Colloquia Archive

Jennifer L. Morgan
New York University
On Race and Reinscription: Writing Enslaved Women into the Early Modern Archive
Friday, February 25, 2022
Humanities Building 117
JENNIFER L. MORGAN is Professor of History in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University where she also serves as Chair. She is the author of Reckoning with Slavery: Gender, Kinship and Capitalism in the Early Black Atlantic (Duke University Press, 2020), Laboring Women: Gender and Reproduction in the Making of New World Slavery (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), and the co-editor of Connexions: Histories of Race and Sex in America (University of Illinois Press, 2016). Her research examines the intersections of gender and race in in the Black Atlantic world. Her newest work, Reckoning with Slavery: Gender, Kinship and Capitalism in the Early Black Atlantic. considers colonial numeracy, racism and the rise of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the seventeenth-century English Atlantic world, and was published in April 2021 by Duke University Press.

Anna Tsing
University of California, Santa Cruz
Field Guide to the Patchy Anthropocene
Friday, November 12, 2021
via Zoom
The Anthropocene is both planetary and particular. This talk introduces the digital book project, Feral Atlas, to argue for a transdisciplinary approach to understanding the Anthropocene. How can we overcome the great gap between the humanities and the natural sciences to address the urgent environmental problems of our times? The project proposes that we explore the social-and-ecological patches of the Anthropocene, with their simultaneously human and nonhuman histories.

Gregg Lambert
Syracuse University
Monday, April 26, 2021
via Zoom
Professor Lambert, who is Dean’s Professor of Humanities at Syracuse University, was the Founding Director of the Syracuse University Humanities Center, and created the Mellon Foundation’s Central New York Humanities Corridor, serving for several years as its Director and Principle Investigator. An internationally recognized scholar of Continental Philosophy and the author of many books exploring that terrain, he will speak about his new book project on life during pandemic, “The World Is Gone: Philosophy in (the) Light of the Pandemic.” More information about Prof. Lambert and his work may be found here.

Thangham Ravindranathan
Brown University
Monday, November 16, 2020
via Zoom
Thangam Ravindranathan is Associate Professor in the Department of French Studies at Brown University. She received her PhD in Comparative/French Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and Université de Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint-Denis). Her teaching and research interests are 20th- and 21st-century literature and criticism/theory; poetry; narratives of travel; the contemporary novel; the question of the animal; ecological perspectives. She is the author of Là où je ne suis pas: récits de dévoyage (Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, 2012), a reflection on travel as a disappointed poetics and a dismantled epistemology in 20th century French literature (revisiting writings by Henri Michaux, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Perec, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Eric Chevillard and others). Other book projects, Donner le change (with Antoine Traisnel, Éditions Hermann, 2016) and Behold an Animal: Four Exorbitant Readings (Northwestern UP, January 2020), focus on animals in contemporary literary and critical thought.

Geoffrey Bennington
Emory University
Scatter 2.0: The Proto-Democratic Opening of Politics
Monday, October 7, 2019
Humanities Building 117
Geoffrey Bennington is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of French and Professor of Comparative Literature at Emory University in Georgia; Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland; as well as a member of the International College of Philosophy in Paris. He is a literary critic and philosopher, best known as an expert on deconstruction and the works of Jacques Derrida and Jean-François Lyotard. Bennington has translated many Derrida's works into English. His latest publications are: "Kant on the Frontier: Philosophy, and the Ends of the Earth" (2017); "Scatter I: The Politics of Politics in Foucault, Heidegger, and Derrida" (2016) and "Géographie et autes lectures" (2011).

Stacy Alaimo
University of Texas at Arlington
Global Visions, Speculative Aesthetics and Mediated Desire in the Blue Humanities
Friday, March 8, 2019
Rayzor Hall 119
Stacy Alaimo's publications include "Undomesticated Ground: Recasting Nature as Feminist Space" (2000), "Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self" (2010), which won the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment book award for Ecocriticism; and "Exposed Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times" (2016) in the Gender series of Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks. She is currently co-editing a new book series, "Elements," with Nicole Starosielski and  Courtney Berger for Duke University Press. Her work has been and is being translated into Swedish, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Estonian, and Korean. She is currently writing "Composing Blue Ecologies: Science, Aesthetics, and Creatures of the Abyss" and a book on ocean acidification.

Kalpana Seshadri
Boston College
Post-Human Economics: An Introduction
Friday, April 13, 2018
Humanities Building, Room 117
Dr. Seshadri specializes in Postcolonial Studies and theories of contemporary Globalization and relations of power. She teaches courses pertaining to British colonialism, colonial literature and non-western literatures in English. Her research field is the Philosophy of Race and inequality, focusing on questions of subjectivity, ethics, language and law. Courses include Global Englishes; Debates and Issues in Postcolonial Studies; British Literature and Postcolonial Criticism, Fictions of Empire. Her current research deals with the inter-relation of the consumer driven global economy with the non-human.

David Willis

Brown University
Lam Time: The Narrative Temporarity of the Death Penalty
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
123 Rayzor Hall
David Wills is a professor of French studies and comparative literature at Brown University. He has published a number of books, including three volumes on the originary technology of the human: Prosthesis (Stanford , 1995), Dorsality (Minnesota, 2008), and Inanimation (Minnesota, 2016). He has recently completed a volume entitled Killing Times; The Temporal Technology of the Death Penalty (Fordham, forthcoming). He is a translator of works by Jacques Derrido and a member of the Derrida Seminars Translation Project, and a International Fellow of the London Graduate School.

Elizabeth DeLoughrey
University of California, Los Angeles
2017 Spring Colloquium: Submarine Futures of the Anthropocene
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Humanities Building 117

Simona Forti
The New School for Social Research
Fall 2016 Colloquium: The Ethos of Freedom Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault on Ethics, Power, and Domination
Monday, October 24, 2016
Humanities Building 117

David Wills
Brown University
Spring 2016 Colloquium: Spirit Wind: The Suicide Penalty of the Death Bomber
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Humanities Building 117

William Rasch
Indiana University
State and Society: An Old Dichotomy for an Old But Persistent Problem
Friday, December 11, 2015
Humanities Building, Room 117
The classical fear of the state is the fear of tyranny. The limitation of state authority, founded on the concept of individual liberty and the division of governmental powers, marks the victory of society over the state. In its anarchical, libertarian (liberal), but also its Marxian (social revolution) forms, this victory becomes total.  Non-Marxian critics of liberalism have always alluded to this commonality when they claimed that both liberalism and Marxism fight their battle on literalisms economic and, thus, social turf. The struggle against social dominion therefore focuses on the restitution of the strong state, one powerful enough to mediate" class war or, more forcefully, suppress it by way of reform. Carl Schmitt can be placed in this non-Marxian, anti-liberal tradition. This paper will explore some of the ways Schmitt manipulates versions of the state-society distinction, especially in his constitutional theory, as well as relate his early twentieth-century thought to a nineteenth-century precursor and contemporary of Marx, Lorenz von Stein. Upon final reflection, we may wonder whether the current fixation on the ills of governmentality and bio-politics uncomfortably resembles the traditional liberal critique of government and bureaucracy.

Presented in conjunction with the Humanities Research Center's Rice Seminar, "After Biopolitics."

Ian Balfour
York University
Fall 2014 Colloquium: Nothing Exceeds Like Excess: On Some Poetics and Politics of the Sublime (And Why it Matters)
Friday, November 21, 2014
Humanities Building, Room 119
Ian Balfour's teaching research interests include Romantic poetry and prose, contemporary theory and criticism, and 18th-century literature and philosophy (especially aesthetic theory and philosophy of language). He is the author of Northrop Frye (1988), the Rhetoric of Romantic Prophecy (2002) and of essays on Romantics (Wordsworth, Blake, Godwin, Inchbald), Walter Benjamin, Paul de Man, and on topics in popular clture (music, TV, film). He co-edited with Atom Egoyan, Subtitles: On the Foreignness of film, an Eduardo Cadava, And Justice for All?: The Claims of Human Rights (SAQ), and is the sole editor of a collection called Late Derrida (SAQ). He has taught at Cornell, Stanford, the Joann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, and Williams College, among others. He's completing a book on the sublime.

Karen Pinkus
Cornell University
Terranes of Climate Change: Theory Between Geology and Geography
Friday, November 15, 2013
Rayzor Hall 113
When Karen E. Pinkus, Romance Studies and Italian and Comparative Literature, first heard about climate change—how it is impacted by human activity—she said to herself, “I need to be working on this. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Pinkus, however, is no scientist. She is a humanities scholar through and through. Her background is in Italian literature and film. Pinkus is working on a book tentatively titled Autonomia/Automata: Machines for Writing, Laboring and Thinking in 1960s Italy in which she examines Italian art, literature, film, and politics of the decade to explore the relationship between labor and automation.
Faculty Website: Pinkus Research

Levi Bryant
Collin College
Machine-Oriented Ontology
Friday, December 7, 2012
Professor Levi R. Bryant is a former psychoanalyst and professor of philosophy at Collin College outside of Dallas, Texas. He is the author of Difference and Givenness: Deleuze’s Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence (Northwestern University Press, 2008) and co-editor, along with Nick Srnicek and Graham Harman, of The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism (, 2010). He has written numerous articles on Deleuze, Badiou, Lacan, and Žižek, and has written widely on social and political thought, cultural theory, and media theory at his blog  Larval Subjects.
Faculty Website: