Monday, February 4, 2019

#wendelmoot | The Third Wendelmoot CRISIS CRISIS Symposium featuring Dr. Agnese Pastorino, CERLIS Researcher (Sorbonne) | February 19, 2019 @4pm, Music Bldg 206 | SDSU Main Campus

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MALAS is proud to be co-sponsoring this lecture with SDSU English and Comparative Literature and SDSU Press:

Dr. Agnese Pastorino

Associate researcher at the CERLIS research center Sorbonne University (Paris, France). Past affiliations: Multimedia Producer, United Nations English News (New York, USA, 2017); Marie Curie researcher, Sapienza University (Rome, Italy, 2014-2017).


Lecture Abstract: Nowadays, youths have access to an enormous variety of audiovisual contents, produced and distributed in a very fast pace through the Web. The rapid consumption and production of audiovisual contents is especially diffused amongst young adults. Recent studies have shown how the playful reception of these video materials can have negative consequences on their health and psycho-physical development. For example, numerous researches have been conducted on the impact of violent video games, or pornography. Also, recent public debate has focused on potential audiovisual risks for youths, such as child-pornography and terrorist videos. Although several influential voices have expressed concern about potential risky uses of harmful audiovisual contents, the Web is based on a liberal approach to media production and distribution. This perspective has been founded on the first amendment of Constitution of the United States, which defends the principle of freedom of expression. In this regard, European institutions are implementing policy initiatives aimed at proposing international solutions for a safer online environment. Based on several years of research on these issues, the lecture will show the perspectives of different stakeholders involved in media use and policy-making, by paying particular attention to young people and European institutions. Through a sociological eye, the author pays attention to some of the main contemporary ethical challenges: on the one hand, the hedonistic universe of media consumption and, on the other, the ethical approaches adopted by policy-makers with regards to online harmful contents.

Agnese Pastorino, PhD, is an associate researcher at the Sorbonne University in Paris (CERLIS research center). Since 2010, her research focuses on sociological and political issues concerning the use of audiovisual harmful contents for youths and adolescents. She has been awarded a Marie Curie fellowship by the European Commission from 2014 to 2017. She’s a member of the ICA International Communication Association. Alongside her research activity, she worked on multimedia production and communication management in international organizations, such as European Commission (Safer Internet Programme, Luxembourg, 2013) and the United Nations (News & Media, New York, 2017).

Agnese Pastorino’s Featured Lecture is the Third Presentation in the Wendelmoot Symposium Series Sponsored by the Department of English and Comparative Literature @ SDSU—additional support provided by MALAS, the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences; and San Diego State University Press. |

Sponsored by the Department of English and Comparative Literature @ SDSU—additional support provided by MALAS, the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences and San Diego State University Press

About the Origins of the Wendelmoot Symposium Series
An Interview with William Nericcio, Wendelmoot Curator, 2018-19

• What are your plans for the series (e.g., what events do you envision)?
I am planning to coordinate a series of lectures/presentations/performances entitled “The Crisis Crisis: Interdisciplinary Reactions to a World in Transition/Translation.” Drawing on a shortlist of international scholars and performers, both new and established, I hope to fashion a lecture series/events catalogue that will be a gathering site for exchange, dialogue, discovery and debate. I envision a series of at least 4 lectures and events. I want to maintain maximum flexibility so that the best speakers might be sought, but also so that the Wendelmoot Symposia will be woven into the fabric of the department, augmenting and complementing the Humanities in Action series as well as, if we are lucky enough to get a hire, the new faculty searches we will be running.
• What organizes your vision for the series (e.g., what are your motivating interests and reasons; how does this series strengthen or steer the department as a whole)?
Never before has fear and loathing, crisis and crisis management, been so near and dear to the hearts and minds of our faculty and our students. The realities of our current context— political and economic—coupled with the tenuousness of the entire academy (especially the Humanities) means that the subject of crisis is right at hand for ourselves and our colleagues. Developing a lecture series focused on “Crisis” allows us to convert a negative anxiety filled with the unknown, into an intellectual project that will assuage as it enlightens, relieve pressure as it illuminates the current cultural conundrums roiling Literature, to be sure, but a host of disciplines across the humanities and sciences. I envision the lecture series as serving to further allow for the evolution and strengthening of English and Comparative Literature ties to the Digital Humanities Initiative.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

New MALAS Seminar, Spring 2019, "The Mestizo Metropolis: Latinx and African Cultural Landscapes in the American Global City" with History Professor Angel Nieves

The Mestizo Metropolis
Latinx and African Cultural Landscapes 
in the American Global City
Dr. Angel Nieves 

The Simpsons Visit “Little Ethiopia”
This hybrid lecture class will focus on the strategic roles that emerging Latinx and African communities play in various urban centers across the U.S. – including cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and New Orleans – by exploring how both groups establish and maintain distinctive social and cultural identities in the American metropolis. Beginning our investigation in the 19th century, we will develop a broad historical approach to evolving community realities, and will focus on the continuing demographic changes of the present generation. We will study this present-day process using current interdisciplinary theories of globalization, diaspora, and nation-building. The varying forms of cultural expression, production, and representation of both groups will be explored through film, literature, art, architecture, and the media. In small groups students will develop a cultural landscape report for a building, place, neighborhood, region, or city with a growing Latinx and/or African immigrant community. For their final project, students will develop a Google Site for public display and dissemination. 

Footnotes: 07 , ZL

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Spring 2019: New MALAS Seminar at SDSU | Torture and Service to the Modern State with Dr. Geoff West

Torture and Service to the Modern State 
Dr. Geoff West

The rise of the modern nation-state was predicated on the willingness of citizens to sacrifice their lives for the state. It also demanded loyalty and a commitment to carry out the state's will. But how have those demands intersected with the rise of liberalism, individualism, and the idea of human rights? Using literary texts, historical records, and philosophical debates on violence and human rights, this course aims to critically examine how torture has been envisioned both by the state and its critics through the lens of torture. Does service to the state preclude the rights of others to their bodies?

Geoffrey West
Geoffrey is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at the University of California San Diego. He studies citizenship and service to the state in the late nineteenth century. He focuses on the relationship between gender, race, and subject status and how they relate to military service in a global imperial context. Geographically, his work is centered on the Northern Great Plains but connects with North, East, and South Africa, as well as Southeast Asia. He teaches in the Humanities Program at Revelle College at UCSD. The program combines a classical Western Liberal Arts focus on the Great Works with a five part writing sequence. Geoffrey has lived in San Diego since 2006 when he, his partner, and his dog moved from New York City to the West Coast. In his free time, he enjoys snow-free winters and frequent trips to Disneyland.

Footnotes: 02 , ZL

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

MALAS Spring 2019 Seminar! World Cities with Professor Kate Swanson

Course MALAS-600C 
Professor K. Swanson

Around the world, cities are growing at an incredible speed, particularly in Asia and Africa where megacities continue to increase in number. Along with this growth, new issues are emerging including rising inequality, environmental pollution, racialized segregation, growing slums, crime and violence. Municipalities are responding by restructuring and gentrifying urban spaces to attract economic growth, often at the expense of the poor. In this course, we focus on cities mostly outside of the United States in order to understand how rapid urban growth is reshaping cities around the world. Themes include: neoliberalism, migration, megacities, slums, segregation, sustainability, gentrification, crime, resistance movements, and alternative urban futures. 

Footnotes: 05 , ZL

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Spring 2019 MALAS Seminar: Women in Muslim Societies with Professor Amira Jarmakani

Women in Muslim Societies  
Professor Amira Jarmakani

Grounding itself in the theoretical frameworks and foundational questions of Islamic feminism, or questions of gender justice both in relation to Islam and in Muslim-majority contexts, this course is interested in exploring the following questions: What is Islamic feminism? What is a Muslim society? Is Islam modern? How does colonialism inform all of the previous questions? We will both look at the way in which Islamic feminisms articulate with the concerns of other feminisms indigenous to the global south and the way in which Islamic feminisms have emerged as oppositional discourses to colonialism, patriarchal nationalism, and Western feminism.  We will read literary, historical, and ethnographic texts with the aim of exploring the following topics (among others): colonialism, neocolonialism, and neoliberal globalization in relation to Islams and feminisms; Muslim feminist interpretations of Islamic texts; the notions of emancipation and agency within Islamic feminisms; Islamic feminisms and/as transnational feminisms; feminist engagement with fundamentalisms (including neoliberal market fundamentalism); and gender justice and sexuality in Islamicate societies. 








Footnotes: 04 , ZL

New Spring 2019 MALAS Seminar on International Relations with Professor Jonathan Graubart

Seminar on International Relations

Professor Jonathan Graubart

'If there is a body of theory, well tested and verified, that applies to the conduct of foreign affairs or the resolution of domestic or international conflict, it’s existence has been kept a well-guarded secret."
Noam Chomsky, “the Responsibility of Intellectuals.”

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
George Orwell, “Notes on Nationalism.”

One useful bit of information you have already learned or will learn soon is that there is no consensus view on what is regarded as proper “Political Science” or proper “International Relations,” though you will likely encounter certain academics convinced that their approach is the only acceptable one. Regrettably, there seems to be an unwritten consensus throughout much of the Political Science discipline that political ideas and historical development are of secondary concern. Focusing on the subfield of International Relations, the beginning Ph.D. student is confronted with a series of leading theoretical approaches within the discipline. These typically feature “Classical Realism,” “Structural Realism,” “Liberalism,” “Neoliberal Institutionalism,” “Constructivism,” and perhaps a few weeks at the end on “IR Feminism,” “Post-Structuralism,” “Post-Colonialism,” and some variant of “Marxism.” To be sure, all of these theoretical approaches have their uses, leaving it to individual discernment on which approach or approaches are most valuable. But the problem with immediately immersing oneself into a specialized academic discipline is that most students have not yet adequately reflected on international politics in general. Lacking sustained exposure to the evolution and nature of world politics and to the contentious struggles that have shaped the global order, one is hardly in position to form second-order disciplinary perspectives on how to study global politics.The aim of this course is to examine closely global politics. Our focus will be on important historical developments and broader normative ideas and struggles that have profoundly shaped modern global politics over the past two centuries. To be sure, this course will not, in itself, give you comprehensive expertise on the gamut of historical events, ideas, and struggles in global politics. But the course will acquaint you with several major themes and provide depth on a few pivotal themes, such as the rise and evolution of modern nationalism and the nation-state. You will then be much better equipped to engage theoretical approaches to International Relations and develop your own normative voice. Moreover, you will gain a more sophisticated perspective on what theoretical and empirical issues most interest.