Long before the Bechdel Test codified and implicitly critiqued the failure of films to make female interaction the focal point of narrative activity, Fred Zinnemann’s 1977 Julia and Claudia Weill’s 1978 Girlfriends both described the difficulty of conceptualizing female affiliation in narrative as well as visual sequences. Within widely different industrial and political contexts, they each narrated the ways in which explicit interdiction and other forms of “sororophobia” to arise as forms of plot advancement and affective dislocation in the lives of paired female friends. In Julia, the adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s memoir foreshadows as public historical and political allegory this separation or dislocation; in Girlfriends the focus is personal and intimate although the premise of the plot is also that this interdiction is a political and aesthetic matter. In both, an endeavor to separate affection from desire is gestured at as a condition of affection. This lecture will explore the ways in which women, in historical fact or imaginative revision, can be brought together as girlfriends.
Melissa Hardie is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Sydney. Much of her work considers “novel objects,” bridging Modernist to contemporary textual practices to find unexpected areas of connection between what are usually thought of as discrete periods, practices or genres. Her recent essays have turned to Marielle Heller’s 2018 film Can You Ever Forgive Me? about writer Lee Israel; texts by filmmaker Almodóvar and novelist Djuna Barnes; and George Cukor’s last film, Rich and Famous, which narrates the friendship of two women writers. Her current book investigates how the closet is a critical vector in the remediation of forms of confession and disclosure, focusing on television, cinema, memoir and the starlet. She is also co-editing a book on Verhoeven's Showgirls with Meaghan Morris and Kane Race. Dr. Hardie is driven by an ethos of inclusivity, which means she focuses on the under-explored and under-represented edges of canons and how fields are transformed when inclusion and diversity are made central concerns.
Reception to follow.
Sponsored by the Amherst College Film & Media Studies program.
A historian who looks into the ruins in search of the future has to squint, look carefully at the shards of hope, wonder if it would ever be possible to find the pathways outwards and forwards. That historian has to learn the difference between failure and defeat, has to wonder about the contradictions of the human experience, indeed has to wonder about the idea of the “human” itself — we were people, with great difficulty we became human. Join me for a journey into the ruins.
Free and Open to All | Book Signing to Follow | Free Parking Available
Vijay Prashad is the Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, and Chief Correspondent for Globetrotter. He has written twenty-five books, including the two volume history The Darker Nations and The Poorer Nations; and he has edited twenty books, including Liberate the Colonies. For twenty-five years he has been a foreign correspondent for Frontline, India’s national magazine. Prashad holds a PhD in History from the University of Chicago.
This event is presented by the UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History as part of the 2020 History Writer-In-Residence Program. Supported by Five Colleges, Inc., this programs hosts renowned writers whose historical work engages broad public audiences in residence in the UMass Amherst History Department.
Additional Writer-In-Residence Events with Vijay Prashad: https://www.umass.edu/history/writer-in-residence
Co-Sponsored by the Amherst College American Studies Department; the Amherst College Anthropology and Sociology Department; the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program; the Mount Holyoke College Critical Social Thought Program; the Mount Holyoke College English Department; the Mount Holyoke College History Department; the Hampshire College School of Critical Social Inquiry; the Smith College American Studies Department; and the following UMass Amherst departments and programs: American Studies; Anthropology; English; Philosophy; Political Economy Research Institute; Social Thought and Political Economy; UMass Alliance for Community Transformation; and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies.
Dr. Gonzalves will discuss the Smithsonian Institution's ambitious programming challenge—to present time-based, music-related events on every day of the year in 2019. It's also the planet's largest music museum. You'll hear an insider's take on the state of research, collections, and exhibition work at an institution tasked with the "increase and diffusion of knowledge”.
The MFA's Visiting Writers Series presents CAConrad and Dawn Lundy Martin at 8pm in the Old Chapel. CAConrad is a 2019 Creative Capital Fellow and the author of 9 books of poetry and essays: their "While Standing in Line for Death" (Wave Books, 2017) received the 2018 Lambda Award. Dawn Lundy Martin is the author of four books of poems and has won the Cave Canem Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry, and more. Her latest collection, "Good Stock / Strange Blood" was published by Coffee House Press in 2017.
Join the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College for a night of eco art and performance, light refreshments will be served
Speaker: Dr. David Eng, Richard L. Fisher Professor of English at University of Pennsylvania
This presentation comes from my forthcoming book, “Reparations and the Human,” which explores the history of reparations in Cold War Asia, beginning with New World discovery and indigenous dispossession and concluding with the biopolitical aftermath of atomic destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reparation is a key term in political theory, but it is also a central concept in psychoanalysis, in particular object relations, yet the two are rarely discussed in relation to one another. “Reparations and the Human” examines how political and psychic genealogies of reparation can supplement one another in conceptions of the human and human rights after genocide and nuclear holocaust.
This presentation will focus on the afterword to my book, “Absolute Apology, Absolute Forgiveness,” which investigates the history of uranium mining and “Little Boy,” the atomic bomb detonated by the U.S. military over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Much of the world’s uranium supply is mined from indigenous lands, and the uranium for Little Boy, too, came in part from the lands of the Sahtu Dene, an indigenous peoples in Great Bear Lake, Canada. Ignorant at the time of how their mining efforts would be applied and the destination of the ore, the Sahtu Dene nonetheless felt implicated once they learned of Hiroshima’s fate. In response to the disaster, they sent a delegation to Hiroshima to apologize. I will discuss the Sahtu Dene’s response to the atomic bombing in order to extend Jacques Derrida’s notion of “absolute forgiveness” and to develop a corollary concept: “absolute apology.
Biennial event with performances by choirs from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts.
The Expressive Cello featuring Marie-Volcy Pelletier, cello
The Expressive Cello, from 1891 to 1953
Music by Brahms, Debussy, Tcherepnin and Prokofiev. Volcy Pelletier, cello and guests artists, Yu-Mei Wei, piano and Lynn Sussman, clarinet.
Presented by the Sage Chamber Music Society
Amy Olberding, President's Associates Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma will give the Gail Caldwell Stine Lecture, ”The Troubles and Temptations of Righteous Incivility”.
The motivations for being uncivil are many, but in some cases, we want to be uncivil because we think it is morally better than being civil. Being rude or uncivil can be a way to morally protest a state of affairs, to assert community or personal moral standards, or to sound a social alarm about ills and injustices. In short, we can be rude because we think it righteous. But I want to consider how difficult it can be to tell when one’s own rudeness really is righteous and whether rudeness serves a righteous end. There are no crisp or tidy answers here, but I argue that righteous incivility is far more complicated than we tend recognize and thus we should be more cautious with it. Amy Olberding is Presidential Professor of Philosophy at University of Oklahoma. Her work focuses on early Confucian ethics and is especially focused on everyday moral issues and prosaic human concerns. She is the author of The Wrong of Rudeness (Oxford 2019) and Moral Exemplars in the Analects (Routledge 2011), as well as several journal articles and book chapters.
UMass Music & Dance presents a faculty concert by Edward Arron, cello with guest Jeewon Park, piano.
The program will feature music by Mendelssohn: Sonata in D Major, Op. 58, Janáček: Pohádka (A Tale), Stravinsky: Suite Italienne, and the Schubert "Arpeggione" Sonata, D.821.