Past Reading, Discussion, and Working Groups

Academic Year 2017-18

Bodies of Knowledge Working Group

The Humanities Council sponsors the new Bodies of Knowledge Working Group whose purpose is to engage faculty, staff, and graduate students in questions around illness, health, and the body from a wide range of viewpoints. In particular, the group hopes to foster intellectual partnerships with those within and beyond the humanities who share a critical interest in exploring and expanding the intersections of medicine, as broadly defined, and the human. This working group is part of a David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project Grantsinitiative, which includes a new team-taught course entitled “Medical Story-Worlds.” Meetings will be held from 12:00pm to 1:30pm

February 15
The Voice of the Patient in Communicative Biocapitalism: Olivia Banner (University of Texas), 16 Joseph Henry House

March 1
Black Gay Men’s Sexual Health, and the Means of Pleasure in the Age of AIDS: Marlon M. Bailey (Arizona State), 16 Joseph Henry House

March 15
Mental Disability and the Works of Rémy Perliot: Jose Alaniz (University of Washington), 15 Joseph Henry House

April 12
Living ‘At Risk’ in the Genomic Age: Ann Jurecic (Rutgers University), 16 Joseph Henry House

April 26
Co-Curating: The Intersection of Art and Medicine: Regina Robbins (University of Nebraska), 16 Joseph Henry House

Fall 2017: Speakers included Princeton faculty and Catherine Belling (Northwestern University), Thomas Couser (Hofstra University), Sandra Harvey (U Memphis)

Postcolonial Humanities Working Group

Faculty, staff, and graduate students are invited to participate in a new Postcolonial Humanities Working Group, sponsored by the Humanities Council. Aligned with Princeton’s commitment to service, the purpose of this new working group is to generate a space for Princeton faculty, staff, and graduate students to analyze recent research from Postcolonial Studies and to collectively brainstorm possibilities for scholars of the humanities in terms of engagement with service, activism, and interdisciplinary research on the repercussions of imperial history.

October 5
Speaker: Dr. Serguei A. Oushakine, Professor of Anthropology and Slavic Languages & Literatures, Princeton University
Location: Chancellor Green 103

November 9
Speaker: Dr. F. Nick Nesbitt, Professor of French & Italian, Princeton University
Location: East Pyne 111

November 30
Speaker: Dr. Christina León, Assistant Professor of English, Princeton University
Location: Chancellor Green 103

December 14
Speaker: Dr. Chika Okeke-Agulu, Professor of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University
Location: East Pyne 111

February 22
Speaker: Dr. Nicole D. Legnani, Assistant Professor of Spanish & Portuguese, Princeton University
Location: East Pyne 111

March 15
Invited Speaker: Dr. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor, Columbia University
Location: Chancellor Green 103

April 12
Roundtable Discussion: “Colonialism in the 21st Century: A Humanistic Inquiry”
Location: Chancellor Green 103

May 3
Speaker: Dr. Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University
Location: Chancellor Green 103

Digital Humanities Reading Group

The Center for Digital Humanities convened a reading group to explore what the public digital humanities can be.

Each week an article or a set of brief readings were paired with a notable public project or two. Among others, our topics included: engaging communities, #BlkTwitterstorians, open access, monuments, crowdsourcing, and achieving social justice through memory work.

Meetings were held on select Wednesdays, 12:00pm to 1:20pm in the CDH (Firestone, Floor B). The first meeting will be on September 27, 2017.  Full list of dates.

“The Place of Greece” Reading Group

Greece is both a physical location and an imagined space. The gap or continuity between the two has been a pressing question since antiquity, and addressing it an urgent political, theoretical, and aesthetic issue. Over the course of the year, “The Place of Greece” considers the place(s) of Greece, its physical and imaginary landscapes, its generative and confounding potential, the experiences it seems to promise for those who travel there, and the claims it has made and makes on different communities. Why has Greece proven to have such a powerful conceptual geography? How have those who identify as Greek understood their own location in time and space, and how have they in turn been understood by others in relationship to the past and to place? What is the present and future of Hellenism, and where is its place?

“The Place of Greece” was structured as a reading group with regular visits from authors who lead discussion of their work.  Readings included selections from work by Dipesh Chakrabarty, Stathis Gourgouris, Yannis Hamilakis, Johanna Hanink, Michael Herzfeld, and Allyson Vieira.

For more information, visit:

September 27: Session One. Guest: Johanna Hanink (Associate Professor of Classics, Brown University)
October 19: Session Two.
November 16. Session Three. Guest: Stathis Gourgouris (Professor of Comparative Literature, Columbia University),
December 7. Session Four.
February 22. Session Five. Guest: Yannis Hamilakis (Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and Professor of Modern Greek Studies, Brown University)
March 13. Session Six.
April 4. Session Seven. Guest: Allyson Vieira (Independent Artist and Visiting Lecturer, New York University)
May 2: Session Eight.

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