University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Stealing time: photographs and the long inception of colonialism in southern Angola: photographs and the long inception of colonialism in southern Angola 

Webinar led by Patricia Hayes

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Coastal Futures Festival Symposium

A symposium about sonification and the expression of data and dreams, meditating and mediating upon coastal futures.
Friday October 15 | 8 PM EDT | Online

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The New (ab)Normal

Humanities Week 2021
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Citizen, Belonging, and the Partition of India: A Symposium

The papers in this symposium revisit the aftermath of the partition of 1947, and the war of 1971, to examine some of the longer-term consequences of the redrawing of borders across South Asia.

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Immunity and Quarantine: The Biopolitics of Space-Making in Pandemics

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Annual Report 2020-21

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About the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures

The Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures (IHGC) offers a vision at once local and global, and a mission both academic and socially engaged.

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News & Announcements

Thu Feb 17
12:00- 1:30pm | Virtual
Sarah Nuttall (Witwatersrand), "Futurities" Lecture Series: “Wet Futures: Reading for Rain”

Sarah Nuttall (Witwatersrand), "Futurities" Lecture Series: “Wet Futures: Reading for Rain”

Thu Feb 17


Sarah Nuttall is Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies and the Director of WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is the author of Entanglement: Literary and Cultural Reflections on Postapartheid; editor of Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics, and co-editor of many books, including Negotiating the Past: The Making of Memory in South Africa, Johannesburg – The Elusive Metropolis and Load Shedding: Writing On and Over the Edge of South Africa. Recent essays include ‘Private Lives and Public Cultures in South Africa’, ‘Mandela’s Mortality’ and ‘Secrecy’s Softwares’. She has for many years taught the Fall semester at Yale and then Duke Universities. From January to May 2016, she was an Oppenheimer Fellow at the Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. For three years Sarah has directed WiSER, one of the largest and most established Institutes of humanities scholarship across the global South.

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Fri Feb 25
10:00 am - 11:00 am | Virtual
Nomi Dave, Mellon Book Talk, "The Revolution’s Echoes: Music, Politics, and Pleasure in Guinea"

Nomi Dave, Mellon Book Talk, "The Revolution’s Echoes: Music, Politics, and Pleasure in Guinea"

Fri Feb 25


Nomi Dave is an interdisciplinary researcher working across music and sound studies, law, and anthropology. Her work explores the limits and possibilities of voice, music, sound, and silence in political contexts. She is the author of The Revolution’s Echoes: Music, Politics, and Pleasure in Guinea (2019, University of Chicago Press), which considers how authoritarianism becomes meaningful for ordinary people. Through a study of voice and quietness in Guinea, the book explores why musicians and their audiences might choose to support an authoritarian state. The book was awarded the Ruth Stone Prize in 2020 for most distinguished first monograph in ethnomusicology. 

 

Respondent - Anne Meng is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. Her research centers on authoritarian politics and institutions, and game-theoretic approaches to the study of dictatorship. Her book, Constraining Dictatorship, examines how executive constraints become established in dictatorships, particularly within constitutions and presidential cabinets. Dr. Meng also has other work on leadership succession, autocratic parties, and powersharing. She has a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and is interested in finding new and creative ways to collect data on authoritarian institutions. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the British Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Theoretical Politics, Columbia Law Review, and Studies in Comparative International Development.  

Fri Mar 18
10:00 am - 11:00 am | Virtual
Douglas Fordham, Mellon Book Talk, "Aquatint Worlds"

Douglas Fordham, Mellon Book Talk, "Aquatint Worlds"

Fri Mar 18



 

As a historian of art and the British empire, Douglas Fordham is interested in a wide array of visual art from the seventeenth century to the present in the Anglophone world. He is a co-editor with Tim Barringer and Geoff Quilley of Art and the British Empire (Manchester University Press, 2007), which helped to place empire at the center of the study of British art. His first monograph, British Art and the Seven Years' War: Allegiance and Autonomy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010) examined the relationship of imperial politics to artistic organization in London in the mid-eighteenth century. His second monograph, Aquatint Worlds: Travel, Print, and Empire (Yale University Press, 2019) considered how the newly discovered medium of aquatint printmaking conditioned the representation and reception of the world beyond Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The book takes a particularly close look at the representation of the cave temples of western India, the indigenous and white settler communities of southern Africa, and the Macartney expedition to Qing China. Artists in each of these locations returned to London to collaborate with a team of printmakers, hand-colorists, booksellers, and distributors to produce some of the most beautiful and innovative picture books of the modern era.

 

Respondent: Tom Young joined the University of Warwick in late 2020 as a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the History of Art Department. Tom’s current research is centred on two projects. The first explores the global history of lithography, with the ambition of writing a book called Lithography and the Modern World. Lithography’s global impact has never previously been charted, despite the technology enabling the first truly international decentralisation of mass media. The book will chart how the technology’s invention catalysed dramatic cultural and political upheavals across the globe, giving rise to modern ideas and institutions. His second project is a book called British Art in India’s ‘Age of Reform’, c.1813–58. This project developed from his PhD research, which examined a collection of previously unstudied prints, drawings, and paintings produced in nineteenth-century India. The book uses these materials to present a new interpretation of the East India Company’s nationalisation. Challenging the established idea that British Parliament brought a ‘rogue’ corporation to heel, it argues instead that a revolution in the artistic worlds of colonial society worked to destabilise the Company’s political legitimacy—supporting the growth of middle classes with alternative ideas about how India should be governed, and undermining Anglo-India’s idiosyncratic politics by better connecting the cultural worlds of the British empire.

Thu Mar 24
12:00- 1:30pm | Virtual
Amitav Ghosh, "Futurities" Lecture Series: "The Nutmeg’s Curse: A Parable of the Anthropocene"

Amitav Ghosh, "Futurities" Lecture Series: "The Nutmeg’s Curse: A Parable of the Anthropocene"

Thu Mar 24


Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique LandDancing in CambodiaThe Calcutta ChromosomeThe Glass PalaceThe Hungry Tide, and The Ibis TrilogySea of PoppiesRiver of Smoke, and Flood of Fire.

The Circle of Reason was awarded France’s Prix Médicis in 1990, and The Shadow Lines won two prestigious Indian prizes the same year, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar. The Calcutta Chromosome won the Arthur C. Clarke award for 1997 and The Glass Palace won the International e-Book Award at the Frankfurt book fair in 2001. In January 2005 The Hungry Tide was awarded the Crossword Book Prize, a major Indian award. His novel, Sea of Poppies (2008) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2008 and was awarded the Crossword Book Prize and the India Plaza Golden Quill Award.

Amitav Ghosh’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and he has served on the Jury of the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) and the Venice Film Festival (2001). Amitav Ghosh’s essays have been published in The New YorkerThe New Republic and The New York Times. His essays have been published by Penguin India (The Imam and the Indian) and Houghton Mifflin USA (Incendiary Circumstances). He has taught in many universities in India and the USA, including Delhi University, Columbia, Queens College and Harvard.  In January 2007 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honours, by the President of India. In 2010, Amitav Ghosh was awarded honorary doctorates by Queens College, New York, and the Sorbonne, Paris. Along with Margaret Atwood, he was also a joint winner of a Dan David Award for 2010. In 2011 he was awarded the International Grand Prix of the Blue Metropolis Festival in Montreal.

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Fri Apr 01
TBD | TBD
UVA Center for Poetry & Poetics Annual Symposium

UVA Center for Poetry & Poetics Annual Symposium

Fri Apr 01


Mellon Global South Initiative

Mellon Global South Initiative

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia $3.47 million to launch a major humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will match the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.

Clay Endowments & Grants

Clay Endowments & Grants

The Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC) invites proposals for funding from the Buckner W. Clay Endowment to support innovative work in the global humanities at the University of Virginia. The Endowment provides an ambitious basis of support for faculty and student research and teaching to be conducted under the auspices of the IHGC. Faculty and students from across all schools and disciplines at the university are welcome and encouraged to apply. 

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Bologna

Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory

The Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory is a new research entity jointly promoted by the University of Virginia, Duke University and the University of Bologna. It is conceived as an intellectual space for scholars coming from different research fields and geographical regions to work together on the redefinition of the humanities in a global age.

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Mapping Indigenous/UVA Relations: Stories of Space, Place, and Histories is a participatory action methodological project that focuses on sparsely documented Indigenous relations with the University of Virginia. This project combines archival materials related to Indigenous histories and presences in and around UVA with Virginia tribal citizens’ personal digital stories that...

My research focuses on sabils, or charitable water fountains, as a key location for exploring vernacular water architecture and investigating the underlying conceptual frameworks that give them life. Sabils are important parts of the built environment of Cairo, drawing on religious precedence and enacting everyday ethical notions of reciprocity. They are particularly important in the changing...

The focus of my research while a Mellon Humanities Fellow takes off from the ubiquity of the phrase: "the long eighteenth century." Proliferating in calls for participation and panel descriptions throughout art history and visual culture studies, if the mark of an elongated eighteenth century is inescapable, this terminology merits further scrutiny. During my period as a Mellon Fellow, I will...

What meaning did a fictional Ottoman tale and the manuscript containing it have to those who copied, read, heard, and owned it? An Epic Tale of Sorrow and Joy is an interdisciplinary microhistory that explores the many meanings, uses, and journeys of an otherwise unremarkable manuscript—the only extant copy of an eponymous Ottoman Turkish story of forced migration, fortune, and loss...

“If human beings suddenly ceased imitating, all forms of culture would vanish.” This striking statement by René Girard not only ascribes to mimesis the ability to generate culture, but also implicitly challenges scholars to determine how mimesis operates within the cultural field they study. Many have risen to this challenge, but the question still remains: How does mimesis operate within...

How did the partition of the Indian subcontinent resolve the problem of belonging for minority religious communities – in India, Pakistan, and later, Bangladesh? If Pakistan was designed to create a ‘homeland’ for the Muslims of the subcontinent, was India meant to serve as a homeland for the Hindus? How, then, did the Hindus of Pakistan and the Muslims of India learn to live and build...

Since the mid-1980s, art photographers from metropolitan France have been training their lenses on places throughout the country they call home. Their work constitutes a dynamic, thoughtful, and altogether transformative way of envisioning what on the surface might seem like perfectly mundane locations, but which the photographs endorse as landscapes endowed with the capacity to expand and...

I am beginning a new project at IHGC, one that builds from the methods that I developed in my first book, Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture for the University of North Carolina Press, May 2020). My new project turns from mining to agriculture,...

Higher Powers: Alcohol and After in Uganda’s Capital City is a collaborative monograph (co-authored by George Mpanga and Sarah Namirembe) that draws on four years of fieldwork carried out with Ugandans working to reconstruct their lives after attempting to leave problematic forms of alcohol use behind.  Given the relatively recent introduction of Western ideas of alcoholism and...

Project Summary: My project on Byzantine urbanism and Athens in particular, seeks to reconstruct the topography and spatial layout of Byzantine Athens (4th-15th c AD), and better understand contemporary living conditions and socio-economic activities in the city. Emphasis is placed on city-making processes and particularly the role of non-elite, ordinary people in them. Similar to...

Project Summary: My current book project reframes narratives of photography’s origin and originality by zooming into the first one hundred years of photography in Senegal (1860-1960). Senegal has received significant attention as one of the epicenters of modernism in the Black Atlantic, and yet, the advent of photography in the country in the 1840s has hardly been considered in...