April 24, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "The Sonic Color-Line: Race and The Cultural Politics of Listening in America"
Presented by Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, Assistant Professor (English) In this talk, Stoever-Ackerman argues that there is a sonic dimension to W.E.B. Du Bois's concept of the color-line that has long gone unheard. She amplifies the aurality of Du Bois's thought to better understand the continued potency of race over one hundred years after his prophetic proclamation that 'the problem of the twentieth-century is the problem of the color-line.' Because the color-line has been so often viewed in terms of visible differences—skin color, hair texture and lip contour—and the power differentials resulting from the racialized 'gaze,' race has continued to register in other less-examined sensory dimensions, the sonic in particular. While Stoever-Ackerman does not deny that vision is a powerful influence in the construction of race, she uses Du Bois's work to think through the complex ways in which sound has acted both alone and in concert with visual racial discourses. Rather than reifying vision as totalizing, she points out its epistemological gaps and stake a claim for the importance of sound as a critical modality through which the structures of racist violence are (re)produced, apprehended, and resisted. Influenced by Du Bois, she has termed the aural dimension of race 'the sonic color-line.' The sonic color-line is a socially constructed boundary where racial difference is produced, coded, and policed. It insulates and preserves the logic of white supremacy, while sounding out the perimeters that supremacist thought places on black freedom, identity, mobility, and citizenship. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
April 17, 2013
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: "Disciplines and the University, Today and Tomorrow: Social Humanities, Historical Social Science, and What Kind of Science"
Presented by Richard E. Lee, Professor (Sociology) and Director of Fernand Braudel Center - Academic disciplines and the departments that house them did not drop out of the sky or spring fully-formed from the head of Zeus. They came into being part and parcel with specific historical conditions and just as they came into existence as human products, they can likewise expire. It will be the argument of this presentation that our inherited disciplinary complex has already lost its intellectual grounding and survives primarily as an increasingly counterproductive set of bounded institutional spaces. As one might expect, there are already efforts afoot to investigate alternative, more useful, ways of organizing knowledge, its production, that is research, and its reproduction, that is teaching. Two concrete undertakings, social humanities and historical social science, will be considered, as will the impact of collapsing foundations on the sciences. How we answer the question of the future of the disciplines has implications for universities. There are a limited number of possible patterns of (re)organization. The "winners," and not all will even survive, will be those institutions that seek, with cool-headed reflection, not necessarily to approximate the best the twentieth century had to offer, but rather to find ways to capitalize on their unique historical strengths in reinventing themselves in the context of a radically altered cognitive space. 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)
Last Updated: 5/6/13