LAS Graduate Conference This Friday, March 6th

Crossing Boundaries: The Second Annual LAS Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference will be held this Friday, March 6th, from 11am-8pm in McGowan South.

The English Department’s own Professor Miles Harvey will deliver the keynote address at 6pm, following a day of panels and presentations. English and Creative Writing Professor Barrie Jean Borich will appear on a faculty panel and many English and Writing & Publishing graduate students will represent our department and present their work.

All are welcome to attend! We hope you’ll come out to support the scholarship of your fellow students, faculty, and our Department!

The conference schedule and program can be downloaded as a PDF here.


Call for Papers: Interdisciplinary Student Conference

DePaul University Logo,



DePaul University First Annual Interdisciplinary Student Conference

Movements, Migrations, Crossing Borders

May 30, 2012

The Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies at De Paul University invites/encourages proposals to present papers at the First Annual Interdisciplinary Studies Conference to be held on May 30, 2012 in Cortelyou Hall. The theme will be Movements, Migrations and Crossing Borders. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Sons, will present the Keynote address (confirmation pending). The conference will give students interested in interdisciplinary work to share their work with one another. The conference will also be a lively forum for scholars, educators, and professionals who are interested in issues relating to any aspect of shifting and crossing borders, domestic and global migration flows, immigration and/or multiculturalism. The Conference will be a forum for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of various approaches and perspectives on presenters’ chosen topics in an informal interdisciplinary setting.

The Committee encourages undergraduate and graduate student to submit abstracts (300-500 words) for papers looking at an aspect of boundaries, migration, immigration, or multiculturalism through an interdisciplinary lens. Potential paper topics or panels might include:

*Cultural crossings and appropriations across populations, including music, art, theater, literature
*Recent treatments of immigrant experience on film
*Technology and identity in Transnational Culture
*The effect of the War on Terror on U.S. Immigrant Communities

Please email abstracts to Farrad DeBerry  at on or before February 15, 2012.

The Conference is possible through the generous support of The Provost’s Office, The Office of Institutional Diversity, The Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Center for Black Diaspora, The Center for Latino Studies, and the Programs of African & Black Diaspora Studies, American Studies, Global Asian Studies, International Studies, Islamic World Studies, Latin American & Latino Studies, Peace, Justice, & Conflict Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

The Lives of Things

Presented by

The Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT)

and The Object Cultures Project

All events will be held in the Franke Institute for the Humanities, 1100 East 57th Street

“The Lives of Things” conference, organized by the Object Cultures Project and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT), explores the ‘life’ of Appadurai’s Social Lives of Things on the 25th anniversary of its publication. Importantly, this conference will focus on how that volume has transformed and been transformed by the wide group of scholars who have taken it up in their research and writing. “The Lives of Things,” in other words, is an occasion to engage questions around the scholarly study of things: How has the concept of ‘things,’ ‘objects,’ ‘life’ and ‘materiality’ changed over time from one field/methodology to another? How can they (or why don’t they) enable conversations across diverse disciplinary and methodological commitments? What is the relation between the much touted ‘material turn’ and historical materialism? And, how might we understand the ‘politics of value’ in current object-oriented conversation?

To explore such questions—and in keeping with OCP’s commitment to experimental process—the conference has assembled a group of scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines: History, Art History, Modern Culture and Media, Anthropology, Literature, and Sociology. We hope that audience participation will both reflect and help to synthesize the efforts of this diverse collection of scholars. The growing enthusiasm for object-centered studies is the occasion of the reemergence of the Object Cultures Project, and this conference is intended to help mark and sustain that enthusiasm.

1:00-1:15 p.m. Opening Remarks

Bill Brown | Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture, English Language and Literature and Visual Arts, University of Chicago

Introduced by Amanda Davis | Jacob K. Javits Fellow in English Language and Literature, University of Chicago

1:15-3:15 p.m. Panel I: Object Circulation

Wendy Chun | Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

“Soft Wares, Soft Things”

Rosalind Morris | Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

“A Pound Of Sugar, A Basket Of Eggs, And The Spillage Of Milk: Worldly Itineraries Of Domestic Commodities (Or, Recipe For A Personal History Of The World, Circa 1986/7, With Reference To Henri Lefebvre And Gertrude Stein, Via Karl Marx And Mao Zedong)”

Moderator: Patchen Markell | Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

3:15-3:30 p.m. Coffee Break

3:30-5:30 pm Panel 2: Object Lives

Christy Anderson | Associate Professor, Art History, University of Toronto

“The Architectural Object: The Matter of Materials”

Harvey Molotch | Professor of Sociology and Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University

“Things of Public Trouble”

Moderator: Rebecca Zorach | Associate Professor, Department of Art History, and the College

5:30-6:15 p.m. Reception

Saturday, April 30

9:00-9:30 a.m. Breakfast

9:30-10:45 a.m. Keynote Address

Arjun Appadurai | Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

“The Social Things of Life”

Introduced by Dipesh Chakrabarty | Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the College, University of Chicago

10:45-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break

11:00-1:00 p.m. Panel 3: Object Agency

Christopher Breward | Head of Research, Victoria & Albert Museum

“The Gritty Object—Things and Museum-based Research”

Didier Gondola | Professor of History, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, School of Liberal Arts

“The Life of Cloth: Fashion, Performativity, and Materiality in Contemporary Africa”

Moderator: Judith Farquhar | Max Palevsky Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences, University of Chicago

1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch

2:00-4:00 p.m. Panel 4: Object Politics

Lynn Meskell | Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University

“Dirty, Pretty Things: On Archaeology and Prehistoric Materialities”

Jonathan Lamb | Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Vanderbilt University

“Can Circulating Objects Also Be Things?”

Moderator: Bradin Cormack | Director, Nicholson, Center British Studies, Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, and the College

4:00-4:15 p.m. Break

4:15-5:30 p.m. Closing Roundtable

A wine and cheese discussion led by OCP faculty:

Leora Auslander | Professor of European Social History, University of Chicago

Shannon Lee Dawdy | Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College, University of Chicago

Christine Mehring | Associate Professor of Art History and the College, University of Chicago

Jane Taylor | Visiting Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago

Sponsored by 3CT, the Franke Institute, the Department of Anthropology Lichtstern Conference Fund, the Division of the Humanities, the Division of the Social Sciences, the Department of English Language and Literature, the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture, the Smart Museum, and the Department of Art History.

Please see the conference blog for updated information: For more information on the Object Cultures Project, please see If you would like to be added to the Object Cultures Project mailing list, email