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Colloquium Series

In winter 2009, the Center for Cultural Studies will continue to host a Wednesday colloquium series, which features current cultural studies work by campus faculty and visitors. The sessions are informal, normally consisting of a 30-40 minute presentation followed by discussion. We gather at noon, with presentations beginning at 12:15. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches; the Center will provide coffee, tea, and cookies.

CHRISTIAN FRANKEL is Associate Professor of Organization and Communication at Copenhagen Business School. He studied public administration and sociology in Roskilde and Bielefeld and business administration and politics in Dublin and Copenhagen. His research has focused on transnational making of markets. How do firms take part in making the markets on which they compete?  And does globalization open up new forms of such market making? He has studied the history of the toy producer LEGO, analyzing how the firm becomes a political actor in a new way as a result of the aim to make quality products and to establish quality criteria in a society in flux. Another focal point in his research is the temporality of organizing. He finds theoretical inspiration for his work in Luhmannian systems theory and discourse theories.

GOPAL BALAKRISHNAN is Associate Professor in the History of Consciousness Department at UC Santa Cruz. He was a Harper Schmidt Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago (2001-2005). He has been on the board of New Left Review and is a regular contributor. He is the author of The Enemy: An Intellectual Portrait of Carl Schmitt (Verso, 2000), co-editor, with Benedict Anderson, of Mapping the Nation (Verso, 1996), and editor of Debating Empire (Verso, 2003). His most recent work on the future of war and capitalism further develops the central concerns of his book: the decline of the classical state form, the dialectics of the state of emergency, the advent of asymmetrical warfare, and the supersession of popular sovereignty by the spectacle. A collection of his essays, Antagonistics, is forthcoming from Verso (2009).

SHARON DANIEL is Professor of Film and Digital Media and Chair of the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program. She engages in the production of “new media documentaries”—building online archives and interfaces that make the stories of technologically disenfranchised communities available across social, cultural and economic boundaries—such as Public Secrets [], an audio archive of hundreds of statements made by incarcerated women that unmask the secret injustices of the prison industrial complex. Professor Daniel will present Blood Sugar [forthcoming], an online interface to conversations with twenty-four injection drug users that examines the social and political construction of poverty and addiction in American society through the eyes of those who live it.

KIRSTEN GRUESZ is Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz. She is the author of Ambassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Culture (Princeton, 2002), which won Honorable Mention for the John Hope Franklin Memorial Prize for the Best Book in American Studies in 2002. She is at work on a longitudinal study of ideologies and social practices associated with the Spanish language in what is now the United States, beginning in the late colonial period and going up to World War II. Titled Bad Lengua: A Cultural History of Spanish in the U.S., this project examines various forms of evidence through which we might grasp the assumptions that learners and teachers of Spanish have brought to various pedagogical scenes, both formal and informal, over time.

KATE O’RIORDAN is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Film at the Centre for Material Digital Culture, University of Sussex, and an affiliate of the Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Lancaster University. She is working on a book project focusing on the intersections of media technologies and human biotechnology in relation to the body. Provisionally titled The Genome Incorporated: The Construction of Biodigital Identity, the book revisits concepts of biodigitality, biovalue, and biomedia through the lens of incorporation to examine a series of cases of the media proliferation and consumption of human genomics. These include digital media and personal genome sequencing intersections, genome browsing, genomic health testing and reality programming partnerings, and bio and sci-art engagements with genomics.

KEVIN CAHILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bergen in Norway and a visiting scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies. His talk concerns issues connecting conceptions of selfhood and the Western epistemological tradition. Conceptions of the self, rationality, and human nature traditionally informing work in epistemology rarely operate as explicit claims, but function rather as the interpretative framework guiding epistemological investigations. His talk examines whether these assumptions stand up to an examination of the ethnological record. His discussion draws on ongoing cooperation with the Bergen Research Group in Pacific Studies at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen. The work outlined here is part of a planned monograph called Skepticism and the Human Condition.

DIDIER ERIBON is a French philosopher and public intellectual.  He is the author of Michel Foucault (1989) now translated into twenty languages, and Réflexions sur la question gay (1999), published in English as Insult and the Making of the Gay Self (Duke, 2004). His other works include Hérésies. Essais sur la théorie de la sexualité (2003), and Echapper à la psychanalyse (2005). He is the editor of the Dictionnaire des cultures gays et lesbiennes (Larousse, 2003). His most recent book, D’une revolution conservatrice et de ses effets sur la gauche française (2007), addresses the situation of the French left. He was awarded the James Robert Brudner Memorial Prize at Yale University in 2008. Revisiting French history in the last few decades and his own political commitments and theoretical works, his presentation reflects on the ways politics and theories not only frame the social world, but also collective and individual pasts.

ADRIANA CRACIUN is Professor of English at UC Riverside. Her presentation is drawn from her current book project, Northwest Passages: Authorship, Exploration, Disaster. Moving from late nineteenth-century exercises in media-created Arctic disasters, back to influential early modern texts, it charts the passages of Arctic voyagers en route to disaster. The project traces the encounters of a wide range of peoples, institutions, and disciplines, inscribed in books, manuscripts, graffiti, relics, and maps, from First Nations agents, to forgotten naval captains driven mad by their failure, to naturalists and novelists contemplating similar Arctic mysteries through distinct intellectual lenses. In addition to offering an original historical and discursive framework for understanding Arctic exploration, Northwest Passages contributes to studies of authorship and print culture by moving outside literary and legal contexts to consider the significance of textuality in mercantile and governmental domains.

CECILIA RIVAS is Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on practices of globalization: transnational migration, consumption, and new uses of print and electronic media, with particular attention to contemporary Salvadoran society (within El Salvador and in diaspora), examining how certain subjects are presented as “global” and particularly useful to post-civil war projects in El Salvador, while others are excluded. She engages three research sites, spaces where Salvadorans come together as a social imaginary and “make sense” of globalization: the “Departamento 15” section of the newspaper La Prensa Gráfica, the bilingual call center sector, and shopping malls in San Salvador.




January 7
Christian Frankel
Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Markets, Brands, Politics

January 14
Gopal Balakrishnan
(History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz)
Repetition and Renewal in Machiavelli’s Conception of History

January 21
Sharon Daniel
(Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz)
What Do We Hold Against the Drug Addict? New Media and Social Art Practice

January 28
Kirsten Gruesz
(Literature, UC Santa Cruz)
Cotton Mather’s Spanish Lessons; Or, How to Write a History of Language Ideologies

February 4
Kate O'Riordan
(Media and Film, University of Sussex, UK)
The Genome Incorporated: Materialization and Reality Genres

February 11
Kevin Cahill
(Philosophy, University of Bergen, Norway)
The Self of Epistemology

February 18
Didier Eribon
(Philosopher, Paris, France)
Frames of Memory: A Political Theory of the Subject

February 25
Adriana Craciun
(English, UC Riverside)
The Franklin Relics in the Arctic Archive

March 4
Cecilia Rivas
(LALS, UC Santa Cruz)
“We Will Export Voices”: Bilingual Call Centers in Post-War El Salvador

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Last modified: December 10, 2008
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