9 November 2011
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
2 Hope Park Square
Wednesday, 1 pm
Dr. Tom Wright (University of East Anglia):
"Lecturing and Civic Orality from Glasgow to Massachusetts"
This paper explores the significance of the Scottish role in the emergence of the American nineteenth-century lecture circuit or ‘lyceum’ movement. New York’s Putnam’s Magazine remarked in 1857 that “the lyceum is the American theatre. It is the one institution in which we take our nose out of the hands of our English prototypes ... and go alone.” This was correct in a very specific sense. Institutionalised mass popular lecturing - a cultural and intellectual practice so embraced by the mid-century republic and so crucial to the febrile literary flowering of the American Renaissance - derived inspiration not from the Royal Institution of London but in seminal experiments in democratic adult education on the banks of the Clyde.
This transfer of ideas about the education and public voice remains an overlooked moment of social, cultural and media exchange. Tracing the origins of the oral world of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Frederick Douglass back to the pioneering public enterprise of the Glasgow Professors John Anderson and George Birkbeck, my paper interprets this phenomenon as part of evolving transatlantic notions of secular civic orality. As Scottish models of the role of voice in the public sphere took root in the US they generated new forms of literary ‘occasion’, new forms of cultural consumption, and new relations of the academic to the civic, all of which had profound impact on nineteenth-century literary culture. The story of civic orality from Glasgow to Massachusetts has, I argue, much to tell us about the evolving functions of our own civic, academic and media platforms.
10 October 2011
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
2 Hope Park Square
Monday, 4 pm
Christopher Hodgkins, Director, Atlantic World Research Network and Professor of English, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA:
'". . . and the second time as farce": Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Waugh’s A Handful of Dust, and the last of protestant imperialism'.
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899-1902) has been both lionized for its portrait of imperialist atrocity and decried for its supposedly racialist denigration of the ‘dark continent’. Conrad’s famous novella is transatlantically, indeed globally allusive—with references back to Roman Britain, Drake’s circumnavigation, Raleigh’s El Dorado, Brooke’s Sarawak, Livingstone’s Ujiji, and perhaps to Kipling’s Kafiristan—and his indictment of European conquest generates both tragic irony and horror by inverting these past narratives of imperial adventure. Analogously, in the next generation, Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust (1934), like Black Mischief (1932) just before it, works in many ways as a reductio of Conrad's novella, transforming tragedy to farce by simply assuming the stupefying beastliness of the colonial enterprise and playing it for savage laughs. We will compare and contrast the ironic techniques of Conrad and Waugh, reconsidering some of the charges against the former as racialist, and reconsidering Waugh’s claims to serious effects despite, and indeed through, his razor-like comic technique. We'll also address the religious subtexts of both books, particularly in light of Waugh's recent conversion to the Roman Catholic Church and his heightened mockery of protestant imperial romance.
16 September 2011
Caribbean Research Seminar in the North
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
2 Hope Park Square
Friday, 12.30 – 5.30 pm
An Interdisciplinary Research Seminar on the Caribbean and its Diasporas, in association with the Society for Caribbean Studies
Celia Britton, Professor of French, University College London
Strategies of conscious concealment and unconscious repression in the work of Edouard Glissant.
Fionnghuala Sweeney, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Liverpool
Susan Mains, Department of Geography, University of Dundee
‘Local Haunts: (Re)Visiting Heritage and Identity in Caribbean Tourism’
Paola Monaldi, Department of Film Studies, University of St. Andrews
‘Folding Cubania: A Deleuzian Approach to Contemporary Cuban Cinema’
Further details about the programme and abstracts will be made available here and at http://www.caribbeanstudies.org.uk/
Bursaries may be available to cover the costs of travel within the UK for postgraduate students attending this event. To apply, please email Henrice Altink (firstname.lastname@example.org) stating your topic, university and the name and address of your supervisor.
Location maps and travel directions: http://www.iash.ed.ac.uk/map.html
Attendance is free, but please reserve your place in advance by contacting email@example.com
Funded by JISLAC
20 June 2011
The Acknowledgment of the Aesthetic: A one-day symposium exploring the aesthetic as a source of intimate knowledge
Supported by The British Society of Aesthetics and The University of Edinburgh's Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH)
According to the American philosopher, Stanley Cavell, our relationship to the external world is not one of knowing nor one of certainty. Rather, it is an ungrounded and uncontrollable association, still claiming our courageous acceptance and embrace. This mode of "acknowledgment", this respective atttentiveness to the other, is offered by Cavell not as an alternative to but as an interpretation of knowing.
Promising such an interpretation, moreover, is the realm of the aesthetic. For Cavell, works of art hold peculiar possibilities of notice and expression; they afford an "intimacy" with existence. Offering Cavell's central ideas of acknowledgment and intimacy as starting points, this one-day symposium opens to central questions of knowledge and the artworld. Is there a form of knowledge that only artworks can provide? Might artworks address the epistemological in a unique way? How, if at all, might "knowing-through-art" speak to the traditional problems of other-mind and other-world scepticism? These are the central questions we hope to inspire and address.
Contributing to the recent renewal of interest in the cognitive value of literature (witness the June 2010 workshop at the University of Liverpool, "Language, Truth and Literature", the October 2010 conference at the University of Nottingham, "Literature, History, Cognition", and the ongoing project [2009-2014] at St. John's College, Oxford, "Literature as an Object of Knowledge"), this one-day symposium opens to the epistemological power of the visual as well as the literary arts. It positions itself at the intersection of aesthetics and epistemology, hoping to attract contributions from across the disciplinary spectrum. Given Cavell's career-long engagement with Film Studies, with painting and photography, as well as with poetry, drama and fiction, we hope that he is an ideal figure to get the conversation moving.
Having hosted an acclaimed international conference on Cavell's work in May 2008 (LLC), a one-day workshop, "Aesthetics, Culture and Society" in March 2006 (IASH) and a weekly Epistemology Research Seminar (PPLS), the University of Edinburgh is in a unique position to host this event. The annual British Society of Aesthetics conference is being held at Edinburgh in September 2011; we hope that our smaller symposium will anticipate this conference nicely.
Dr. Mark Rowe (University of East Anglia): "Is Literature Intrinsically Conservative?"
Dr. Diarmuid Costello (University of Warwick): "Automat, Automatism, Automatic: Stanley Cavell and Rosalind Krauss on Photography and the 'Photographically-Dependent' Arts".
Dr. Nadine Boljkovac (York University, Canada): "Deleuze and the Ethics of Cinema"
Nicole Hall-Elfick (University of Edinburgh): "Acknowledging Aesthetic Perception"
Dr. Áine Kelly (IASH, University of Edinburgh): "'A Dance of Frenzy, A Dance of Praise': Fred Astaire Acknowledges America"
29 April 2011
Scottish Philosophy in Transnational Contexts: Debating the Transnational Dissemination of Scottish Moral Philosophy
The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, STAR, and the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, The University of Edinburgh
This symposium investigates the transnational reception, adaptation, and transmission of Scottish moral thought during the long eighteenth century. The symposium addresses how Scottish moral philosophy emerged from unique national contexts while also owing its formation to a wider dialogue in the Republic of Letters. In addition, the symposium offers a forum for scholarly debate amongst prominent historians of Scottish thought. Scottish moral philosophy will be treated in an inclusive manner that envelops the themes of ethics (both applied and abstract), aesthetics, political economy, morals, metaphysics, natural theology, social and societal progress or improvement, education, and methodology.
This event offers a unique opportunity for delegates and attendees to envision the significance of eighteenth-century Scottish moral philosophy from different transnational contexts. This will encourage questions regarding why particular themes of Scottish moral thought resonated with certain national cultures, the significance of their adaptations, and should Scottish moral thought be considered original. The symposium's overarching objective involves advancing knowledge of the migration and dissemination of Scottish moral philosophy by treating a wide range of themes in different transnational contexts during different periods of the long eighteenth century.
9.00 am Registration and Welcome
9.30 am Panel I: Dialogue and Tradition (Chair: Susan Manning, University of Edinburgh)
Alexander Broadie (University of Glasgow): Reid translated into French: the case of Jouffroy
Jane Rendall (University of York): Elementary Principles of Education: Dugald Stewart, Women Writers and the Diffusion of Scottish Moral Philosophy
Silvia Sebastiani (EHESS, Paris): Scottish Legacy and American perspectives: Moral philosophy and physical anthropology in the work of Samuel Stanhope Smith
11.00 am Tea and Coffee
11.30 am Round Table Debate on Dialogue and Tradition (Chair: Nicholas Phillipson, University of Edinburgh)
Alexander Broadie (University of Glasgow); Silvia Sebastiani (EHESS, Paris); Susan Manning (University of Edinburgh)
12.30 pm Lunch
1.30 pm Panel II: Diaspora (Chair: Giovanni Gellera, University of Glasgow)
Ralph Jessop (University of Glasgow): 'Resisting a Dangerous Legacy of the Enlightenment: Carlyle and Hamilton on the Mechanization of the Human Condition'
Brad Bow (University of Edinburgh): 'A revival of the Scottish Enlightenment at Princeton: James McCosh's reception of Dugald Stewart's moral education'
Cairns Craig (University of Aberdeen): 'John Clark Murray and the end of Common Sense in North America'
3.00 pm Tea and Coffee
3.30 pm Round Table on Scottish Diaspora (Chair: Alexander Murdoch, University of Edinburgh)
Cairns Craig (University of Aberdeen); Ralph Jessop (University of Glasgow); Jane Rendall (University of York); Nicholas Phillipson (University of Edinburgh)
5.15 pm Wine Reception
For further information about the symposium email C.Bow@sms.ed.ac.uk
REGISTRATION: The event is free but space is limited so registration is essential. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
3 March 2011
ESRC funded Workshop: Rhetorics of Moderation
5.30 pm, Faculty Room South, David Hume Tower
Opening Plenary Lecture by Professor Robert McCluer Calhoon (University of North Carolina, Greensboro):
Provincial Moderation in Scotland and America: Bailyn and Clive 50 years on (and counting)
Robert McCluer Calhoon is a Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he taught from 1964 to 2008. His books include The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760-1781 (1973); Revolutionary America: An Interpretative Overview (1976); Evangelicals and Conservatives in the Early South, 1740-1861 (1988); Dominion and Liberty: Ideology in the Anglo-American World, 1660-1801(1994); Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries (2009). He is also the founding editor of the online Journal of Backcountry Studies.
About Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries
Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries seeks to correct the popular impression of moderation as timidity and caution. Robert McCluer Calhoon examines the structure of political moderation in detail characterising it as a compound of principle and prudence and defining it as humility in the face of the past and as historically grounded aesthetics.
Calhoon examines moderation’s history during the Peloponnesian War, the French War of Religion, and the century of its efflorescence from 1572 to 1680 when it failed to coalesce into an ideology. The bulk of the book examines the popularisation of political culture and the product of religious belief and practice.
This book is the first comprehensive history of this subject, yet it draws on more than a hundred books published over the past half century, producing conclusively that political moderates were made, not born.
4 March 2011
One-day workshop, IASH, Hope Park Square
9.15 am: Welcome, Introductions
9.30 - 11.00 am: Renaissance Discourses of Moderation
Mark Robson (University of Nottingham), "Performing moderation in the Renaissance"
Michael F. Graham (University of Akron), "Sectarian Discourse in the Cause of Moderation: Reginald Scot and Demonological Scepticism"
11.00 - 11.30 am: Coffee
11.30 am - 1.00 pm: Atlantic Moderation
Catherine Packham (University of Sussex), "Scottish Moderates and the Atlantic World"
Andrew Taylor (University of Edinburgh), "'Men are conservative after dinner': Emerson, Montaigne and radical moderatism"
1.00 - 2.00 pm Lunch
2.00 - 3.30 pm: Liberalisms and Moderatisms
Áine Kelly (University of Edinburgh), "Moderate Polemics: The Provocations of Richard Rorty"
Alexandre Guilherme (University of Edinburgh), "The Contrasting Philosophies of Martin Buber and Frantz Fanon: The political as dialogue or as confrontation"
3.30 - 4.00 pm Break
4.00 - 5.00 pm Roundtable discussion
5.00 - 6.00 pm Reception
Abstracts for the above may be downloaded, here