2021-22 Events

Fellows Fall Workshop

Wednesday, October 20 

Friday, October 22

Professionalization Workshop: Freelance Writing

Tuesday, October 26, 4:30 p.m.
Guerlac Room, A.D. White House

"Writing Beyond the Academy"

Oumar Ba
Editor for Africa is a Country. Oumar's writings have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, and Al Jazeera. He is an assistant professor of international relations in the Department of Government at Cornell.

Charles Petersen
Senior Editor at n+1 magazine. Charles worked as a book review editor for a national newspaper and as the assistant to the editor in chief at the New York Review of Books. In addition to n+1 and the New York Review, he has written for Bookforum, The Nation, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco ChronicleArt in America, and the New Yorker. He received his PhD in American studies at Harvard in 2020 and he is currently a Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow in the history department at Cornell.

Anna Shechtman
Senior Humanities Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB). In addition to LARB, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in ArtForum, newyorker.comThe New Inquiry, and Slate. She writes crossword puzzles for the New York Times and The New Yorker and is currently working on a trade book about crosswords and gender. She is a Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Literatures in English and will be joining that department as an assistant professor in 2024.

Rural Humanities: Public Humanities Methodologies Workshop

Thursday, November 18, 4:45 p.m.
Virtual Event

Ethan Dickerman
M.A. student at the Cornell Institute for Archaeology & Material Studies focusing on historical archaeology in the American northeast.

"Tompkins County Rural Black Residents Project, Reseeing the Past through Digital Maps and Historic Demography: a Rural Humanities webinar on public humanities methodology"

The Tompkins County Rural Black Residents Project (TCRBR Project) brings together 19th-century census data, maps, city directories, photographs, and other documents to create digital maps on a public website for users to learn more about local history. In this workshop Ethan will talk about the project’s background, the methods used to build the maps, how they are useful [and for whom], how it is being brought to the community, and where the project might go in the future.

View: "Tompkins County Rural Black Residents Project"

Invitational Lecture: Derrick Spires

Wednesday, December 01, 5:30 p.m.
Virtual Event

Derrick Spires
Associate Professor of Literatures in English, Cornell University

"Defining Democracy: How Black Print Culture Shaped America, Then and Now"

Join Cornell University literary historian and author Derrick Spires in this webcast as he challenges the assumption that there was little or no Black print culture in 19th-century America before the Civil War. Using material from Cornell’s own Rare and Manuscript Collections, including the Samuel J. May collection, Dr. Spires explores the oft-neglected written record of African American intellectual history, New York state activism, and Black material culture. By highlighting these rare print materials, Dr. Spires demonstrates the vibrancy and centrality of Black print culture — and its importance to understanding citizenship and democracy in America’s 19th century as well as its 21st.

View: 2021-22 Annual Invitational Lecture

Professionalization Workshop: Academic Publishing

Tuesday, December 07, 4:30 p.m.
Virtual Event

"Thinking of a Career in Academic Publishing?"

Martyn Beeny
Marketing and Sales Director at Cornell University Press

Bethany Wasik
Acquisitions Editor at Cornell University Press

Moderated by Durba Ghosh

View: "Thinking of a Career in Academic Publishing?"

Annual Digital Humanities Lecture: Kim Gallon

Thursday, February 22, 5:00pm 
Virtual Event

Kim Gallon 
Associate Professor of History at Purdue University

"Homegoing: Transforming the Datafication of Black Death into the Recovery & Restoration of Black Humanity"

The Society for the Humanities & CNY Humanities Corridor present:
The Annual Digital Humanities Lecture

This talk critically explores the role of data in the pandemic and demonstrates how computational humanities offers an opportunity to redefine “crisis” through the Black American experience and turn it into a site and a defining moment for the recovery and reimagination of Black humanity.

Kim Gallon is an Associate Professor of History at Purdue University. Her work investigates the cultural dimensions of the Black Press in the early twentieth century. She's the author of Pleasure in the News: African American Readership and Sexuality in the Black Press (University of Illinois Press, 2020). Gallon is also the author of the field-defining article, “Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities” and the founder and director of two black digital humanities projects: The Black Press Research Collective and COVID Black She also serves on a number of digital advisory boards for digital humanities projects and grants.

Culler Theory Lecture: Sianne Ngai

Wednesday, March 9, 4:45pm
Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall

Sianne Ngai
Professor of English, University of Chicago

"Inhabiting Error: From 'Last Christmas' to 'Senior’s Last Hour'"

In this talk, Ngai uses a pop song by Wham! and a reading of Marx's Capital to explore the stakes of recreating and affectively lingering in wrong ways of thinking. To linger in error is to subjectively nourish and deepen error, expanding the reach of its domain. This is especially the case in a world where truths are hidden in the social forms in which they are expressed, making error an unavoidable part of everyday perception. Yet when contradiction is a part of the world (as Hegel saw it), and not a tendency in reason (as Kant saw it), error will need to be phenomenologically inhabited in order to be fully understood. 

Sianne Ngai is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Ugly Feelings (Harvard UP, 2005), Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting (Harvard UP, 2012), and Theory of the Gimmick: Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form (Belknap, 2020). A roundtable on comedy featuring Ngai, Lauren Berlant, and Alenka Zupančič was recently published in Texte Zur Kunst (March 2021). She is currently working on a book about the ways in which Marx, Hegel, and a number of writers and artists inhabit error.

Annual Future of the Humanities Lecture: Dianne Harris

Wednesday, March 23, 5:00pm 
Virtual Event 

Dianne Harris delivers the Society for the Humanities Annual Future of the Humanities Lecture.

As tuition prices rise and the public's faith in our enterprise falls, questions about access are in the foreground of debates that focus on higher education. What has "access" meant in the past, what has it come to imply today, and why is that term of particular importance for those of us who care about the future of liberal arts education today and its ties to social justice? 

Dianne Harris is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at the University of Washington. She has extensive experience in grantwriting with a social justice focus and has served as both a Senior Program Officer for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and as Director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. Just prior to the 2016 presidential election, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, and has been a tireless supporter of the humanities throughout her career. Dr. Harris holds a PhD in Architectural History from the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarship, which has a broad temporal and geographic reach spanning from 18th-century Lombardy to the postwar United States, is united by a sustained focus on the relationship between the built environment and the construction of racial and class identities. In addition to her numerous scholarly articles and essays, her award-winning publications include the co-edited volumes Villas and Gardens in Early Modern Italy and France (2001), and Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision (2007). She is editor of Second Suburb: Levittown, Pennsylvania (2010), and she is the author of three monographs: The Nature of Authority: Villa Culture, Landscape, and Representation in Eighteenth-Century Lombardy (2003); and Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America (2013, second printing 2021).

Dr. Harris’s extensive grantmaking portfolio includes programs on higher education in prison; community college transfer pathways; diversifying higher education leadership; building a more diverse academy; support for American Indian and Indigenous studies and tribal colleges; scholars at risk/in exile; and the Just Futures Initiative competition. She will lead a separate grant-writing workshop for Cornell faculty, staff, and graduate students at 12:30pm on March 23.

Academic Publishing Panel and Workshops

April 14, 4:30pm 
Guerlac Room, A.D. White House 

Academic Publishing Panel: the Pitch, the Proposal, and the Editorial Partnership 

Acquiring editors are gate keepers and managers essential to the publication of any scholarly book. Editors are also critical collaborators, career strategists, and publicity champions necessary to the success of academic careers. 

Four publishing professionals share the wisdom of their experience as acquiring editors and provide insight into how the basics of the humanities academic publishing process are part of a more fundamental publishing relationship. Presentations on key early phases of the process—selecting presses, preparing a proposal, pitching and consulting, and building a relationship with an editor—will be followed by a period for questions and discussion. Read the editor bios below.

The panel will be followed by a reception in the A.D. White House.

Cornell humanitiees graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty members are invited to register for a second event on Friday, April 15, featuring one-to-one meetings with these editors.

Susan Ferber is Executive Editor for American and World History at Oxford University Press USA. Her award-winning list includes academic and trade titles in many subfields. She enjoys helping scholars make their ideas accessible to wider audiences.  A contributor to What Editors Do, she teaches at the Columbia Publishing Course.

Philip Leventhal is an Executive Editor at Columbia University Press. He acquires books in film and media studies, journalism studies, and literary studies. Before becoming an editor, he worked in the marketing department at Columbia University Press and the Seminary Coop Bookstore in Chicago.

Michael J. McGandy is Senior Editor and Editorial Director of the Three Hills at Cornell University Press. Prior to arriving at Cornell University Press in 2008, he worked in commercial publishing at Rowman & Littlefield, W. W. Norton, and Macmillan Library Reference (now Cengage).

Jenny Tan is Associate Editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press. She acquires in medieval and early modern studies and in anthropology and ethnography, and is especially interested in scholarship that challenges disciplinary boundaries and assumptions. Before coming to Penn, she worked at Duke University Press and Princeton University Press.

Panel Moderator: Tamika Nunley, Associate Professor of History, Cornell University


April 15, 9:30-2:00pm 
A.D. White House 

Academic Publishing Workshop: Meet with an Editor 

Cornell humanities graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty are invited to register for a 30 minute meeting (between 9:30am-2:00pm) with an academic editor to discuss your book project ideas. Appointments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through the registration form (due April 1). You will be asked to rank the editors in terms of your preference. The organizers will place the appointments and get back to you to confirm your meeting. 

The four academic editors are speaking in a panel discussion on Thursday, April 14, from 4:30-6:00pm at the A.D. White House. 

Humanities Scholars Undergraduate Research Conference

May 6, 9:30-4:00pm 
A.D. White House 

This annual conference features outstanding Cornell senior student research in various humanities fields, student panel discussions, and oral presentations of student papers with postdoctoral and faculty respondents. The day will consist of brief presentations (approximately 10 minutes each) followed by Q&A, organized into panels based on common themes. Q&A and panels will be moderated by Professor Durba Ghosh, (Director, Humanities Scholars Program), and Drs. Maddie Reynolds and Kaja Tally-Schumacher, (Postdoctoral Associates, Humanities Scholars Program). Join in and pose your own questions to the student presenters! 

The event is sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences Humanities Scholars Program (HSP) housed at the Society for the Humanities and will include senior presenters from HSP and from outside the program. The conference features seniors from the first graduating class of the program, presenting their capstone projects (two years in the making).

The full list of presentations can be found here. 

Spring Fellows Conference

Wednesday, May 11, 9:00-4:00pm
Guerlac Room, A.D. White House 

10:30 - 12:00 PM PANEL 1

Eunjung Kim, Society Fellow; Women’s and Gender Studies and Disability Studies, Syracuse University, 
"Dignity Archives: An Ecology of Crip Sensoriality, Anti-confinement and Necro-activisms"

Kun Huang, Mellon Graduate Fellow; Comparative Literature,
"TAZARA and the Aesthetics of Sacrifice: Narrating China-Africa ‘Friendship’ in (Post-)Socialist Developmentalist Literature"

Fatima Quraishi, Society Fellow; Art History, University of California, Riverside,
"Necropolis as Palimpsest: the lotus form at Makli"

1:00 - 2:30 PM PANEL 2

Irina R. Troconis, Cornell Faculty Fellow; Romance Studies, 
"Crisálida: Memory, Materiality, and Loss in the Venezuelan Diaspora"

María Edurne Zuazu, Society Fellow; Music, 
"There Is No Location Sound"

Afifa Ltifi, Mellon Graduate Fellow; Africana Studies & Research Center, 
"Melancholy Blackness: Captive Genealogies and the (pre)Modern Temporalities of (anti)Blackness in Tunisia" 

3:00 - 5:00pm PANEL 3

Leslie Alexander, Society Fellow; History, Arizona State University,
"Holding A Wolf By the Ear: White Fear and the History of Policing in the United States"

Noah Tamarkin, Cornell Faculty Fellow; Anthropology and Science & Technology Studies,
"Carcerality and Justice in Postapartheid Forensic Genetics"

Begüm Adalet, Cornell Faculty Fellow; Government,
"Home and away: Black radical thought and intimacies in transit"

Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez, Society Fellow; English, Michigan State University,
"The Survival of a People: Afro-Boricua Afterlives & Afterimages"