Faculty Seminar Series

A series of events centered around a subject that is of great interest and which has a significant impact on the transdisciplinary world of humanities.

2017-18 Theme: Empire, the Postcolonial, and the Decolonial

Scholars across humanities disciplines analyze, critique and theorize imperial, colonial, and neo-imperial practices and their effects across the globe. Postcolonial theory and theories of settler-colonialism, in particular, have reshaped understandings not just of lived histories under empire, but power itself; and humanities methods have been essential to elucidating western colonial practices and developing strategies that actively decolonize knowledge making, social engagement, and political action – effectively denaturalizing colonial practices. Humanities researchers have also pointed to and worked to reimagine the ways colonial pasts and presents structure not just political and ideological systems of nationhood, but intersectional structures of race, class and gender, the subaltern, linguistic practices, economic forces, the environment, and the patterns of exploitation, cooptation and collaboration that make up our global present.

  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

    Melissa Free, Assistant Professor, Department of English

    Bring a lunch and join us for the second event of our 2017-18 Faculty Seminar Series!

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 12:00pm

    Please join us for a lunch-time series of talks by ASU faculty on the theme of Empire, the Postcolonial, and the Decolonial. During this event, we will hear from Françoise Mirguet, James Rush, and Mark van Hagen.


    “Feeling Back: Judeo-Hellenistic Compassion as Resistance to Imperial Culture”

    Can an emotion help a minority negotiate its subordinate position in an imperial context? This paper deals with pity and compassion in Jewish literature written in Greek, from the late Hellenistic, early imperial period (200 BCE to 200 CE). I suggest that pity and compassion, as a discourse but also as emotional practices, allow Jewish elites to voice—and experience—the uniqueness of their identity. Jewish elites reassert a concern ubiquitous in the Hebrew scriptures; at the same time, their discourse conforms to dominant intellectual standards, twisted into hybrid constructions. Hellenistic Jews feel back: to the cultural hegemony of Rome, they oppose a “gentle emotion” constructed as their own heritage.

    Françoise Mirguet is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University. She teaches at the School of International Letters and Cultures and in Jewish Studies. Her research interests include ancient Jewish literature and the history of emotions. Her newest book is entitled An Early History of Compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism, published by Cambridge University Press (2017). 


    “Islam is the Vision, the Colony is the Vessel: the Dutch East Indies”

    Between 1600 and 1900, Holland built a massive tropical colony in Southeast Asia, the Dutch East Indies. To Holland’s millions of Muslim subjects, colonization by Christian foreigners was anathema. But having failed to thwart the Western onslaught militarily, Muslim leaders of the early 20th century shrewdly seized upon the reality of the huge colony to advance modern visions of Islam within it, pressing their new organizations and publications into its far-flung territories. In this way, the unwelcome colony became a hopeful vessel that could be filled with visions of a new Islam-infused society, a vessel that would eventually be theirs in the hoped-for nation-to-be of Indonesia.

    James Rush is a historian of Southeast Asia and a Professor at ASU's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. His work explores issues of colonialism and religion in 19th and 20th century Indonesia and includes the books Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860-1910 (Cornell University Press, 1990/1907) and Hamka's Great Story: A Master Writer's Vision of Islam for Modern Indonesia (University of Wisconsin Press, 2016). His Southeast Asia: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press) is forthcoming. 


    “Ukraine’s Post-Colonial History and Possibilities of Intra-European Colonialisms”

    Mark von Hagen teaches and writes about the history of soldiers, armies, and war in Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia at Arizona State University in two Schools, International Letters and Cultures and Politics and Global Studies.  He recently (2016-2017) served as Interim Director of ASU’s Melikian Center and is founding Director of the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement.  Von Hagen also teaches and serves as Dean of the Philosophy Faculty, Ukrainian Free University (Munich, Germany). He is head of the International Advisory Board to the German-Ukrainian Historians’ Commission. 

  • “Rethinking Youth Identities in a Global Context: Postcolonialism, Intersectionality, and Young Adult Literature”
    Sybil Durand, Assistant Professor, Department of English

    “Use-Rights, Resource Management, and Sovereignty in Anishinaabewaki”
    Susan Gray, Associate Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

2016-17: Citizenship

  • Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 12:00pm

    Charles Lee, Associate Professor, Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation
    John Carlson, Associate Professor, Religious Studies; Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University
    Heather Curry, Assistant Professor of Communication, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 12:00pm

    Shirley Rose, Professor, Department of English Rob Spindler, University Archivist, ASU Libraries Glenn Newman, Graduate Student, Department of English Jessica Boykin, Graduate Student, Department of English

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 12:00pm

    Bring a lunch and join Sally Ball, Associate Professor of English, poet, and associate director of Four Way Books, as she enlightens us on poetry and its potential impact on politics and citizenship.

2015-16: The Meanings of Celebration and Commemoration

  • Friday, September 11, 2015 - 7:00pm

    Mark von Hagen, Director, Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement
    Nancy Dallett, Assistant Director, Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement
    Daniel Rothenberg, Director, Center on the Future of War
    Peter Lehman, Director, Center for Film, Media, and Popular Culture

    To kick off the 2015-16 IHR Faculty Seminar series "The Meanings of Celebration and Commemoration," this panel will explore the social and cultural impact of the post-9/11 wars and the implications of national and international security concerns on civic life. The panelists aim to demonstrate the vital role of the humanities for helping society to understand how nearly a decade and a half of war has affected core ideas, practices, and representations of citizenship, democracy, identity, patriotism, and social responsibility.

2014-15: Expanding Models for Humanities Research

  • Friday, January 30, 2015 - 7:00pm

    The fourth IHR Faculty Seminar Series Lecture of 2014-15 will feature presentations by Tamara Underiner (Associate Professor, School of Film, Dance and Theatre) and Dan Gilfillan (Associate Professor, School of International Letters and Cultures). More details about the lecture will be forthcoming. 

    Daniel Gilfillan, "Sites of Performance: Sound, Ephemerality and the Unhousing of Knowledge"

  • Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Michael Simeone, Generative Use Cases for Reconsidering Humanities Research Methods
    Sha Xin Wei, The Atelier as Transversal Machine

    Generative use cases for reconsidering humanities research methods:

  • Friday, October 17, 2014 - 7:00pm

    Kristing Koptiuch, "Hijacking Digital Technologies"
    Alice Daer, “What does it Mean to be Human on the Internet?”
    Lauren Harris, Jason Bruner, and Volker Benkert, “Digital Humanities, the Public and the Museum”

    This Faculty Seminar Roundtable will explore the digital future for humanities research. Kristin Koptiuch, Associate Professor from the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will present "Hijacking Digital Technologies" where she suggests that humanities scholars must hijack powerful digital technologies, repurposing them by employing the full interpretive strength and creativity of our critical poetic imagination.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014 - 11:30am

    Andrea Lunsford, "The Necessity of Collaboration"

    The 2014-15 IHR Faculty Seminar Series will begin on September 19th with a lecture and discussion led by Andrea Lunsford of Stanford University (emerita) on “The Necessity of Collaboration.” Professor Lunsford will historicize her argument that writing is essentially collaborative, even when the writing seems to be done by a solitary author.

2013-14: Human and Non-Human Agency

  • Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 12:00pm

    Prasad Boradkar, "Configuring Things"
    Kostalena Michelaki and Richard Toon, "“Until they grow legs and start running around…
    ” Exploring resistance to material agency in archaeology and museum studies"

    Join the IHR for its final Faculty Seminar Series of 2013-14 entitled "Methods, Practices and the Agency of Things."

    Prasad Boradkar, Associate Professor, Herberger Institute School of Art and Design

    "Configuring Things"

  • Monday, November 18, 2013 - 12:00pm

    Bradley D. Ryner, "The Cosmopolitical Economy of The Merchant of Venice"
    Michael A. Tueller, "Mind and Voice among the Ancient Greeks"

    Bradley D. Ryner, Assistant Professor, English Department
    The Cosmopolitical Economy of The Merchant of Venice