IASH Fellows' Speaker Series for the Spring 2016 Semester

IASH Fellows Speaker Series for the Spring 2016 Semester begins…

February  10, 2016
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:

Presented by:  Michael Weintraub (Political Science)   "Vigilante Mobilization and Local Order: Evidence from Mexico."

Are communities able to provide local order and security absent a strong and impartial state? This paper uses an instrumental variable approach to assess whether community-led vigilante groups reduced levels of crime in Mexico during a surge of criminal violence that followed the repressive campaign of the Calderón presidency. We trace the exogenous sources of today's patterns of vigilante group mobilization back to the Mexican Cristero rebellion in the early twentieth century. The Cristero rebellion, we argue, produced persistent changes in local-level preferences and institutional legacies conducive to armed collective action. Exploiting this variation in historical patterns of contentious politics, we identify the causal effects of vigilante mobilization on contemporary criminal violence. Our results indicate that vigilante groups reduce a broad range of crimes, thus providing strong evidence that communities can build local order even where the state is weak and armed actors are particularly predatory.

February 10, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 continues…

February 17, 2016 IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:

Presented by:   Omid Ghaemmaghami, (Classical and Near Eastern Studies) “And like that, he’s gone!”: Confession, Contention, and the Hidden Imam in Twelver Shi`i Islam

The Twelver Shi`i messianic figure known as the Hidden Imam is alleged to have entered a period of concealment in the late 9th century that continues to the present day. An initial reticence for anyone to contact the Imam during his “occultation” has given way to an explosion of stories and accounts detailing encounters between the Imam and many of his followers (mostly from the ranks of the clergy). This paper will consider the main reasons for this shift. In doing so, it will explore the role these stories have played in the last century and a half in refuting “heresy,” increasing faith in the Imam’s invisible presence, and strengthening the influence of the Shi`i clergy as his representatives.

Wednesday February 17, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 continues…

March 2, 2016
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:

Presented by: Karen Barzman (Art History) "Soft Architecture and the “Movable City” –Military Camps in Europe’s Early Modern Borderlands

This paper focuses on provisional settlements that sprang up in the hinterlands of Europe as part of the machinery of war before the bounded state.  At its most elaborate “the movable city,” a term aptly coined by Machiavelli in The Art of War (Dell’arte di guerra, first edition 1521), was replete with kitchens, laundry facilities, storage for ordnance, and temporary lodgings.  If the simple canvas tents for soldiers (often in the thousands) impressed by sheer number, the “pavilions” for commanders comprised lavish structures of leather and fabric featuring domed interiors replete with tapestries, ornate furniture, and silver service for dining.  In the increasingly abstract political geographies of European sovereignties, which were consolidated in capital cities, borderlands were given as empty peripheral space, their limits signaled by isolated fortresses at varying distances along ambiguous edges of rule. But there was life in the borderlands involving rural populations with ties of culture and kinship across the geopolitical divide.  During times of conflict enemy camps cut a palpable and intimidating presence in the countryside, dwarfing fortresses, interrupting the rural everyday, and playing a central role in psychological warfare preceding any offensive.  The paper seeks to write the “movable city” into a spatial history of borderlands, with case studies drawn from the ongoing wars between Venetian Dalmatia and Ottoman Bosnia (16th – 18th centuries) in a dense contact zone once again contested during the Balkan “wars of independence” in the 1990s.

Wednesday March 2, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 continues…

March 9, 2016
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:

Presented by: Hande Sarikuzu, (Anthropology)  "Community Justice and Regional Development in Turkey's Peace and Reconciliation Process"

Abstract: This project focuses on the corporatization and commodification of regional identities in post-conflict transformation, to assess the link between sustainable peace and sustainable development. My aim is to understand the extent to which the cultural organization of socio-economic life in the Kurdish-Alewi region Dersim can create alternatives to neoliberal capitalist development and to neo-Islamic reconciliatory policies sponsored by the current Turkish government. Overall, this project addresses a question of scale in governance: What happens when a model of dispute settlement designed for community conflicts is taken from the local context and applied to the level of state-citizen relations?

Wednesday March 9, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 continues…

March 16, 2016 IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:

Presented by: Jon Karp, (History/Judaic Studies)

Jewish-Owned Venues for Black Music in Twentieth-Century New York

From the Apollo Theater in Harlem to the Village Vanguard and Cafe Society Downtown, a great number of key venues for black music were owned and managed by Jews. This talk asks why, during a period marked by the de facto racial segregation of residential and commercial real estate, Jews figured so prominently among those whites who controlled performance space for black artists (sometimes for segregated and sometimes for mixed audiences) and examines how this division of labor reflected larger patterns of ethnic, racial, class hierarchy in twentieth-century America.

Wednesday March 16, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 continues…

April 6, 2016 IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:  

Presented by: Sonja M. Kim, ( AAAS ) The Birth of the T'omangmin (土幕民): Affect, Science, and Medicine in Management of the Urban Poor in 1930s and 1940s Korea

In 1940, medical students at Keijō Imperial University investigated the health and living conditions of urban residents in the ghettos of Seoul. These residents, called t’omangmin, had increasingly become targets of social concern in the context of colonial Korea’s urban development and the Pacific War. The investigation followed the framework of earlier medical research that “racialized” or categorized bodies into ethnic or racial groups. Moreover, the lead researcher asserted love as the investigation’s primary motivation. This presentation suggests ways affect shaped remedial and edifying paradigms in Japanese colonialist health and welfare programs.

Wednesday April 6, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 continues…

April 13, 2016 IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:  

Presented by: Rania Said, (Comparative Literature) Arab Women Travelers in the United States: Reading the American City, Reversing the Gaze

This paper discusses the production of American cities in the travel narratives of well-established Arab women writers; namely Ghada Samman (Syria/Lebanon) and Leila Abouzeid (Morocco). It examines the influences of pan-Arabist and Islamist thought on the authors' understanding and rendering of urban life in the United States. It also seeks to explore the authors' configuration of the Arab city in relation to the American city.

Wednesday April 13, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 continues…

April 20, 2016
IASH Fellows' Speaker Series: “Being Gone”: Chris Burden’s B.C. Mexico (1973)

Presented by: Kevin Hatch (Art History)

Mexico played an outsized role in the imaginations of many American artists associated with the avant-garde in the 1960s and ’70s. For such artists, fantasies about Mexico were legion; indeed, what the Nobel Prize-winning novelist J. M. G. Le Clézio has written about the French poet, playwright, and interwar expatriate Antonin Artaud—“he pursued a vision so powerful that it seemed completely to erase the daily reality of Mexico”—applies as well to many of the postwar American artists who followed in Artaud’s footsteps. Yet the engagement with Mexico for these artists was rarely simplistic, and never simple. In this paper, I focus on a single work created in 1973 by the Los Angeles-based performance and conceptual artist Chris Burden. In the work, titled B.C. Mexico, Burden piloted a kayak from Baja California to an uninhabited beach south where he remained for 11 days in isolation subsisting on water, while visitors to his Los Angeles gallery at the time found only a note on display referring to his absence. Burden said at the time that the work was about “being gone,” yet it also conjured a notional “Mexico” that served during the work’s duration as a conceptual foil to the US. B.C Mexico prompts crucial questions regarding the relay between Mexican and American artists in the expanded artistic field of the 1970s.


Wednesday April 20, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)


IASH Fellows Speaker Series - Spring 2016 concludes…

May 4, 2016 IASH Fellows' Speaker Series:

Presented by: Wendy Wall, (History) Neo-Malthusianism and the Immigration Act of 1965

The Immigration Act of 1965 is often seen as a triumph of liberalism because it dismantled a system of national origin quotas put in place in the 1920s that strongly favored immigrants from northern and western Europe.  In at least one respect, however, the act was quite conservative: it imposed, for the first time, numerical restrictions on immigrants from the Western Hemisphere.  Such a cap had long been opposed by the State Department, which argued that it was inconsistent with the nation’s “Good Neighbor” policy.  Both the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations resisted imposing such a cap.  Rising postwar concerns about a global “population explosion,” however, gave proponents of immigration restriction a powerful new argument that seemed less racist than earlier claims.  This talk traces the emergence of neo-Malthusianism in the 1950s and 1960s and explores the way it shaped debates over immigration reform.

Wednesday May 4, 2016, 12:00pm, IASH Conference Room (LN 1106)

Last Updated: 3/16/16