Thursday, November 14, 2019
Department of Political Science, University of California, Irvine
Olin Language Center 120 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
How do political assemblies like protests and demonstrations capture the attention of public audiences? Such gatherings are a major way that people around the world understand political action and use it to challenge the status quo, especially in today’s political climate. Drawing on archival material related to 1992 “Rodney King Riots” and a major 1994 march challenging California’s Proposition 187, I argue that political assemblies capture public attention through a complex interplay of speech, physical presence and affect, which together convey the force of a political collective. In this talk, I will focus on the ways a public gathering creates a sense of collective identity and intention. I engage theories of gender performativity to explain that there is no essential political collective assembled in the streets; instead, collectivity is the performative effect of gathering.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Visiting Assistant Professor in Political Theory, Trinity College
Olin Language Center 120 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
The US imprisons more people than any other country: 2.1 million people are currently confined in jails and prisons. In the face of mass incarceration, there are growing calls not just for prison reform but also for prison abolition. Abolitionists liken their efforts to the fight against slavery, but how can they realize such far-reaching political change? I argue that the prison abolition movement can realize its commitments to justice, freedom, and equality only if it keeps problematization—the practice of unsettling established assumptions—at its core. I develop this argument through a case study of a mass hunger strike in apartheid South Africa in which doctors challenged indefinite detention as a violation of medical ethics. The case shows not only that professional associations may contribute to prison abolition by problematizing confinement, but also that the domain of prison abolition should be understood expansively to include the forced confinement of people with disabilities.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Assistant Professor of Political Theory
Department of Political Science, University of Tulsa
Olin Language Center 120 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
This talk builds upon recent contributions to the growing literature on Tocqueville and race by exploiting underappreciated parallels in Tocqueville’s thought between European feudalism and American racial subordination. Specifically, it provides a systematic account of racial aristocracy as a parallel to feudal aristocracy, thereby yielding a comprehensive structural account of American race-relations in Tocqueville’s thought. It shows how four key features of Tocqueville’s conception of feudal aristocracy—heritability, membership, privilege, and exclusion—provide the foundation for an implicit account of white supremacy. In this way, it demonstrates that Tocqueville conceived of the United States as a racial aristocracy; specifically, an aristocracy of whiteness. Reconstructing Tocqueville’s structural account of white supremacy therefore dispels the myth that he held a “prejudice” or “anomaly” theory of racism; that is, his views on race have more in common with those of W.E.B. Du Bois and Charles Mills, for example, than Gunnar Myrdal. The talk also explores the advantages of conceiving of whiteness as a form of aristocracy rather than property, and it concludes by reflecting upon the implications for achieving racial equality in the United States.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Frances Negron-Muntaner, Columbia University
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
In 2019, scholar, writer and artist Frances Negrón-Muntaner conceived the award-winning art installation Valor y Cambio to explore what people in Puerto Rico valued and to introduce the concept of a community currency. The project exceeded all expectations by attracting thousands of participants and inspiring the creation of community currencies in Puerto Rico and the United States. In this talk, Negrón-Muntaner reflects on the origins and impact of the project, and introduces a new concept arising from it: decolonial joy. This is a specific form of joy that arises when participants envision and experience a time where neither colonialism nor coloniality rule their lives.
Monday, November 4, 2019
Department of Political Science, University of Washington
Hegeman 106 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Is the idea of equality in America an inherently democratizing ideal? Or, paradoxically, does a commitment to equality produce inegalitarian political effects? I take up these questions by looking at African American political thinker W. E. B. Du Bois's understudied idea of “social equality.” Rejecting the Jim Crow bifurcation of political equality from social equality, Du Bois argues that a racially egalitarian democracy requires addressing racism in social and interpersonal relations. I argue that his solution to this problem of social equality – a solution he terms “self-conscious manhood” – is an individualist one, open to people of all races, genders, and classes. Such a self-consciously manly individual achieves socially equal recognition from others by engaging in radical truth-telling and purifying isolation, and demonstrating both a free anarchy of the spirit and a will to strive and act. However, through a close reading of Du Bois’s works of biography, editorial, and fiction, I show that self-conscious manhood is committed to an exclusionary, atomized, and gendered ethic of self-creation rather than a democratic political and social order. Building on Du Bois’s own theorizing on the nature of social equality, I argue that these anti-democratic effects inhere not in Du Bois’s particular solution of self-conscious manhood but are instead intrinsic to the pursuit of social equality itself.
Friday, November 1, 2019
Staff-attorney, Texas ACLU
Hegeman 204A 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Crystal Mason, a Black mother of three from Texas, thought she was performing her civic duty by filling out a provisional ballot in the 2016 election. She didn't know it would land her a five-year prison sentence, upending her family and the life she had built.
At the time, Crystal was on federal supervised release, a preliminary period of freedom for individuals who have served their full time of incarceration in federal prison. Nobody told her that the state considered her ineligible to vote. Yet the state of Texas contended that somehow, she should have known. Although the state didn’t even count her provisional ballot, it still intends to send her to prison for the crime of voting while the state considered her ineligible.
Join us for a presentation by Tommy Buser-Clancy, staff-attorney for Texas ACLU who, alongside the Texas Civil Rights Project, are fighting Crystal Mason’s case in the courts.
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Professor Moshe Halbertal
NYU & Hebrew University
at 4:45pm in Olin 102 & Sunday, October 27th at 7PM at The Sixth Street Community Synagogue Thursday, October 24th at 4:45pm in Olin 102
"The Biblical Book of Samuel and the Birth of Politics: Two Faces of Political Violence"
The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The lecture will explore the ways in which the book of Samuel understands political violence political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects as it is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies.
Sunday, October 27th at 7PM
The Sixth Street Community Synagogue
325 E. Sixth Street
New York, NY
"Confronting Loss: The Meaning and Experience of Mourning form the Talmud to Maimonides"
The experience of loss and mourning is a painful and ultimately inescapable feature of human life. Jewish law established practices of mourning that prescribe a rather detailed structure of the mourner’s conduct as well as the response of the community to the mourner and its obligation to provide consolation. Maimonides codified this body of regulations in his great code of Jewish Law, the Mishneh Torah, in the section titled “The Laws of Mourning.” This lecture will focus on the attempt to understand the meaning and practice of mourning in the Talmudic tradition and in Maimonides’ thought. It will explore the relationship of the concept of mourning in the Jewish tradition to other understandings of the dynamics of mourning such as Freud’s seminal essay “Mourning and Melancholia.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Dale Ho, ACLU Voting Rights Project Director
Olin, Room 201 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm
Since the 2010 midterm election, a wave of voter suppression laws has been unleashed around the country. The ACLU has been at the frontlines, successful challenging unnecessary voter registration requirements and barriers on Election Day in dozens of states. Attacks on voting rights have now grown to encompass not only registration and the ballot, but also the Decennial Census itself, which the Trump Administration sought to weaponize by attempting to add citizenship question to the census questionnaire. ACLU Voting Rights Project Director, Dale Ho, who argued the census citizenship question case in the Supreme Court, will address these issues and emerging threats to voting rights as we head towards the 2020 election.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Ambassador Frederic Hof
Olin, Room 102 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
In 2018 Congress created the Syria Study Group, a bipartisan panel of 12 experts charged with assessing the situation in Syria, defining the U.S. policy objective in that war-torn country, and devising a strategy to accomplish the objective. Bard’s diplomat in residence, Ambassador Frederic C. Hof, served as a member of the Group, whose report is being issued on September 26. Please join Ambassador Hof for a discussion of what is in the report and what may be next for U.S. policy in Syria.
Friday, May 3, 2019
Blithewood, Levy Institute 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Join us as a distinguished roster of historians, IR scholars, and economists discuss the legacy of the Versailles Treaty of 1919, which brought an end to World War I. Far from ending the “war to end all wars,” Versailles saddled the world with debts, imbalances, and festering geopolitical problems that helped lead to the Second World War, many of which are still with us today.
Speakers include: The Lord Skidelsky, Baron of Tilton, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy, Warwick University, and Member of the House of Lords, UK Parliament Dr. Nick Lloyd, King’s College London, and author, Passchendaele and Hundred Days Sean McMeekin, Francis Flournoy Professor of European History, Bard College Nur Bilge Criss, Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Bilkent University David Woolner, Professor of History, Resident Historian of the Roosevelt Institute Richard Aldous, Eugene Meyer Professor of British History and Literature, Bard College Pavlina Tcherneva, Economics Program Director and Associate Professor, Bard College Jan Kregel, Director of Research, Levy Economics Institute L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics, Bard College, and Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute Jörg Bibow, Professor of Economics, Skidmore College, and Research Associate, Levy Economics Institute
Please click on this link to register for the event by April 29th: Registration form
Schedule: 10:15 AM Welcome Remarks from Dimitri Papadimitriou, President of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM The First World War and the Versailles Treaty Dr. Nick Lloyd “The Hundred Days. How World War I Ended.” Sean McMeekin “Unfinished Business. 1918 on the War’s Eastern Fronts.” David Woolner, Nur Bilge Criss, and Richard Aldous Panel Discussion 12:00 - 12:30 PM Lunch 12:30 PM Eugene Meyer Lecture by Lord Robert Skidelsky “Could Germany have paid? John Maynard Keynes’s lesson for Britain and the Eurozone. ” with an introduction by Pavlina R. Tcherneva 1:30 - 2:00 PM Coffee break and student poster presentations 2:00 - 3:15 PM The Economic Consequences Moderator: Pavlina R. Tcherneva Jan Kregel “Keynes on International Relations: Gunboat Diplomacy, Free Trade and Capital Controls” L. Randall Wray “How To Pay for the War (against neoliberalism)” Jörg Bibow “Learning the Wrong Lessons: How Germany’s anti- Keynesianism has brought Europe to its knees”
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
2018 American Book Award–winning author Valeria Luiselli reads from her work
Campus Center, Weis Cinema 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
On Tuesday, April 23, at 6:00 p.m. in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center, Valeria Luiselli reads from her work. Presented by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series and the Written Arts Program, and introduced by MacArthur Fellow Dinaw Mengestu, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. Books by Valeria Luiselli will be available for sale, courtesy of Oblong Books & Music.
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and has lived in Costa Rica, South Korea, South Africa, India, Spain, France, and New York City. She is the author of a book of essays, Papeles falsos/Sidewalks (2012, 2014), and the internationally acclaimed novel Los ingravidos / Faces in the Crowd (2013, 2014), which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. In 2014, she won the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 prize, an annual award honoring young and promising fiction writers. Her novel La historia de mis dientes / The Story of My Teeth (2013, 2015) won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the Azul Prize in Canada; was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Best Translated Book Award, and the Impac Prize 2017; and was named one of the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of the Year. Her recent book Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions won the 2018 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.
Luiselli received her PhD in comparative literature from Columbia University. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages, and her writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, McSweeney’s, Harper’s, and the New Yorker. Her latest novel, Lost Children Archive (2019), which was written in English, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Luiselli was recently appointed as writer in residence in the Division of Languages and Literature at Bard College.
PRAISE FOR VALERIA LUISELLI
“The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli’s hands—electric, elastic, alluring, new. . . . She is a superb chronicler.” —New York Times
“Riveting, lyrical, virtuosic. . . . Luiselli’s metaphors are wrought with devastating precision. . . . The brilliance of the writing stirs rage and pity. It humanizes us.” —New York Times Book Review
“Daring, wholly original, brilliant . . . fascinating. . . . Luiselli is an extraordinary writer [with] a freewheeling novelist’s imagination.” —NPR
“A comprehensive literary intelligence.” —James Wood, New Yorker
“A master. . . . Luiselli confronts big picture questions: What does it mean to be American? To what lengths should we go to bear witness? Will history ever stop repeating itself? All the while, her language is so transporting, it stops you time and again.” —Carmen Maria Machado, O Magazine
“One of the most fascinating and impassioned authors at work today.” —Literary Hub
Monday, April 22, 2019
Jia Lynn Yang, Deputy National Editor, The New York Times
Olin, Room 102 4:45 pm – 6:30 pm
This talk will trace the current immigration debate back to the Supreme Court fight in 1922 over whether a Japanese-born man could naturalize, and the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, which established ethnic quotas favoring “Anglo-Saxons.” Because immigration debates have long been predicated on who counts as sufficiently “white,” the current system—in which there are far more Asian and Hispanic immigrants than European—challenges traditional notions of who counts as American. Yang will discuss how the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act set us on this current course, but left much unfinished work around race and national identity that we confront today during the Trump administration. The talk will also address media coverage of Trump’s immigration policies as well as how to infuse journalistic work with a sense of history.
Jia Lynn Yang is a deputy national editor at the New York Times, where she helps oversee coverage of the country. Previously, she was deputy national security editor at the Washington Post, where she was an editor on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2018 for its coverage of Trump and Russia. She is writing a book on the history of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, Un-American Elements, forthcoming from W. W. Norton in 2020.
Friday, February 1, 2019 – Friday, March 1, 2019
A Photo and Film Exhibit
Campus Center, Gallery
A panel discussion, followed by a reception, will take place in Weis Cinema on Thursday, February 28, 5:00–6:30 p.m.