Thursday April 6th talk by Charlotte Heath-Kelly

heath-kellyTaking Pierre Nora to the Bombsite: Memory, Death and Capital

Dr. Charlotte Heath-Kelly, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations, Warwick University UK


Thursday April 6, 4-5:30

Humanities Institute Seminar Room, 4th floor of Babbidge Library


Pierre Nora has argued that: ‘we speak so much of memory because there is so little of it left’. For Nora, industrialisation and capitalist acceleration were the destroyers of traditional societal structures. Memory industries emerged as methods by which societies could then imagine continuity and identity in response to social dislocation. This talk takes Pierre Nora, and other scholars of memory’s political economy, to the terrorist bombsite. Building upon their historical sociologies of memorialisation, and using her fieldwork from the reconstruction efforts which followed the 9/11 attacks and European bombings, I explore the sublimation of the memorial (and the dead human) to economic agendas and broader rationales of ‘regeneration’ and urban renewal. In post-terrorist reconstruction, the human subject is profoundly displaced by governance which triages economic injury and blight. Economy thereby emerges as the terrain upon which counterterrorism is fought.


Heath-Kelly’s research focuses on critical analysis of terrorism. Among her publications is Death and Security: Memory and Mortality at the Bombsite (Manchester University Press: 2017) and “The Foundational Masquerade: Security as Sociology of Death,” in Masquerades of War, Christine Sylvester, ed. (Routledge: 2015). She is currently principal investigator on two funded research projects: “Resilience at the Bombsite: Reconstructing Post-Terrorist Space” and “Counterterrorism in the NHS: Prevent Duty Safeguarding and the New ‘Pathology’ of Radicalisation.”

Ssponsored by the Humanities Institute and the Department of Political Science


Re-Reading, Re-Thinking, and Re-Seeing Comics: Language, Cognition, and Culture UConn Graphic Narrative Initiative (UGNI) Workshop March 24-25, 2017



“Re-Reading, Re-Thinking, and Re-Seeing Comics: Language, Cognition, and Culture”

March 24 – 25, 2017


March 24, 2017 Location:       Room 4-153 (UCHI, Homer Babbidge Library)
5:30 – 6:45 PM
Opening Reception
7:00 – 8:30 PM
 Hillary Chute (Keynote): “Time, Space, and Reading the Visual in the Graphic Novel”
March 25, 2017 Location:       Room 4-153 (UCHI, Homer Babbidge Library)
10:30 – 11:00 AM
Coffee Hour/Meet & Greet
11:00 – 12:15 PM
Gene Kannenberg, “Architecture of the Comics Page” (Presentation)
12:15 – 12:30 PM
Lunch / Break
12:30 – 1:45 PM Ken Foote, “Narrating Space/Spatializing Narrative: Insights of Graphic Narrative for Cartographic Visualization” (Presentation)
1:45 – 2:00 PM Coffee Break
2:00 – 3:45 PM

#1: Sara Johnson, “A Weapon Called Poseidon and a Lost City Called Xerxes: Exotic Worldbuilding with Western Classics in Japanese Manga and Anime”

#2: Andrea Kantrowitz, “What Artists Do (& Say) When They Draw”

3:45 – 4:00 PM Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:45 PM


#1: Harry van Der Hulst, “Re-Reading Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: Thoughts on Formal Properties of the Language of Sequential Graphic Narrative.

#2: Eduardo Urios-Aparisi, “Representing Modern Spain: Javier Mariscal’s Comics and Design”


March 24-25, 2017
This interdisciplinary workshop builds on the discussions facilitated by the UGNI Study-Reading Group (hosted by the UConn Humanities Institute (UCHI)); it brings practitioners from across campus (inclusive of different departments, colleges, and schools) into conversation with recognized scholars from other institutions. The two-day workshop will commence with a keynote address by Hillary Chute on March 24, 2017, 7 PM.  The following day, March 25, 2017, includes a discussion of short position papers by invited academic experts and UConn scholars from multiple disciplines.  (Maxine – you could probably break-out the highlighted info in a more graphic way)
Featured Visiting Speakers:
Frederick Luis Aldama (Professor, Department of English, Ohio State University) has published numerous articles and monographs; he co-edits the series World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction (University of Texas Press) as well as Cognitive Approaches to Literature and Culture (University of Nebraska Press) and Global Latino/a Studies (also with University of Nebraska Press). He is author of Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle (2010), Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez (2008), and Why the Humanities Matter: A Common Sense Approach (2008).
Hillary Chute (Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago) is the Associate Editor of Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus (2011) which won the National Jewish Book Award and an Eisner Award. She is author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (2010), Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists, and Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form (2016).
Gene Kanneberg (graphic artist) co-hosts the Comics Alternative podcast, which features book reviews and interviews with cartoonists (http://comicsalternative.com and http://comicsmachine.tumblr.com). His book 500 Essential Graphic Novels was published by Collins Design in 2008, and he has provided editorial and production assistance on several other studies of comic art.
Andrea Kantrowitz (Assistant Professor of Art Education and Community Arts Practices, Temple University) is an artist, researcher, and educator who has lectured and given workshops on art and cognition. As director of the Thinking through Drawing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, Professor Kantrowitz organized a series of international drawing and cognition research symposia (Zyphoid.com).

Homer Babbidge Library 4th floor – Room 4-153

10 Projects, 1 Audacious Goal: Find Solutions to Help Cultivate Healthier Debate and Dialogue in America


UConn’s Humility and Conviction in Public Life project announces $2 million in fellowship grants for projects that will delve into newsrooms, classrooms and the halls of Congress

Storrs, Conn. – A new $2 million fellowship grant program sponsored by the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute and funded by the John Templeton Foundation will support 10 innovative projects that explore the broken landscape of American discourse and create enduring strategies to spur and sustain open-minded, reasonable and well-informed debate and dialogue.
The 10 interdisciplinary research projects focus on balancing two key features of democracy: intellectual humility and conviction of belief. Carefully curated out of an applicant pool of 110, not only for their individual merits, but also because they work in complementary fashion, each project will investigate how networks and institutions meant to connect us may be pushing people apart.
“Arrogance is easy in politics; humility is hard. These projects aim to rekindle the sense that we can learn from each other, and thus to help us restore a more meaningful public discourse,” says Michael P. Lynch, director of the Humanities Institute and Principal Investigator of the Humility and Conviction in Public Life project.
The research awards, ranging from $160,000 to $225,000, provide a substantial two-year fellowship to each grantee for an ambitious project that will put cutting-edge research to work on improving and revitalizing public discourse. In aggregate, the projects will not only examine how intellectual humility does or does not manifest in public discourse, but will also promote and assess humility at the individual and institutional levels.
Here are the thorny issues and pressing questions the grantees will tackle:
Defusing Extreme Views: What makes us argue so heatedly over things we know little about?
Phillip Fernbach of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his team will look at how we can improve public discourse not by turning laypeople into experts, but rather by making people aware of the causes of extremism and ignorance.
Encouraging Democracy in Action: How can we make communication between elected officials and their constituents more constructive and meaningful?
Ryan Kennedy of the University of Houston and his team will work with 16 congressional offices to study how an online tool that encourages deliberation might help constituents and their representatives arrive at common ground solutions.
Tackling Caustic News Site Comments: Can online news comments sections be designed to promote intellectually humble discourse?
Graham Smith of the University of Westminster, UK, and his research team will look for technical solutions that make comments sections more conducive to intellectually humble discourse. The researchers will test the potential of the solutions by recruiting people who usually read online news and randomly assigning them to different types of comments forums.
Dismantling Echo Chambers: Which online platforms best foster public discourse, and how can we improve them?
Mark Alfano of Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, and his research team will study how content flows in online communication networks and the interpersonal dynamics that influence online conversations about fraught issues.
Leaving ‘Expert Opinion’ to the Experts: Can people become more receptive to expert opinion?
David Dunning of the University of Michigan, Nathan Ballantyne of Fordham University, and team will look at how people interact with expert opinion and work to make people more receptive to it.
How Faith and Humility Can Coexist: Are religious convictions incompatible with intellectual humility?
Elizabeth Krumrei Mancuso and her team will examine whether people of strong religious faith can be intellectually humble, and if not, will assess what biblical and non-biblical evidence might be effective in boosting their intellectual humility in public discourse.
Groupthink and Humility: How can groups and institutions become more humble and open to dialogue?
Benjamin R. Meagher of Franklin & Marshall College and Wade C. Rowatt of Baylor University will investigate how intellectual humility influences group performance and how groups can act with intellectual humility.
Humility on Campus: Can we teach students to engage in more productive dialogue?
John Sarrouf of Boston nonprofit Essential Partners and his team will develop new teaching strategies for promoting intellectual humility and constructively engaging differences in academia.
A Healthier Q&A: Can asking the right questions make political discussion more productive?
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong of Duke University and his team will work to determine which questions, and which contexts, produce humility and civility in public discourse and which produce polarization and inflexibility, with the ultimate goal of finding ways to promote a culture of democratically engaged inquiry.
Eliminating the Shouting Match: How can we discourage arrogance in politics and public discourse?
Alessandra Tanesini of Cardiff University and her team will design and test practical interventions designed to combat the growth of pugilistic behaviors in public discussions, such as shouting, mocking, dismissing and rudely interrupting others.
The Humility and Conviction in Public Life project supports interdisciplinary research and outreach on the nature of productive dialogue about morality, science and religion. Detailed information on each grantee can be found at http://humilityandconviction.uconn.edu/awards/. For media inquiries, please contact Justine Morgan, morgan@teamsubjectmatter.com.

Sharon Harris Annual Book Award: Apply by Feb. 15, 2017

Sharon Harris Annual Book Award

UCHI is pleased to announce the Sharon Harris Annual Book Award

book Award

Award: $2000

 For a monograph published by UConn Tenure, Tenure-Track, or In-Residence faculty that best demonstrates scholarly depth and intellectual acuity and highlights the importance of humanities scholarship.

Book must have been published between January 2015- January 2017. E-publications, artist-authored books, digital humanities projects, and collaborative texts will be accepted for review. The award committee will not consider exhibition catalogues, translations, collected essays, textbooks, or revised editions.




  1. Cover letter (no more than 2 pages) by author of book explaining the value of the book to humanities scholarship
  2. PDF of book AND hard copy (supplied by author)
  3. One internal UConn letter of support (sent directly to UCHI)
  4. One external letter of support (sent directly to UCHI)
  5. Reviews, if available (supplied by author)


Send all e-materials (cover letter, PDF of book, support letters and reviews) to: uchi@uconn.edu

Send hardcover book to UCHI, U-1234

Questions? Email: alexis.boylan@uconn.edu


All materials must be received by: Feb. 15, 2017


Attending the Folger Year-Long Dissertation Seminar: Come for the Archive, Stay for the Tea

Since it started in September, I have been attending the Folger Institute’s Year-Long Dissertation Seminar: Researching the Archive. While attending the seminar once a month, I have spent time using the collections and beautiful reading room. The reading room experience is one of the best, including stained glass and tapestries, tea time in the afternoon, and complimentary coffee in the cloak room. Friendly scholars populate each of these spaces, and afternoon tea in particular provides visitors with the opportunity to discuss their work with other scholars.


folgerWhile the Folger’s collections focus on English published works, it is still extremely useful for an Americanist like myself. I have spent most of my time looking at atlases, maps, and texts on surveying between 1570 and 1650. Christopher Saxton’s atlas of England has been especially interesting. Its beautifully colored and extremely detailed maps are a joy to look at and represent the cutting edge of English cartography at their time. They form the beginning of a cartographic genealogy that lasted for decades. But Saxton’s atlas and other English publications do not only inform the reader about English culture: they are the cultural texts that informed how English colonists understood North America.


Folger216th and early 17th-century English texts are invaluable to Americanists who study the first few decades after colonization. It is important for us to remember that the ideas of the first settlers did not come from a void, but from a rich cultural and literary tradition in England. This tradition included not only religious texts and philosophical discussions, but technical manuals for skills like surveying as well. When the English began to survey and map America, it was from these texts that they drew their information. When they encountered moral dilemmas, they drew from English religious texts. One glance at the books held in the extensive libraries of important colonists like the Mather family confirm the importance of English literature for America.

The seminar itself is a two-and-a-half-hour discussion followed by a presentation from a visiting scholar. This year’s seminar is run by a historian, Keith Wrightson, and a literary scholar, James Siemon. The guest speakers have been great, and included Andy Wood and Lena Orlin. The combination of historians and literary scholars provides variety to the readings and discussions that is rare to find. Being the only Americanist in the seminar has been a great boon for me. The knowledge and perspectives of English historians and literary scholars has helped me rethink elements of my project or fill in gaps in my knowledge.

If you have the opportunity to attend the Dissertation Seminar at the Folger, I would highly recommend it. Washington is a great city to visit at any time of year, and the Folger is one of the most charming archives around. While mostly rare books, it also has numerous manuscript collections and several fascinating maps and atlases. The seminar is a great way to meet and engage with interesting scholars from around the country, and I would highly recommend it to Americanist grad students.


Nathan Braccio is a Ph.D candidate in the UCONN History Department. He received his B.A. and M.A. in history from American University. His research focuses on the conflux of geography and identity in 17th and 18th century New England. More information on his research can be found on his webpage nathanbraccio.com. Contact him at nathan.braccio@uconn.edu.

[1] Image from Luna online database, courtesy of Folger Library.

Nov. 11-12, Interdisciplinary Workshop: Intellectual Humility and Public Deliberation

Interdisciplinary Workshop: Intellectual Humility and Public Deliberation

Dates: 9:00-5:00pm on Friday, November 11th and 9:00-8:30 on Saturday, November 12th
Location: Student Union 304
Full schedule available here.

All registered participants will receive lunch on Friday, and lunch and dinner on Saturday.


Interdisciplinary Workshop: Intellectual Humility and Public Deliberation