Past Workshops

Lived Inquiry: Anthropologies of the Intellect

Coordinators: Hunter Martin (History), Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen (History), Richard Staley (History of Science), with Florence Hsia (History of Science) and Claire Wendland (Anthropology)
Contact: hkmartin@wisc.edu

We wish to renew the engagement between history, literature, anthropology and other disciplines by developing a research collective in which we think about thinking. Our pursuit is organized around three independent but interrelated themes that are widely accessible to diverse groups around campus, but that collectively will help orient the new research of a core group of scholars who engage all three themes related to "lived inquiry" in historical, literary/artistic, and anthropological perspective:

Intellectual History (Fall 2010)
The mind in motion, to be led by an artist’s creative scholarship  (Spring 2011)
Knowledge and performance, to be directed by anthropological inquiry (Fall 2011)
Lines and lives, a day long symposium (Spring 2012)

Each will be pursued separately over an entire semester, through a program of readings and a public lecture open to a broad audience. Explored over consecutive semesters, these themes will also build common ground for discussion and workshop participation amongst those members of the campus community who can see ways of developing some aspect of their own research in creative conversation with the overarching topic. (Do you have an idea you would like to pursue, a paper, dissertation chapter, or project that engages these themes?) A workshop in Spring 2012 will draw together the work carried out, and may provide the basis for a collected volume.

 

EVENTS


Richard Wightman Fox

Professor of History, University of Southern California

Memory-Making on the Ground: The New Birth of Lincoln as Civic Saint in April 1865

April 12, 2012 @ 4:00 pm
Vandeberg Auditorium, 121 Pyle Center

Professor Richard Wightman Fox (USC) is coming to UW-Madison as the First Annual Curti Visiting Scholar in US Intellectual and Cultural History. Professor Fox's talk explores the question of how cultural memory in general, and civic memory in particular, has been created in the American past.  Studying memory historically, he suggests, means looking beyond the content of what is remembered and uncovering the deeper, harder-to-identify process of remembering. Memory is built up through the daily accretion of things remembered, but it is strongly shaped by traditional and emerging modes of belief, secular and religious alike.

The case of the Abraham Lincoln in April 1865 offers an unusual chance to probe the creation of national memory, since in that month millions of northerners and southern blacks consciously participated in elevating him to the status of national icon. Much of this work was done in the 10 days before his assassination, as thousands of writers, speakers, readers, and listeners assessed the meaning of his remarkable April 4 march through Richmond, Virginia, where his small party--including his 12 year-old son Tad--was swept through the downtown streets by a vast crowd of newly liberated slaves.

After the assassination the memory-making took a new turn, launching Lincoln on a journey through American and foreign minds and hearts that continues into the present and future. Unlike Ford's Theater, which has persisted as a vital site of Lincoln memory, the march through Richmond had been largely forgotten by the early 20th century, as it had impeded reconciliation between northern and southern whites.  But for Lincoln's generation, and their children's, Lincoln's walk on April 4, 1865 conveyed the essence of his character and his greatness.  As a site of memory, it represented the man himself, and the love his disciples felt for him.

Richard Wightman Fox taught at Yale University, Reed College, and Boston University, before joining the department of history at the University of Southern California in 2000. His scholarship has centered on the crossroads of American social, cultural, and intellectual history in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special focus on how religion and secularity in the United States have evolved in relation to one another. He is the author of many works, including Trials of Intimacy: Love and Loss in the Beecher-Tilton Scandal (Chicago, 1999), which was awarded a History prize by the American Association of Publishers; Jesus in America:  Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession (Harper, 2004); and Lincoln's Body (Norton, forthcoming). He has also co-edited and contributed to many books. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Fox is a past editor of the Intellectual History Newsletter, and has contributed reviews and essays to many popular publications, including The New York Times and Slate.

These events are co-sponsored by: Department of History, Center for Humanities, Harvey Goldberg Center, Comparative United States Study Cluster, "Lived Inquiry" Mellon Workshop/Center for Humanities, and the Merle Curti Intellectual and Cultural History Chair funds.

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Richard Wightman Fox, Florencia Mallon and Susan Johnson

Brownbag for interested graduate students and faculty: "Historians as Writers"

April 13, 2012 @ 12:00 pm
Curti Lounge, Mosse Humanities Building (5th floor)

This brown-bag workshop is co-sponsored by: Department of History, Center for Humanities, Harvey Goldberg Center, Comparative United States Study Cluster, "Lived Inquiry" Mellon Workshop/Center for Humanities, and the Merle Curti Intellectual and Cultural History Chair funds.

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Regular meeting of the Lived Inquiry Mellon Workshop

April 12, 2012 @ 3:00 pm
313 University Club

For more information, and access to readings, please email Hunter Martin at HKMARTIN@WISC.EDU.

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Lines and Lives: A Lived Inquiry Colloquium

March 16, 2012 @ 8:45 am
212 University Club

8:45-9:00: Bagels and Coffee

9:00-10:30: Catching Concepts
Chair: Richard Staley (History of Science)
Noah Yasskin (History), “Weber and the Problem of the Scientific Life”
Hunter Martin (History), “Incarnating an Idea: A Case Study on Intellectual Personae”
Alexander Dressler (Classics), “Example and Exception in Early Imperial Rome”

10:30-10:45: Break

10:45-12:15: Thinking, Philosophizing, Inquiring
Chair: Hunter Martin
Brad Baranowski (History), “Equipment for Living: Kenneth Burke and Richard McKeon’s Philosophical Pluralism as Toolmaking”
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen (History), “Moral Inquiry? Or, The Perils and Promises of Researching a Mode of Thought so Ill-Defined and Omnipresent”
Jonathan Larson (Anthropology/Iowa), “Václav Havel and the Lives of ‘Critical Thinking’ in Fin-de-Millennium Modernity”

12:15-1:15: Lunch

1:15-2:45: Dilemmas of the Imagination
Chair: Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen
Terrance Mintner (History), “Early Modern Philosophers on Travel and the Good Life”
Frances Laskey (English), “Fact and Fancy: Dickens and the Necessity of Imagination”
Richard Staley, “Conversions, Dreams, Defining Aims? Following Boas and Malinowski, Physics and Anthropology, Through Laboratory and Field”

3:00-4:30: Lines, Lives, and Making Do: A Conversation with Tim Ingold

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Tim Ingold

Professor of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen

Catching Dreams and Making Do: On the Imagination of Real Life

March 15, 2012 @ 3:00 pm
Memorial Library, Special Collections (984)

Tim Ingold, Chair of Social Anthropology at Aberdeen, is a noted anthropologist whose recent work has investigated learning as understanding in practice; walking, movement and placemaking; and the anthropological archaeology of inscription. He is author, most recently, of Perception of the Environment (2000), Lines: A Brief History (2007), Creativity and Cultural Improvisation (2007) edited with Elizabeth Hallam, and Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description (2011). He is currently examining the imagination.

 

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Regular meeting of the Lived Inquiry Mellon Workshop

February 23, 2012 @ 3:00 pm
313 University Club

Most of the session will go to discussing two pieces by Tim Ingold: "Ways of mind-walking" and "Walking with Dragons," both of which are available to Lived Inquiry participants on the "Content" page of our Learn@UW site.  Contact Hunter Martin at HKMARTIN@WISC.EDU for more information.

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Regular meeting of the Lived Inquiry Mellon Workshop

February 2, 2012 @ 3:00 pm
313 University Club

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J. Michelle Molina

Department of Religious Studies, Northwestern University

Academic Spiritual Exercises: Philosophy in Action

November 10, 2011 @ 3:00 pm
7191 HC White

What kind of endeavor is it to think about non-thinking? How do historians comb archives for evidence of embodied action? Pierre Hadot argued that philosophy, rather than a systematic body of knowledge, was an experiment, a spiritual exercise, and a way of life in which one took up the quest for wisdom, which was, after all, an impossible task. Perhaps the search for bodies in archives is a similarly impossible spiritual exercise.

J. Michelle Molina is the John W. Croghan Assistant Professor in Catholic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Northwestern University. Her research interests include the intersection of devotional practices and anatomical concepts, female sanctity and women's spiritual practices, and the impact that the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises - a Jesuit program of radical self-reflexivity - had on the formation of selves in early modern Europe and colonial Mexico.

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Regular Meeting of the Lived Inquiry Mellon Workshop

October 27, 2011 @ 3:00 pm
313 University Club


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Regular Meeting of the Lived Inquiry Mellon Workshop

October 6, 2011 @ 3:00 pm
313 University Club

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Katherine E. Bash

Biologist, Principal Investigator of the Itinerant Laboratory for Perceptual Inquiry

Lived Spatial Inquiry and the Employment of a Laboratory Habit of Mind

April 25, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
984 Memorial Library

Katherine E. Bash, trained as a biologist, makes her life as an artist using inquiry as a formal philosophic and creatively analytic technique. The focus of her inquiry is the study of ephemeral event phenomena, both spontaneous and contrived. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College London and is the Principal Investigator of the Itinerant Laboratory for Perceptual Inquiry.

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Jim Miller

The New School of Social Research

Workshop Discussion with Jim Miller

October 28, 2010 @ 8:30 am
University Club Building, Room 313

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Jim Miller

The New School of Social Research

Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche

October 27, 2010 @ 4:00 pm
984 Memorial Library

It is one of the most famous lines in the history of Western Civilization: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  So said Socrates, according to Plato.  But is the famous assertion really true? Drawing on his forthcoming book, Examined Lives (Farrar Straus and Giroux), Miller will focus on some historic examples of the rituals and fruits of self-examination as well as on the issue of “integrity” as it pertains to philosophy as a way of life.

James Miller is Chair of Liberal Studies and Professor of Politics at the New School for Social Research. His extensive scholarly books include: Flowers in the Dustbin: the Rise of Rock & Roll, 1947-1977 (1999); The Passion of Michel Foucault (1993); “Democracy is in the Streets”: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago (1987); Rousseau: Dreamer of Democracy (1984); and History and Human Existence – From Marx to Merleau-Ponty (1979). His writings on philosophy and history have appeared in The London Review of BooksThe New York Times Book Review, and Lingua Franca, and he has written for The New RepublicThe New York Times and Newsweek, where he was a book reviewer and pop music critic between 1981 and 1990. Before serving as editor of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences from 2000-2008, he was also the original editor of The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll (1976).

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Informational meeting

September 29, 2010 @ 11:00 am
313 University Club

This A.W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshop in the Humanities invites your participation in a series of workshops, lectures, and a research collective. We wish to renew the engagement between history, literature, anthropology and other disciplines by developing a research collective in which we think about thinking. Our pursuit is organized around three independent but interrelated themes that are widely accessible to diverse groups around campus, but that collectively will help orient the new research of a core group of scholars who engage all three themes related to "lived inquiry" in historical, literary/artistic, and anthropological perspective:

Intellectual History (Fall 2010)

The mind in motion, to be led by an artist’s creative scholarship  (Spring 2011)

Knowledge and performance, to be directed by anthropological inquiry (Fall 2011)

Each will be pursued separately over an entire semester, through a program of readings and a public lecture open to a broad audience. Explored over consecutive semesters, these themes will also build common ground for discussion and workshop participation amongst those members of the campus community who can see ways of developing some aspect of their own research in creative conversation with the overarching topic. (Do you have an idea you would like to pursue, a paper, dissertation chapter, or project that engages these themes?) Aworkshop in Spring 2012 will draw together the work carried out, and may provide the basis for a collected volume.

We now issue an open call for interest and engagement. The ambit, aims and organization of the project will be discussed in an informational meeting at 11 AM on Wednesday September 29. Subsequent meetings will triangulate the interests of those present, the specific themes of each semester, and our intent to foster lived inquiry. Please join us.