Founded in 2017, the Bodies of Knowledge Working Group brings together faculty, graduate students, and museum curators from campus and beyond who share and discuss their current research addressing the human body and the health and environmental humanities from a variety of standpoints. Collateral initiatives have ranged from experimental undergraduate courses to an Art Museum exhibit to an international conference. The main focus in 2021-2022 will be the body and the environment across the human-nonhuman divide.
For more information, please contact conveners Elena Fratto (Slavic Languages and Literatures) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Arbel Griner (Princeton School of Public and International Affairs) at email@example.com.
THE HUMAN COLONY: SYMBIOGENESIS AND SYMPOIESIS IN THE WORKS OF KONSTANTIN MEREZHKOVSKII AND ALEXANDER BOGDANOV
Mieka Erley (Colgate University)
CONFLATING ANIMAL SLAUGHTER AND ANIMAL AND HUMAN SACRIFICE: VASILY ROZANOV AND RITUAL MURDER TRIALS
Henrietta Mondry (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
In 2020-2021, with the support of the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project, the working group convened a two-day virtual symposium.
October 16-17, 2020
RUSSIA / JAPAN
RESIDUES, MATERIALITIES, ENVIRONMENTS: TRANS-DISCIPLINARY EXCHANGES
When the burgeoning field of the Environmental Humanities has addressed Russia and Japan together, it has almost exclusively been in connection with nuclear disasters and post-apocalyptic scenarios, with comparative studies of the Chernobyl and the Fukushima accidents (see the works of Kate Brown and Adriana Petryna, among others).
The symposium sought to explore and expand the connections between those two cultures in their relationship with, understanding and articulation of environmental questions besides and beyond the last three decades and issues of nuclear energy. Organizers Elena Fratto (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Franz Prichard (East Asian Studies), and Ryo Morimoto (Anthropology) convened a group of leading literary and media scholars of Japan and of Russia and the Soviet Union of different generations to promote exchange and generate new avenues of inquiry into natural catastrophe, food studies, sound studies, ocean studies, and the inescapable embeddedness of human organisms and human activity within the earth, nature, value systems, and the distribution of knowledge.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
1:00 PM: INTRODUCTION AND OPENING REMARKS
1:30 PM: PANEL 1 – MEDIA AND MATERIALITIES
Jane Costlow (Bates College), “Arrivederci, Arctic: Marina Moskvina and the Cape Farewell Project.”
Craig Campbell (University of Texas, Austin), “Flow & Form: Concrete as Elemental Media.“
Julia Alekseyeva (University of Pennsylvania), “Thinking Soviet: Dziga Vertov in the 1960s Japanese Political Avant-Garde.”
Jenifer Presto (University of Oregon), “Afterglow: Nabokov, Pompeii, and the Atomic Age.”
4:00 PM: KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Margherita Long (UC Irvine), “Biopolitical Critique Meets Growling Woman: Tsushima Yūko.”
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17
12:00 PM: PANEL 2 – MICRO/MACRO: ENVIRONMENTS AND EPISTEMOLOGIES
Jon Pitt (UC Irvine), “The Entangled Histories of Abe Kōbō, Kliment Timiryazev, and The Life of the Plant.”
Tom Newlin (Oberlin College), “Worlds within Worlds: Ecology and Microscopy in Nineteenth-Century Russia.”
Sumiko Hatakeyama (University of Pennsylvania), “Residual Radiation: A People-Centered Approach to Radiation Studies.”
Alec Brookes (Memorial University, Newfoundland), “Encountering the microbial: Reading Zamyatin’s We in Zoonotic Times.”
3:00 PM: PANEL 3 – METABOLISM: BODIES, ENERGY, WASTE
Colleen McQuillen (University of Southern California), “Entropy and Exhaustion in Russian Narratives of Donbass Metalworks at the Fin-de-siècle.”
Elena Fratto (Slavic Languages and Literatures), “Metabolic Modernities: Bodily Functions and Energy Transformation in Early Soviet Science Fiction and Children’s Literature.”
Isabel Lane (Boston College),”ICBMs, Hiroshima, and Global-Scale Violence in Thomas Pynchon and Viktor Pelevin.”
Eiko Maruko Siniawer (Williams College),”Unsettling Waste in 1970s Japan.”
4:30 PM: FINAL DISCUSSION AND CLOSING REMARKS
Register in advance for the Friday meeting: https://princeton.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYtcO2orjkuGtzIPPHofjQ8wXclQe8rDpjD
Register in advance for the Saturday meeting: https://princeton.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckdO2vrzIvH9JREx9nk2b8tTntm041Dwn7