Resident Fellows Speaker Series

The Hall Center hosts several faculty and graduate student fellows in residence each semester. During their residencies, our Fellows give talks about their works-in-progress. These events are public and open to all, please see the Hall Center calendar to register for these events.

Andrew Denning, Mid-Career Research Fellow, Associate Professor of History
Automotive Empire: How Roads Made Colonial Africa

TUE FEB 1, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

By 1940, the road network in African colonies was seven times the length of its rail network. Why did roads became the solution to problems of colonial governance between 1895 and 1940 and what kind of empire did they create? This talk studies the development of European road construction and motorization efforts in African colonies, efforts that both coincided with and undergirded the height of European imperial power. Automotive empire was both a distinct era of empire and a particular model of colonial rule that connected European imperial projects across their political and territorial divisions. An attention to European automotive empires demonstrates that technology and infrastructure were not simply means to imperial ends. Rather, they inscribed imperial political and social relations in space and constituted the colonial state, while rarely fulfilling Europeans’ transformative vision.

Suzanne Tanner, Sias Graduate Fellow, English
Shakespeare’s Stage and Page as Interfaces

FRI FEB 25, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Interfaces, or boundary spaces of interaction between two systems, are primarily observed in screen media, though they exist in every area of life. Expanding the study of interface beyond screens and considering a material text, such as a Shakespearean printed play or performance, as an interface between “users” (the audience) and the “play system” (story world of the play), offers several important contributions to the ideas of media and materiality studies. One contribution includes reframing the goal of media as providing access to the user (a primary goal of interface), which allows us to move beyond the frequently cited but often problematic goal of media as mimetic representation. Further, interface theory allows us to consider Shakespearean text and performance design in creating a user-oriented experience, centering the audience/reader and their cognitive response to the interface features of the play.

Lisa M. Corrigan, Visiting Regional Faculty Fellow, Professor of Communication, Director of the Gender Studies Program, University of Arkansas
Feeling Abolition: John Brown, Gerrit Smith, and Dissociative Whiteness

WED MAR 9, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

This lecture focuses on the sensorial politics surrounding prominent antebellum abolitionists, John Brown and Gerrit Smith, to understand how racialized feelings were instrumental in producing emergent white subjectivities. In particular, the language of mania, egoism, and madness were used to describe the psycho-social discomfort that aggressive abolitionists like Brown and Smith were creating for white Americans across the country as they pursued the abolition of slavery. This language was part of the emotional-political economy of antebellum America and it created the conditions for “dissociative whiteness,” a process that produced alienating affects of whiteness as both psychic and social processes within and among white people. In doing so, aggressive abolitionists like Brown and Smith offered models of transgressive whiteness that propelled abolition and transformed the country as it marched towards war. Dr. Lisa M. Corrigan is an Associate Professor of Communication, Director of the Gender Studies Program, Affiliate Faculty in both African & African American Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of Arkansas, and author of Prison Power: How Prison Politics Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation (2016) and Black Feelings: Race and Affect in the Long Sixties (2020).

Molly Zahn, Professor, Religious Studies
The Unfulfilled Past as Utopian Vision: The Dead Sea Temple Scroll in Its Early Jewish Context

THU MAR 24, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Molly Zahn is working on a groundbreaking commentary on the Temple Scroll, the longest and arguably one of the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of nearly one thousand ancient Jewish manuscripts dating from roughly 250 BCE to 70 CE. Zahn guides readers through the Temple Scroll’s overlooked utopian vision, which is rooted in a masquerade as a much older text. The Temple Scroll presents itself as the very words of God—as ancient divine speech from Mt. Sinai, the mountain of revelation in Jewish tradition. Across 66 columns of text, the divine voice of the Temple Scroll commands in intricate detail the construction of a magnificent temple complex (hence the name), and supplements these building instructions with a variety of prescriptions pertaining to the ritual use of the temple complex and the everyday lives of the Israelites who dwell around it. Although the Temple Scroll presents itself as primary, original revelation from the time of Moses, it is in fact the product of a much later period (likely the 2nd century BCE) and is heavily dependent upon textual traditions familiar from the Hebrew Bible, especially Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (all of which were likely composed between roughly 600 and 400 BCE). In other words, the Temple Scroll is a highly interpretive work, chronologically secondary to other prominent sacred texts, but its divine voice and Sinaitic setting deny and obscure this “belatedness.” In this gap between the scroll’s self-presentation and the reality of its composition lie both Zahn’s particular interest in this text and its significance for the humanities more broadly.

Marike Janzen, Associate Professor, Humanities Program, Coordinator, Peace and Conflict Studies Program
Readers and Refugees as World Citizens in the Contemporary German Literary Sphere

WED MAR 30, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Since 2015, when 890,000 refugees arrived in Germany, the state has marshaled its sizable arts budget to promote literary initiatives that feature their voices. This project explores how Germany’s approach to bringing non-citizens into the public sphere relates to the ways in which the nation has historically prioritized books and reading as tools for developing the ideal citizen - an educated and worldly-wise individual. More specifically, Readers and Refugees examines how state-funded literary projects in Germany’s capital, Berlin, invoke this citizenship ideal as they seek to teach citizens about refugees and introduce refugees to German cultural norms. While these initiatives serve the goal of cultural integration, they conflate the statuses of citizen, non-citizen, and world citizen, which hold distinct relationships to the state. Nevertheless, the tensions between distinct kinds of citizenship at play in these projects provide opportunities to glimpse new forms of the citizen that are tied neither to a particular nation nor the amorphous feeling of global belonging. Through its focus on citizenship-formation via reading in the context of Germany, the study offers insights into the practice, possibilities, and limitations of the humanities in addressing challenges related to the state’s obligations of hospitality, in the face of widespread migration and intensifying nationalism across the world.

Verónica Garibotto, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
Paradoxical Ideologies: An Intersectional View of Argentine Psychoanalytic Culture

WED APR 27, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Argentines take pride in being the most psychoanalyzed population in the world. According to a study by Modesto Alonso, there are 154 analysts per 100,000 people in Argentina (which compares with about 27 per 100,000 people in the United States) and Buenos Aires ranks first globally for patients undergoing psychoanalytic treatment, surpassing Vienna, the discipline’s city of birth. The popularity of psychoanalysis goes beyond the therapist’s couch. At least since the 1940s, the discipline has extensively influenced the national culture on multiple fronts. It has permeated ordinary language, film, television, radio, literature, and academic discourse, creating what historian Mariano Plotkin calls “a psychoanalytic culture”. This unique psychoanalytic culture has historically influenced progressive causes, both at home and abroad. Veronica Garibotto’s book project, Paradoxical Ideologies, examines the Argentine psychoanalytic culture from an intersectional perspective (an approach that examines how categories such as gender, class, sexuality, space, and race get combined to create marginalization). The main claim is that, contrary to widespread celebratory perceptions, the Argentine psychoanalytic culture has often enabled interlocking forms of oppression. The project has two interrelated goals: to examine critically one of Argentina’s most influential discourses, and to further our understanding of the links between psychoanalysis and intersectionality.