For 2014-15 Reading Group proposal guidelines,
Reading Groups: 2013-14
The following faculty and graduate student reading groups meet regularly throughout the year and may organize public events on topics of interest to a broad range of disciplines. Please contact the reading group organizers (listed below) directly for more information about the groups and their activities.
African History Reading Group
Devin Smart, History (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This group is centered around readings of both classic works and the newest research on African history. Themes, topics and time periods are open, and will be determined through discussions with participants. While organized around African history, the group is also open to readings drawing from related disciplines of anthropology, literary studies, sociology, political science, and art history. The group will meet once per month.
Animal Pedagogies Reading Group
Animal Pedagogies will explore human-animal relations through the intersection of animal studies and pedagogy. How can the critical lens of animal studies be applied to teaching methods, unsettle existing academic knowledge production, or offer alternative ways of knowing and learning? How can animal studies teach us to dwell in the world as and with other animals? We will read together, go on field trips together, and plan an animal studies symposium.
British Modernities Group
John Moore, English (email@example.com)
Esther Dettmar, English (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The British Modernities Group was established in 2005 to spur critical discussion in British studies across period boundaries. It discusses recent literary scholarship, workshops group members’ original work, and organizes an annual graduate student conference. Our 2013-2014 theme, “Satire & Parody,” explores critical work on these distinct but related comedic modes. In addition to a couple of film screenings, we will meet monthly to discuss topics including pastiche, genre parody, satire/censorship, and parodic performance.
Cultural Heritage Reading Group
Caroline M. Wisler, Landscape Architecture, CHAMP (email@example.com)
This reading group offers an opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary conversation on the critical study of Cultural Heritage. The aim is to bring together students and faculty who share an interest in heritage studies, but who may be unnecessarily distanced by specializations in diverse fields or regional foci. Readings suggested by group members will guide the direction of the discussion, but problematizing heritage, both tangible and intangible, and the consideration of underlying aspects such as identity, memory, ownership and representation in relation to heritage practices and policies will be central to the group’s exploration. The group will meet bi-monthly through the academic year. Students and faculty interested or involved in the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (CHAMP) may be particularly interested in joining this group. (http://champ.anthro.illinois.edu/)
Digital Literacies Reading Group
Organized around the theme of digital literacies, this reading group invites participants to engage in an interdisciplinary conversation on how digital media have been taken up in fields such as writing studies, art and design, informatics, communication, and rhetorical studies, among others. With digital literacies, we do not signal only competence in the skills necessary to operate a computer. Instead we argue that the ability to read, compose, and communicate electronically has become essential to literate activity.
Dynamics of Language Variation and ChangeContacts:
Anna María Escobar, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zsuzsana Fagyal, French (email@example.com)
To discuss language variation from a socio-historical perspective. We will explore the role of language (dialect contact and contact with minority languages –indigenous and immigrant-) and the historical role of cities, as centers of linguistic innovation, in the rise of standards, and their relationship to vernacular varieties and other norms. Our weekly meetings are very informal and supportive, and allow for opportunities to hear work in progress. Visit wikipage: https://wiki.cites.uiuc.edu/wiki/display/dlvcrg/Home for more information about this group.
East European Reading Group (EERG)
Maria N. Todorova, History (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zsuzsanna Magdo, History (email@example.com)
The purpose of the EERG is to provide a space for faculty and graduate students from across all disciplines concentrating on the area of Eastern Europe to meet and discuss the most recent scholarly works and cultural productions coming from the region today. Additionally, the EERG offers students and faculty a venue in which to discuss their recent work and to receive feedback from their peers that cuts across disciplinary boundaries.
Existentialism and Postcolonialism
Nancy Blake, Comparative & World Literature (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Existentialism and Postcolonialism reading group will consider the historical and theoretical intersections of these two fields of inquiry. We will also prepare possible papers for the Existentialism and Postcolonialism Conference taking place at UIUC in fall 2014.
Readings will include works by Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Franzt Fanon, Martin Heidegger, Jonathan Judaken, Jean-Paul Sartre, John Edgar Wideman, and Richard Wright.
The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies: Challenging the Interpretive and Theoretical Boundaries of the FieldsContacts:
Jenelle Davis, Art History (email@example.com)
Jessica Young, English (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The theoretical and disciplinary parameters that define trauma and memory studies are continually being expanded and redefined. The goal of the reading group is to employ a multidisciplinary approach to confront where trauma and memory studies are heading in the twenty first century. We envision readings that will explore trauma and memory from several areas including, but not limited to, affect theory, neuroscience, media and visual culture, ecosophy, transnational flows, and cultures of law.
Raquel Escobar, History (email@example.com)
David Horst Lehman, History (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We meet monthly to discuss recent studies on indigenous populations and our own works-in-progress. We are interested in broad questions that allow us to compare the historical and contemporary experiences of indigenous populations. We take a comparative, interdisciplinary approach to explore these questions, focusing on the ways in which the concept of indigeneity operates in a global context. Faculty and graduate students from any discipline are welcome.
Inclusions and Exclusions Reading Group
Kathryn La Barre, Graduate School of Library and Information Science (email@example.com)
Nicole A. Cooke, Graduate School of Library and Information Science (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Working closely with student collaborators, the group will share, create and refine tools that invite and facilitate constructive discussions of racism and diversity, particularity as related to the higher education landscape. We will discuss interdisciplinary literature, plan events and symposia, evaluate websites, watch videos, critique diversity plans, collaborate on research opportunities and engage in other activities recommended by participants. The group will also have the opportunity to partner with graduate courses being offered at GSLIS.
Inequality in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters
Inequalities structure the opportunities available to individuals in a variety of arenas—including health, education, housing, and safety. Natural disasters and their aftermath pose special challenges in communities with high levels of pre-existing inequality.
In this reading group, we seek to bring together scholars whose work and interests span the fields of health, education and legal justice to engage deeply with work on the interaction between and justice implications of inequalities and natural disasters.
Labor and Working Class History Reading Group
We meet monthly to discuss our own works-in-progress. Historically, our focus has been on constructions of race and social class in North America, but more recently we have been equally concerned with histories outside of the U.S. Research topics vary widely, from proletarian disruptions of empire to the role of space in activism. We welcome any work relating to class and its intersections with race, gender, sexuality, colonialism, religion, and other categories of analysis.
Medicine & Science Reading Group
The Medicine & Science Reading Group discusses films, articles, and each other’s work in medical humanities and related disciplines. Recent topics have included ¬AIDS in Black America, chronic pain among Native Americans, mental illness and the correctional system, genetics and racism, and the intersection of reproductive rights and disability activism. Members come from a variety of departments in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Meets approximately three times per semester.
This interdisciplinary reading group seeks to interrogate intersections of social practices recognized as masculinities by integrating traditions and practices of Humanities and Social Sciences. We endeavor to do this through monthly discussions of performances, art exhibits and readings of empirical studies related to masculinities.
New Media, Revisited
Jungmin Kwon, Institute of Communications Research (email@example.com)
This reading group is newly launched. The goal of the group is to explore critical theories and interdisciplinary methodologies for researching new media and related issues. The group will read selected works (both classical and recent) and discuss the materials. Meetings will be bi-weekly and open to any faculty or graduate students.
Lindsey Snell, Art + Design (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jessica Tolbert, Art + Design (Jltolbe2@illinois.edu)
This group will explore ideas of craft, craftsmanship, and the figure of the craftsman through discussion of art history, contemporary craft, literature, critical theory, popular culture, and the handmade object. Participants from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend meetings that will occur a few times a month. Readings may include: Thinking Through Craft (Glenn Adamson), Makers: A History of American Studio Craft (Bruce Metcalf), Shop Class as Soul Craft (Matthew Crawford
Pedagogy in the Humanities
The “Pedagogy in the Humanities” reading group will meet monthly to discuss current scholarship on pedagogy in the higher education humanities classroom with a focus on helping prepare graduate students develop their teaching philosophies and diversify their instructional approaches. Participants will select readings that focus on issues of race, class, gender, and power in the classroom. We will also discuss practical approaches to classroom methodology, syllabus design, lesson planning, and assessment.
Performance Studies Reading Group: Audiences and Observers
This reading group, inspired by Theatre History and Criticism’s “Landscapes: Performing Space & Culture” conference in April 2013, seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary discussions of and engagements with theorized performance studies. Through five to six meetings per semester, this interdisciplinary group will explore the theoretical foundations of performance studies, and then focus on recent scholarship with its return to questions of audience. To what extent are audiences constitutive of performative events? What is the relationship between observation and participation? What conditions invite audiences to collude in a performative event’s production or disruption of space/place, nationalism/globalism, or ethnicity/gender/sexuality?Faculty members and graduate students will select readings and facilitate discussions. Initial sessions will consider the genealogies, influences, and potential limitations of the field before we delve into our theme. Later readings may be anchored by additional components such as invited guests, presentations of works-in-progress, and relevant performances or events on campus. We welcome scholars from all disciplines and with varying experiences in performance studies.
Richard T. Rodriguez, English and Latino/a Studies (email@example.com)
John Musser, English (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michael Shetina, English (email@example.com)
Noel Zavala, English (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The proposed reading group, “Racialized Masculinities”, will primarily focus on the study of race, gender, and sexuality and how they are bound to the historical particularities of culture and class. The group will meet monthly to discuss the selected reading as well as share member generated work related to the study of racialized masculinities. Once each semester the group will host a guest speaker to speak about their current work related to the topic.
Religion and Secularism Reading Group
Secularism is usually understood in opposition to religion. Recent scholarship in various fields, however, is challenging the categories of the secular and the religious, problematizing the dichotomies that tend to define them (e.g., reason/faith, rational/irrational, science/superstition, etc.) and articulating overlooked commonalities between and the nuances within each. This monthly reading group invites participants from all disciplines to explore these evolving conceptions of religion and secularism and consider their implications for academia and beyond.
Rhetorical Studies Reading Group
Rohini Singh, Department of Communication (email@example.com)
Paul McKean, Department of Communication (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jon Stone, Center for Writing Studies (email@example.com)
Katie Irwin, Department of Communication (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Rhetorical Studies Reading Group is a group of students and faculty from a variety of disciplines and departments who are interested in the history, theory, and criticism of rhetoric. Several times each semester, the group comes together to discuss current research in rhetorical studies and is often joined by guest scholars from campus and around the country. Reading materials and notes from meetings may be accessed at the blog: uirsrg.wordpress.com.
The Russian Studies Circle (Kruzhok)
An interdisciplinary discussion group of faculty and graduate students interested in the study of Russia and the Soviet Union, past and present. Meetings are informal and interactive, devoted to stimulating interdisciplinary engagement with texts that explore theoretical as well as interpretive questions of common interest. We discuss new scholarly work (sometimes with visiting scholars), work-in-progress by members of the group, and film.
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money: Doing Business in a Stateless World?
Janice Lee Jayes, Linguistics (email@example.com)
This reading group will examine transnational businesses who prefer to operate outside existing legal frameworks: Drug Cartels, Human Traffickers, Cyberthieves, Arms Dealers, etc., as well as those who may take advantage of weak international regulation. While providing an overview of different actors, this reading group hopes to highlight similarities in fields often approached through separate areas of scholarship, to historicize this phenomenon and to examine the implications for the increasingly fragile paradigm of State systems.
Spatial Perspectives Walking Group
This group will engage in dialog about the monthly text while walking in public space. Following the example of the peripatetics, we will traverse a variety of terrains in various weather conditions. Topics of discussion will include walking as a speech-act, walking as a performance of space over time, walking as the actualization of spatial politics, representations of the experience of space and movement in art and cartography, and resistance movement in public space. Readings will include the work of Tim Cresswell, Rebecca Solnit, Mark Rudman, Michel de Certeau, Henry David Thoreau, Gilles Deleuze, and Manuel Castells and we will discuss projects like Center for Urban Pedagogy, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Civic Studio, and Temporary Travel Office. For more information about this group, visit: http://www.spatialperspectiveswalkinggroup.wordpress.com.
Sports History Reading Group
Beth Eby, History (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The intention of starting a sports history reading group is to engage students of all disciplines in the growing field of intellectual sport study. The group will feature readings from literature, history, economics, and sociology, to name a few, that all focus on sport in some way. Although most of the readings will aim to ground sports studies through a historical lens, it is imperative to examine sport through various frameworks in order to establish a well-rounded, balanced approach. Race, gender, class, and sexual orientation will be key factors in the selection of the readings.
Third World and Indigenous Feminist Perspectives on Science/Medicine, Technology, and Mathematics
Rico Kleinstein Chenyek, Institute of Communications Research & Medical Scholars Program (email@example.com)
Rochelle Gutiérrez, Curriculum and Instruction & Latina/Latino Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Christine Noelle Peralta, History (email@example.com)
Science and technologies are at play by Indigenous and Third World peoples across the globe but are often misrepresented or not sanctioned. This group is interested in Transnational Feminisms as they intersect and/or interrupt science/medicine, technology, and mathematics. Using our multidisciplinary backgrounds, we seek to develop a community of scholars whose individual and collective work can respond to both the lack of discourse on these societal issues and the interdisciplinary initiatives on campus.