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New Horizons Lecture Series, 2009-10

A series of ocassional lectures highlighting new work by external scholars, this series is designed to bring to Temple the most innovative thinkers in the humanities today.

For additional talks, see Distinguished Faculty Lectures


Spring 2010


History of Science and Literature Workshop

Laura Otis portraitLaura Otis, Emory University

Thursday, Feb. 18
3:30-5pm, CHAT Lounge

At this workshop, Laura Otis introduces her ground-breaking interdisciplinary work on the intersection of literature and science.

Dr. Otis is Professor of English at Emory University and the author of:

  • Müller’s Lab (2007)
  • Networking: Communicating with Bodies and Machines in the Nineteenth Century (2001)
  • Membranes: Metaphors of Invasion in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Science, and Politics (1999)
  • Organic Memory: History and the Body in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (1994)

Sponsored by CHAT, PCMS, and the Department of English


Black Power, White Votes: Edward Brooke and Racial Politics in the Northeast

Jason Sokol portraitJason Sokol, Harvard University, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute

Wednesday, March 17
12-1:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

Jason Sokol is an American historian. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006. His first book, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, was published by Alfred A. Knopf. In 2008 and 2009, he held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Penn Humanities Forum. From 2006 to 2008, Jason was Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University. His writings on America’s racial history have appeared in the Boston Globe, American Prospect, The Nation, and a variety of scholarly journals. Jason teaches courses on African American history and the civil rights movement as well as politics and culture in twentieth-century America.

NPR LogoListen to Jason Sokol discuss Northeast Politics and Black Candidates on NPR.


Media and Prosthesis: The Case of the Artificial Larynx and the Vocoder

Mara Mills portraitMara Mills, English

Tuesday, March 30
3:30-5 pm, CHAT Lounge

In the 1920s, engineers at Bell Telephone Laboratories created a voice-coder (the “vocoder”) to increase the efficiency of speech transmission. The vocoder extracted the “parameters” from speech; it was a significant influence on information theory and it remains the basis for digital signal processing in mobile phones. In this talk, I will discuss the debts voice-coding owes to the communications expertise of artificial larynx users and designers. Notions of media as “prosthesis”The artificial larynx, or “extension” have caused a significant rift between disability studies and the fields of science and technology studies (STS) and media theory. I will argue that the case of the artificial larynx and the vocoder forces a rethinking of prosthesis in terms of compression—an extraction of the fundamental elements of communication. Moreover, I will apply the theories of “script analysis” from STS and “new realism” from disability studies to understand the co-production of artificial larynx users and digital media within the context of discriminatory design.

Image courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center

The Future of Academic Publishing

InagePeter Givler, AAUP
Peter Dougherty, Princeton UP
Alex Holzman, Temple UP
Larry Alford, TU Libraries

Wednesday, March 31
4-5:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

Want a glimpse into the immediate future? Join us as an all-star panel discusses the changed and changing nature of scholarly publishing in the digital age. And learn how your scholarship is already affected by these developments.

Topics include Open Access, humanities scholarship, university presses, library acquisitions, digital humanities, and more.

Peter Givler is Executive Director of the American Association of University Presses.
Peter Dougherty is Director of Princeton University Press, author of Who's Afraid of Adam Smith?, and a member of the AAUP Board of Directors.
Alex Holzman is Director of Temple University Press, 2008-9 President of the AAUP, and a member of the AAUP Board of Directors.
Larry Alford is Dean of Temple University Libraries and Chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees.


Beckett between Yeats, Joyce and Proust

Ann Banfield, UC Berkeley

Monday, May 3
3-5:00 pm, CHAT Lounge

Ann Banfield is Bixby Professor in the English Department at Berkeley where she has taught since 1975. She is the author of Unspeakable Sentences: Narration and Representation in the Language of Fiction (1982), the most widely cited work on free indirect discourse; The Phantom Table: Woolf, Fry, Russell and the Epistemology of Modernism (2000); and the forthcoming, Beckett's Tattered Syntax: Samuel Beckett, the Mother Tongue and the Revolution of the Syntax. (more ...)

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