Humanities Events at NYU | Feb. 5 – 18, 2018

A selection of upcoming events at NYU within the humanities


Black Bodies, Black Consciousness, and the Legacy of Slavery in Canada

Feb. 8 7:00-10:00PM

20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

In conjunction with the SCA/Africana Studies sponsored event Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs, an interdisciplinary, multimedia theatrical concert exploring the journey of escaped slaves to Atlantic Canada and Quebec via the Underground Railroad and the aftermath, Dr. Afua Cooper, James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University will be speaking. The topic of her presentation “Black Bodies, Black Consciousness, and the Legacy of Slavery in Canada will address the residual challenges of being Black in Canada, the mythology of Canada as “The Promised Land” for Black folk, and the dilemmas of a post-racial narrative.

Sponsored by the Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis and Africana Studies.


Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs

Feb. 9 7:00-9:00PM

Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

Beyond The Veil of the Sorrow Songs is an interdisciplinary, multimedia theatrical concert that tells of escaped enslaved African’s journey to Atlantic Canada and Quebec via the Underground Railroad. It reaches forward to address the challenges of the African-Nova Scotia community in a supposedly post-racial society. Fugitive slave narratives, drama, West African drumming, Scotch-Irish fiddling, liturgical dance, spoken word, spirituals, media, and live visual artistry are woven together to chronicle and give voice to the fortitude of persons long silenced and written out of history.

Sponsored by the Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis and Africana Studies.


New Book Roundtable: Nikhil Singh’s Race and America’s Long War

Feb. 13 6:00- 7:30PM

20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

Join Corey Robin, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Thomas Sugrue, and Nikhil Singh for a roundtable conversation.There will be copies of Nikhil Singh’s book available for purchase.

Sponsored by the Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis and Africana Studies.


THE NEXT AMERICAN REVOLUTION: Publishing Protest with American Studies Now

Feb. 15 6:00- 7:30PM

20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

Join Corey Robin, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Thomas Sugrue, and Nikhil Singh for a roundtable conversation.There will be copies of Nikhil Singh’s book available for purchase.

Sponsored by the Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis and Africana Studies.


Heroism or Mourning Song? Sophoclean Tragedy from Holderlin to Lorauk

Feb. 8 6:30-8:30PM

Comparative Literature Department, 19 University Place, Room 222

The talk first surveys a paradox in the modern reception of tragedy: while the tragic hero becomes a central topos in the interpretation of tragedy, the significance of heroic agency qua deliberation is reduced. Such reduction is traceable from Hölderlin’s Antigone, who acts as a “divine fool,” to Loraux’s more recent replacement of the politics of heroism with the ethics of mourning. What are the literary and philosophical implications of this peculiar ambivalence toward heroic agency? How may we understand this ambivalence in light of Nietzsche’s diagnosis of modernity as an un-tragic age? Can we, in the wake of Hölderlin’s anti-classical (and anti-humanist) readings of Sophocles, re-read the tragedian in another combination of these terms, or even beyond reference to these terms? After laying some of these general questions regarding the reception of tragic heroism, the talk presents a brief juxtaposition of the thematics of mourning in the Antigone and the Electra, arguing that Loraux’s appeal to mourning does not necessarily exhaust the Sophoclean ethico-political vision.

Sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and German Department.


Remembering THE FACE: a book talk by Paul Gorman

Feb. 7,  6:30

20 Cooper Square, Room 503

THE FACE existed between 1980 and 2004, never sold more than 130,000 copies per issue, and is widely revered as one of the most iconic and inspiring of all magazines. Emerging at the tail end of post-punk and 2 Tone, it featured early coverage of electro, hip hop and house music; galvanising dispatches from downtown New York, European galleries and UK clubland; startling design by Neville Brody; iconic photography by the likes of Corinne Day, Juergen Teller and Nick Knight; brilliant cultural journalism by writers such as Gavin Hills, Sheryl Garratt, Jon Savage and Robert Elms. Widely hailed – and sometimes resented – as a ‘style Bible’, it transformed the ways in which popular culture was documented, analysed and regarded.
To mark the publication of Paul Gorman’s The Story of the Face, this panel brings together a stellar cast of writers, photographers, musicians and artists to explore the history and legacy of this much-loved and hugely influential magazine.

Co-sponsored by Public Books and the Department of English.


Identity Matters: What makes Britain’s Anglo-Indians ‘Invisible’?

Feb. 8, 6:00 pm

244 Greene St. Room 306

Despite the fact that India’s Anglo-Indians migrated en masse following Independence in 1947 and have spent 70 years as a settler community, they remain relatively unknown in the United Kingdom and scarcely counted among the South Asian diaspora. Prof. Almeida’s talk will address their trajectory from immigrants who faced hostility and rejection in the Post World War II era to a well-established and well-accepted ethnic minority in the multi-cultural environment of contemporary Britain. It will also analyst reasons for their invisibility and the cultural erasure this invisibility has engendered.

Sponsored by the Postcolonial, Race and Diaspora Studies Colloquium.


La Bendición: A One-Day Celebration of Latinx-Caribbean Poetry in the United States

Feb. 8, 2:00-8:30 pm

Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, 1 Washington Place

Gallatin will host La Bendición, a one-day celebration of Latinx-Caribbean poetry in the United States. The program, originated by Gallatin Associate Dean Millery Polyné, includes Martín Espada, Aracelis Girmay, Deborah Paredez, NYU English’s own Urayoán Noel, Nicole Sealey, Rio Cortez, Ricardo Maldonado, Denice Frohman, Sandra María Esteves, Peggy Robles-Alvarado, and Charlie Vázquez. A full schedule of the day’s events, as well as an RSVP form, is available on the Gallatin website.

Sponsored by the Gallatin School of Individualized Study.


The Writerly Life: A Panel Discussion

Feb. 9, 12:30 pm

14 University Place, Map Room

Bringing together teachers and visiting scholars from the Center for Experimental Humanities, who are all professional writers, editors, and art makers, this panel will address questions central to the life of a writer, such as, how do you decide what to write about? How do you conduct your research? How do you pitch a story? What is the editing process like? How and where and when do you write? How do you make a living? Writing, of course, takes many forms—poetry, fiction, criticism, reporting—and is transformed by the editing process. Whether writing fiction on your own or crafting an article for the New Yorker, the process is often personal and can be opaque. To open up a discussion about what this process is like, the panelists will each speak briefly about their own experiences and then field questions from the audience about what it means to live as a writer and editor.

Sponsored by the Center for Experimental Humanities


A Book of Conquest: Book Discussion with David Ludden

Feb. 6, 4:30-6:30 pm

20 Cooper Square, Room 503

The question of how Islam arrived in India remains markedly contentious in South Asian politics. Standard accounts center on the Umayyad Caliphate’s incursions into Sind and littoral western India in the eighth century CE. In this telling, Muslims were a foreign presence among native Hindus, sowing the seeds of a mutual animosity that presaged the subcontinent’s partition into Pakistan and India many centuries later.

Sponsored by the Department of South Asian Studies.


An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction

Feb. 13, 6:00 pm

20 Cooper Square, Room 503

How does the literature and culture of early Victorian Britain look different if viewed from below? The flourishing radical press was home to daring literary experiments that embraced themes including empire and economic inequality, helping to shape mainstream literature. What emerges is a new vision of Victorian social life, in which fierce debates and surprising exchanges spanned the class divide.

Join us for a panel discussion on Greg Vargo’s An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction: Chartism, Radical Print Culture, and the Social Problem Novel, a book that challenges long-held assumptions about the cultural separation between the “two nations” of rich and poor in the Victorian era.
Comments on the book will be offered by panelists, followed by hands-on letterpress printing on a platen press. Print your own postcard commemorating the release of An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction, using nineteenth-century printing technology.

Sponsored by the NYU Center for the Humanities.


Precarious Sounds // Sounding Sanctuary

Feb. 16-17

Silver Center, 28 Waverly Place

Eighteen presenters discuss colonial legacies of a naval base in the Philippines, soundscapes of precarity on the streets of Cuba, mediation of struggles in a French refugee camp, listening practices across the Mexico-U.S. border, the political potentials of sonic blackness, and silence as tool of oppression or nurturing refuge.

More than twenty composers and performers explore precarity and sanctuary through chamber pieces, found objects, and sonic technologies, highlighting ecosystems in danger, the limits of the human body, America’s history of enslavement, the surveillance state, and memory as precarity and sanctuary.

Featured events include a Friday afternoon keynote by Prof. Josh Kun (University of Southern California) about his work with music and housing justice in San Francisco and a multimedia exhibit in NYU Bobst Library’s Avery Fisher Center.

Sponsored by the Music Department, NYU Faculty of Arts & Science.


Image courtesy of Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.