Research Seminars & Workshops

Guest Seminars & Workshops

Past Events

Branka Arsić A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Coral Psyches: Melville's Material Minds

Branka Arsić
Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Monday, April 3, 2017 @ 4:00pm Helen C. White 7191

Starting with Melville's early preoccupation with the science of corals - coral insects, formation of coral atolls, geology of coral reefs - Arsić investigates how he extended those ideas, from Mardi to Billy Budd, into a coral ontology that served as the basis for his understanding of the psyche. She claims that a cluster of human and non human beings in Melville's world is summoned to embody coral minds, and proposes that the strangeness of those minds derives both from their being material and from their being ambiental. The major concern of this talk is the ethical consequences of persons imagined as malleable and porous coral life.

Branka Arsić specializes in literatures of the 19th century Americas and their scientific, philosophical and religious contexts. She is the author, most recently, of Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau (2016), which discusses how Thoreau related mourning practices to biological life by articulating a complex theory of decay, and proposing a new understanding of the pathological. She has also written On Leaving: A Reading in Emerson ( 2010), and a book on Melville entitled Passive Constitutions or 7½ Times Bartleby (2007); and co-edited (with Cary Wolfe) a collection of essays on Emerson, entitled The Other Emerson: New Approaches, Divergent Paths (2010). Arsić is currently working on two book projects. The first, Dust Archive: Melville’s Poetics of Matter focuses on images of the elemental, vegetal and animal that traverse his work as a means of investigating how he imagined the capacity of matter to move and transform. In Melville not only different forms of life, but also elements enter into strange assemblages: moss grows on animals, vegetation turns out to be made of stones, metal glitters on the feet of tortoises, dogs host humans, and lizards hiss with divine anger. Dust Archive reads such strange taxonomies against the backdrop of contemporary American science, cosmologies of the Pacific islands and a series of ethnographic narratives of African religions and customs known to Melville, to chart how their divergent accounts of matter gave rise to his stories of metamorphosis and conjuration, with complex political consequences. The second book project, tentatively entitled Being Scattered: the Happiness of Emily Dickinson’s Late Poetry, analyzes Dickinson's late writings - fragments, poems, letters - to examine what deletion, dispersion and incompletion can tell us about the lyric. Concentrating on the question of the Dickinson archive - destroyed, mutilated or heavily edited - the book will propose a theory of the archive in terms of its production of the lyric.

Sponsored by the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities; the Department of English; and the Americanist Lecture Series.

Joshua Clover Social Justice Visiting Scholar

Seminar: Insurrection and Communist Strategy

Joshua Clover
Professor of English, University of California, Davis

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 @ 12:20pm Havens Center for Social Justice Seminar Room, 8108 Social Sciences, 1180 Observatory Drive

Open seminar for students, faculty, and the public convened by the Havens Center for the Study of Social Justice. Contact Lenora Hanson for more information.

Joshua Clover is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. He specializes in 20th/21st century poetry and poetics, Marxism, political economy, world-systems analysis, crisis theory and cultures of finance, with an interest in environment, feminism, and political struggle in literature. A widely published and translated essayist, poet, and cultural theorist, his most recent books are Red Epic and Riot.Strike.Riot: The New Era of Uprisings, a theorization of riot as historical phenomenon which opens onto a revised history of capital accumulation (forthcoming from Verso in 2016).

Stephen Burt Felix Reading Series

A Poetry Reading by Stephen Burt

Stephen Burt
Professor of English, Harvard University

Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 4:00pm 126 Memorial Library, 728 State Street

Stephen Burt is the author of three poetry collections, Belmont, Parallel Play, and Popular Music, and several collections of critical works. His essay collectionClose Calls with Nonsense was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other works include The Art of the Sonnet; Something Understood: Essays and Poetry for Helen Vendler; The Forms of Youth: Adolescence and 20th Century Poetry; Parallel Play: Poems; Randall Jarrell on W. H. Auden; and Randall Jarrell and His Age. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The Believer, and the Boston Review.

Presented by FELIX: A Series of New Writing and sponsored by the Department of English.

Brent Hayes Edwards A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

More Ways to Do the Charleston: Music, Diaspora, and the Mood of Distance

Brent Hayes Edwards
Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Friday, April 8, 2016 @ 4:00pm 6191 Helen C. White

This talk focuses on the career and music of Ada "Bricktop" Smith, a singer and nightclub owner who was one of the most prominent African American expatriates in interwar Paris. Specifically it's concerned with what it means to think about Bricktop's legacy both as a nightclub hostess (who might be said to have shaped a certain type of diasporic space) and as a singer who (unlike, say, Josephine Baker) never released a commercial album.

Brent Hayes Edwards is author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Harvard UP, 2003), which was awarded the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, the Gilbert Chinard prize of the Society for French Historical Studies, and runner-up for the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association. With Robert G. O'Meally and Farah Jasmine Griffin, he co-edited the collection Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia UP, 2004). He has published essays and articles on topics including African American literature, Francophone literature, theories of the African diaspora, black radical intellectuals, cultural politics in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, surrealism, 20th-century poetics, and jazz. His translations include essays, poems, and fiction by authors including Edouard Glissant, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Sony Labou Tansi, and Monchoachi. He is co-editor of the journal Social Text, and serves on the editorial boards of Transition and Callaloo. He is currently working on two book projects: a study of the interplay between jazz and literature in African American culture; and a cultural history of the jazz scene in New York in the 1970s.

Sponsored by the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Department of English.

Christophe Bonneuil, Frédéric Neyrat, and Paul Robbins

The Future of the Earth

Christophe Bonneuil, Frédéric Neyrat, and Paul Robbins

Thursday, March 3, 2016 @ 12:30pm University Club, Room 313

A roundtable discussion between Christophe Bonneuil, Frédéric Neyrat, and Paul Robbins.

Christophe Bonneuil is a senior researcher in history of science, science studies, and environmental history at the Centre Alexandre Koyré  (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and teaches at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Frédéric Neyrat is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a French philosopher with expertise in environmental humanities, contemporary theory, and image studies.

Paul Robbins is the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he guides the institute in serving as a world leader in addressing rapid global environmental change. He has taught topics ranging from environmental studies and natural resource policy to social theory.

Recommended readings:
Christophe Bonneuil, "The Geological Turn: Narratives of the Anthropocene" in The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking Modernity in a New Epoch, London: Routledge, 2015.

Frédéric Neyrat and Elizabeth R. Johson, "The Political Unconscious of the Anthropocene: An Interview with Frédéric Neyrat" in Society & Space, 2014.

Paul Robbins and Sarah A. Moore, "Ecological Anxiety Disorder: Diagnosing the Politics of the Anthropocene" in cultural geographies 20(1) 3-19, 2012.

Please contact Emily Clark for copies of the readings.

Eric Zinner A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Publishing in the Humanities: Projects, Proposals, Pragmatics

Eric Zinner
Associate Director and Editor-in-Chief, New York University Press

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
3:00pm - 5:00pm
212 University Club

Join us for a discussion of the state of academic publishing in the humanities and the process of working with a university press--from project to proposal to publication. The workshop will include brief presentations from Eric Zinner (NYU Press) and UW-Madison faculty members Ron Radano and Pernille Ipsen. Moderated by Susan Stanford Friedman.

Refreshments available by 2:45pm.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to rsvp@humanities.wisc.edu.

Sponsored by the UW Institute for Research in the Humanities and Center for the Humanities. With support from theScholarly Publishing Series, sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, the Graduate School, UW-Madison Libraries, and the Office of the Provost.

Eric Zinner is Associate Director and Editor-in-Chief of New York University Press. He directs and manages the editorial program, while also acquiring books in American studies, literary and cultural studies, and media and communication, among other areas. Press-wide, his responsibilities include engaging the long-term strategic, financial and operational issues inherent to scholarly publishing in a digital age.

Ron Radano is Professor of Music and African Languages and Literature at UW-Madison. He is co-editor of two book series, Refiguring American Music (Duke) and Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology, and author of two award-winning books, New Musical Figurations: Anthony Braxton’s Cultural Critique (Chicago, 1993; Italian translation, forthcoming) and Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music (Chicago, 2003), and coeditor of Music and the Racial Imagination (Chicago 2000) and Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique (Duke, in print).

Pernille Ipsen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and Department of History at UW-Madison. Her areas of expertise are in women’s history; gender, the slave trade, and colonialism; Atlantic world history; and comparative European expansion/colonial history, 1500-1900. Her book, Daughters of the Trade: Atlantic Slavers and Interracial Marriage on the Gold Coastcame out in January 2015 with University of Pennsylvania Press.

Moderated by Susan Stanford Friedman, Director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities and Hilldale Professor of English at UW-Madison. Her most recent book is Planetary Modernisms: Provocations on Modernity Across Time from Columbia University Press in August 2015.

Cyrus Schayegh A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Globalization Meets Decolonization: The Urban Linkage, 1940s-70s

Cyrus Schayegh
Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

Friday, February 19, 2016 @ 2:00pm 313 University Club

This talk looks at a handful of city hubs that in the 1940s-70s played a distinct function in the world: they linked global trade, finance, communication, transport, and knowledge circuits with multiple recently decolonized countries in one region. For instance, for the Arab East and Arabian Peninsula, Beirut played this role, from the late 1940s; for West Africa and Southeast Asia, Dakar and Singapore did, from the late 1950s. This was because already by the later 19th century, these cities had been (then imperial) hubs, and because they remained in demand even when ‘their’ region’s countries became independent. Fledgling countries still needed their global links. Vice versa, actors from outside their region still needed those city hubs for easy access to recently decolonized countries. This situation also turned those city hubs into socio-culturally hybrid places where actors from near and far met and mixed.

Cyrus Schayegh is Associate Professor at the department for Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University. He has published in the American Historical Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Geschichte und Gesellschaft, among other journals; authored Who Is Knowledgeable, Is Strong: Science, Class, and the Formation of Modern Iranian Society, 1900-1950 (California University Press, 2009) and The Making of the Modern World: A Middle Eastern History (under contract with Harvard University Press); and co-edited A Global Middle East: Mobility, Materiality and Culture in the Modern Age, 1880-1940 (Tauris, 2014) and The Routledge History Handbook of the Middle East Mandates (Routledge, 2015). 

Sponsored by the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Department of History.

Iain McCalman

Middle Modernity Group Discussion with Iain McCalman

Iain McCalman
Research Professor in History at the University of Sydney; Co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 @ 12:00pm University Club 313

The Middle Modernity Group of the English Department, in collaboration with the Center for the Humanities, will host a brownbag with Professor Iain McCalman on Tuesday, February 16, 12:00-1:30pm at the University Club in room 313. This brownbag follows McCalman's Humanities Without Borders lecture, "Back to the Future: Teddy Roosevelt's Anthropocene Safari," which takes place Monday night. More information regarding the Humanities Without Borders lecture can be found here.

Iain McCalman is Professor of History at the University of Sydney, as well as the Co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. While his recent work has focused on the environmental humanities, he has several publications that engage with Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British history. He is the author of Radical Underworld: Prophets, Revolutionaries, and Pornographers in London, 1795-1840 (Cambridge UP, 1988), which is an important account of British radicalism and popularism, and Darwin's Armada: Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution (Norton, 2009). This brownbag will be a fantastic opportunity to engage with an international scholar in informal conversation.

In preparation for our brownbag with Professor McCalman, MidMod will hold a reading group this Thursday, February 11, 5:30pm at City Bar. Contact coordinators Aaron Vieth & Jared Seymour for a copy of the reading.

Victoria Langland A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

"Little Mothers" and "Robust Babies": Motherhood, Breastfeeding, and Childrearing Literature in 20th Century Brazil

Victoria Langland
Associate Professor of History and Portuguese, University of Michigan

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 4:00pm 313 University Club Building

Langland's talk examines guidance on breastfeeding directed at women through childrearing books and popular magazines in early to mid-20th century Brazil. As other scholars have demonstrated, state officials and medical professionals in this period directed extensive maternal and infant health programs at poor and working-class women, including efforts to encourage breastfeeding. Through very different means, middle- and upper-class women also received strong messages about the importance of breastfeeding as a maternal duty. By examining both sets of discourses together we can begin to understand popular understandings and practices about maternity, women's bodies, and infant nutrition, and their transformations over time. This talk is part of a larger study that looks at changing ideas about breastfeeding and the meanings of national public health more broadly that help explain Brazil's rise as a world leader in human breast milk banking.

Victoria Langland holds a joint position in History and Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. She specializes in twentieth-century Latin American history, especially the Southern Cone, and writes about dictatorships, gender, the uses of memory, student and other social movements, and, more generally, the intersections of culture and power. She is the author of Speaking of Flowers: Student Movements and the Making and Remembering of 1968 in Military Brazil (Duke University Press, 2013) and the co-editor of Monumentos, Memoriales y Marcas Territoriales (Siglo XXI, 2003).

This talk is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Brazil Initiative, the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program, and the International Division.

Elisabeth Wood A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Rape as a Practice of War: Toward a Typology of Political Violence

Elisabeth Wood
Professor of Political Science & International and Area Studies, Yale University

Thursday, January 28, 2016 @ 12:00pm 422 North Hall

Discussant: Rachel Schwartz. Reading and more information about the Comparative Politics Colloquium.

This talk is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and LACIS.

Bernard Stiegler and Frédéric Neyrat Humanities Without Boundaries Seminar

Dreams, Fictions, and Realities

Bernard Stiegler and Frédéric Neyrat

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 @ 12:00pm University Club, Room 313

A conversation between French philosophers Bernard Stiegler and Frédéric Neyrat.

One of the world’s leading media philosophers, Bernard Stiegler is Director of the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, a Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College in London, and a professor at the University of Technology of Compiègne where he teaches philosophy. He has published widely on philosophy, technology, digitization, capitalism, and consumer culture.

Frédéric Neyrat is a French philosopher who works on the philosophy of politics, the theory of images, and psychoanalysis. He is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Presented in Partnership with the Havens Center for the Study of Social Justice.

Thierry Cruvellier and Alfredo Jaar Humanities without Boundaries Seminar

Critical Witnesses: Thierry Cruvellier and Alfredo Jaar in Conversation

Thierry Cruvellier and Alfredo Jaar

Friday, May 1, 2015 @ 10:00am Chazen Museum Auditorium

Chilean-born artist Alfredo Jaar grapples with the power and limits of art to bear witness to war, famine, genocide, poverty, and political corruption. French journalist and author Thierry Cruvellier has observed 16 years of international war crimes prosecutions more closely than any other writer, and covered war crimes trials for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Bosnia & Cambodia. Together for the first time, they will address the task of 'presenting the unpresentable' to which each has devoted his life's work.

Winnifred Sullivan A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Spiritual Governance: The Chaplain as Priest of the Secular

Winnifred Sullivan
Professor and Chair of Religious Studies; Affiliated Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law Indiana University Bloomington

Thursday, April 9, 2015 @ 5:30pm University Club, Room 313 (432 E. Campus Mall)

This talk explores how chaplaincy works in the United States--and in particular how it sits uneasily at the intersection of law and religion, spiritual care, and government regulation. Responsible for ministering to the wandering souls of the globalized economy, the chaplain works with a clientele often unmarked by a specific religious identity, and does so on behalf of a secular institution, like a hospital. The sometimes heroic but often deeply ambiguous work reveals contours of contemporary spiritual life, the politics of religious freedom, and the never-ending negotiation of religion's place in American institutional life.

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and affiliate professor of law at Indiana University Bloomington. Sullivan is the author of The Impossibility of Religious Freedom (2005), and A Ministry of Presence: Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care and the Law (2014); and editor, with Robert A. Yelle and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, of After Secular Law (2011); with Lori Beaman, of Varieties of Religious Establishment; and, with Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Saba Mahmood, and Peter Danchin, of Politics of Religious Freedom (2015).

This talk is sponsored by the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Religious Studies Program and the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions.

Alain Badiou and Frédéric Neyrat Humanities Without Boundaries Seminar

Mise-en-Scène: A Conversation with Alain Badiou and Frédéric Neyrat

Alain Badiou and Frédéric Neyrat

Thursday, December 11, 2014 @ 4:00pm 140 Science Hall

Should philosophy defend love? Can we draw a line separating love from politics? How can politics deal with hatred? Join philosophers Alain Badiou and Frédéric Neyrat for a conversation about the affects at stake in art, politics, and philosophy.

Alain Badiou bridges mathematics and psychoanalysis, poetry and politics to focus on how truth is produced, and the conditions through which it emerges. He is René Descartes Chair of Philosophy at the European Graduate School.

Frédéric Neyrat is a French philosopher who works on the philosophy of politics, the theory of images, and psychoanalysis. He is currently a visiting professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alain Badiou (Open Seminar) Humanities Without Boundaries Seminar

Havens Center Open Seminar with Alain Badiou

Alain Badiou (Open Seminar)
René Descartes Chair of Philosophy, European Graduate School

Thursday, December 11, 2014 @ 12:20pm 8180 Social Sciences Building

The Havens Center for the Study of Social Justice  will host an open seminar with Alain Badiou on his article, The Communist Hypothesis from The New Left Review.

Yahara Music Library Humanities Hackathon

Lending, Owning, and Describing Digital Media

Yahara Music Library
Presenters Preston Austin, co-founder of Murfie, Inc., Steve Faulkner, lead developer, Murfie, Inc., and Kelly Hiser, Madison Public Library

Thursday, May 1, 2014 @ 3:00pm Researchers' Link, Discovery Building, 330 North Orchard Street

The Yahara Music Library (YML) is a soon-to-be-released collection of local music that public library patrons in South Central Wisconsin can download and stream for free. The Madison Public Library and tech startup, Murfie, are working together to create YML by licensing albums from local musicians and building a new content delivery platform. For the library, YML represents an investment in Madison’s creative community and a move away from the ubiquitous digital rights management of public library digital lending. YML’s emergence at a time when public libraries increasingly license (rather than purchase) content raises questions about the value, ownership, and objecthood of digital media. At this hackathon, we’ll explore how YML’s potential to capture a rich data set might shed light on some of those questions by illuminating connections between musical cultures, economies, and technologies. Participants will be introduced to the objectives and the mechanics of the project, and work together to imagine and sketch out ways to use, extend, and connect to this collection and its underlying platform.

Register here to reserve your spot.

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events.

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques for humanistic inquiry, uncovering unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature, and historical works. Monthly "hacks" bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdisciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for software and techniques.

Photo credit: Gayle Laird/Exploratorium via Flickr

Directions, parking, and accessibility information for the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

Hoyt Long Humanities Hackathon

Global Literary Networks: Exploring Modernist Style and Influence at the Macro-Scale

Hoyt Long
Assistant professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Thursday, April 10, 2014 @ 3:00pm Researchers' Link, Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St.

Professor Long will discuss recent work from his ongoing collaborative project "Global Literary Networks." With a specific focus on global literary modernism and poetry--and leveraging macroscale techniques such as text mining, machine learning, and network analysis--the project seeks a more comprehensive understanding of the social dimensions of literary production. This presentation focuses on questions related to style and influence. Namely, how do computational techniques help us explore the total literary field as a system of competing styles? And how do they help us understand the mechanisms by which new styles and forms are diffused through this field? In addition to sharing results from recent case studies on stylistic exclusion in US poetry and the global diffusion of the haiku form, Professor Long will speak generally about the tools and techniques employed in his research and about the rewards of collaborative work in the humanities.

Register here to reserve your spot.

Download these resources for the hands-on portion of the hack.

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events.

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques for humanistic inquiry, uncovering unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature, and historical works. Monthly "hacks" bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdisciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for software and techniques.

Hoyt Long is a scholar of modern Japanese literature interested in sociology of culture, media history, and the digital humanities. He is assistant professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. His first book, On Uneven Ground: Miyazawa Kenji and the Making of Place in Modern Japan (2011), examines the ways in which artistic and literary activity intersected with ideas about place and locality in Japan’s prewar period. He is currently working on a project that considers postal technologies of late-19th- and early-20th-century Japan as forms of “new media.” He is focusing on the ways these technologies impacted practices of writing—literary or otherwise—and how they may or may not have altered established patterns and ideas of social association and communication.

 

WID’s Games+Learning+Society Group Humanities Hackathon

Trails Forward: Designing Games for Learning & Learning from Games

WID’s Games+Learning+Society Group

Thursday, March 13, 2014 @ 3:00pm Researchers' Link, Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St.

Trails Forward is a multiplayer real-time strategy game for the iPad aimed at teaching kids aged 9-12 about human impact on the environment and about complex systems. Players will control one of three careers - Lumber, Steel, or Farming - and attempt to build up their business in multiple different types of environments. Through harvesting natural resources, constructing buildings, and producing products, they will not only affect the environment but also each other. In doing so, they will learn that even the simplest of actions can have a huge impact.

Participants in the Hackathon will have the opportunity to preview and play the game.

Register to reserve your spot.

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events.

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques for humanistic inquiry, uncovering unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature, and historical works. Monthly "hacks" bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdisciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for software and techniques.

WID's Games+Learning+Society is a group of researchers, game developers, and government/industry leaders who investigate how games operate, transform learning, and affect societyThe team has developed several award-winning titles of its own, launched two educational game companies, and in collaboration with UW’s DoIT office, produced the Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling (ARIS) engine, a resource used by thousands of educators around the world.

 

On Music, Philosophy, and Media Humanities Without Boundaries Seminar

A Roundtable with Philosopher and Musicologist Peter Szendy and UW Faculty

On Music, Philosophy, and Media

Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 10:30am Room 313 University Club Building (432 E. Campus Mall)

How do even the most groan-inducing "earworms" shape our everyday experience? Join philosopher and musicologist Peter Szendy and a panel of UW-Madison faculty for an informal roundtable on the theory, production, dissemination, and global dominance of the hit song.

Featuring Lee Blasius, UW professor of music theory, currently at work on a study of music and the notions of "truth" and "authenticity"; Jeremy Morris, UW faculty in the department of Communication Arts, who studies technologies of music production and consumption, including the digitization of music and its cultural significance; and Ron Radano, UW music faculty and award-winning ethnomusicologist, who writes on music, the ideological formation of race, cultural theory, and history.

Directions, parking, and accessibility information for The University Club.

Paul Hansen Humanities Hackathon

Campus Debate: Building a Social Media Platform for Student Debates

Paul Hansen

Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:00pm Researchers' Link, Discovery Building, 330 North Orchard Street

When was the last time you saw a college student engaged in a thoughtful, critical dialogue on television? Campus Debate, a start-up company founded by a UW-Madison graduate student, is building a participatory, web-based platform to host a series of competitive student debates between different universities. Imagine watching streaming video of two students from UW-Madison sitting across a table from two NYU students, debating an issue of social importance, like gun control or marriage equality. Imagine that you could participate in the debate as it unfolds, using a smartphone or tablet, while also seeing the results of other people participating. As much of Campus Debate as possible will be student-led, from the choice of debate topics and selection of participants to the challenge of launching a start-up company. That open, inclusive approach to launching a tech start-up begins with the Humanities Hackathon.

Register to reserve your spot.

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events.

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques from the sciences with humanities scholars to uncover unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature, and historical works. Monthly "hacks" bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdiciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for softward and techniques.

Paul Hansen is a PhD candidate (ABD) in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His doctoral research is centered on contemporary American literature and film, with a specific focus on how cultural production is changing in relation to recent technological and sociocultural developments. He started Campus Debate in 2013 in order to take ideas developed in the classroom into a bigger, more public space.

 

Eddie Lee and Jim Brown Humanities Hackathon

Sound Arguments with Sonic Eloquence

Eddie Lee and Jim Brown

Thursday, December 5, 2013 @ 3:00pm 3rd Floor Teaching Lab, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street

What are the sonic dimensions of persuasion, and how can we use computational machines to understand how sound operates rhetorically? In a project called "Sonic Eloquence," we are examining the human voice in an attempt to understand how sound is deployed by orators and how musicality is inherent to the spoken word. We are using computation to both analyze and generate sound as we track how sonic eloquence operates within and alongside human attempts to persuade.
 
Register to reserve your spot.

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events.

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques from the sciences with humanities scholars to uncover unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature, and historical works.

Monthly "hacks" bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdiciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for softward and techniques.

 
James J. Brown, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he also teaches in the Digital Studies program. His teaching and research focus on rhetoric, writing, new media, and software studies. You can find more information about his research and teaching at his homepage or on his blog.
 
 
Eddie Lee is a researcher at the intersection of physics and society--using lessons from physical models, ideas, intuitions to look for general principles in human behavior. Currently, he is a Research Associate at the Center for Complexity and Collective Computation in the Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can find out more about him at his website.
Publishing in the Humanities: Projects, Proposals, Pragmatics

Panel Discussion

Publishing in the Humanities: Projects, Proposals, Pragmatics

Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:00pm Banquet Room, University Club

Working on your first book? Second book? Submitting essays to referred journals? Have questions about the publishing process and/or the state of academic publishing?

Join editors from Fordham University Press and the University of Wisconsin Press along with members of UW-Madison faculty to discuss publishing issues. The workshop will begin with brief presentations by Helen Tartar (Editorial Director, Fordham UP), Gwen Walker (Editorial Director, UW Press), Steve Stern (Alberto Flores Galindo and Hilldale Professor of History, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff; co-editor of the book series "Critical Human Rights" through UW Press) and Preeti Chopra (Associate Professor, Art History and Director of the Center for Visual Cultures, UW-Madison). Moderated by Susan Stanford Friedman (Director, Institute for Research in the Humanities; founding co-editor of Contemporary Women's Writing, an Oxford UP journal). 

Issues for Discussion:
Book Publication: From dissertation to book; press selection and review process; book prospectus; contracts; exclusive versus multiple submissions; timing of submission; review process; manuscript and press board readers; implications for job market and promotion; prepublication of chapters as articles; impact of digital revolution on publication.
Journal and Book Chapter Publication: Journal versus book chapter decisions; hard-copy versus on-line journals; journal selection; review process; revise and resubmit responses; relationship to job/promotion; relation to book projects.

Sponsored by the Institute for Research in the Humanities and the Center for the Humanities; co-sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Press.

David Mimno Humanities Hackathon

Text Mining with the MALLET Toolkit

David Mimno

Thursday, November 7, 2013 @ 3:00pm 3rd Floor Teaching Lab, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques from the sciences with humanities scholars to uncover unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature, and historical works.

Monthly "hacks" bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdiciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for softward and techniques.

Register to reserve your spot

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

Please bring a laptop with R (Windows, Mac) or RStudio and the "mallet" R package already installed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please send the WID events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

Scholarly Methodologies and Large-Scale Topic Analysis

In the last ten years we have seen the creation of massive digital text collections, from Twitter feeds to million-book libraries. At the same time, researchers have developed text mining methods that go beyond simple word frequency analysis to uncover thematic patterns. This workshop will include both an explanation of how to use text as data, as well as a practical hands-on session using the Mallet text mining toolkit. But models are not enough. When we combine big data with powerful algorithms, we can enhance qualitative perspectives with quantitative measurements. But these methods are only useful if we distinguish consistent patterns from random variations. In this talk I will describe my work building reliable topic-mining methodologies for humanists, with examples from a corpus of 4000 19th century novels.

David Mimno is an assistant professor in the Information Science department at Cornell University. His research is on developing machine learning models and algorithms, with a particular focus on applications in Humanities and Social Science. He received his BA in Classics and Computer Science from Swarthmore College and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He was a CRA Computing Innovation fellow at Princeton University. Before graduate school, he served as Head Programmer at the Perseus Project, a digital library for cultural heritage materials, at Tufts University. Mimno is currently chief architect for the MALLET machine learning toolkit.

David Mimno's visit is sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in partnership with the Humanities Research Bridge of the UW-Madison Libraries. 

Public History/Public Criticism Humanities Without Boundaries Seminar

A Conversation with Jill Lepore and Robert Storr

Public History/Public Criticism

Friday, October 25, 2013 @ 10:00am 4th Floor Multipurpose Room, UW Hillel Foundation Building

Join New Yorker essayist Jill Lepore and curator and critic Robert Storr for an informal conversation about writing beyond academia.
 
Free and open to the public.  Directions, parking, and accessibility information for the UW Hillel Foundation building here.
  
 
Jill Lepore (David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History, Harvard University) is an award-winning scholar of early American History, staff writer at The New Yorker, and the author of numerous books and essays.
 
Robert Storr is an artist, critic, and curator who has shaped our perceptions of contemporary art for more than two decades. He has written definitive essays on Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close, Louise Bourgeois, and many others. From 1990-2002 he was curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, NY and in 2007 was the first American to direct the Venice Biennale.
Carrie Roy and David Krakauer Humanities Hackathon

Raiding and Trading Approaches to Data

Carrie Roy and David Krakauer

Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 3:00pm 3rd Floor Teaching Lab, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street

A look at collaborations between the Humanities Research Bridge and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Carrie Roy will present on several projects dealing with common basic challenges in working with complex data from the humanities to the sciences. Current tools and prototypes for data analysis and visualization will be featured. David Krakauer will also introduce open source software available for using computational techniques to approach humanities data.

Carrie Roy studied Visual and Environmental Studies at the undergraduate level at Harvard and received advanced degrees in the humanities at UW Madison. She now works as a post doctoral researcher and coordinator for a digital humanities initiative at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the Humanities Research Bridge. The focus of her dissertation work explored the consistent manifestation of one concept, binding (in the sense of fixing, fastening, etc.), across Norse art, material culture/technology, mythology, narrative and social/legal terminology. Her recent art work explores transformations of data into objects, while her digital humanities research explores the opposite––turning complex works of human expression into numbers to enable new forms of analysis and comparison.

Registration requested, but not required. Register here.

This event is part of the Humanites Hackathon Series. Investigating computational techniques from the sciences with humanities scholars, the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the Center for the Humanities seek to uncover unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature and historical works. The Humanities Hackathon bridges the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enriches discussions about transdisciplinary work.

Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for software and techniques.

Learn more here.