March 28, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 14

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    From ancient world to today's films

    Topics ranging from the ancient Mediterranean world to contemporary American cinema will be explored in numerous conferences and lectures offered by the Chicago Humanities Institute this quarter. In celebration of National Poetry Month, a series of poetry-related events will be offered as well.

    For times and locations of events, see the daily listings of the Calendar (pages 6-8), in this and subsequent issues of the Chronicle. For further information, pick up announcements at the Chicago Humanities Institute in Regenstein S-118 or contact CHI at 702-8274 or org_chi@midway.uchicago.edu.

    n CONFERENCES "Law Courts and the Mediation of Social Conflict in the Ancient Mediterranean World" Saturday, March 30 In the ancient Mediterranean world, were formal legal institutions and bodies of substantive law developed solely as an alternative to violence? This colloquium will provide a forum for comparative and interdisciplinary discussion of how law courts were used both to settle and to pursue social conflicts.

    "Economies of the Senses" Thursday, April 4, through Saturday, April 6 Drawing together speakers from a wide range of disciplines, this conference will address how various cultures itemize and group the senses and how they may reward the experience of some senses while reducing and punishing the experience of others, thereby creating "economies of the senses" -- systems of sensory interdependence, hierarchy, transformation and exclusion.

    "Cinema Studies in the Age of Global Media" Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13 After a mixed-media event on Friday night, sessions will be held Saturday on the following topics: "Institutions of Cinema and Cinema Studies: The Stakes of Transformation," "Media Publics: Cinema as Expanded Field" and "Methodology, Theory and Paradigm Shifts." The fourth session will be a roundtable discussion.

    "Teaching the Oresteia" Friday, April 19, through Sunday, April 21 (Note: Only the Saturday events will be held on campus; Friday events will be at Loyola, and Sunday events at Northwestern.) Although Aeschylus' tragic trilogy, the Oresteia, is a staple in undergraduate courses, it remains an enigmatic text. Teachers have traditionally approached it from a theological perspective, but more recent historicist scholarship exposes fragilities of Greek democratic society. This conference will focus on pedagogy to reassess and revitalize the teaching of this classic work.

    "Regional Worlds: Reconceptualizing South Asia" Thursday, May 9, and Friday, May 10 The second in a series of four colloquia, this pilot program will explore the links between area studies and cultural studies.

    "Dislocating States: Representing Struggles in Transnational Times" Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18 An idealized image of the nation-state, dominant in a wide variety of disciplines, is currently being challenged by transnational flows and forms of organization at every level. These challenges will be addressed in four sessions: "States in Question," "Representing People," "Redefining Place" and "Working Through the Transnational."

    Mellon-Sawyer Seminar on Toleration, Repression and Authority: "Institutions of Toleration" Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25 The early modern period developed crucial experiments in tolerating differences -- in scientific and literary societies, in the "republic of letters" and in some actual republics. This conference will explore the institutions that permitted freedom of speech and diversity of opinion against continuing pressures from counter-ideals of censorship, uniformity and repression.

    "Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Mathematics: A Conference in Honor of William Tait" Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2 To honor William Tait, Professor in Philosophy, upon his retirement, this conference will address current philosophical debates concerning Wittgenstein's conception of mathematics and its extended influence in other philosophical domains.

    n LECTURES Thursday, March 28: "French in Africa: Its Spread and Africanization" Louis-Jean Calvet (Sorbonne)

    Monday, April 1: "Vessels of Theory: Circulation Through the Disciplines" Michael Berube (Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

    Monday, April 8: "Homes and Border Crossings: Textualizing the Black Atlantic in Films" Awam Amkpa (CHI Rockefeller Fellow)

    Tuesday, April 9: "Testing the Boundaries of the Republic of Letters: Jean Hardouin and the Limits of Scholarly Tolerance in the Age of Enlightenment" Anthony Grafton (Princeton)

    Monday, April 15: "Organizing Brazilian Rubber Tappers" Mauro Almeida (CHI MacArthur Fellow)

    Monday, April 29: "Media Culture on the U.S./Mexican Border" Michael Saenz (CHI Rockefeller Fellow)

    Friday, May 3: Title TBA Carolyn Abbate (Princeton)

    Monday, May 13: "Gender and Discourses of Citizenship in India" Nivedita Menon (CHI MacArthur Fellow)

    n POETRY EVENTS (See the Calendar, pages 6-8, for additional poetry events on campus) Thursday, April 4: Poetry Reading Gail Mazur, author of The Common

    Friday, April 12: "The State of Poetry" A panel discussion with Paul Breslin, moderator (Northwestern), Calvin Forbes (Art Institute), Robert Polito (New School for Social Research), Joseph Parisi (editor, Poetry), Andrew Rathmann (managing editor, Chicago Review), Maureen Seaton (Columbia College)

    Thursday, April 18: Poetry Reading Susan Stewart, author of The Forest