2014 - 2015

2nd Global Conference of International Human Resource Management

May 14, 2015 09:00 AM to
May 15, 2015 05:00 PM
Various locations in Chambers

With keynote speakers: Professor Xiaoping Chen, Foster School of Business, University of Washington, USA and Professor Michael Morley, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland.

With the significant rise in interest in International Human Resource Management (IHRM), the School of Labor and Employment Relations at The Pennsylvania State University is holding its second two-day conference to facilitate discussion on this important topic amongst scholars from across the globe.

The conference is organized around a number of sub-themes that reflect important contemporary debates in IHRM. All abstracts submitted are peer-reviewed. The conference allows adequate time for presentations and discussion, both in parallel and plenary sessions, ensuring a lively debate and networking opportunities amongst participants.

The registration fee includes conference proceedings, refreshments, lunches and a conference dinner on 14 May 2015. Only payments by credit card or Visa debit card can be accepted online.

More information about this event…

World Stories Alive! Hindi

World Stories Alive! Series
May 02, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Ritu Jayakar, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

Nation Building and the Challenge in Creating a National Identity

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Apr 29, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Peter Van Buren, Policy Expert, Middle East Council

Nation builders are those members of a state who take the initiative to develop the national community through government programs, including military conscription and national content mass schooling. Van Buren will examine the obstacles faced when in the process of creating a national identity.  

Peter Van Buren is a retired 24-year veteran of the U.S. Department of State. He spent a year in Iraq as a State Department Foreign Service Officer serving as Team Leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Now in Washington, he writes about Iraq and the Middle East at his blog, We Meant Well. His first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, was published in 2011, and his latest book, Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent, has just been published.

Since leaving the government, Buren’s commentary has been featured in The New York Times, Salon, NPR, Al Jazzeera, Huffington Post, The Nation, TomDispatch, Antiwar.com, American Conservative Magazine, Mother Jones, MichaelMoore.com, Le Monde, Asia Times, The Guardian (UK), Daily Kos, Middle East Online, Guernica and others. He has appeared on the BBC World Service, NPR’s All Things Considered and Fresh Air, CurrentTV, HuffPo Live, RT, ITV, Britain’s Channel 4 Viewpoint, CCTV, Voice of America, and more.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

The Strength of Weak Links in the Sinophone System

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Apr 27, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Jing Tsu, Yale

In the Chinese-language literary system, writers’ relations to one another are being reshuffled across time and space. Distant parallels are drawn into ever closer proximities, and the implicit comradeship once presumed between fellow exiles outside of mainland China can be repolarized due to this change. In the ocean that is the world literary space, intimacy can be uncomfortable. The compression of the global literary space is opening new doors and back channels for loosening and tightening the grip of national literary geographies. New internal horizons and platforms are opening up, each eager to become a new site of comparisons—and perhaps to invite or disinvite renewed relations. For the first time—and never so evident—global, regional, national, and local interests are simultaneously in play. Approaching large-scale literary studies from the perspective of local and regional alliances, my talk explicates these dynamics in terms of the weak, and how margins forge their own margins. I highlight Taiwan in a dynamic triangulation with Hong Kong and Macau that is largely unseen on the world stage, and analyze, at the same time, the proliferation of new internal peripheries in Taiwan literature and how it manages such diversity. What would normally be distinguished as local and transregional accounts, then, works in tandem to animate what I have called “literary governance,” a decentralized but generative process in language-literature systems that is mobilized around hard and soft thresholds of language access, where combinations of affective attachments and institutional, or material, power are reproduced to uneven effects.

World Stories Alive! German

World Stories Alive! Series
Apr 25, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Katherine Anderson, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

Under Institutional Eyes: The Search for Collectivity in the Postsocialist Transpacific Novel

CGS Brown Bag Series
Apr 22, 2015
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Darwin Tsen, Penn State

This lecture attempts to cover the specific forms of collectivity and institutionality imagined by Mo Yan, China's most high-profile contemporary writer. China's renunciation of socialist practice was one of the biggest stories of the twentieth century: its subsequent reforms affected everyone, especially migrant workers from rural areas, who, severed from the social safety net provided by the agricultural commune, flocked to the cities for opportunities. The collectivity of the socialist commune, once central to the organization of village life, is lost to urban sprawl. Without a project that envisions a collective exceeding the conventional ways humans live in capitalist modernity, institutions now play the largest role in shaping the people's collective life. 

Darwin Tsen is currently a fifth-year, dual-degree Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at Penn State. His current dissertation project, "Under Institutional Eyes: The Search for Collectivity in the Postsocialist Transpacific Novel" examines how collectivity is imagined in the novels of Mo Yan, Luo Yijun, and Karen Tei Yamashita, three authors whose disparate geographical origins are tied together by the recession of Chinese socialism and the rise of neoliberal globalization.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

(Re)imagined Communities: Christians and the Search for a Place and Identity in the Post-Arab Spring Middle East

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Apr 22, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Greg Kruczek, PhD. candidate, Virginia Tech

Greg Kruczek, a 2009 SIA graduate currently studying for his doctorate degree at Virginia Tech, will present “(Re)imagined Communities: Christians and the search for a place and identity in the post-Arab Spring Middle East” as part of the Penn State School of International Affairs' spring colloquium (INTAF  590).

Greg Kruczek graduated from Penn State in 2005 with a B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Professional Golf Management.  During his time as an undergraduate, Kruczek spent time in Cairo, Egypt, Beirut, and Lebanon studying Arabic and each state's political culture.  In the fall of 2006, he completed an intensive Arabic program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA.  He worked as Research Assistant at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (Arlington, VA) from 2006-2007.  In 2007, Kruczek served as Information Officer at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.  After a brief stint in Beirut in late-2007, he returned to Penn State for his Masters and graduated from the School of International Affairs in 2009.  His Master’s paper dealt with confessional politics in Lebanon.  From 2010-2012, he was a lead researcher in Penn State's College of Information Science and Technology on the counter-insurgency component of a Multi-University Research Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Lab.  In 2011, he joined the faculty of Susquehanna University as an instructor in the Department of Political Science and taught classes on world politics and comparative domestic politics.  In January 2013, he began pursuing his Ph.D. in Government and International Affairs at Virginia Tech's Washington, D.C. campus under the guidance of Dr. Ariel Ahram.  Mr. Kruczek’s dissertation topic is the Christian response to the Arab Spring.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Holocaust survivor to speak at Penn State

Apr 20, 2015
07:00 PM to 09:00 PM
115 Kern

David Tuck

Holocaust survivor David Tuck will speak about his experience growing up in Poland when it was invaded by the Nazis, and he was sent to a concentration camp.  Tuck will present on April 20, in 112 Kern Building at 7 p.m. His talk is cosponsored by Penn State's Hillel and Department of Jewish Studies. 

Tuck was born in Poland. His mother passed away six months after his birth, so his Orthodox Jewish grandparents took him in and insisted that he receive both a public and Hebrew education.

His life changed drastically on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. He was 10 years old. By December he was forced to wear an armband and then a yellow Star of David and he had to step off the sidewalk and into the street when German soldiers approached him. Within a few weeks David’s family was deported to the Lodz ghetto where he spoke German well enough that he was able to work in the food ration office providing families with ration cards. Then in the spring of 1941, David was deported to Posen, a labor camp in Poland.

In 1943 the Nazis liquidated the Posen labor camp and sent David to another labor camp to construct an autobahn. Then David was deported, with other skilled workers to Auschwitz where he arrived on August 25, 1943. He worked in a sub-camp of Auschwitz called Eintrachthütte in a factory building anti-aircraft guns. In January 1945, David was deported on a train to Mauthausen in Austria, a brutal 370-mile trip over four days. To survive, he scooped snow from the ground using a tin cup tied to his belt. He was subsequently sent to Güsen II, an underground factory to build German aircraft.

On May 5, 1945 the Americans liberated Güsen II; he weighed 78 pounds. David then spent the next several months recuperating in refugee camps and then immigrated to the United States in 1950.

Asian American Poetry and the Politics of Form

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Apr 20, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dorothy Wang, Williams College

Poetry studies—and literary studies more generally—have relegated Asian American poetry to tertiary status: as minority writing that lacks the pizazz of “real” minority literature and as poetic work that cannot be countenanced as “real” poetry. Asian American poetry functions as “identity” poetry, a side dish offering at a multicultural literary food court. The long history (over 130 years old) and wide formal spectrum of this body of writing are simply unknown to the great majority of poetry critics. To what extent does this ignorance reflect an unwillingness to think about the racial occlusions at the heart of our study of American poetry? How do insights into critical attitudes towards Asian American poetry—a category that links the most exalted literary genre and the most non-native of American English speakers—yield a glimpse into unexamined assumptions about English-language poetry and about fundamental poetic categories and concepts?

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

World Stories Alive! Japanese

World Stories Alive! Series
Apr 18, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Darwin Tsen, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

Trash Ecologies: The Transnational Mise-En-Scène of Garbage

Apr 15, 2015
04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
124 Sparks

Dr. Sean Grattan, Gettysburg College

Garbage is everywhere, but there is a concerted effort made to ignore, forget, or refuse to acknowledge its existence. Circulating through non-human actors like currents and migratory patterns, garbage crosses national borders and sometimes seems to take on a life of its own. The ubiquity of garbage goes a long way to trouble the divide between nature and wilderness. This talk will examine representations of the obdurate materiality of garbage in what is increasingly described as an immaterial age. 

Sean Grattan is Visiting Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Gettysburg College. His current book project is Utopian Affects: Horizons of Community in Contemporary American Literature.

Islam and the Literary Imaginary in Twentieth Century North Africa

CGS Brown Bag Series
Apr 15, 2015
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Dr. Hoda El Shakry, Penn State

This talk will present Professor El Shakry's current book-length research project, which explores the influence of Islamic thought and philosophy on the literary milieu of the region of the Maghreb – namely, the former French colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.  Her work examines how twentieth century Arabophone and Francophone textual materials – novels, poetry, plays, as well as literary and cultural periodicals – engage with the Qurʾan, the apostolic tradition of Hadith, in addition to central debates in Islamic exegesis, jurisprudence, and philosophy.  She argues that explicating this confluence between theological and literary discourses exposes the shared formal as well as ethical concerns of both traditions.  Moreover, the imperial context of her inquiry situates this investigation within the broader transnational questions of decolonization, post-colonialism, nation-state building, and globalization.  

Hoda El Shakry is an Assistant Professor of Comparative, Arabic and African Literatures. Her teaching and research interests lie in modern literature, criticism and visual culture of the Middle East and North Africa.  Her scholarship traverses the fields of modern Arabic and Francophone North African literature, Mediterranean studies, Islam and secular criticism, postcolonial studies and narrative theory.  Her current book project explores literary engagements with the Qur’an and Islamic Thought in twentieth century Arabophone and Francophone fiction of the Maghreb.  Before coming to Penn State, Hoda El Shakry was an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU.  Her publications include: “Apocalyptic Pasts, Orwellian Futures: Elle Flanders’ Zero Degrees of Separation” in GLQ (2010) and “Revolutionary Eschatology: Islam and the End of Time in al-Tahir Wattar’s al-Zilzal ” in the Journal of Arabic Literature (2011).  She has a forthcoming piece on Arabic literary pedagogy and the Maghreb, entitled: "Lessons from the Maghreb."

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

How Global Population Trends Shape Your Future

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Apr 15, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Karl Hoffman, President and CEO Population Service International

Karl Hofmann is the President and CEO of PSI (Population Services International), a non-profit global health organization based in Washington, D.C. PSI operates in 60 countries worldwide, with programs in family planning and reproductive health, malaria, child survival, HIV, maternal and child health, and non-communicable diseases. For over 40 years, PSI has measurably improved the health of people in the developing world, making it easier for them to lead healthier lives and plan the families they desire by marketing affordable products and services. PSI works in partnership with local governments, ministries of health and local organizations to create health solutions that are built to last. Mr. Hoffman will lead a discussion on demography, fertility, and sustainability.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

A Group Interview with Nathaniel Mackey

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Apr 13, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Nathaniel Mackey, Duke

Nathaniel Mackey, winner of the National Book Award for poetry and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement, will discuss his work with a small panel of Penn State scholars. After a brief introduction to Mackey’s work by a Penn State faculty member, the panel will interview Mackey about his “discrepant engagements” as an author, editor, professor, and radio DJ. Following the interview, the panel will open the floor to questions from the audience. This event should be of interest to those seeking an introduction to Mackey’s writing as well as to those already familiar with it. It will also precede Professor Mackey’s second engagement at Penn State: a poetry reading on the evening of Tuesday, April 14, in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium.

Nathaniel Mackey works in the areas of modern and postmodern literature in the U.S. and the Caribbean, creative writing, poetry and poetics, and the intersection of literature and music. He is the author of several books of poetry, fiction and criticism, most recently Nod House (New Directions, 2011), Bass Cathedral (New Directions, 2008), and Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005), respectively. Strick: Song of the Andoumboulou 16-25, a compact disc recording of poems read with musical accompaniment (Royal Hartigan, percussion; Hafez Modirzadeh, reeds and flutes), was released in 1995 by Spoken Engine Company. He is editor of the literary magazine Hambone and co-editor, with Art Lange, of the anthology Moment's Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (Coffee House Press, 1993).

2015 Global Studies Undergraduate Research Symposium

Apr 13, 2015
08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
University of Pittsburgh

Abstracts due February 27, 2015

Penn State’s Center for Global Studies is excited to announce its involvement with the 2015 Global Studies Undergraduate Research Symposium, being held at the University of Pittsburgh on April 13, 2015. Penn State’s CGS will be working in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh’s Global Studies Center to attract and highlight undergraduate research on a wide variety of global topics and issues. This event will serve as a prime networking opportunity for students looking to build careers in a global field. Any student conducting research emphasizing our interconnected world in areas such as (but not limited to) global economics, gender, health, education, politics, media, nationalism, ethnicity, spirituality, and community is encouraged to apply.

In order to apply, a student must first submit an abstract for review (due February 27). Select students will then be asked to submit a minimum of 8-page research paper to be reviewed by a panel, and to speak at the event on April 13. Students who are chosen to participate in the symposium will give a 12-minute presentation outlining their specific research. Applications and more information can be found at the University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies page. The symposium will include a keynote lecture, student presentations and student networking. Meals and round-trip transportation expenses from Penn State campuses are covered.

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award Info Session

Apr 08, 2015
04:00 PM to 06:00 PM
308 Willard

Dr. Sophia McClennen, Sarah Lyall-Combs, Jon Jobe

Join CGS staff for an important session on the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award. This award supported by the U.S. Department of Education and administered at Penn State by the Center for Global Studies, supports Ph.D. candidates who conduct research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months. This session will cover the application process and strategies to make your application as competitive as possible.

Dealing with North Korea

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Apr 08, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Evans Revere, Senior Advisor of Albright Stonebridge Group

Evans Revere will lead a discussion on North Korea.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

The World Unspoken: Kleist, Kafka, McCarthy

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Apr 06, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Ian Fleishman, University of Pennsylvania

This talk will interrogate the tension between the spoken, or the written, word and the world of the ineffable through three brief and enigmatic visions of horses in the works of Heinrich von Kleist, Franz Kafka and Cormac McCarthy. Exposing and exploding the limits of language and the limits of the human, these three authors long for a world unspoken: not merely an unspoken world or a world unspeakable, but rather an imagined paradise that is urgently and actively unspoken, undone by the very language that would otherwise describe it. It is through this unspeaking, through the casting off of the constraints of language, that Kleist, Kafka and McCarthy attempt an opening unto the noumenal, that the necessity of saying transcends itself and is transformed into an ecstasy of being.

Ian Fleishman is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his PhD in French and German Literature at Harvard in 2013 and has since revised his dissertation into a book manuscript titled An Aesthetics of Injury: The Narrative Wound from Baudelaire to Tarantino. He has published in The German Quarterly, French Studies, The Journal of Austrian Studies and elsewhere on subjects ranging from the Baroque to contemporary cinema.

Santiago Vizcaíno/Alexis Levitin, Destruction in the Afternoon: A bilingual (Spanish/English) reading from Vizcaíno's book of poetry

Apr 02, 2015
04:00 PM to 06:00 PM
102 Weaver

Ecuadoran poet Santiago Vizcaino will read from his award-winning collected volume, Devastación en la tarde, while his translator reads his English versions.

Santiago Vizcaino (Quito, Ecuador, 1982) graduated in Literature and Communication from the Universidad Católica of Ecuador in Quito. He spent a year studying the Management of Literary Patrimony in Malaga, Spain and is now pursuing a doctorate in Hispanic Literatures in Quito. His first book, Destruction in the Afternoon, received the National Prize for Literature in 2008 from the Ministry of Culture. At the same time, his critical study of the poetry of Alejandra Pizarnik, Speaking Silence, won second prize in the Ministry of Culture essay competition. In 2010 he won second prize for poetry in the Pichincha competition for his book In the Twilight. His first book of short stories To Kill Mother was published in Buenos Aires in 2012. Here in the USA, his poetry, translated by Alexis Levitin, has appeared in sixteen literary magazines: Bitter Oleander, Chattahoochee Review, Connotation Press, Dirty Goat, Eleven/Eleven, eXchanges, Ezra, Lake Effect, Moon City Review,Osiris, Per Contra, Plume,Rowboat, Saranac Review, Subtropics, and Words Without Borders.

Alexis Levitin’s translations have appeared in well over 200 magazines, including  New England Review, APR, Grand Street, Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review and Prairie Schooner. His thirty-five books include Clarice Lispector’s Soulstorm and Eugenio de Andrade’s Forbidden Words, both from New Directions. His most recent books are Salgado Maranhao’s Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012), Ana Minga’s Tobacco Dogs (Bitter Oleander Press, 2013), and Eugenio de Andrade’s The Art of Patience (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013). In January and February, 2015, he will be teaching in Guayaquil, Ecuador, as a Fulbright Specialist and translator. In March of 2015, Diologos Imprint will bring out his translation of Santiago Vizcaino’s Destruction in the Afternoon. In the fall of 2015 White Pine Press will publish his translation of Tiger Fur by Salgado Maranhão.

Contemporary Afghan Politics

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Apr 01, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Fawad Sultani, Penn State alumnus and current Program Implementation Coordinator for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

This discussion will focus on nation building in general, and Afghanistan in particular, with a focus on contemporary Afghan politics.  The main emphasis of the discussions will be: the Afghan Unity government (marked by power-sharing between the President and a Chief Executive Officer); the withdrawal of US and international troops and its consequences for Afghanistan (whether the Afghan National Army and Police can take over); and the new government’s policy on peace talks with the Taliban.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Development Work in Developing Countries

Mar 31, 2015
04:00 PM to 05:00 PM

Fawad Sultani, Penn State alumnus and current Program Implementation Coordinator for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

The financial aid from developed countries to the developing world is often seen as charity, while developed countries are committed to contributing a small percentage of their GDP to the poor countries, this financial aid is rather the right of those poor countries. The discussion will also focus on the importance of donor relations and good understanding of international affairs to maximize the benefits of those transfers to the developing world. The importance of expatriate experts and advisors to alleviate capacity deficiency in developing countries, and how they can most effectively play their role, will also be discussed.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Fine Illuminations: A Visual Essay on Refinement, Finesses, and Global Cuba

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Mar 30, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Jacqueline Loss, University of Connecticut

Fino,” is a term frequently used by Cubans to evoke anything from refined, fine, educated, picky and glamorous, to elegant, delicate, gay, sexually repressed, and even whiter. Jacqueline Loss will consider how Cubans’ perception of this category reveals their racial, class, and gender anxieties, alluded to in the citation above. Building on diverse discussions on aesthetic judgment, Bourdieu’s Distinction and Sianne Ngai’s analysis of the zany, cute, and interesting for late capitalism, Loss seeks to theorize and historicize another category, “lo fino” (that which is fino), through which Cubans delineate their complex relationships toward capitalist and socialist consumption as well as contrasting modes of comportment that have been affected by distinct ideologies and historical encounters.  Wedding artistic practice to cultural studies scholarship, Loss seeks to not only trace the lineage and repercussions of this term for Cubans, but also to show how this aesthetic category is conditioned by place and circumstance. The resulting tapestry composed of interviewees’ words, archival research, and photographs by the internationally acclaimed Cuban photographer, Juan Carlos Alom, begins to tell a story about how a seemingly small, apparently aesthetic category elucidates the intersections among race, gender, and aesthetic theories. 

Jacqueline Loss is a professor of Latin American and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her publications include Dreaming in Russian: The Cuban Soviet Imaginary (University of Texas Press, 2013), Cosmopolitanisms and Latin America: Against the Destiny of Place (Palgrave, 2005) and the co-edited volumes, Caviar with Rum: Cuba-USSR and the Post-Soviet Experience (Palgrave, 2012, Ed. with Jose Manuel Prieto) and New Short Fiction from Cuba (Northwestern University Press, 2007, Ed. with Esther Whitfield). She has published numerous articles and translated Cuban authors, including Antonio Álvarez Gil, Armando Suárez Cobián, Ernesto René Rodríguez, Jorge Miralles, Anna Lidia Vega Serova, Antonio Álvarez Gil, and Víctor Fowler Calzada.

World Stories Alive! Spanish

World Stories Alive! Series
Mar 28, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Natalie Hernandez, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

Conservatism, Orthodoxy and Intellectual Change: the Qingyuan School of Learning in Early Modern China

CGS Brown Bag Series
Mar 25, 2015
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Courtney Rong Fu, Penn State

Courtney’s project explores the survival state of Cheng-Chu Confucianism during the mid to late Ming period, focusing on the Qingyuan School. By examining the institutional formation of academies, textual production, cultural consumption, book markets, printing and publishing industries, and overseas trade in Quanzhou, her project hopes to lay bare the larger contexts in which an intellectual lineage developed and thrived. Her study reveals a complex picture of interconnections between a host of historical dynamics, showing how intellectual forces were bound up with material ones, and local developments were nested in the global contexts. It provides glimpses into Chinese early modernity, as conservatism nevertheless engendered change, and as intellectual development inevitably became enmeshed in global economic and cultural forces. 

Courtney's interest is in socio-cultural history of late imperial China with a special focus on scholarly and literati activities. She is also interested in gender history of imperial China and the republican period.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

NGO Development Work and USAID

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Mar 25, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Rachel Sayre, Senior Advisor for USAID

Rachel Sayre, Penn State alum and current senior advisor for USAID, will talk about USAID and development

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Threshold to the Kingdom: The Airport is a Border and the Border is a Volume

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Mar 23, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Matthew Hart, Columbia

This talk considers the airport as an international border area. Its analysis is based on three linked premises: (1) in airports, legal and political practices of sovereignty, jurisdiction, and control become disaggregated; (2) borders between territories do not represent the edges of Euclidean geopolitical planes but ought, rather, to be considered as a three-dimensional volumes; and (3) the airport exemplifies and dramatizes a broader historical trend in which the space of the border has proliferated and become distended, appearing not merely at the edges of territories but within and throughout. Though its premises are rooted in social scientific research, the talk considers three main examples. First up is the defection scene in the opening chapter of Rudolf Nureyev's autobiography, Nureyev (1963), in which the great Bashkiri dancer stages his “leap to freedom” in a Paris airport. Second and third are two works by the British artist Mark Wallinger: his Turner Prize-winning installation, State Britain (2007), and Threshold to the Kingdom (2000), a video installation from which the talk takes its title and inspiration.

Matthew Hart teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His book, Nations of Nothing But Poetry, was published by Oxford UP in 2010. He is founding co-editor of the Columbia UP book series, Literature Now, and associate editor of Contemporary Literature. He is currently Past President of ASAP: the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present.

Strategic Intelligence

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Mar 18, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Former Chief of Staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Application Strategies: Careers in the FBI

Mar 17, 2015
06:30 PM to 07:00 PM
303 Willard

Chris Reite, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mr. Reite from the State College field office will be discussing careers in the FBI. During this dialogue he will touch upon important topics such as tips for application, essential qualities in a candidate, and the importance of foreign languages to the Bureau.

The Labours of Tovarisch: Ezra Pound's Slavic Worlds

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Mar 16, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Mykola Polyuha, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

While Ezra Pound’s biography and works seem to have been thoroughly examined, his heritage contains aspects that remain overlooked. The presence of Eastern European motifs constitutes one of such neglected areas. Although critics occasionally make cursory comments, a detailed elaboration of the topic is non-existent. Typically, Poundian scholars tend to believe that the poet was little concerned with Eastern Europe and his knowledge of the region is by default regarded as insignificant. Pound’s writings, however, testify the opposite. Leonard Doob’s quantitative analysis of Pound’s war speeches, for example, demonstrates that sixty-two percent of Pound’s radio broadcasts contain references to the Soviet Union. Indeed, one can hardly claim that Pound did not know anything at all about Eastern European countries. Many figures whom Pound admired and many friends whose works he often revised either traveled to Eastern Europe, or wrote about the region, or were of Eastern European origin. Eastern European countries were additionally the arenas for the 20th century major historical events (the Bolshevik revolution, both world wars, etc.), i.e., the events that left no one, including Pound, indifferent.

My talk considers Pound’s acquaintance with Eastern European (primarily Russian) cultural and politico-economical realm. By analyzing Pound’s literary heritage, I attempt to determine the broadness and accuracy of his expertise in Russia. In the talk, I will examine both common stereotypes about Eastern Europe that Pound shared with his contemporaries and his own unique views of the region. 

Mirrored Resonance: Writing English in Chinese Characters

Comparative Literature Lecture Series
Mar 02, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Jonathan Stalling, Oklahoma

Letters are not the building blocks of words—they merely represent the sounds that are, and Chinese characters can do this just as well, if not better.

Roughly 170 years ago, Chinese merchants in Hong Kong invented a system for writing English speech sounds in Chinese characters (morphosyllabic transliteration) still widely employed today to learn English pronunciation and to transcribe foreign words and proper names into Chinese (see Names of the World's Peoples: a Comprehensive Dictionary of Names in Roman-Chinese (世界人名翻译大辞典).  While this syllabic method of transcription reaches all the way back to writing on oracle bones, its more widespread use to transcribe English has helped consolidate, disseminate, and maintain pervasive phonotactic rules specific to so-called “China-English” (including systematic deletions, substitutions, additions, and stress-time “syllabification”). In fact, one can argue that the fate Chinese characters and the English language are now deeply intertwined as these phonotactic rules now govern the speech behaviors of more English speakers than there are Americans alive.

In this lecture Dr. Jonathan Stalling will explore several permutations of Chinese-English interlangauges as they lead into his Sinophonic English opera (Yingelishi) before turning to a new work he is calling Mirrored Resonance: The SinoEnglish Rime Tables. In this new project, Stalling draws upon Classical Chinese phonetics to imagine a new digraphic foundation for Chinese-English interlanguages structured within the epistemological framework of traditional rime tables. However, at the center of this new work lies a novel algorithm, which has now transcribed over 130,000 English words into “Sinographic English” along with new 3D digital learning environments created to accurately teach English pronunciation through Chinese characters in new ways.

Jonathan Stalling is an Associate Professor of English specializing in cross-cultural poetics, comparative literature, and translation studies at the University of Oklahoma, where he is the founding editor of Chinese Literature Today magazine and book series and the curator of the Chinese Literature Translation Archive at the University of Oklahoma Library. His books include Poetics of Emptiness (Fordham) (recently published in Chinese as 虚无诗学), Grotto Heaven, Yingelishi(吟歌丽诗), and Lost Wax: Translation through the Void (TinFish early 2015). He is also an editor of The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry: a Critical Edition (Fordham) and the translator of Winter Sun: The Poetry of Shi Zhi (1966-2007) (University of Oklahoma Press).

College Town Film Festival 2015

Feb 25, 2015 03:30 PM to
Feb 28, 2015 11:00 PM
The State Theatre (downtown State College) and various locations on the University Park campus

The College Town Film Festival is four-day festival which will feature several films by international film makers from Spain, Israel, Chile and Columbia. Q&A sessions will follow the films. The event will be held at the State Theatre from February 25-28 and will be free to the public. A special session of International Shorts will be at 10 a.m. on February 26 at the State Theatre and will be screened again at 12:00 on Saturday February 28th. Event details are provided in the link above. Free to the public

Redefining Poverty

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Feb 25, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Dr. Yapa Lakshman, Penn State

Dr. Lakshman’s current research project, Rethinking Urban Poverty in the United States, is an academic program that combines teaching, research, and service learning in West Philadelphia. He moves away from conventional economic and welfare approaches of poverty by defining it as a substantive question related to access—to transport, housing, nutrition, health-care, and so on. Lakshman’s research combines theories of economic development, postmodern discourse theory, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Despite the massive efforts at economic development, statistical evidence shows a troubling persistence of poverty and increasing inequality of income (both within and between nations). Reminiscent of a Kuhnian "crisis in the paradigm," development economists (and their principal Marxist critics) are not able to offer us a satisfactory explanation of the failure of development.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Towards an Aesthetics of Stigmata: From Van Gogh's Paintings to Claire Denis's Films

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Feb 23, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Sabine Doran, Penn State

This talk explores an aesthetics of stigmata, as framed by Claire Denis’s recent films, The Intruder and Trouble Every Day, and in dialogue with Van Gogh’s painterly engagement with stigmatic inscriptions at the turn of the century. Van Gogh’s emphasis on the stigmatic role of yellow in his late work, expressed through forms of “kinetic aggressivity,” will be shown to parallel the transgressive nature of Denis’s films, transgressive in both the formal and the affective senses, as thematized, for example, in sacrificial rituals (the Christ-like figure of the son in L’Intrus). At stake in both Van Gogh’s and Denis’s work is an insistence on the corporeal within networks of forces. 

Sabine Doran is Associate Professor in the Department of German and Slavic Languages and Literatures. She is the author of The Culture of Yellow, or, The Visual Politics of Late Modernity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013) and is currently working on a book on synaesthesia.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Sounds of Resistance: Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus vs. “actually existing Socialism” between 1970 and 1989

CGS Brown Bag Series
Feb 18, 2015
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Juliane Schicker, Penn State 

This talk will examine how Kurt Masur used his concert hall as a space of political dissidence for more than twenty years. His personal actions and artistic choices contributed to a vision that countered “actually existing Socialism” and advocated a humanist utopia within a restrictive state. Considering Masur’s artistic choices and the connections between the classical music apparatus and the East German state, I claim that classical music was used to overcome censorship, surveillance, and physical borders. I show how the position as Gewandhauskapellmeister provided Masur with a level of cultural authority that allowed him to take certain liberties in dealing with the political and cultural party officials without the fear of negative repercussions. The talk will question the still commonly held assumption that in East Germany, classical music performances were merely an extension of the state. The findings will contribute to the research on resistance culture in the GDR, and help explain the varied ways in which people in the state tried to adapt to or change the political apparatus.

Juliane Schicker is a doctoral student in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her research has been supported by grants from the Max Kade Foundation, the Center for Global Studies, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and the College of the Liberal Arts. Her research interests include questions of identity, the artistic expression of the Self and the other, the connection between literature, music, and society, as well as the cultural past of East Germany. 

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

How Defense Budgets are Made

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Feb 18, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Ryan Crotty, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) 

Ryan Crotty is a fellow with the International Security Program and deputy director for defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His work focuses on the management and application of defense resources, the strategic implications of resourcing decisions, and the effects of these decisions on the defense industrial base. He has worked on several CSIS projects focused on long-term defense spending trends and the defense budget draw down and identifying challenges and opportunities facing the Department of Defense in a time of budget tightening. He also studies the interaction between the defense budget and the health of the defense industry through analysis of contracting and financial tools.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

The First Hebrew Shakespeare Translations

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Feb 16, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Lily Kahn, University College London

This talk will examine the Judaizing translation techniques evident in the first Hebrew versions of complete Shakespeare plays. Six dramatic works (Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, King Lear, and Hamlet) were published in Hebrew in Eastern Europe between 1874 and 1901. These translations are significant not only because they were the earliest, but also because they were composed at a time when Hebrew was still almost solely a written medium prior to its large-scale revernacularization in Palestine. The paper will introduce the translations’ unusual sociolinguistic background and illustrate some of their major domesticating techniques, including the neutralization of Christian and classical references; the insertion of Jewish religious and cultural motifs into the target text; and the Hebraization or Aramaicization of Latin, French, and Italian linguistic elements.

Lily Kahn is Lecturer in Hebrew at University College London. Her main research area is Hebrew in Eastern Europe. She is also interested in Yiddish, comparative Semitics, Jewish languages, and global Shakespeare. Hers publications include The Verbal System in Late Enlightenment Hebrew (Brill, 2009), Colloquial Yiddish (Routledge, 2012), and A Grammar of the Eastern European Hasidic Hebrew Tale (Brill, 2015). She is currently working on a bilingual edition of the earliest Shakespeare plays translated into Hebrew.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

World Stories Alive! Chinese

World Stories Alive! Series
Feb 14, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Bo An, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

The Future of Care: What We Need for a Changing America

Feb 11, 2015
08:00 PM to 09:30 PM
121 Sparks

Ai-Jen Poo, Director, Domestic Workers Alliance

Managing the Global Commons: Norway's Interests in the Arctic

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Feb 11, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Leif Trana, Embassy of Norway

Before joining the Embassy of Norway as the minister counsellor for economic affairs in August 2014, Mr. Leif Trana served as the director of the section for organizational development in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo. In this position, he particularly focused on the planning processes in the Ministry and how to align the resources used at various embassies with Norwegian interests in the particular country or organization. Before that, he was the deputy director in the same section. He spent five years working on WTO matters, focusing on the agricultural and NAMA negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). Trana is a career foreign service officer who has served in Riyadh and Washington. He received his M.A. in economics from the University of Oslo.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

The Disintegration of Civil War Memory in Brown v. Board Literature

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Feb 09, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Michael LeMahieu, Clemson

In 1963, as the Civil War centennial commemoration unfolded in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, James Baldwin declared that “the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.” In the decade leading up to Baldwin’s declaration, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Gwendolyn Brooks staged the aesthetic disintegration of Civil War memory even as they represented racial integration in public education. O’Connor’s “A Late Encounter with the Enemy” (1953) and McCullers’s Clock Without Hands (1961) counter the lost cause mythology of Gone with the Wind by irreverently converting Civil War memory from lived experience to cultural narrative. Brooks’s 1960 Emmett Till poems explicitly represent the generic disintegration of Civil War memory as chivalric romance.

Michael LeMahieu is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Pearce Center for Professional Communication at Clemson University. He is the author of Fictions of Fact and Value: The Erasure of Logical Positivism in American Literature, 1945-1975 (Oxford, 2013) and co-editor of the journal Contemporary Literature. His articles and reviews have appeared in African American Review, American Studies, Modernism/Modernity, and Twentieth-Century Literature. During the Spring 2015 term, he is Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

World Stories Alive! Arabic

World Stories Alive!
Feb 07, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Lubna Safi, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

Profiles of Terrorism Supporters

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Feb 04, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Dr. James Piazza, Penn State

Dr. Piazza is Professor of Political Science. His research focuses on terrorism and political violence. Specific interests include: socioeconomic roots of terrorism; regime-type, human rights, repression and terrorism; state failure and terrorism; religion, ideology and terrorist organizations and behavior; ethnic minorities and terrorism; the global narcotics trade and terrorism; natural resources and conflict; right-wing extremism in the United States; public opinion and counterterrorism. His work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Public Choice, Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Political Research Quarterly, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Interactions, Defence and Peace Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Security Studies, Terrorism and Political Violence and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Resuming Maurice: Maeterlinck and Literary Celebrity

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Feb 02, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Philip Mosley, Penn State Worthington Scranton

However one chooses to define a literary celebrity, there is no doubt that Maurice Maeterlinck was one. For much of the first half of the twentieth century, the Nobel prizewinning Belgian was one of the most famous authors in the world, his books translated into many languages and selling in huge numbers. On his first visit to the United States in 1919 people clamored to meet him and hear him speak. Along Fifth Avenue in New York City bunting was hung in his honor. Yet since his death in 1949 his oeuvre--mainly poetry, plays, and essays--has been largely neglected. His translated works with very few exceptions exist only in reprints of those early versions that had poured from the printing presses in the first quarter of the century when he was at the peak of his fame. In a media-saturated age, one in which the line increasingly blurs between being a celebrity for what you have accomplished and being one for who you happen to be, it is unsurprising that celebrity studies has already become a fully-fledged academic discipline. An offshoot of cultural studies, its main interest is in contemporary celebrity, but it has also begun to historicize the phenomenon. As far as it concerns literary celebrity, most work so far suggests that the modern idea begins in the Romantic period, gathers pace through the nineteenth century, and evolves to the point of producing a primary celebrity figure in Maeterlinck by the beginning of the twentieth century. Such an idea of modern literary celebrity involves the post-Rousseau cult of individual subjectivity, and the key factor in separating it from, for instance, the renown of an Enlightenment figure such as Samuel Johnson is the commercialization of literature as a result of industrial production of books and magazines. This revolutionary turn in literary culture brings with it an increase in critics and reviewers, a vast readership (due also in no small measure to the extension of education), and a wide dissemination of corresponding images made possible by the art of photography. By the time of Maeterlinck’s career as an author, we may add to this cumulative process the elaboration of promotion and publicity via motion pictures and radio, and the emergence of modern techniques of advertising, marketing, and public relations.

Philip Mosley is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Worthington Scranton campus of the Pennsylvania State University, USA. He is an Associate Editor of Comparative Literature Studies and has served on the board of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. His book publications include Ingmar Bergman: The Cinema as Mistress (1982); Georges Rodenbach: Critical Essays (1996); Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and Cultural Identity (2001); Anthracite! An Anthology of Pennsylvania Coal Region Plays (2006); The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers: Responsible Realism (2014). Additionally, he has translated a number of Belgian authors from French to English including Guy Vaes (October Long Sunday, 1997), Georges Rodenbach (Bruges-la-Morte, 2007), Maurice Maeterlinck (The Intelligence of Flowers, 2008), and François Jacqmin (The Book of the Snow, 2010, shortlisted for the international Griffin Poetry Prize). He was awarded the 2008 Literary Translation Prize by the French Community of Belgium in recognition of his contribution to the dissemination of Belgian francophone literature. A native of England who immigrated to the USA in 1988, he holds a BA in English from the University of Leeds, an MA in European Literature and a PhD in Comparative Literature, both from the University of East Anglia. In 2000 he was Visiting Professor at the University of Toulouse, France; in 2003-04 was Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; and in 2013 was Visiting Professor at the University College of Sint-Lukas, Brussels, Belgium.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

World Stories Alive! French

World Stories Alive! Series
Jan 31, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Aurelie Matheron, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

Religious Freedom

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Jan 28, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Dr. Roger Finke, Penn State

Roger Finke is a Penn State professor of sociology and religious studies in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. He is also the Director of the Association of Religion Data Archives and is the President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. Professor Finke co-authored two influential books with sociologist of religion Rodney Stark. The Churching of America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy received the 1993 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion received the 2001 Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Sociology of Religion Section. These books extended what is often called the New Paradigm or the Rational Choice theoretical perspective, conceptualizing denominations as competitors in a religious market. The Churching of America was methodologically noteworthy for demonstrating the utility of quantitative historical data on church membership. Additionally, Finke is the co-author of The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-first Century and Places of Faith: A Road Trip Across America's Religious Landscape. He is author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed articles appearing in edited volumes and journals such as American Sociological Review, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Review of Religious Research, Social Science Research, and The Sociological Quarterly.

Professor Finke was the founding director of the American Religion Data Archive, which was renamed as the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) in 2005. Supported by the Lilly Endowment and the John Templeton Foundation, the ARDA is a diverse, freely-available online digital library offering American and international data files, along with tools and resources to assist educators, journalists, religious congregations, and researchers. Finke is also a Fellow of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion and a past President of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

Plastic: The Desire for a Container

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Jan 26, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Heather Davis, Penn State

From take-out containers to water bottles to hazmat suits, the practically ubiquitous material of plastic seals objects and bodies from their surrounding environment. But it does not do so benignly; it is one of the foremost causes of pollution in the oceans amongst other environmental problems. As an agent of containment and contamination, plastic is bound to new ecological realities, creating new aesthetic surfaces as it coats the earth. This paper will reconsider the world of plastic containers, asking how this material contains life.

Heather Davis is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of numerous articles and the editor of Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environment and Epistemology (Open Humanities Press, forthcoming 2015) and Desire/Change: Contemporary Canadian Feminist Art (McGill-Queen's Press, forthcoming 2016).

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

World Stories Alive! Romanian

World Stories Alive! Series
Jan 24, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Victoria Lupascu, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

Sexual and Artistic Transgressions: Pedro Almodóvar and Pedro Lemebel’s Fictional Writing and the Hispanic Literary Market

CGS Brown Bag Series
Jan 21, 2015
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Ana Cortejoso De Andres, Penn State

This talk focuses on two literary works in which the recuperation of memory is problematized from a sexual and social approach: the Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar’s Patty Diphusa y otros textos (1998) and the Chilean writer and performer Pedro Lemebel’s Tengo miedo torero (2001). These literary works depict two different stories whose main characters, both of them transvestite, deal with the direct repercussions of the sociopolitical systems existing in Spain and Chile during the 80’s. The transvestite’s inner dispute stands in the two texts as a metaphoric representation of the confusion and disorientation that both Spanish and Chilean cultural spheres were facing at this time. Moreover, by publishing these two stories both Almodóvar and Lemebel challenge the Hispanic literary market and reclaim its necessary openness to the LGBT artistic dialogue.

Ana Cortejoso de Andrés is a doctoral student in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Her dissertation entitled “Born to be a Star: Representing the Writer as a Global Celebrity in Hispanic Contemporary Narrative (1995-2010)” focuses on the fictional representation of the Spanish-language business market and the narrative construction of the writer as a conflicted character who struggles between artistic aspirations and celebrity. Her main research areas include contemporary narrative from Spain and Chile as well as literary works written by Latin American immigrants established in Spain. She also explores the connections of this type of narrative with other cultural productions such as cinema, artistic performances and music. Her research has been made possible through support from the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and the Center for Global Studies.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary graduate and faculty research.

Climate Change: Current Policy Challenges

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Jan 21, 2015
01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
116 Katz

Dr. Richard Alley, Penn State

Dr. Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor in the Penn State Department of Geosciences at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, will speak about climate change as the first speaker of the Penn State School of International Affairs’ spring colloquium.

Alley has authored more than 170 refereed scientific publications about the relationships between Earth's cryosphere and global climate change. Alley testified about climate change before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology in 2007 and 2010. His 2007 testimony was due to his role as a lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has participated in the joint United Nations World Meteorological Organization panel since 1992, having been a contributing author to both the second and third IPCC assessment reports.

This lecture, sponsored by the School of International Affairs and the Center for Global Studies, is free and open to the public.

World Stories Alive! Turkish

World Stories Alive! Series
Jan 17, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Schlow Library

Merve Tabur, Penn State

Experience stories, songs and art in different languages. Fun for speakers of all languages, including English. World Stories Alive! is a collaborative project brought to you by Schlow Centre Region Library and The Center for Global Studies at Penn State.

On Affect and Articulation: Reading Oe’s Anti-Nuclear Speeches

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Dec 08, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Margherita Long, University of California, Riverside

Students of modern Japanese thought tend to have deep respect for the political activism of Nobel literature laureate Oe Kenzaburo (1935-). As a tireless advocate for the no-war clause in Japan’s post-war constitution, and a convener of the post-Fukushima anti-nuclear group “Sayonara Genpatsu,” Oe has a powerful oeuvre of speeches and essays in defense of democracy, peace, and environmentalism.   Yet even if we agree with these writings conceptually, emotionally they disappoint.  Why is it so hard to like them? This talk uses Eve Sedgwick’s notions of “paranoid” and “reparative” critical strategies to consider Oe’s anti-nuclear humanism as a kind of “aggressive hypothesis” - elegant in its simplicity, but ultimately tautological, with too few lines of flight outside a rigid temporality of repeated injury. 

Margherita Long is Associate Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Riverside.  Her book This Perversion Called Love: Reading Tanizaki, Feminist Theory and Freud was published by Stanford in 2009.  Her current project is an eco-humanities look at public intellectuals in Japan and the 3.11 nuclear disaster.  Titled Force, Affect, Origin: On Being Worthy of the Event, the book reads recent work by manga artist Hagio Moto, filmmaker Kamanaka Hitomi, web activist Iwakami Yasumi, political scientist Kang Sangjung, and writer Oe Kenzaburo, among others.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

The Missing Event and Other Traumas in Tomás Rivera's Chicano Classic And The Earth Did Not Devour Him (or Why So Many Latino Stories Are Bildungsromanen)

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Dec 01, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. John Ochoa, Penn State

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Theorizing Gender and Islam Conference

Dec 01, 2014 09:00 AM to
Dec 02, 2014 10:00 PM

Monday, December 1, 2014
9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m., 124 Sparks Building, Papers presented by international speakers
7:00 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Alumni Lounge, Panel Discussion

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m., Closed Session
2:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m., 124 Sparks Building, Papers presented by international speakers
7:00 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Alumni Lounge, Conference Keynote

Keynote speakers:

Sa'diyya Shaikh (Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town) and Nina Hoel (Department of Anthropology, University of KwaZulu Natal)

The Theorizing Gender and Islam Conference is free and open to the public, and they anticipate a rich set of discussions. They welcome broad attendance at the two evening keynote sessions at 7 PM in the Nittany Lion Inn, Alumni Lounge. Please note that seating for the daytime sessions is limited. You are invited to register with , if you plan to attend the daytime sessions.

The conference on “Theorizing Gender and Islam” aims to advance feminist theory and methodology about Muslim women’s and men’s experiences, subjectivities and narratives, and to develop a research community between feminist scholars, Religious Studies scholars, Islamic feminists and those from cognate areas. The conference seeks to bring together critical scholars from Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, Legal Studies, Psychology, African Literature and Sociology as well as creative artists in a vivid exchange that will address a new and complex set of realities. They anticipate a set of invigorating debates that engage rich and complex representations and forms of human subjectivity.

Poetry Without Borders: Tides of Change

Nov 18, 2014
06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Foster Auditorium

Poetry without Borders is an annual, university-wide, student-run poetry reading forum where students and faculty expose the audience to different languages and cultures. The event aims to bring together people with different backgrounds and passions. In the past, there was contributions from languages such as German, Chinese, Mongolian, Kazakhs, Norwegian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Turkish, Hebrew, Dutch, Russian, Ukrainian, and Portuguese, and students and faculty from different majors and research fields. The theme of 2014 is “Tides of Change,” an inspiration for the readers to comment with poems on the current political and social events or to reflect on their own spiritual journey.

Sponsored by the Center for Global Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, the college of Liberal Arts, the Woskob Family Endowment in Ukrainian Studies, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Penn State University Libraries.

Exploring Ireland’s Literary Communities

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Nov 17, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

James O’Sullivan, Penn State

Using various computational methods, this study will explore Ireland’s literary communities through analyses of the nation’s leading contemporary journals. A very brief introduction to macro-analytics will be offered, before some of the study’s key findings will be presented and discussed. Possible influences from social and economic transformations will be charted, while any regional disparities will also be delineated. A number of other particularities will also be accounted for, including gender and editorial networks.

James O’Sullivan is the Digital Humanities Research Designer at the Pennsylvania State University. He holds graduate degrees in computer science and literary studies, and is currently completing his PhD at University College Cork. His work has been published in a variety of interdisciplinary journals, including Leonardo and the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing. James is Chair of the Colloquium at the University of Victoria’s Digital Humanities Summer Institute, and in 2014 was shortlisted for the Fortier Prize for Digital Humanities research. Further details on Mr. Sullivan and his work can be found at josullivan.org.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

The United Nations: An Overview of its Work, its Agencies, and the Hiring Process

Nov 14, 2014
02:30 PM to 04:00 PM
112 Katz

Said MaaloufUN Public Information Assistant

This talk will focus on the composition of the United Nations, its history, and structure as the Headquarters of international diplomacy worldwide. It will also address the current issues faced by the Organization vis-a-vis its mission and its role in achieving development and peace. The talk will conclude with an explanation of the hiring process, career opportunities, and the importance of language training within this process.

Fulbright Scholar Said Maalouf graduated from The School of International Affairs at Penn State in 2013. Prior to coming to Penn State, Mr. Maalouf had various experiences working in the private and non-profit sectors in both Beirut and Paris. After his graduation, he was hired at the United Nations' Division for Public Administration and Development Management as a Consultant in Public Administration, contributing to the Division's flagship publication "The 2014 UN e-Government Survey." Mr. Maalouf's current post at the UN is Public Information Assistant, working on outreach programs, addressing public inquiries, and promoting the mission and work of the UN to the people it serves. He speaks fluent English, French, Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese.

This lecture is sponsored by the Center for Global Studies and the School of International Affairs.

Managing and Exploiting Change

Nov 13, 2014
06:00 PM to 07:00 PM
206 Hammond

Don Shemanski, Penn State

Advances in technology, especially information technology, are revolutionizing everything; this has already begun and will continue to impact many things, including how human beings interact with each other in a variety of settings (relationships and communication, for example). The key element to being prepared for what is to come is the ability to correctly forecast -- or predict -- the course of future events.

Professor Shemanski is a professor of practice in the College of Information Science and Technology. He began teaching at Penn State in 2008 after serving as a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service for 23 years. Professor Shemanski worked in Berlin, Germany leading the embassy office in charge of counter-terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, climate change, and international judicial assistance. He has also worked in Washington D.C., Italy, Pakistan, and Cyprus.

Climate Change in Developing Countries: Impacts and Solutions

Nov 12, 2014
04:00 PM to 05:15 PM
410 Boucke

Climate change has become a topic of much concern across the globe. However, those impacted most by climate change and its effects are developing countries, who have done little to contribute to global warming.

Following the screening of the film "When the Water Ends" from Yale e360, panelists Robert Crane (professor of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences), Michael Jacobson (professor of Forestry Resources in the College of Agricultural Sciences), and Peter Buckland (graduate assistant at the Sustainability Institute) will discuss the effects of climate change in developing countries, as well as research being done by Penn State faculty and students, and what we, as individuals in developed countries, can do to help mitigate such effects

This event is meant to serve as a platform for discussion about the current impacts of climate change in developing countries, as well as research being done by Penn State faculty and students, and what we, as individuals in developed countries, can do to help mitigate such impacts.

“A Thousand Suns” Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Nov 12, 2014
03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Foster Auditorium

Filmed in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, "A Thousand Suns" tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley, an isolated area that has remained remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. Despite being one of the most densely populated rural regions of Africa, its people have been farming sustainably for 10,000 years.

The panel discussion that follows will include: Khanjan Mehta, director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship and Engineering Program at Penn State; Chanda Burrage, PhD candidate researching East African/Middle East relations and livelihoods in the cross-border cattle value chain on the Horn of Africa; and Audrey Maretzki co-director of the Inter-institutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge and food science professor specializing in sustainable food systems and international development. 

The objective of this event is to stimulate thought and thoughtful dialogue about sustainability and cultural preservation in the face of globalization, and to explore differences in how different cultures relate to nature. This event is free and open to everyone.

Edgar Allan Poe, 1845, and the “Invention” of American World Literature

CGS Brown Bag Series
Nov 12, 2014
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Micah Donohue, Penn State

Since 2006 and the publication of Wai Chee Dimock’s Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time, the concept of “American literature as world literature” has become increasingly popular, and it has been championed by other prominent scholars such as Lawrence Buell, Susan Stanford Friedman, and Paul Giles. In the introduction to Shades of the Planet: American Literature as World Literature (2007), Dimock calls for a mode of literary analysis which would “bring the circumference of the globe to bear on the circumference of the nation” since “American literature [i.e. U.S. American literature] as a spatially determinate set is a thing of the past.” Rather than debate the merits of the American literature as world literature project—although Theo D’Haen’s recent concern that texts such as Shades of the Planet risk “‘englobing’ the world through, and in, American literature” bears noting—this presentation challenges the idea that there is anything new about U.S. American writers thinking globally about U.S. literature. Dimock may be correct when she claims in Through Other Continents that “American literary studies as a discipline began” with the analysis “of one nation and one nation alone,” but printed discussions of U.S. American literature found in anthologies, newspapers, and journals going back to the nineteenth century demonstrate anything but an isolationist focus on “one nation alone.” As Edgar Allan Poe wrote in 1845, “the world at large is the only legitimate stage” for the American author.

This presentation focuses on the mid-nineteenth-century “invention” of an American world literature by Edgar Allan Poe, Cornelius Mathews, and Evert A. Duyckinck. (Quotation marks remain around “invention” because the worldliness of Anglo-American literature can already be seen in eighteenth and even seventeenth-century texts.) The 1840s—and 1845 in particular—form a crucially important moment in the conceptualization of U.S. American literature as a global phenomenon. During this period, the Young America literary-political movement begins, New Democrat policies of territorial and economic expansionism are championed and adopted, and military hostilities between the USA and Mexico flare into an outright war of aggression. When Poe, Mathews, and Duyckinck write about U.S. American literature in both local and international terms, they do so from within a country that was experiencing its own rampant internationalization and transformation—economically, politically, and militarily—into an imperial power on a global scale. These tensions within the United States at mid-century become the contradictions galvanizing Poe’s, Mathews’s, and Duyckinck’s statements about U.S. American literature, a literature that should, in Mathews’s words, “insist on nationalism and true Americanism” while also leading “a movement, to whose march the whole world will, ere long, be beating joyful time.” American world literature begins as an imperial and expansionist formulation, and the “englobing” that worries Theo D’Haen in the twenty-first century had already begun by the middle of the nineteenth.

Micah Donohue is an ABD doctoral student in the Department of Comparative Literature currently finishing a dissertation that explores the intersections of irony, metaphor, translation, monstrosity, and poetic recombination in the literature of the Americas. His work focuses on literary texts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries written in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. He has taught a variety of courses at Penn State, in the Departments of Comparative Literature and Spanish, including Latina/o Literature and Culture, Spanish 3, Introduction to Literatures of the Americas, Native American Myths, Legends, and Literatures, and Crime and Detective Fiction in World Literature. His work has been supported by a number of grants and awards from Penn State such as The Center for American Literary Studies Summer Graduate Award, a Research and Graduate Studies Office Grant, and the Susan Welch/Nagle Family Graduate Fellowship Award.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

Blister you all: The Calibanic Genealogy in Brazil

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Nov 10, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Pedro Meira Monteiro, Princeton University

This is an investigation into how post-colonial readings of Shakespeare’s The Tempest can help us understand the “Calibanic genealogy” that allowed certain authors to invert the fin-de-siècle assumptions that placed Ariel’s spiritual virtues ahead of Caliban’s raw corporeality. My hypothesis is that Prospero’s Mirror (an influential text by the U.S. scholar Richard Morse) is an “exaggerated” reading of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda’s classic Roots of Brazil that imagines Ibero-America as the real promised land of Western civilization, as opposed to the failure of the United States as a civilizational model.

Pedro Meira Monteiro is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University, where he is also the Acting Director of the Program in Latin American Studies. He is the co-director of the Princeton-University of São Paulo global network on Race and Citizenship in the Americas. The author and editor of several books, such as Mário de Andrade e Sérgio Buarque de Holanda: Correspondência (Edusp/Companhia das Letras, 2012) and Cangoma Calling: Spirits and Rhythms of Freedom in Brazilian Jongo Slavery Songs (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 2013), he also contributes regularly to Brazilian newspapers and magazines.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Child awareness of subtle probabilities in adult language use: Evidence from Spanish DO pronouns

CGS Brown Bag Series
Nov 05, 2014
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
102 Kern

Pablo E. Requena, Penn State 

Those aspects of language that display optionality or variation are in general not entirely free or unpredictable. Actually, most language variation has been shown to be affected/constrained by either language-internal (e.g. grammatical category, gender marking) or external factors (e.g. speaker’s age, gender, social class), or both. For example, one case of variability in Spanish is represented by Direct Object pronouns called clitics. In constructions with a finite and non-finite verb (as shown in 1 below) they can go either before or after the verbal construction without any evident difference in meaning. 

(1)  a. Lo voy a comer  (Proclisis)   

‘I am going to eat it’  

b. Voy a comerlo  (Enclisis)

‘I am going to eat it’  

Such variation has been described within sociolinguistics as constrained by lexical, semantic and discourse factors. Data from adult spoken Argentine Spanish that will be presented here confirms these previous studies. Even though language acquisition studies have shown early mastery of these forms, no research has examined whether preschool children’s use of clitics is also constrained by the same factors as is the case with adult speakers. Therefore, I present data from naturalistic, imitation and elicited production tasks showing that children’s use of clitics is constrained by at least two of the three types of constraints mentioned above (namely lexical and semantic). This research points to a usage-based view of language acquisition in which children are aware of subtle patterns in the input and are able to match probabilities.

Originally from Argentina, Pablo E. Requena graduated with an undergraduate degree in Education from the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. He holds an MA in Hispanic Linguistics from Penn State and is currently completing his final year as a PhD. student in Language Science and Spanish Linguistics at Penn State. Pablo’s research encompasses both first language and second language acquisition and his research has focused on speakers from variety of Spanish dialects, including Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Southern Spain. With support from the College of Liberal Arts and the Center for Global Studies, Pablo has conducted research with Spanish-speaking children and adults in Argentina on how children use pronouns in variable contexts. 

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

Affirmations of Blackness: Reading the Black Enlightenment

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Nov 03, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Surya Parekh, Penn State

Recent scholarship in the Black Radical Tradition argues that the legacies and inheritances of the Enlightenment might be interpreted as always already in relation to blackness. This presentation explores this claim by reading two popular 18th century texts against each other: Immanuel Kant’s Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime and Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Framing these texts as sharing an Enlightenment discourse, this presentation shows that Kant’s work covers a complex moment in which the comportment of black women within the "deepest slavery" is represented as one of respect and submission. The presentation turns to Phillis Wheatley’s poetry to respond. What lessons does Wheatley’s philosophizing lyrical I teach us - about the provenance of the Enlightenment, 18th century Afro-Diasporic intellectual production, and the politics of fraternity - speaking to a universal from within slavery and written from, if the accounts are correct, a comportment of respect and submission?

Surya Parekh is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Africana Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University. Previously, he was the 2013-14 Alain Locke Postdoctoral Fellow at Penn State. His research is critically attuned to the (dis)figuration of the Enlightenment subject in contemporary scholarship. Currently, he is completing a book monograph, provisionally titled Reading the Black Enlightenment: Black Subjectivity, Indigeneity, and the Cosmopolitan,which explores the 18th century literary and philosophical production of Afro-British/Afro-American and Native American authors and their traffic with a dominant Enlightenment discourse.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Fieldwork in Theory: Anthropologies of Levantine Intellectuals

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Oct 27, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Fadi Bardawil, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Fadi A. Bardawil joined the Department of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill this fall, after spending three years as a Harper Fellow at the University of Chicago's Society of Fellows. An anthropologist by training (PhD Columbia, 2010), his work which lies at the crossroads of political anthropology and intellectual history looks into the lives and works of contemporary modernist Arab thinkers in the context of the international circulation of social theory. Currently, he is working on a book manuscript provisionally titled In Marxism's Wake: Disenchanted Levantine Intellectuals and Metropolitan Traveling Theories. His writings have appeared, and are forthcoming, in the Journal for Palestine Studies (Arabic edition), Boundary 2, Jadaliyya, Kulturaustausch, and al-Akhbar daily (2006-2012).

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

The Political Economy of Inward Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries

CGS Brown Bag Series
Oct 22, 2014
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Dr. Boliang Zhu, Penn State 

Do governments in different developing countries prefer different types of inward foreign direct investment (FDI)? If yes, what drives such heterogeneity? FDI inflows like other cross-border factor movements can generate significant distributional consequences for domestic actors.  Domestic politics are thus likely to play a critical role in shaping a country’s FDI policy. In particular, distinct institutional constraints may drive political leaders in autocracies and democracies to prefer different types of FDI to benefit their core constituencies. Dr. Boliang Zhu will explore the politics of FDI in developing countries, particularly in China and East Asia.

Dr. Boliang Zhu is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Penn State University. He specializes in international/comparative political economy. His research addresses the politics of globalization and economic development with a focus on China and East Asia. He holds a Ph.D. degree in political science from Columbia University, an M.A. degree in East Asian studies from Yale University, and B.A. degrees in international politics and economics from Peking University. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program at Harvard University and a Visiting Associate Research Scholar at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

Calcutta-London-Madrid: The Politics of Translation in Global Modernisms

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Oct 20, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Gayle Rogers, University of Pittsburgh

This talk approaches a longstanding question in modernist studies through a different critical route: how are we to study global modernisms without replicating the Anglo-European criteria of what "counts" as modernist (formally, temporally, spatially), and at the same time, preserve some sense of what "modernism" means as a movement?  I aim to reorient our thinking on this question by leaving London at the center of a global literary phenomenon, but by demonstrating the ways in which its institutions--and the English language--were only a temporary way station for some more fruitful modernist exchanges.  I follow the translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s works from Bengali to English to Spanish: in English, his fame was short-lived and precarious, while in Spanish, thanks to the extensive and creative translations by Juan Ramón Jiménez, he remains an influential poetic figure.  The world republic of letters contained exchanges of modernist texts, styles, and critiques that went far beyond London, New York, Paris, or Berlin, of course, and one way to recover them, I argue, is to reconceive translation as a practice that decenters modernism and shows its lateral emergence across a range of disparate literary economies. 

Gayle Rogers is associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.  He is the author of Modernism and the New Spain: Britain, Cosmopolitan Europe, and Literary History (2012), and of publications in PMLA,Modernism/modernity, Comparative Literature, Journal of Modern Literature, James Joyce Quarterly, and other journals.  His current book projects are Modernism: Evolution of an Idea (co-written with Sean Latham forthcoming 2015) and Between Literary Empires: Translation and the Comparative Emergence of Modernism, a study of English/Spanish translation practices from the Spanish-American War of 1898 to the present. 

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

The Strategic Underpinnings of Conflict Management in Large Corporations: Evidence from U.S. and U.K.

CGS Brown Bag Series
Oct 15, 2014
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Dr. Ryan Lamare, Penn State

This presentation reports on two efforts to document workplace alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practices at large organizations. The first effort uses evidence from a survey of 368 Fortune 1000 corporations to empirically examine the strategic underpinnings of organizational conflict management practices within large U.S. firms. We argue that decisions to adopt alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practices and conflict management systems (CMS) may be driven by a set of proactive forces, rather than being solely reactive in nature. We find evidence that both firm strategy and commitment influence aggregate workplace ADR and CMS offerings, but these effects differ within ADR practice types. We also find evidence that management’s commitment to ADR moderates the effects of a strategic approach to workplace disputes. The second effort attempts to replicate the U.S. survey in the U.K. context. We discuss ongoing challenges and opportunities for constructing similar surveys within different organizational and institutional contexts, and report on expected outcomes of the comparative approach

Ryan Lamare is an assistant professor at Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations. His research interests include: labor and employment arbitration; ADR in the securities industry; the development of ADR systems in organizations; the role of unions in politics; employment relations and HR at multinational companies; and quantitative research methods. He has published extensively on these issues in high-quality journals such as Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Industrial Relations, Harvard Negotiation Law Review,and Journal of World Business. Dr. Lamare also worked previously for a non-profit workers’ rights organization, and has held visiting academic appointments in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

Poetry and the Global Migration of Form

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Oct 13, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Jahan Ramazani, University of Virginia

One of the most pervasive models for “world” and “global” literature has been the formula foreign form and local content. New literature issues, we are told, from the introduction of a foreign form into a local environment. Although Franco Moretti and others have usually applied the paradigm to the novel, what happens when it is put to the test with other genres, such as poetry? What is the place of such ideas in understanding poetry in a global age? Critically reexamining the foreign form and local content model in relation to postcolonial and Western poems written in English, this paper seeks to develop alternative ways of conceptualizing poetry and other literary forms in their global dimensionality.

Jahan Ramazani is Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His books include A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the Harry Levin Prize, and Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent book is Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2013). An associate editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012), he has also co-edited several Norton anthologies.He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEH Fellowship, a Rhodes Scholarship, the William Riley Parker Prize, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the University of Virginia’s highest honor.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Solidarity and Sacrifice: Poetry Translation and the Russian Radical Left

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Oct 06, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Brian Baer, Kent State University

This paper explores the central role played by translation--and, in particular, by the translation of poetry--among members of Russia’s radical left in the nineteenth century. The paper will focus on the various functions of poetry translation in that historical context in order to outline a model for studying translation within the overall interpretive network that shapes both its production and reception.

Brian James Baer is Professor of Russian and Translation Studies at Kent State University. He is author of the monograph Other Russias: Homosexuality and the Crisis of Post-Soviet Identity (2009) and editor of the collected volumes Contexts, Subtexts and Pretexts: Literary Translation in Eastern Europe and Russia (2011) and Russian Writers on Translation. An Anthology (2013). He is founding editor of the journal Translation and Interpreting Studies, and his monograph Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature is forthcoming in the Bloomsbury series Literatures, Cultures, Translation.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Peace Education as a Tool to Address Youth Violence and Delinquency in Morocco

CGS Brown Bag Series
Oct 01, 2014
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Kendra Taylor, Penn State 

What might a participant in a peace education program walk away with at the conclusion of the course? Peace education programs, unlike larger trends in education which stress accountability and results that seek easy categorization, often defy a clear answer to this question. This presentation explores what one particular group of students in Morocco walked away with after participating in a six week peace education program. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected to provide insights into whether and if so, what kinds of, changes participants experienced in terms of attitudes and perceptions, problem solving skills, and sense of empowerment. These findings lead to a discussion of ongoing challenges in the field and recommendations for further research.

Kendra Taylor is a PhD student in the Department of Education Policy Studies. Her research focuses on peace education with particular attention to peace education in varying sociopolitical contexts and the evaluation of peace education programs. She has worked on peace education projects in Morocco and Sri Lanka. She also explores trends within peace education including conflict resolution education, restorative justice programs, and intergroup contact experiences. Her research has been funded through the Africana Research Center at Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. 

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and  graduate research.

Same-Sex Intimacies in an Early Modern African Text about an Ethiopian Female Saint, Gadla Walatta Petros (1672)

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Sep 29, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Wendy Belcher, Princeton University

The seventeenth-century Ethiopian book The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros (Gadla Walatta Petros) features a life-long partnership between two women and the depiction of same-sex sexuality among nuns. The earliest known book-length biography about the life of an African woman, written in 1672 in the Ge'ez language, Gadla Walatta Petros is an extraordinary account of early modern African women's lives--full of vivid dialogue, heartbreak, and triumph. It features revered Ethiopian religious leader Walatta Petros (1592-1642), who led a nonviolent movement against European proto-colonialism in Ethiopia in a successful fight to retain African Christian beliefs, for which she was elevated to sainthood in the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahedo Church. An important part of the text is her friendship with another nun, as they "lived together in mutual love, like soul and body" until death. Interpreting the women's relationships in this Ethiopian text requires care, but queer theory provides useful warnings, framing, and interpretive tools.

Wendy Laura Belcher is associate professor of African literature in Princeton University’s Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies. She has been studying African literature for over two decades and is now working to bring attention to early African literature through her research and translation. She also studies how African thought has informed a global traffic of invention, recently publishing Abyssinia’s Samuel Johnson: English Thought in the Making of an English Author (Oxford, 2012) and is finalizing the translation of The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Translation of a Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an African Woman with Michael Kleiner, which is perhaps the earliest biography of an African woman.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Dissent and Digital Transumption in An Age of Insecurity

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Sep 22, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Djelal Kadir, Penn State

This is a diagnostic critique. Unlike a jeremiad, which is a cautionary admonition about what is bound to come, a critique is a diagnosis of what already is. By definition, a diagnosis aims at knowing two things - what is said and what is done - and examines the discrepancies between the two. This is an essay on the cartography of dissent, which is to say, a critical interrogation of dissent’s possibilities in the present. The analysis probes the historical moment through the institutional discourse of two currently dominant ideologemes--the digital and the transnational. Any coincidence between the narrative of this analysis and your personal or institutional circumstances is purely fortuitous. The NSA has you covered, and your college or university has your back. And, as the agent says, “no need to worry, if you are not doing or saying anything you shouldn’t be.”

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

We Can't Go There With You: Trauma Rhetoric and its Abuses in Times of Sustained Threat

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Sep 15, 2014
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Rosemary Jolly, Penn State 

This talk addresses what trauma theory can and cannot offer in practical contexts of the sustained threats of HIV and gender-based violence. Dr. Jolly discusses her field work experiences, embedded as they have been in intergenerational histories of systemic violence underwritten by colonialism, its attendant racisms, and their aftermath. She addresses the interests of those working in the applied fields of trauma and post-traumatic studies, HIV, racism, sexism and heterosexism, child abuse and the intergenerational effects of colonialism and violent conflict.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

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