Emplacing the Local

Spring 2013

In an era of globalization, where new media connects us in an instant around the world with communities linked only in cyber-space, it would seem that our lives are lived less and less through emplacing ourselves within the spaces we regularly inhabit, and engaging in place-making; that is, seeing ourselves as engaged in the spaces within which we interact and form communities with those around us. In contrast to such pessimistic predictions, a number of scholars have articulated the ongoing importance of place as part of socially constructed spatialities of postmodernity and neoliberal capitalism at a subjective and community level. Additionally, scholars across the humanities and social sciences have been drawn away from the easy identification of subjects who are embedded in the time-space compression and increasing kinesis of the contemporary world to the importance of the local and of ongoing, situated practices of creating significance and history. Foregrounding the matter of place makes way for critical appraisal of questions of local importance, asking how research can and should be engaged, as praxis, with local politics, histories, environments, and arts.


All lectures begin at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted, and are held in Russell House, which is located at the corner of Washington and High streets.


A new look at an old question: the agreements and  disagreements between the sciences and historical writing

February 4

Frank Ankersmit, University of Groningen


Martin Buber’s Two Zionisms and the Question of Palestine

Wednesday, February 13

Judith Butler, Berkeley   |  MEMORIAL CHAPEL  |  4 p.m.


IRL (In Real Life)

February 18

Greg Goldberg, Wesleyan


Subterranean Gratification: Sites of Reading and Scenes of Mobility after the Picaro

February 25

Matthew Garrett, Wesleyan


On the Waterfront

March 4

Dara Orenstein, Wesleyan


That no tax will be paid, by white, black or indian: For Over-Reading the Speculative Atlantic, 1820-1860

April 1

David Kazanjian, University of Pennsylvania


“I Have Seen the Future” Selling the Interstate Highway System

April 8

Dolores Hayden, Yale University


Big Talk, Small Places: the Caribbean Epic

April 15

Indira Karamcheti, Wesleyan University


Secret Marriage, Revenge Murder, and Divas:  Lope, Webster, and the Early Modern Theatrical Revolution in Spain and England

April 22

Michael Armstrong Roche, Wesleyan University


The Place of Archaeology: Re-membering Local Histories

April 29

Sarah Croucher, Wesleyan University


Turning Empire Inside Out: Negritude and the Politics of Radical Literalism

May 6

Gary Wilder, Graduate Center CUNY