Spring 2017

Nietzsche 13/13: Sarah Kofman on Nietzsche

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The French philosopher, Sarah Kofman, developed new readings of Nietzsche and Freud, and left us with one of the most trenchant interpretations of Freud on female sexuality. This will be an opportunity to explore her work and her legacy in Paris at the Columbia Global Centers—Europe. The session will be held in Paris, but broadcast for faculty and students in New York City and elsewhere. Bernard E. Harcourt and Daniele Lorenzini will coordinate the session in Paris. Jesús R. Velasco will coordinate the session in New York. Kofman studied with Deleuze and attended Derrida’s seminars, so we will put Derrida’s writings in the background as well.

Frantz Fanon’s masterpiece, Black Skin, White Masks (1952), reflects a deep engagement with the thought of Nietzsche, especially in relation to the themes of the active and reactive, and in its engagement with the work of Alfred Adler. In this seminar, we will explore Fanon’s work and its influence on critical race theory.

Depth Two

Monday, January 23, 2017

Flim Screening of Depth Two. From February until June 2016 over 700 citizens of Serbia and Kosovo saw the documentary film “Depth Two”. The film was aired in Kragujevac, Čačak, Subotica, Pančevo, Belgrade, Novi Pazar, Niš, as well as in Pristina in Kosovo. Every screening was followed by a discussion with the authors, in which victims and their families, civil society activists, students, journalists, artists and other experts from various fields participated. This short video collage highlights some of the discussion moments and messages of citizens of Serbia and Kosovo to their compatriots and representatives of institutions. The film, a co-production of HLC and Non Aligned Films, premiered at the 66th International film festival in Berlin (Berlinale) in February 2016, and was subsequently shown at festivals in Thessaloniki, Wiesbaden, Belgrade, Novi Sad and London.

In The Way to the Spring, Ben Ehrenreich describes the cruel mechanics of the Israeli occupation and the endless absurdities and tragedies it engenders: the complex and humiliating machinery of the checkpoints, walls, courts, and prisons; the steady, strangling loss of land; the constant ebb and flow of deadly violence. Blending political and historical context with the personal stories of the people he meets, Ehrenreich records the extremes to which Palestinians are pushed, the daily deprivation and oppression that they face, and the strategies they construct to resist and survive—stoicism, resignation, rebellion, humor, and a stubborn, defiant joy.

Early-music legend and forensic musicologist Jordi Savall discusses the myriad musical styles and influences at play throughout the thousand-year lifespan of the Venetian Republic. This talk comes on the eve of the opening concert of the Serenissima series which will feature Savall, his ensemble, and other guest artists.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa by Souleymane Bachir Diagne

Nietzsche 13/13: Foucault & Nietzsche

Thursday, February 9, 2017

In his Rio lectures in 1973, Truth and Juridical Forms, Foucault targeted what he referred to as “the great Western myth”: the myth that, in order to achieve knowledge, one had to neutralize the effects of power, the illusion that it is even possible to sever knowledge from power. “This great myth needs to be dispelled,” Foucault stated. “It is this myth which Nietzsche began to demolish by showing… that, behind all knowledge [savoir], behind all attainment of knowledge [connaissance], what is involved is a struggle for power. Political power is not absent from knowledge, it is woven together with it.”

In late November 1990, Fidel Castro invited three Iraqis for lunch at his place: along with Muhsin J. Al-Musawi (right), were the Iraqi Ambassador, Walid Abboud (left), and the Minister of Endowment, Abduallah Fadil (center). No protocols were in effect. Around the table there was food and conversation. It wasn’t a banquet, but an ordinary meal. Castro balanced this with wit, irony, allusion, and shrewd remarks on the nature of politics and culture. Fearing that Saddam Hussein would be driven and misled into a confrontation with the US, Castro was looking for the best method to communicate his thoughts without offending the other who would like to pose as a hero.

*Please Note Location Change: Now Jerome Greene 602. Presented by the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought 

SEE CONFERENCE WEBSITE HERE This conference brings together music scholars and historians of science to develop new insights into global histories of music theory.  Together, our participants investigate convergences and divergences across time and place.  With talks on subjects including tuning theories in ancient China and court music in fifteenth-century Korea, this event explores how complex concepts in mathematics, cosmology, and artisanal practice arose in response to similar concerns around classifying pitches, modes, and instruments.

Burning Issues in African Philosophy

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
  • Olufemi Taiwo, Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cornell University
  • Jane Gordon, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

Burning Issues in African Philosophy is curated by Drucilla Cornell and Souleymane Bachir Diagne and presented by the Insitute of African Studies at Columbia University. It includes six seminars with Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Michael Monahan, Nkiru Nzegwu, Olufemi Taiwo, Nadia Yala Kisukidi, and Lewis Gordon.Burning Issues in African Philosophy builds off of the sophisticated work that has now become part of an international conversation on how African philosophy makes unique interventions into almost every important question of politics, ethics, aesthetics, ontology and epistemology. Indeed, the very definition of these fundamental philosophical conceptions is both challenged and enriched.

Poetry Reading: Josh Bell & Roger Reeves

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Josh Bell is the author of No Planets Strike and Alamo Theory. A recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, he has taught at Columbia University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and elsewhere, and is currently Briggs Copeland Lecturer on English at Harvard University. Roger Reeves is the author of King Me and the forthcoming collection On Paradise. He has been named a Cave Canem Fellow and is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, as well as a Whiting Award. He teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics  by Josef Sorrett

  • Stephen Chrisomalis, Associate Professor, Wayne State University

In his 1935 book The psycho-biology of language, the linguist George Kingsley Zipf introduced the concept of dynamic philology, which he hoped would integrate the formal and quantifiable aspects of the psychological sciences with the philologist's concern with the social and cultural contexts of speakers, writers, and their linguistic productions. Yet Zipf's modern impact has largely been in large-scale statistical analyses of word frequencies in corpus linguistics and psycholinguistics, while many humanists are rightly skeptical of anything calling itself philology that is divorced from social context. The present paper uses material from the study of numeral systems - a core subject of traditional philology - to propose a different configuration of "dynamic philology".  

Nietzsche 13/13: Irigaray and Nietzsche

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Luce Irigaray published a famous book on Nietzsche, titled Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche, in 1980, which will give us an opportunity to explore in greater depth the relation between Nietzsche’s thought and certain strands of contemporary critical thought.

Filing Empire

Friday, March 3, 2017

REGISTRATION FULL The British Empire’s ability to organize a disparate series of territories into a single entity rests upon the circulation of files.  Empire is a communicative system and as such relies upon a material base of files, memos, dispatches and other documents that organized how that transmission takes place.  These are what the media theorist Bernhard Siegert has referred to as ‘inconspicuous technologies of knowledge’, the material base that has often been the unexamined, taken-for-granted infrastructure that allows Empire to operate. 

This paper addresses humorlessness as ontology, performance, and affect; and as threat and aspiration. It asks how the encounter with humorlessness structures the political scene and style of encounter, and it looks at how unlearning attachment to some styles of it without repairing its force have been modeled aesthetically as performance. Its cases range from the League of Revolutionary Black Workers' documentary, *Finally Got the News* (1970) to some contemporary political art of Steve McQueen, William Pope.L, and Claire Pentecost. The talk is humorless, among other things. This is a first foray into a new project.

  • Frank Trentmann, Professor of History, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Sam Wetherell, Lecturer in Discipline in British History, Columbia University

In Empire of Things, Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary story of our modern material world, from Renaissance Italy and late Ming China to today’s global economy. While consumption is often portrayed as a recent American export, this monumental and richly detailed account shows that it is, in fact, a truly international phenomenon with a much longer and more diverse history. Trentmann traces the influence of trade and empire on tastes, as formerly exotic goods like coffee, tobacco, Indian cotton, and Chinese porcelain conquered the world, and explores the growing demand for home furnishings, fashionable clothes, and convenience that transformed private and public life. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought department stores, credit cards, and advertising, but also the rise of the ethical shopper, new generational identities, and, eventually, the resurgence of the Asian consumer.

Professor Catherine Hall will deliver the annual Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture. From Hall's first reading of Orientalism, Edward Said’s work has acted as an inspiration and a provocation to understand the other. Her focus has been on English imperial identities in the C18 and C19. She understands the effort to enter imaginatively the states of mind that have underpinned those identities as part of the project of ‘unlearning’ modes of cultural domination. In this lecture, Hall focuses on Edward Long, C18 slave-owner, family man, creole nationalist and historian, whose encyclopaedic History of Jamaica (1774) explicates pro-slavery politics. 

Nietzsche 13/13: Jacques Derrida

Thursday, March 23, 2017

With Bruno Bosteels, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Danielle Cohen-Levinas. In this session, we will explore the writings of Derrida, in conversation with the 1990s writings of Deleuze.

The Clarice Factor: Aesthetics, Gender, and Diaspora in Brazil

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - Friday, March 24, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 6pm: Keynote: Bruno Carvalho. Friday, March 24, 2-5:30pm: Panels and Discussion. 5:30pm: Keynote: Marta Peixoto. Wednesday, March 29, 7pm: Katrina Dodson: On Translating Clarice Lispector. 

This panel discussion is organized by Maria Ratanova and will explore the early history of photomontage in Soviet Russia and its active interaction with political development.

Anna Karenina and Others: Tolstoy’s Labyrinth of Plots by Liza Knapp How Russia Learned to Write: Literature and the Imperial Table of Ranks by Irina Reyfman

Photographic exhibition featuring Sara Bennett will be displayed throughout Heyman Center. This is the opening of the exhibition. Closing and panel discussion will take place on April 26, 2017. 

Mortality Mansions

Thursday, March 30, 2017

REGISTER HERE A collaboration of 2006 U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall and Grammy® Award-winning composer Herschel Garfein, Mortality Mansions reflects on the themes of love, sexuality and bereavement in old age from Hall’s poems and traces the adoption of Hall’s work into the curricula of medical schools across the country. The world premiere performance features tenor Michael Slattery and Dmitri Dover, acclaimed pianist for the Metropolitan opera Lindemann Young Artist program, joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford, National Book Award-winning poet Jean Valentine and Dr. Rita Charon, professor of Clinical Medicine and director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, who will read Hall’s poems. Hall will participate via remote video link from his farmhouse in New Hampshire.

Pierre Force talks about his new book, Wealth and Disaster: Atlantic Migrations from a Pyrenean Town in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), which follows two families who emigrate from the same Pyrenean Town to Saint-Domingue, tracing their descendants in an epic saga that spans three generations.   Paul Cheney discusses his new book, Cul de Sac: Patrimony, Capitalism, and Slavery in French Saint-Domingue (University of Chicago Press, 2017), a micro-history of one plantation in France’s richest colony.  Emmanuelle Saada and Carl Wennerlind will join the discussion as respondents.

Music and the Body Between Revolutions: Paris, 1789-1848

Friday, March 31, 2017 - Saturday, April 1, 2017

The workings of the corporeal and spiritual body were repeatedly reimagined in France between 1789 and 1848, as successive revolutions fundamentally transformed understandings of bodily autonomy and moral responsibility. Discourses in philosophy, aesthetics, and the sciences were strongly affected by these events, as the radical reconfiguration of the institutional landscape from 1789 onwards led to the emergence of Paris as an international center for modern science and medicine in the first half of the nineteenth century. At the same time, Paris also became a crucial locus of activity in the musical sphere, a city of innovative composers, virtuoso performers, and instrument designers as well as a rising culture of musical ‘dilettantes’

A perennial preoccupation in the study of early writing systems is the degree to which these earliest forms of written communication reflect speech.  Nowhere is this concern more keenly present than in study of the earliest writing from Mesopotamia, known as proto-cuneiform, for which the vast gulf that separates speech from writing raises questions about the very language that underlies the script.  

New Books in Political and Social Thought —a panel discussion on recent work by University Seminars and Society of Fellows Alumni David Armitage, Jeffrey Barash, and Teresa Bejan, sponsored by Studies in Political and Social Thought (University Seminar #427)

The Irish and the Jews

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

REGISTER HERE As two diasporic communities whose paths have often crossed, the Irish and the Jews have complex shared histories. This exhibition and discussion aims to connect these interwoven narratives of migration, displacement, and cultural contact. Pól Ó Dochartaigh (National University of Ireland, Galway) will present on his exhibition at the Royal Irish Academy titled "Representations of Jews in Ireland" and Irish novelist, Ruth Gilligan, will read from her new novel Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan (Atlantic) about the Irish-Jewish community. These talks will be held at the Butler Library and will be accompanied by an exhibition of posters from the Royal Irish Academy and archival materials from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University.

Fourth Zuckerman Conference at the Mellon Biennial

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - Friday, April 7, 2017

Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is pleased to announce our Fourth Harriet Zuckerman Conference at the 2017 Mellon Biennial. This conference will take place on April 6 and 7 at the Columbia Law School (435 West 117th Street). Reflecting the intellectual diversity and interdisciplinarity of our Mellon Program, the conference is not about one theme but about several that engage disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, as demonstrated in our panels.

This interdisciplinary symposium is designed to address the increasing use of transducers by young creative artists in music and sonic art, a subject which has received scant attention as a unified practice. While transducers have been used by artists since their inception, the last ten years have seen an increasing prevalence of surface speakers or “sound exciters” in musical composition and sound installation. These transducers are essentially coneless speakers designed to attach to any smooth surface, thereby turning the object to which they are attached to into a speaker itself. In essence, sound is taken from its original source and “reembodied” into a new object (or recursively back into the original source) such as metal sheet, gong, piano, or other resonant object, often with the addition of mixed synthesis and other computer-based processes. 

Owen Sheers’s Pink Mist

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pink Mist tells the story of three young Bristol men deployed to Afghanistan. Returning to the women in their lives who must now share the physical and psychological aftershocks of their service, Arthur, Hads and Taff find their journey home is their greatest battle. This play was inspired by 30 interviews with returned servicemen and first staged at Bristol Old Vic in 2015. Described as fearlessly lyrical in its imagery” (The Times) and “the most important play of the year" (What’s On Stage), Pink Mist will be published in the US for the first time on April 4 by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday. Owen Sheers will read from his work, followed by a panel discussion with Peter Meineck and Maurice Decaul. 

Inspired by the life of Bessie M. Lee (1894 - 1955), who, after migrating to New York City, spent two years in indentured servitude, “Light” is a film in which dance, memory, music and poetry collide in a visual and aural landscape; a meditation on women being propelled into the unknown by courage and faith to risk their lives and everything they have for freedom. In “Light”, Aoki and Lee highlight the lives of women including Lee, who through the resilience and triumph over unimaginable experiences were grounding forces in the creation of the New York Chinatown community in the early 1900s.

Giorgio Biancorosso examines the soundtracks of both the original (1994) and the redux (2008) versions of Ashes of Time (dir. Wong Kar Wai) in light of both Japanese and Chinese-language precedents as well as the recent reconfiguration of film distribution occasioned by the rise of the PRC. Treating music as 'symptom' of a modus operandi, he presents a few examples of the persistence of the legacy of jidaigeki and the Zatoichi (aka "Blind Swordsman") series, not least via the surprising mediation of Leone's spaghetti westerns. 

The Green Hollow

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Owen Sheers's The Green Hollow marks the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. The film, produced by the BBC and Vox Pictures, describes the aftermath of a coal tip collapse in a Welsh village that killed over a hundred people, most of them children. This lyrical documentary is performed by a stellar cast of Wales's best-known acting talent, including Michael Sheen, Jonathan Pryce, Sian Phillips, Eve Myles and Iwan Rheon, with some contributions from the local community. 

Abstractionist Aesthetics

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In a major reassessment of African American culture, Phillip Brian Harper intervenes in the ongoing debate about the “proper” depiction of black people. He advocates for African American aesthetic abstractionism—a representational mode whereby an artwork, rather than striving for realist verisimilitude, vigorously asserts its essentially artificial character.  Maintaining that realist representation reaffirms the very social facts that it might have been understood to challenge, Harper contends that abstractionism shows up the actual constructedness of those facts, thereby subjecting them to critical scrutiny and making them amenable to transformation.

In this session, we will focus on the writings of Hélène Cixous and the emergence of what is called “écriture feminine.”

Intimacies: Days I & II

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - Friday, April 14, 2017

The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia is sponsoring the 2-day conference "Intimacies I & II: Sexualities in Contemporary Muslim Societies" and "Queerness in Muslim Contexts/Communities" on Thursday and Friday, April 13 and 14. This conference  examines issues related to love, sexual identity, LGBTQ social movements, and sexual and reproductive health in diverse Muslim contexts here and abroad by bringing together academics, journalists, activists, human rights advocates, faith-based leaders, artists, and others who have contributed to expanding and diversifying knowledge about sexualities in Islam. “Intimacies I” highlights conceptual and empirical understandings of Muslim and/or Islamic sexualities, and “Intimacies II” explores queer issues in Islam and Muslim communities. 

The Unplugged Soul: A Conference on the Podcast

Friday, April 14, 2017 - Saturday, April 15, 2017

LISTEN TO CONFERENCE AUDIO HERE ON SOUNDCLOUD  A series of unprecedented freedoms – on demand software, discrete audiences, portable devices, cheap production costs, the bypassing of broadcast infrastructure and with it content restrictions – liberates the podcast from mass media's customary limitations, and podcasters are now making the most of their new territory. This conference ranges wide in its exploration of what amounts to a burgeoning new art form captivating listeners worldwide: the "impact bar" has never been higher in a culture brimming with content, but podcasters and producers have latched on to ancient verities of storytelling and the new mores of disclosure to win us over – to unplug the hyperconnected soul. VISIT CONFERENCE BLOG HERE.

How can we record, explore, and understand the materiality of the experience of forced and undocumented migration today? How can we communicate such work to scholars and to various publics? What kind of theoretical and methodological stances can we deploy, avoiding the instrumentalisation of the phenomenon for purely academic purposes, and the aestheticisation of an often painful and tragic experience? Yannis Hamilakis will explore these questions taking the Mediterranean, and especially its eastern shores as my main focus. 

An Evening with Vijay Iyer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting & vital young pianists in jazz today,” by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” He has been voted DownBeat Magazine’s Artist of the Year three times – in 2016, 2015 and 2012. Iyer was named Downbeat’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University.

Burning Issues in African Philosophy builds off of the sophisticated work that has now become part of an international conversation on how African philosophy makes unique interventions into almost every important question of politics, ethics, aesthetics, ontology and epistemology. Indeed, the very definition of these fundamental philosophical conceptions is both challenged and enriched.

Despair is not a Political Strategy

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Leading Advocates Discuss Current Policy Campaigns to Protect New York's Most Vulnerable All eyes have been on the chaos in Washington, and on the ways that the changing federal policy scene has affected or might affect immigrants, refugees, LGBT people, racial and ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable groups in the United States. In this panel, leading community organizers will describe current policy advocacy work in New York, focusing on specific legislative targets that could buffer the impact of the new administration’s agenda. At the conclusion of the formal panel, there will be time for discussion as well as opportunities for those in attendance to sign up to get involved with the work that these organizers are doing.

A public conversation with Wang Hui, Susan Buck-Morss, and Harry Harootunian to be jointly hosted by the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Harriman Institute, Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the Department of History at Columbia University.

  • Carl Wennerlind, Associate Professor of History, Barnard College
  • Charly Coleman, Assistant Professor of History, Columbia University
  • Pierre Force, Professor, Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University
  • Erik Goldner, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge
  • Arnaud Orain, Professor, University of Paris 8
  • John Shovlin, Associate Professor of History, New York University
  • David Bell, Professor, Princeton University

In an effort to marshal resources to meet the escalating demands of war, empire, and state formation, European governments developed a set of sophisticated financial mechanisms around the turn of the eighteenth century. Soon, however, the already impressively complex financial architecture nearly crumbled due to a series of cataclysmic stock market crashes. The South Sea Bubble in England and the Mississippi Bubble in France left the newly formed modern culture of credit in complete disarray. In this one-day workshop, six French historians explore the conditions that led to the creation of John Law’s financial scheme, the intellectual context in which it became possible for people to believe in modern finance, the role that political ideology played during the bubble, the experience of living during the immediate aftermath of the crash, and the overall geopolitical context of the rise and fall of Law’s system.

As the icecaps melt and the sea levels rise around the globe―threatening human existence as we know it―climate change has become one of the most urgent and controversial issues of our time. For most people, however, trying to understand the science, politics, and arguments on either side can be dizzying, leading to frustrating and unproductive debates.Now, in this groundbreaking new work, two of our most renowned thinkers present the realities of global warming in the most human of terms―everyday conversation―showing us how to convince even the most stubborn of skeptics as to why we need to act now. Indeed, through compelling Socratic dialogues, Philip Kitcher and Evelyn Fox Keller tackle some of the thorniest questions facing mankind today.

  • Sara Bennett, Artist,

Sara Bennett's photographic exhibition, "Life After Life in Prison," depicts the lives of four women in the wake of incarceration. On this last day of the exhibition, Sara Bennett will join the women who are featured in these photographs in a panel discussion on the personal toll of mass incarceration and the intimate experience of life after prison.

The Wireless Past Anglo-Irish Writers and the BBC, 1931-1968 by Emily Bloom Expelling the Poor Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy by Hidetaka Hirota

In this final session, we will explore the writings of the Iranian critical thinker and revolutionary, Ali Shariati, as well as some more recent critical works from around the world that explore the writings of Nietzsche and may offer directions forward for critical thought.

Since 1877 and to this day, Fresh Air programs from Maine to Montana have brought inner-city children to rural and suburban homes for two-week summer vacations. Opening a new chapter in the history of race in the United States, Professor Shearer will show how the actions of hundreds of thousands of rural and suburban residents who hosted children from the city perpetuated racial inequity rather than overturned it. Covering the racially transformative years between 1939 and 1979, Shearer will show how the rhetoric of innocence employed by Fresh Air boosters largely served the interests of religiously minded white hosts and did little to offer more than a vacation for African American and Latino urban youth.

The disciplines of creating art and criticizing art, while interdependent, are often thought of as mutually exclusive, and even antagonistic. Artists often dismiss critical inquiry as irrelevant or exploitative, and critics often claim that the ability to produce creative work is no prerequisite for what they do. What happens, then, when critics dare to work in the creative field they criticize?

The Engine of Modernity

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

REGISTER HERE Science has long been associated with modernity, but the belief that it was its engine, that the modern world owed its existence to modern science, only rose after the beginning of the twentieth century. Pioneered by followers of Edmund Husserl (like Alexandre Koyré), and developed in various places in and outside Europe and the United States, the engine thesis became a widespread article of faith, a commonplace even, with far-reaching academic and political consequences.

Sound and Sense in Britain, 1770-1840

Friday, May 12, 2017 - Saturday, May 13, 2017

VISIT CONFERENCE BLOG HERE Understandings of the senses underwent a radical reimagining toward the last few decades of the eighteenth century in Britain, a shift evident in the domains of philosophy, physiology, politics, and the arts. Sound played a pivotal role in many of these engagements with post-Lockean empiricism, as vibration and sympathy became widespread metaphors for mental activity, shared sentiments, and aesthetic experiences. If sound was central to the debates of the Scottish and English Enlightenment, it was equally important to the popular culture of religious revival.

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