2017-18 Events

Digital Humanities Lecture

September 5, 4:30 p.m.
Guerlac Room, A.D. White House

Patrick Keilty
Assistant Professor of Information, University of Toronto

Strategic Desire

Globally, online pornography is a $97 billion industry and more than a hundred million people visit pornographic video streaming sites every day. Online pornography sites may seem like amateurish distribution services. Instead, they are sophisticated technology companies that employ hundreds of technical staff to design and develop interfaces, algorithms, data mining software, data analytics software, video streaming software, and database management systems. These designers are responsible for making strategic choices about information management and the graphical organization of content that translates into large profits, innovative capitalist media techniques, and dominant modes for curating, distributing, and regulating our experience of sexual desire today. This talk focuses on one aspect of this design strategy: the creation of an immersive viewing experience to increase attention retention and “time on site.” How does the pornography industry design for desire? How does this differ from similar practices in other industries? What can theories of desire add to our understanding of how these systems operate?

View: Digital Humanities Lecture Video

Community Read and Discussion

October 30, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall

Panel discussion with Mabel Berezin, Jonathan Boyarin, Kevin Gaines, Aziz Rana, followed by a community conversation on On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder.

The World According to Sound

October 25, 2017, 4:30 pm
Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall

The World According to Sound

The Golden Gate Bridge. Ants. 1940s Berlin. Gravitational waves. Music made by a washing machine. Radio producers Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett are going to set up a ring of speakers, hand out eye masks, turn off the lights, and surround you with sound. It will be an evening experienced entirely through the ears instead of the eyes.

Fall Conference

October 27-28, 2017
A.D. White House


Friday, October 27

4:30 p.m. Keynote Lecture

  • Kamari Clarke (Professor of Global & International Studies, Law & Legal Studies and Anthropology, Carleton University), Corruptions of Justice or Celebrity Neo-Justice?: The #BringBackOurGirls Campaign & the Affective Turn to Hashtag Activism

Saturday, October 28

This year’s day-long work workshop inverts the conventional conference format. Instead of coming with polished papers, participants will provide short, thesis-driven presentations (10-15 minutes) to generate discussion around significant questions, examples, problems (30 minutes). Consciously designed as a discussion-driven seminar format, the workshop will take place in A.D. White House room 110.

9:45 - 11:15 a.m.

  • Ayelet Ben-Yishai, (Society Fellow; English, University of Haifa), The Politics of Purity: BDS, Complicity, and Co
  • Rachel Weil (Faculty Fellow; History, Cornell University), What Was Corrupt About the Early Modern Prison?

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

  • Elyse Graham (Society Fellow; Digital Humanities, SUNY Stony Brook), Speak Flash, Memory
  • Courtney Roby (Faculty Fellow; Classics, Cornell University), Syntax to Mod: Distributing Ancient Science

2:30 - 5:00 p.m. 

  • Amy Sara Carroll (Society Fellow; Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0)
    Ricardo Dominguez (Society Fellow; Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0), 
    The Man in the High Castle is Burning: Corrupting Corruption, or, There and Back Again
  • Laura Pérez León (Society Fellow; MENTEINVESTIGATION, Mexico City), Institutional Corruption, a Visual Property 
  • Conerly Casey (Society Fellow; Anthropology, Rochester Institute of Technology), Sensing Corruption: Poliics and the Senses in Northern Nigeria

View: Fall Conference Keynote video

Culler Lecture in Critical Theory

Novermber 7, 4:30 p.m.
Guerlac Room, A.D. White House

Stefanos Geroulanos
Associate Professor of European Intellecual History, New York University

The Destruction of Transparency

View:  Culler Lecture Video

Spring Workshop


Friday March 2
A.D. White House

10:00 a.m.:

  • Robert Travers (Faculty Fellow; History, Cornell University), Corruption Across Cultures in Eighteenth Century Eurasia
  • Laura Pérez León (Society Fellow), Ways of Seeing Corruption
  • Seçil Yilmaz (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow; Near Easter Studies, Cornell University), Corruption in the Lab: The Ottoman Institute of Bacteriology Between Politics and Science

1:00 p.m.

  • Jeremy Braddock (Faculty Fellow; English, Cornell University), Remediating the Studio System in May 1970
  • Rahul Mukherjee (Society Fellow; Television & New Media Studies, University of Pennsylvania), That Sting Video: From X-raying Corruption to Vigilante Recordings

2:45 p.m.

  • Chairat Polmuk (Mellon Graduate Fellow; Asian Studies, Cornell University), The Atmosphere of Corruption: Post-Cold War Affect & the Buddhist Media Archive in Southeast Asia
  • Nasrin Olla (Mellon Graduate Fellow; English, Cornell University), Clamoring for Opacity

KEYNOTE: Chris Newfield
Professor of Literature & American Studies, University of California-Santa Barbara
Corruption & the U.S. University Today

Sustainable Futures Lecture

March 6, 4:30 p.m.
Guerlac Room, A.D. White House

Rahul Mukherjee
2017-18 Society for the Humanities Atkinson Center Fellow; Dick Wolf Assistant Professor of Television & New Media Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Mediating Radiant Energies: Proximate Exposures + Cultures of Regulation

With radiant infrastructures such as cell towers and nuclear reactors, there is both the material spread of radiant energies (signals and radioactivity) and the mediated fears of such (im)perceptible emanations and potential leaks. This talk examines debates about exposure: contacts between radiation and human flesh. The regulator’s predicament involves balancing entwined sustainability concerns: sustaining calls/data traffic and energy needs and at the same time sustaining citizens’ health. In particular, I focus on how media mobilize “situated testimonies” to bolster “anecdotal evidence” of “lay” citizens. Documentaries and television shows that incorporate biomedical imaging and assemblage aesthetics to trace the molecular encounters of human (and nonhuman) bodies with radioactive isotopes and electromagnetic signals help to theorize radiant infrastructures in ecological terms.

Invited Society Scholar Lecture

March 21, 4:30 p.m.
Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall

Fred Moten
Professor of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

The Gift of Corruption

View:  Invited Society Scholar Lecture Video

Invitational Lecture

Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall

Jason Frank
Robert J. Katz Chair of Government, Cornell University

The People as Popular Manifestation

View:  Invitational Lecture Video