Distinguished Scholars Visit Tufts University This Fall to Discuss Comparative Global Humanities

Continuation of Mellon Sawyer Seminar – an innovative research collaboration – includes four public lectures and panel discussions this semester
October 12, 2016

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Robin Smyton

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MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Massachusetts (Oct. 12, 2016) -- Tufts University continues its Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Global Humanities this fall with four events that explore social sciences through an international lens. This fall's events will critically examine issues of race, colonialism, diaspora, and artistic culture in a global context.

On Thursday, Oct. 13, Françoise Lionnet, professor of romance languages and literatures, and African and African American studies, Harvard University, will visit the Tufts campus for "Migrations, Islands, and the Creative Economy," a lecture on the impact that migration crises have on the artistic and literary communities. The lecture, to be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Coolidge Room at Ballou Hall, will examine how literary culture impacts, and is impacted by, migration. Lionnet will focus on migrant experiences in the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Comoros archipelago and the island of Mayotte in Europe. This event is free and open to the public.

Three esteemed Boston-area professors will examine issues of preserving and cultivating narratives related to the legacy of colonialism and slavery on Friday, Nov. 4, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. "Colonialism, Slavery, and the Archive: Old and New Practices" will feature a panel discussion with Vincent Brown, Warren professor of history, Harvard University; Elizabeth Dillon, professor of English, Northeastern University; and Vivek Bald, associate professor of media studies, MIT. The panel, to be held in the Rabb Room on the Tufts Medford campus, is free and open to the public.

The Mellon Sawyer Seminar will close the fall semester with "Plantation Dispossession and the Futures of Black Embodiment," a panel discussion exploring the survival of black art, culture, and community in light of histories of violence, on Friday, Dec. 2 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. It will feature: Alexander Weheliye, professor of African American studies, Northwestern University; Katherine McKittrick, professor of gender studies, Queen's University; and Demetrius Eudell, professor of history, Wesleyan University. This free, public event will be held at the Tufts Interfaith Center at 58 Winthrop Street in Medford, Massachusetts.

In September, Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman professor of government, anthropology, and African studies, Columbia University, visited Tufts for a pair of lectures examining justice and criminal responsibility for mass violence in two African conflicts. He discussed how to punish the perpetrators of mass violence, particularly in relation to civil war in South Sudan, and post-apartheid justice in South Africa.

Last spring, acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair kicked off the interdisciplinary seminar with a conversation about her career and the issues of race, gender and inter-generational conflict that her work confronts.

The seminar is organized by Lisa Lowe, professor of English and American Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University; Kris Manjapra, associate professor of History at Tufts; and Kamran Rastegar, associate professor of Persian, Arabic and comparative literature in the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies at Tufts. The seminar is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Tufts Collaborates; the Center for Humanities at Tufts; the Toupin-Bolwell Fund; the Tufts Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies; the Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora; and the Hutchins Center at Harvard.

For full details about the Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Global Humanities, please visit http://as.tufts.edu/comparativeglobalhumanities/.

 

About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.