and print media of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her work focuses on the intersections of art with histories of technology, mass media, and consumer culture. She has also written on the history of celebrity, theatrical performance and costume balls in the United States. Dr. Pauwels is currently finishing her first book entitled The Art of Living Pictures: Napoleon Sarony and the Gilded Age Public Image, which examines the complex legacy of a late nineteenth-century celebrity photographer in order to illuminate how the circulation of mass-produced imagery and artistic reproduction shaped the foundations of the American art world.

Professional Development Workshops

Speaker portraitZebulon Kendrick, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and a Professor of Kinesiology

Negotiating Your First Academic/Research Position

Tuesday, November 14
3:30 - 5:00 pm, CHAT Lounge

Preparing to interview and negotiate one's first academic/research position is an ongoing process that should begin early during doctoral studies. Often junior faculty are both anxious and uncomfortable with the ambiguities in negotiating an offer. This presentation will address the initial considerations for applying for a position, the interview process and the offer, what to bargain for, and tactics and strategies.

Zebulon V. Kendrick is the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and a Professor of Kinesiology. His educational background is varied - B.A. in History, M.A. and Ph.D. in Kinesiology, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Pharmacology. He has published over 70 research papers and chapters in books and received funding from the American Heart Association, the National Institute of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Kendrick has mentored more than 30 doctoral student dissertations and 60 master theses.

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Speaker portraitInmaculada M. García-Sánchez, Anthropolgy

Intolerabilities of Tolerance-Making: The Political and Moral Economy of "Tolerance" in Ethnically Diverse Schools

Thursday, November 16
12:30 - 1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

Inmaculada M. García-Sánchez specializes in linguistic anthropology, and her research focuses on the immigrant experience children and youth growing up in multilingual and multicultural societies. She is a past postdoctoral fellow of the National Academy of Education, and the author of Language and Muslim Immigrant Childhoods: The Politics of Belonging. Some of her other publications on immigrant childhoods include articles in Linguistics and Education, Language and Communication, Pragmatics, The Handbook of Language Socialization, and Raciolinguistics: How Language Shapes Our Ideas about Race. Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, among other sources.

One of the ways in which schools have tried to accommodate the increasing heterogeneity of student bodies is to implement programs that are designed to foster inclusion through the overt socialization of values such as tolerance. In this talk, I examine the interface between the political and moral economy of the school and that of the larger society. I focus on the paradoxes that arise when contested sociopolitical values are explicitly taught in schools. More specifically, I examine the implementation of one such program in a diverse elementary school in Spain with a high concentration of Moroccan immigrant students. Drawing on my own ethnography and on larger European discourses surrounding immigration, I discuss the contradictory meanings/uses of tolerance. I also analyze the emergent moral-political crises that arise when Spanish students interactionally undermine the inclusionary goals of the activities of this program.

Displacement Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History

Co-sponsored with with the Global Studies Program

Speaker portraitAvinoam Patt, Judaic Studies, University of Hartford

"I Long for a Home": Zionism and the Surviving Remnant after the Holocaust

Monday, November 27
12:00–1:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

The Jewish Displaced Persons, or She'erit Hapletah (Surviving Remnant), emerged from the catastrophe of the Holocaust to form a vibrant, active, and fiercely independent community while living in transition on the blood-soaked soil of Germany. Although the Jewish DPs constituted a small minority of the postwar refugee population, they would come to play a disproportionately large role in postwar diplomatic negotiations. By the beginning of 1947, 250,000 Jewish DPs crowded the liberated zones of Germany, Italy, and Austria - displaced and stateless, with no home to return to and nowhere to resettle. Avinoam Patt will examine the appeal of Zionism for survivors, international relief organizations, the US Army, and the United Nations in the aftermath of the Shoah, and the relationship between the Holocaust, the postwar refugee crisis, and the creation of the state of Israel.

Avinoam J. Patt, Ph.D. is the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where he is also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization. He is the author of Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust (Wayne State University Press, May 2009), has co-edited several books on Jewish Displaced Persons, and is a contributor to several projects at the USHMM. Most recently, he is co-editor of The New Diaspora: The Changing Face of American Jewish Fiction (Wayne State University Press, 2015). He is currently co-editing a new volume on The JDC at 100 and writing a new book on the early postwar memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Speaker portraitJessica Choppin Roney, History

Revolutionary Settlements: Political Sovereignty After the American Revolution

Thursday, January 25
12:30 - 1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

The American Revolution opened a Pandora's Box of questions about the nature and location of political sovereignty. Though the Declaration of Independence seemed to assert that the right to sovereignty and self-determination lay with "the people," that solution appeared less clear when applied to settlers moving beyond the bounds of existing states. In several cases, these settlers formed "rogue" states and applied for recognition from a Congress perplexed about how to respond. Under what circumstances could white settlers form new governments? What, if any, control should the federal or existing state governments have over western settlement? In short, new settlement in the 1780s and 1790s ensured that debates about the nature of government "of the people" would persist long after the stirring declaration of 1776.

Jessica Choppin Roney specializes in the history of governance and state formation in early America. Her first book, Governed by a Spirit of Opposition: The Origins of American Political Practice in Colonial Philadelphia (JHU, 2014), examines how voluntary associations and a robust civic culture created avenues for ordinary men to participate in and shape government before the American Revolution. She is currently working on her second project, A Revolutionary Inheritance, on which this talk is based.

Displacement Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with the Global Studies Program

Speaker portraitKatrina M. Powell, Rhetoric, Virginia Tech University

Tent Cities, Resettlement Housing, and Rhetorical Constructions of Home in Narratives of Displacement

Wednesday, February 7
4:00-5:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

In "Warehousing Refugees," Merrill Smith says that mass containment keeps people "in protracted situations of restricted mobility, enforced idleness, and dependency--their lives on indefinite hold--in violation of their basic rights under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention." In this talk, I examine rhetorical constructions of home, specifically within the recent surge of semi-permanent "housing" structures designed and built by large corporations. I suggest that these literal and figurative constructions, while claiming to be "durable solutions," actually perpetuate warehousing PSR and are ways to control, manage, and efficiently "deal with" the millions of people displaced due to natural disaster, civil unrest, and government-sponsored development. Using a transnational feminist rhetorical approach, I analyze visual and linguistic representations of home to reveal that the so-called "security" of these in between spaces serve to further marginalize vulnerable populations and mask their precarity.

Katrina M. Powell is Professor of Rhetoric and Writing and Director of the Center for Rhetoric in Society at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on displacement narratives and human rights rhetorics across transnational contexts. She is the author and editor of several books, including, Identity and Power in Narratives of Displacement (2015).

Distinguished Faculty Lectures Series

Speaker portraitMiles Orvell, English and American Studies

Looking at Ruins: Photography, Epistemology, and Cultural Narrative

Thursday, February 15
12:30-1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

For more than a hundred years, photography has compelled our consideration of the destructive forces of war, urban change, industrial production and climate change, demonstrating a linkage between modernity and ruins that seems inescapable. At the same time, these images are often spectacular and "beautiful." Occupying a genre I call "the destructive sublime," ruin photography exists at the intersection of aesthetic delight and moral outrage. But how can photographic images--at once descriptive and meaningless--construct meaningful cultural narratives? Focusing mainly on American culture, this talk will explore how photographers have fixed the image of destruction in our imaginations through two contrary narratives: first, entropy--the tendency of all things naturally to fall apart; and second, the narrative of violent destruction that exalts in the power to create wastelands as an essential element of our national ideology.

Miles Orvell has written and edited nine books in the field of American studies, among them The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, Photography in America, and The Death and Life of Main Street. More recently he has been working at the intersection of visual studies, historical memory, and place, including his project during the CHAT year, a book called The Morality of Ruins: Photography, Culture, and the Destructive Sublime.

Displacement Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with with the Global Studies Program

Speaker PortraitTheodore A. Harris

In conversation with Art Historian Jennifer Zarro

Dis-placed by Conflict

Wednesday, February 21
4:00 - 5:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

Reception to follow.

Harris will talk about two series of work in the current CHAT exhibition Collage and Conflict and his book Thesentür: Conscientious Objector to Formalism.

The conversation addresses past and current work by collagist Theodore A.Harris. Harris is speaking in a visual language of mixed media collage, assemblage installation, and image poetry. His abraded surfaces raise critical questions about how dis-placement redirects our lives, whether it is anti-immigration policy, slavery, war, white supremacy, climate change, car bombings, or "stop and frisk" formalism in art. The dialogue will include a discussion of the art work displayed in the CHAT exhibition, whose aim is to engage with you the spectator, in the science of seeing, to look beneath the surface politics of aesthetics and formalism.

Theodore A. Harris is a collagist, poet and essayist on the intersection of art and politics. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries and museums. He is the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Black Aesthetics.

Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

Speaker portraitShana Goldin-Perschbacher, Music History

TransAmericana and Queer Sincerity: Gender and Genre in Contemporary Folk Music

Thursday, March 1
12:30 - 1:50pm, CHAT Lounge

Over the last 45 years, folk and country music have become increasingly popular genres for North American transgender and queer musicians. "Gay country" and "TransAmericana" offer a surprising combination - these musicians challenge "traditional" identity through a genre that ostensibly naturalizes tradition. Further, they often perform with the sincerity expected of this genre, an affect underexplored in transgender and queer expression, which has tended to prioritize camp and rebellion. Drawing on a decade of ethnography and analysis, I argue that Americana's fraught framing of naturalness, normality, and universality (concepts especially debated among transgender and queer people) are appealing for musical articulations of self and community that are simultaneously earnest and critical.

Shana Goldin-Perschbacher explores popular music and identity, using critical, ethnographic, analytical, and historical methods. Her essay "TransAmericana: Gender, Genre, and Journey," drawn from her current project, was commissioned for a special issue of New Literary History and won the 2016 Marcia Herndon Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Displacement Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with with the Global Studies Program

Speaker portraitJaya Ramji-Nogales, Law, Temple University

Refugee Rhetoric

Wednesday, March 14
4:00-5:30pm, CHAT Lounge

Refugee protection, though always politicized, has historically garnered bipartisan support in the United States; progressive refugee advocates have often found strange bedfellows in Republican politicians and conservative religious groups. Refugee rhetoric in the political sphere, spouted by Democrats and Republicans alike, has emphasized our country's commitment to humanitarianism as well as our foreign policy interests. Over the past three years, the politics of refugee protection have reversed dramatically, with refugee admissions becoming a key site of contestation. Amplified concerns about national security and mass influx have eclipsed talk of humanitarian traditions in American political rhetoric. This talk will begin to untangle the relationship between law and politics in the refugee protection space in the United States, with a particular focus on political rhetoric.

Jaya Ramji-Nogales is the co-author, with Profs. Andrew I. Schoenholtz and Philip G. Schrag, of Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform (NYU Press 2009), an empirical study of adjudication at all four levels of the US asylum system, and Lives in the Balance: Asylum Adjudication by the Department of Homeland Security (NYU Press 2014), a quantitative and qualitative study of asylum adjudication before the Department of Homeland Security's Asylum Offices. She teaches Refugee Law and Policy, and previously practiced refugee law, including teaching in Georgetown's asylum clinic, creating a refugee law clinic at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and supervising the asylum program at the international law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton.

Center for the Humanities
10th Floor, Gladfelter Hall (025-45)
1115 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6089
Phone - 215-204-6386
Fax - 215-204-8371
Email - chat@temple.edu