University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI) Director of Academic Affairs, Alexis Boylan, is the lead author of a new book entitled Furious Feminisms: Alternative Routes on Mad Max: Fury Road (University of Minnesota Press, 2019). The book uses the feminist credentials of George Miller’s 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road film to ask “what is possible, desirable, or damaging in theorizing feminism in the contested landscape of the twenty-first century.” The authors tackle this issue from four different disciplinary angles: art history, American literature, disability studies, and sociology. Other authors of the book are Anna Mae Duane, associate professor of English at UConn and a UCHI Class of 2016-2017 Fellow; Michael Gill, an associate professor of disability studies in the department of Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University; and Barbara Gurr, associate professor in residence in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at UConn.
Yohei Igarashi, the Assistant Director of Digital Humanities and Media Studies at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI) is the author of a new book entitled The Connected Condition: Romanticism and the Dream of Communication (Stanford University Press). According to the website of the publisher, “the Romantic poet’s intense yearning to share thoughts and feelings often finds expression in a style that thwarts a connection with readers. Yohei Igarashi addresses this paradox by reimagining Romantic poetry as a response to the beginnings of the information age. Data collection, rampant connectivity, and efficient communication became powerful social norms during this period. The Connected Condition argues that poets responded to these developments by probing the underlying fantasy: the perfect transfer of thoughts, feelings, and information, along with media that might make such communication possible.” Igarashi, also an associate professor of English at UConn, has authored many articles on Romanticism and poetry, including in New Literary History, Romantic Circles, and Studies in Romanticism; the latter of which received the Keats-Shelley Association of America annual essay prize in 2015.
The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UConn-UCHI) director Michael Lynch has a new book: “Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture.” Michael’s book, published by Liveright Publishing, explores how social media, despite what we may think, is used not for disseminating knowledge and facts, but as a means of expressing our outrage at those who do not share our convictions. This has only served to fan the flames of our public divide and tribal political affiliations: white nationalism and authoritarianism to the right, and identity politics and arrogant liberalism to the left. What’s the solution? Perhaps a dose of humility. Michael is the Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of philosophy at UConn. He also served as the Principle Investigator of UCHI’s Humility and Conviction in Public Life Project (HCPL) funded by UConn and The Templeton Foundation.
“You should have a reading and listening jam session, engaging bell hooks’ Paulo Freirean-inspired critiques of structures and systems of power in Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope (2003) while absorbing the liberatory sounds of the Wynton Marsalis Quintet’s “Free to Be” (2004). In ensemble, these two works offer at once intensely personal and collaborative learning frameworks for creative action. In Teaching Community hooks interrogates how our gendered, sexualized and racialized bodies intersect and operate in the context of historically segregated educational institutions. Yet, she insists that when working in solidarity with and in diverse communities beyond the university, “democratic educators” can foster a pedagogy of hope. Similarly, as a cultural form born from resistance to oppression and as an expression of freedom, jazz music –as exquisitely interpreted by Marsalis in “Free to Be”– functions through three interconnected elements. It grounds us in the historical pain and blues of inequality and discrimination; it celebrates individual creativity and strength in improvisation; and it promises that, if we intentionally and empathetically listen to and collaborate with each other, the music and experience will swing!”
Professor of History and Latino & Latin American Studies
University of Connecticut – Hartford