Fall 2016 Events

October 17th, 2016


Event Title: “Beyond ISIS: What Should the Next U.S. President Know About the Middle East?”
Date & Location: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 4 p.m. @ Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Description: This panel discussion of Crown Center researchers will examine current and developing key issues in the Middle East that do not always make the news headlines. The event offers attendees expert insight into the challenges facing our next president in this region.

Event Title: “Where Does Responsibility Lie? Reframing the Israel-Palestine Conflict”
Date & Location: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 4 p.m. @ Mandel Center for the Humanities
Room Reading Room, 3rd Floor
Description: A talk by Dr. David Myers. Refreshments will be served.

Event Title: “Where Does Responsibility Lie? Reframing the Israel-Palestine Conflict”
Date & Location: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 4 p.m. @ Mandel Center for the Humanities
Room Reading Room, 3rd Floor
Description: A talk by Dr. David Myers. Refreshments will be served. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA. He has written widely in the fields of Jewish intellectual and cultural history.

Event Title: “Hamilton, the Panel: The Politics of Default, Bailouts, and the Power of the Purse in the Aftermath of the American Revolution”
Date & Location: Thursday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m. @ Olin Sang 207
Room Reading Room, 3rd Floor
Description: Panelists include George J. Hall (presenting), David Hackett Fischer, Steven L. Burg, and Paul Jankowski.


Event Title: “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right”
Date & Location: Thursday, Oct. 6, 3:30 p.m. @ Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Description: A colloquium by Arlie Hochschild, Emerita Professor of Sociology at UC Berekely.

Event Title: “Waiting in the Courthouse: Hope, Doubt, and Endurance in the Anti-Terrorism Trials of Northern Kurdistan.”
Date & Location: Friday, Oct. 7, 2:30 p.m. @ Schwartz 103
Description: Serra Hakyemez holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from The Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation is titled “Threat to the State: An Ethnography of Kurdish Political Trials.” As a Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Hakyemez will work on a book project, “Terrorism Trials in Turkey,” that will build upon her dissertation. She will incorporate new archival materials on the previous political trials of the members of the Kurdish movement to examine the imbrications of law and violence in the history of political trials in Turkey.

Event Title: Alison Pugh, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia
Date & Location: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2:00 p.m. @ Pearlman Lounge
Description: A colloquium by Alison Pugh, Associate Professor of Sociology from the University of Virginia. Her research and teaching focus on how people adapt — emotionally and culturally — to economic trends such as increasing inequality, insecurity, rationalization, commercialization, overwork, and risk.

Event Title: “From Antiracist Education to Electoral Campaigning: The Complex Calculus of Race and Politics in Brazil”
Date & Location: Friday, Oct. 28, 2:30 p.m. @ Schwartz 103
Description: Dr. Antonio José Bacelar da Silva (University of Arizona), will discuss the recent reemergence of black organizations, Black NGOs, in Salvador (Bahia, Brazil) and their uses of race as a political strategy. At the core of Brazilian identity is the idea that there are no clear racial divisions in Brazil. Bacelar Da Silva’s work specifically explores the boundaries, the limits, and possibilities of black activists’ stated goals of embracing racial differences in antiracist education and electoral campaigning. This presentation is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program sponsored by the Dean of Arts and Sciences and Provost and is co-sponsored with the Latin American and Latino Studies program.


Event Title: “Biometric Bodies, or, how to make fingerprinting technology work in India” – Ursula Rao, Director of the Institute of Anthropology, University of Leipzig
Date & Location: Friday, Nov. 4, 2:30 p.m. @ Schwartz 103
Description: Ursula Rao is an urban anthropologist focusing on India. Biometric technology is proliferating around the globe and has a growing presence in India. Although scholars frequently discuss surveillance, data security and safety, we know close to nothing about the social impacts of biometric devices. How are people repositioned when identification is assigned to an electronic inspection of the body? Routine users of digital fingerprinting devices learn to render a specific social and physical body. They must frequently cope with a “false reject” that causes a disjunction between the body-as-person and the body-as-data. The biometric body is the body of the perfect match. It is created through new hygienic regimes and the manipulation of relations of distance and closeness, such as assertion of class difference and kin solidarity.

Event Title: Dr. Ya-Wen Lei, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University.
Date & Location: Thursday, Nov. 17, 1:00 p.m. @ Pearlman Lounge
Description: Colloquium and research topics at the intersection of political sociology, law and society, economic sociology, and urban sociology.

Event Title: Applied Anthropology/Activism Panel
Date & Location: Friday, Dec. 2, 2:30 p.m. @ Schwartz 103
Description: The panel will include several speakers addressing the topic of applied anthropology and activism. What can anthropology look like outside of an anthropology department? How do people use anthropology? This panel will discuss and examine anthropology’s uses and application in contexts as different as in public health and international law.

Nina Kammerer is an anthropologist and researcher in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Dr. Kammerer has done extensive field work in Northern Thailand and Catalonia as well as in public health. She teaches courses on methods and helps students make use of the ethnographic tradition in all manner of setting and for all manner of use.

Adonia Lugio is an urban anthropologist who studies bicicultures in Los Angeles. Her portion of the discussion will center on how as a mobility practice, bicycling reveals the flexibility of urban space and the different embodied experiences contained therein on the basis of class and race in particular.

Leigh Swigart is Director of Programs in International Justice and Society at the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life of Brandeis University. Trained as a linguistic anthropologist, and having done extensive field work in Senegal, Dr. Swigart uses her anthropological sensibilities to understand issues of language diversity in international law.

Ice Cream Sunday: May 2 at 11:30 am in Pearlman 201

April 25th, 2016


Attention builds for Professor Paul Jankowski’s Book, “Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War”, on the 100th anniversary of this storied battle of the Great War

March 15th, 2016

Paul Jankowski, Raymond Ginger Professor of History, has been in high demand of late on the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Verdun. As the author of the award-winning book, Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War (Oxford University Press, 2014), versions of which have been published in French, Italian, German and Spanish, Professor Jankowski has become a highly sought-after source for expert commentary and counsel regarding the meaning and impact of this iconic battle of WWI.

From the vantage point of 100 years later, there is a renewed desire among many to find some meaning in and to assess the lessons of a battle that lasted 300 days and took 300,000 French and German lives, thus becoming a symbol of the horrors of protracted industrialized warfare.

Toward that end, many conferences, seminars, museum openings, and other commemorative events have been or will be held as these centennial months unfold. In recent months, Prof. Jankowski has given or been asked to give talks at the French Embassy cultural service in New York, the French Consulate in Boston, the Public Library in Arlington, Virginia, and the World War I Historical Association in Norfolk, Virginia and has been interviewed by various European publications, including Le Figaro and Ouest-France in France, and El Païs, El Mundo, and El Correo in Spain. He has in addition contributed articles so far this year, requested by Desperta Ferro Contemporanea in Spain, The Historian in Britain, and by the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in France.

Of particular note, Jankowski served as the historic advisor for a documentary film titled “Verdun: Ils Ne Passeront Pas,” which aired February 9th in France and Germany on ARTE stations (a kind of European PBS). In a long and highly complimentary review of this documentary, the French newspaper Le Monde attributes much of the film’s strengths to its ties with Jankowski and his work. The reviewer notes, “Serge de Sampigny [the film’s director] had the good fortune of being advised by the American Historian, author of Verdun, Paul Jankowski. Remaining faithful to the thesis of this unprecedented work, he endeavors to analyze the infernal logic that drives two warring parties to perpetrate confrontation as murderous as it was indecisive.”

The Film, Television and Interactive Media Program (with the History Department) will be presenting a special screening of this documentary along with a Q & A with its director, Serge de Sampigny, and Professor Jankowski. This event will be held at Brandeis on Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00 PM in the Wasserman Cinematheque located inside the Sachar International Center.

Professor Jankowski also served as one of several expert commentators in a BBC-produced two-part radio documentary, Verdun—The Sacred Wound, that first aired on February 17.

This post was written by Martha Cronin.  For inquiries, you may reach Ms. Cronin at 781-736-2272.  

Informational: Invitation to sign up for the Annual Language Lunch

November 11th, 2015

Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm -1:30 pm
Location: Sherman Function Hall

The Division of Humanities and the Foreign Language Oversight Committee, with support from the Provost’s office and the office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, invite all members of the Brandeis Community (students, faculty and staff) to experience and celebrate the linguistic diversity of Brandeis during our annual Language Lunch event.

Individual language tables will host speakers of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Latin, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Yiddish. Stay for a few minutes or for the entire hour. Do you speak several languages? Visit multiple tables during lunch. No matter ​your level of proficiency, you are welcome! The only rule is NO ENGLISH! Please speak only the language of a specific table (tables) during your visit.

Participants are asked to sign in at their chosen language table to receive a voucher for the buffet lunch. While the amount of food is limited to the first 10-12 people who sign up, we encourage people who were not among the first to fill out the form, to bring their own lunch fare to the table of your choice.

Please use this link below to sign up for the Mega Language Lunch!

French-Language Docudrama “Le Rêve de Champlain” based on David Hackett Fischer’s book by the same name wins a Gémeaux Prize

September 30th, 2015
Photo by Megan Bailey

Photo by Megan Bailey

Known as the Emmy Awards of francophone Canada, “Le Rêve de Champlain” won a Gémeaux prize in the category of Best digital production (website and/or mobile application) for a program or series: docudrama. Professor David Hackett Fischer’s bestselling book, Champlain’s Dream (2008), inspired and informed the French-language docufiction series. The prize was announced on September 20th during the 30th Gala des Prix Gémeaux in Montréal.

The innovative format of the “Le Rêve de Champlain” series combines dramatic scenes—starring popular Canadian actor Maxime Le Flaguais as Champlain—with interviews and reports hosted by renowned journalist and host Marie-Louise Arsenault.  The Champlain series was developed by Groupe Media TFO under the direction of Martin Cadotte and produced by Slalom and the Fair-Play Group. The series is accompanied by a suite of digital products, including a website, which includes interviews with Professor Fischer, as well as interactive games and educational applications that allow users of all ages to follow in the footsteps of Samuel de Champlain and to relive an era that shaped Canadian history.  An English Language version of this series is currently in production as well.

Professor Fischer is a University Professor and the Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University

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