The Humanities Project Events for April 2008
Laurie Maffly-Kipp has been at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1989, where she is associate professor in the religious studies department. She received her B.A. from Amherst College in English and religion, and her Ph.D. in American History from Yale University. Her first book, Religion and Society in Frontier California (1994), explored evangelical missionary efforts during the California gold rush. Maffly-Kipp's current research concentrates on intercultural conflict, with special focus on African-American religions and religions on the Pacific borderlands of America, including Mormonism. She is currently completing a book on the writing of African American sacred histories in the nineteenth century as well as an edited anthology of black women's historical writings.
Professor Hall works mainly on metaphysics and philosophy of science, with a special emphasis on philosophical problems associated with the foundations of quantum physics. He recently edited (with John Collins and L. A. Paul), Causation and Counterfactuals.
This event is free and open to the public.
Jeff Sharlet is the author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper, 2008) and co-author with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (Free Press), named by Publishers Weekly one of the top 10 religion titles of 2004. Sharlet is an associate research scholar at New York University's Center for Religion and Media, a contributing editor for Harper's and Rolling Stone, a regular contributor to Oxford American and New Statesman, and has also written for Mother Jones, New York, The Washington Post, The Nation, Nerve, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Jewish Forward, Jewish Quarterly, and Pakn Treger. He is a co-founder of killingthebuddha.com, winner of an Utne/Alternative Press Association award, and the founder of the therevealer.org, a review of religion and media. He has commented on religion and politics for CNN, NPR, BBC, Air America, Radio France, The New York Times, and many other media venues. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the historian Julia Rabig.
John Zogby is America's leading pollster, a famed interpreter of public opinion, and founder of Zogby International, located in Utica, NY. He looks at the 2008 campaign in terms of demography, political ideology, and party identity. Zogby will discuss what is likely to decide the ultimate outcome. Also, he will examine changes that may transform American politics long-term in advance of his fall 2008 book about what we are -- and are becoming.
Warren Ginsberg is the first Knight Professor of the Humanities in the Department of English at the University of Oregon. He will present a talk entitled "Infernal Borderlands: Geography, Violence, Fraud in Dante's Hell."
Warren Ginsberg's books include Chaucer's Italian Tradition (2002); Dante's Aesthetics of Being (1999); and The Cast of Character: The Representation of Personality in Ancient and Medieval Literature (1983). He has edited Ideas of Order in the Middle Ages (ACTA XV, 1990), and Wynnere and Wastoure and The Parlement of the Thre Ages for the Middle English Texts Series (1992). He has published several dozen articles, on the Hebrew scriptures, Ovid, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Old English literature, and he wrote the Explanatory Notes for the General Prologue portrait and the Tale of the Clerk for The Riverside Chaucer. As this overview makes clear, Warren possesses remarkable learnedness, and the capacity to make connections among diverse authors and texts, and among quite disparate cultural moments; what is even more striking is the degree to which his humane learning unfailingly creates connections between these interests and his audiences. After Warren's talk there will be an opportunity for questions and conversation.
Graduate Student Presentations: At 3:30 p.m., there will be a panel of graduate student presentations. These will include Valerie Johnson (English, UR), "Treadmill Topography: Imaginative Interpretation in Literary Landscapes"; Emily Huber (English, Adrian College), "Margery Kempe and Institutional Despair"; and Kristi Castleberry, "Annihilating Others: Fear and Conversion in The King of Tars."
These papers will be followed by general discussion, with undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, other members of the University community, and off-campus visitors participating.