Video

In the early modern period, the emergence of travel as a means of information gathering on natural history, demography, government, and religion was accompanied by the use of questionnaires to orient observation. This conference investigates the development of techniques of information gathering of this kind and the networks on which they relied. Papers address the integral role of travel in the process of scientific exchange as well as to the ways that information itself traveled in British, French, Spanish, and Swedish contexts. The conference is supported by generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (mellon.org) and by the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, with the assistance of the Moore Institute for the Humanities and Social Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway. The “Texts, Contexts, Culture” project is funded under the Higher Education Authority, under PRTLI4.

Raja Shehadeh’s lecture on the 10th anniversary of Edward Said’s death will reflect on the cages of categorization that imprison Palestinians in contemporary Palestine perhaps more than even the physical matrix of borders, checkpoints, and the Wall. Shehadeh will explore how Palestinians themselves deploy these categories in a language of despair in our post-Oslo landscape, as well as a search for a new language, remembering as Edward Said noted in one of his most moving and lyrical texts, After the Last Sky, that “We are more than someone else’s object.”

Common Threads

September 24, 2013

Professor Evelyn Fox Keller, Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science, Emerita at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave a talk entitled, "Common Threads: Forging Parts from Wholes in Mathematical Biology, Feminist Theory, and Philosophy of Biology." 

Authors Colm Tóibín and Julie Orringer discussed the topic of “Family Novels" with Deborah Cohen, Professor of History at Northwestern.

Colm Tóibín is the author of many bestselling and critically acclaimed novels, including The Master (which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize) and Brooklyn; the short-story collection Mothers and Sons; and, most recently, both the novel and play The Testament of Mary (which will open on Broadway later this spring, starring Fiona Shaw). Julie Orringer is the author of the short-story collection How to Breathe Underwater, which won the Northern California Book Award and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a “Best Book” by the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2011, she published her “expertly crafted” and “emotionally haunting” first novel, The Invisible Bridge. Together, they will discuss the topic of “Family Novels" with Deborah Cohen, Professor of History at Northwestern and author of the forthcoming historical study Family Secrets.

Through a re-consideration of several classic instances, this lecture explores some of the ways in which the very excesses of polemical or satirical contributions to public debate may themselves be the main bearer of more adequate conceptions of human life.  It asks the unsettling question: might the outrageous offensiveness of F.R. Leavis's notorious attack on C.P. Snow actually provide a better model than contributions that are normally regarded as more 'constructive' and 'helpful'?

Panel Discussion on "Reports from the Field."

Poet Rachel Hadas reads from her work for the panel "Poetic Treatment I."