2012 Working Groups & Projects (Phase II)
Working Groups/Activities Calendar Year 2012 (Phase II)
The Philosophy cluster is well established across the Corridor. Its working groups hold workshops and small symposia to which they invite visiting speakers, present papers, hold joint seminars, and form collaborative relationships. One group sponsors a summer conference around a theme. Another group used Corridor funds to design a website so the group could keep in touch. A third group conducted a graduate class, drawing on graduate students and faculty from all three Corridor universities.
Philosophy: Funded 2012 Phase II Events
PHI 1: August 14-16 2012 Syracuse Philosophy Annual Workshop and Network (SPAWN) & Graduate Student Exchange
Project 1: SPAWN 2012
SPAWN is the Syracuse Philosophy Department's annual summer conference. This year's topic was Normative Realism. In broad brushstrokes, Normative Realism is the thesis that normative facts, such as moral facts, obtain independently of what we happen to think or feel about them. Like all SPAWN conferences, this year’s conference included invited "read-ahead" papers from younger participants, commentary from more senior participants, as well as general sessions and discussion among the philosophers.
August 14-16, 2012 Syracuse University: SPAWN attracts participants of international and national renown, many of who are from Mellon Corridor universities. This year, 18% of the workshop’s speakers, commentators, and session chairs were from Mellon Corridor universities (6 out of 33); 57% of all participants (including audience members / general discussants) were from Mellon Corridor universities (45 out of 79).
Project 2: Corridor Graduate Student Exchange
Support from the Mellon Foundation has previously funded travel by Syracuse University and University of Rochester graduate students to seminars each of the three respective Corridor campuses. In 2012, this support facilitated travel by SU graduate students to seminars and workshops at Cornell and the University of Rochester during both the spring and fall semesters.
January – December 2012 Graduate Student Exchange: With assistance from the Corridor, several Syracuse University graduate students were able to attend seminars or workshops at other Mellon corridor institutions (four at Cornell and one at the University of Rochester). Topics of these events included metaphysics, ethics, and causation, among other themes. While the workshops were one-time events, the seminars each took place over the course of an entire semester.
PHI3: Upstate New York Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy (UNYWEMP)
In Spring 2012, UNYWEMP hosted four Sunday workshops. Scholars of Early Modern Philosophy from SUNY-Brockport, Bloomsburg University, Carleton University (Canada) and University of Rochester presented works in progress on Descartes, Berkeley and Kant. Faculty and graduate students from Colgate University, Cornell University and Syracuse University served as commentators. Each workshop included at least one hour of discussion following the presentation of research and commentary.
Participants in Spring 2012 workshops included 25-30 graduate students and faculty from SUNY-Brockport, Syracuse University, Cornell University, University of Rochester and Colgate University.
January 29, 2012 Syracuse University: Georges Dicker, Professor of Philosophy at SUNY-Brockport, presented his paper “The Coherence of Cartesian Freedom”. Marie Jayasekera, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Colgate University, commented on the paper. Participants included graduate students and faculty from SUNY-Brockport, Syracuse University, Cornell University and Colgate University.
March 4, 2012 Syracuse University: Richard Brook, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University, presented his paper “Berkeley, Perceptual Relativity, and the Primary/Secondary Quality Contrast – Hylas Redux”. Francesca Bruno, a graduate student of Philosophy at Cornell University, commented on the paper. Participants included graduate students and faculty from SUNY-Brockport, Syracuse University, Cornell University and Colgate University.
April 1, 2012 Syracuse University: Melissa Frankel, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Carleton University, Canada, presented her paper “Berkeley on Divine Archetypes”. Yishai Cohen, a graduate student in Philosophy at Syracuse University, commented on the paper. Participants included graduate students and faculty from SUNY-Brockport, Syracuse University, Cornell University and Colgate University.
April 29, 2012 Syracuse University: Ralf Meerbote, Professor of Philosophy at University of Rochester, presented his paper “Kant’s Conceptions of Art: Rational and Natural Agency.” Participants included graduate students and faculty from SUNY-Brockport, Syracuse University, Cornell University and University of Rochester.
December 7-8 2012 Cornell University: "Force Forschung" – A colloquium on the Concept of Force in Early Modern Philosophy
The workshop brought together scholars from various regional NYS institutions: Skidmore College, SUNY-Binghamton, the University of Rochester, Cornell, and Colgate. Speakers from outside of the region hailed from Princeton, the University of Toronto, New School, and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the speakers/commentators, there were also grad students and faculty involved as session chairs and auditors from various NY universities and colleges, including SUNY-Brockport, SUNY-Cortland, University at Buffalo, University of Rochester, Syracuse University, and Cornell.
Each of the sessions was between 1.5 and 2 hours long, and included approximately 45 minutes of open discussion following the presentation and commentary.
The metaphysics group brings together faculty and grad students interested in metaphysics from Cornell University, Syracuse University, and the University of Rochester.
April 28, 2012 Cornell University: The second non-annual Metaphysics Workshop was hosted at Cornell University. Tom McKay and Mark Heller (Syracuse University), Ted Sider (Cornell University), and Alyssa Ney (University of Rochester), gave talks on works-in-progress. Following these scheduled talks, discussion and networking among colleagues from the three institutions continued over a dinner and reception.
An estimated 50-60 faculty and graduate students from the three Corridor institutions as well as SUNY Buffalo attended the workshop. Three visiting metaphysicians, from the University of Toronto, Oxford University, and Western Washington University respectively, also participated.
PHI5: Philosophy of Education
The Philosophy of Education working group offers a one-week workshop in philosophy of education for selected faculty and doctoral students from Cornell, Rochester, and Syracuse. Goals of the workshop include providing doctoral students at all three institutions with access to a greater variety of perspectives on the field than is currently available at their home institutions through the opportunity to work with the workshop core faculty drawn from all three universities, developing a strong regional cohort of students in philosophy of education, and providing research mentoring for our doctoral students. Students will have opportunities to develop their skills in writing philosophy both by having their worked critiqued and by observing the critical process at work among the core faculty.
August 6-9, 2012 Syracuse University, Research Workshop in Philosophy of Education: Five philosophers of education from the three Corridor institutions formed the core faculty for the 2012 workshop. The faculty selected five doctoral students from Syracuse University and The University Rochester as project participants.
All participants (core faculty and students) provided a paper in progress to present at the workshop, which were circulated for review one month in advance of the conference. The core faculty prepared brief, written comments on one faculty paper and one to two student papers. During the workshop, two to three working sessions were held each day. Each session focused on one paper with discussion led by the author and discussant. Every afternoon, students were assigned faculty mentors who worked with them individually on their papers. The professional development and intellectual work was complemented by social events for participants, including luncheons and dinners. The workshop concluded with a general discussion of professional issues, including advice about submitting articles for presentation or publication, applying for jobs, and tenure issues.
PHI6: Continental Philosophy
The Continental Philosophy working group is the most recent addition to the Philosophy cluster. In 2012 Cornell University hosted a gathering of working group faculty members for the purposes of articulating goals and activities for 2012. The first PHI6 activity, a planning meeting and discussion, took place at Cornell in spring of this year.
April 13, 2012 Cornell University: For the initial meeting of this working group, Samuel Weber (Northwestern University), a leading figure in continental philosophy was invited to discuss goals and options for future projects. Professor Weber also led group discussion of "The Deconstruction of Actuality," an interview-dialogue in Jacques Derrida, Negotiations, Stanford UP: 2002, 85-116. Participants in this inaugural event included faculty from Cornell and Syracuse University as well as graduate students from the host site. Additionally, individuals from Le Moyne College and Hobart and William Smith Colleges had planned to attend, but were unable to do so. In all, approximately a dozen faculty and graduate students were in attendance.
Previously well established before The Mellon Humanities Corridor began, collaboration among the Linguistics faculties has increased, strengthening their ties on all three campuses and developing new working groups. They have gathered semi-annually in workshops and were the first cluster to establish programming around a distinguished research collaborator. These working group events continued in Phase II, which also saw the addition of a new working group to the cluster.
Linguistics: Funded 2012 Phase II Events
LIN5: The Multilingual Mind Symposium and Other Activities
The LIN5 working group is a research collaboration between Syracuse University and University of Rochester faculty and graduate students with the University of Rochester’s ongoing National Science Foundation project to promote methodology for endangered language documentation, conservation and methods.
March 23-24, 2012 University of Rochester: Language Documentation Workshop for Undergraduate Students.
April 9, 2012 Syracuse University: Professor Scott Paauw (University of Rochester) delivered two class lectures on Endangered Languages (Course: LIN 471/671; Dimensions of Bilingualism and Multilingualism). His lectures were also posted on Blackboard.
October 27-28, 2012 Syracuse University: This fall, Syracuse University hosted “The Multilingual Mind,” Mellon Foundation Symposium, a 2-day event attended by close to 100 faculty and students. Not only was the symposium well received by attendees, it generated new directions for future study.
The presentation by Cornell graduate student Carissa King on executive attention and bilingualism inspired conversation among applied linguists from RIT about the potential for investigating the direction of causality (attention < - > language ability) among adult language learners. University of Rochester Assistant Professor Scott Anderbois’ presentation on pragmatics field methods generated discussion on how such for collecting pragmatics data might be used in applied linguistics and language teaching as methods for language learners to ask advanced questions about their language of study (e.g. “real” meaning of connecting words and discourse particles). In addition, the symposium afforded a research team of RIT undergraduate students the opportunity to receive feedback on their computational modeling of discourse patterns, and to network with graduate students and faculty from Syracuse University, Cornell, and the University of Rochester.
The support of the Mellon funding resulted in the publication of The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, 2nd Edition (Bhatia, Ritchie, 2012), published by Wiley-Blackwell.
Highlights of the Symposium included:
I. Invited Keynote Speakers
- Professor Barbara Lust, Cornell University
Title: Pursuing the Process of Bilingual Development in the Young Child: An Enriched Case Study Methodology Provides New Evidence
- Professor Gerald P. Berent, Rochester Institute of Technology
Title: Code Mixing on Steroids: Multimodal Sign Language-Spoken Language Bilingual Communication
II. Student Panel
- Carissa Kang, Cornell University
Title: A differentiated test of Executive Attention reveals cognitive benefits of child bilingualism across cultures.
- Kathryn Womack and Jim Male, Rochester Institute of Technology
Mentors: Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, Anne Haake, Cara Calvelli
Title: Towards understanding diagnostic cognitive reasoning of physicians
III. Workshop on Language Documentation and Field Linguistics, University of Rochester
IV. Two panels on Multilingualism and Academic Discourse, Professor Stanley Van Horn, Rochester Institute of Technology.
LIN6: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Discourse
This interdisciplinary workshop brought together philosophers, psychologists, and linguists to examine the nature of human communication. This ranged from considering detailed theories of narrative in film, depiction in visual art, and linguistic expressions of personal taste (e.g., ‘tasty’) to considering general theories of how communication happens. The workshop featured presentations of previously circulated papers, comments, and discussion. This event was co-sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor, from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Cornell Society for the Humanities, Sage School of Philosophy, and Department of Linguistics.
October 20-21, 2012 Cornell University: The Second Cornell Workshop in Linguistics and Philosophy: Communicative Acts was hosted this fall. Over 45 individuals took part in the two-day event. The support from the Mellon Foundation allowed for the inclusion of more participants in the workshop. This support also provided the opportunity to invite commentators, greatly contributing to the workshop’s overall success.
LIN7: Suspended Affixation
The suspended affixation group brings together faculty and graduate students from Cornell, Syracuse, and fellow Upstate institution SUNY Albany interested in morphology, syntax, phonology, and their interfaces. Suspended affixation is a controversial phenomenon in natural language where an affix attaches to only one of a series of coordinated stems. This working group investigated this phenomenon in a variety of languages from a variety of theoretical standpoints. The main activity of the working group was a two-day workshop.
October 27-27, 2012 Cornell University: The Workshop on Suspended Affixation hosted this fall included talks by Judith Aissen (UC Santa Cruz), Hilda Koopman (UCLA), Aaron Broadwell, (SUNY Albany), Jorge Hankamer (UC Santa Cruz), James Yoon (Illinois), and Ralph Noyer and Kunio Nishiyama (University of Tsukuba, Japan). Discussions sessions were moderated by Jaklin Kornfilt (Syracuse University), John Whittman (Cornell), and Draga Zec (Cornell). Language data covered ranged from Tzotzil (Aissen) to Turkish (Hankamer) to Zapotec (Noyer).
Speakers were chosen to represent the full gamut of theoretical viewpoints. Despite that wide range, there was important consensus on several major points, and lively discussion throughout. Participants agreed that the talks presented were worthy of publication in the leading journal, Lingua, where the organizers previously published a special issue made up of papers from a Corridor grant workshop. Professors Nishiyama and Yoon provisionally agreed to take on the role of special issue editors, with organizers Professors Kornfilt and Whitman providing an introduction.
In all, including presenters, close to 30 faculty and graduate students from Cornell and Syracuse University participated in the workshop.
LIN8: Sociolinguistic Variation and Change
Led by Professor Rania Habib (Syracuse University), this working group organized a major workshop on Analytic Methods of Sociolinguistic Variation and Change to educate and inform linguists as well as researchers in other related disciplines such as anthropology and discourse analysis about new techniques, methods, and software used for phonetic or statistical analysis on linguistic variation in general.
April 26-27, 2012 Syracuse University: The Analytic Methods of Sociolinguistic Variation and Change Workshop was hosted this spring. William Labov (University of Pennsylvania), and Sali Tagliamonte (University of Toronto), two of the most renowned linguists in the world, were invited to speak. The presence of these two prominent figures at Syracuse University was an excellent contribution not only to the Linguistics Program and the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, but also to other departments that have interdisciplinary relationship with linguistics studies, such as philosophy, forensics, anthropology, information technology, and education.
An essential part of the workshop was the inclusion of faculty and students from Syracuse University, Cornell University, University of Rochester, SUNY Albany, Hamilton College, Colgate, and Cortland College. The workshop was well attended, with between 60 and 70 participants each day.
Thursday April 26: William Labov, 3-hour afternoon session
Friday April 27: William Labov, 3-hour morning session; Rania Habib (Syracuse University), 1-hour session; Sali Tagliamonte, 3-hour session
William Labov (Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania). He is known as the father of Sociolinguistics. He is the most influential figure in the field. His methods of analyzing sociolinguistic variation and change are adopted throughout the world.
Sali Tagliamonte (Professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto). She is known as one of the best in the field, regarding analytical methods of sociolinguistic variation and change.
Rania Habib (Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Arabic at Syracuse University). Her present research deals with dialectal variation in the Arab World particularly the colloquial Arabic of rural migrant speakers to urban centers and the change that their speech undergoes because of social factors.
The Visual Arts and Culture working groups have attracted faculty from various departments and disciplines in the Corridor across the fields of Visual Studies and Art History. They have sponsored workshops, conferences, film and speaker tours, joint graduate seminars, art exhibitions, and visiting collaborators. The cluster also includes the public humanities and architecture working groups; another area of future expansion and new working groups are planned for faculty in Arts and Music Histories, and a significant amount of reserve has been set aside for this purpose in the budget allocation for this cluster.
Visual Arts and Culture: Funded 2012 Phase II Events
VAC3: Visual Studies
During 2012, the VAC3 group supported a number of important visual culture events on both the Syracuse University and University of Rochester campuses, and a highly productive workshop/retreat during August, which provided new direction for the cluster. Throughout Spring 2012, the cluster took advantage of the presence of Shimon Attie as visiting artist and Watson Distinguished Collaborator at Syracuse University. A speaker series featuring prominent figures in visual arts and memory was organized including, in addition to Attie, three presentations by art historian James Young, artist Anna Schuleit, and novelist Amy Waldman. Presentations were popular and drew faculty and students as well as community members. The presentations were also recorded onto DVD and Skyped to an audience interested in public memory at Massey University in New Zealand.
January 26, 2012 Syracuse University, Watson Visiting Collaborator Seminar and Speaker Series, “Art, Memory, Community and Commemoration”: Shimon Attie, VPA Sandra Kahn Alpert Visiting Artist and The Humanities Center’s Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Collaborator for spring 2012, led a cross-disciplinary colloquium and presented relevant selections of his work.
February 9, 2012 Syracuse University, Watson Visiting Collaborator Seminar and Speaker Series, “Art and Memory”: James E. Young, Distinguished University Professor or English and Judaic Studies and Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, spoke about the complexities and challenges of public commemoration, as well as his experiences as a juror for the 9/11 Memorial Competition process.
March 1, 2012 Syracuse University, Watson Visiting Collaborator Seminar and Speaker Series, “Memory and Commemoration, as Fact or Fiction”: Anna Schuleit, internationally prominent visual artist and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, presented some of her powerful public art installations dealing with memory, community and regeneration.
March 20, 2012 Syracuse University, Sumi Hayashi and RED: The cluster was pleased to host a visit, lecture and symposium by the curator of the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art (Japan) and leading Rothko expert, Sumi Hayashi. Hayashi’s talk came in conjunction with the production of the play “Red” at Syracuse Stage. As such, her public lecture drew a large and diverse audience including those interested in Rothko but also those drawn by interest in the play.
March 22, 2012 Syracuse University, Watson Visiting Collaborator Seminar and Speaker Series, “Memory and Commemoration, as Fact or Fiction”: Author Amy Waldman, formerly of the New York Times and The Atlantic, discussed her acclaimed novel new novel, “The Submission” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011). The book tells the story of an anonymous competition to design a 9/11 memorial and of the American Muslim who wins it.
May 31 - June 2, 2012 NYU, Visual Culture Now: Corridor support funded a group of faculty and graduate students from Syracuse University and the University of Rochester to attend the “Visual Culture Now” conference in New York City and discuss the cluster at the conference. While this activity took place outside the central NY region, it was an important step in publicizing the activities of the corridor and promoting the collaboration.
August 10-12, 2012 Minnowbrook Workshop on Public Visualities: A three-day retreat/seminar was held from the SU Minnowbrook Lodge. Twenty-three faculty and graduate students from Syracuse University and the University of Rochester attended. The weekend consisted of faculty talks, panel discussions, and working groups in which teams of faculty worked with groups of graduate students on their current projects. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the success of this event has led VAC3 make the Minnowbrook workshop the centerpiece of future programming. The VAC3 working group is currently planning a series of follow-up events in Syracuse and Rochester.
VAC17: Global Biennials
This working group centers on a research project on the nature of global art biennials and their impact on the transformation of art in a digital and global context. Who do biennials structure, define, and position as artists, in relation to questions of curatorship, authorship, and global markets? [MD1] How do the biennials put pressure on Western centered concepts of art and the market? What is the difference between nationally defined biennials and pavilions and biennials focused on more particular geopolitical or conceptual terms? What is the role of the biennial within the digital context?
April 5, 2012 Cornell University, “Touching, Unbelonging, and the Absence of Affect”: Ranjana Khanna (Duke University) the Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women’s Studies, Professor of English, Literature and Women’s Studies and Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies presented a lecture followed by a public reception and dinner with invited participants.
September 7-8, 2012 Cornell University, “The Global Biennale Workshop”: This gathering of working group participants for a two-day workshop with guests from Duke University, Central Academy of Fine Arts, and University of Beijing, was hosted this fall. The workshop included full day meetings and luncheons on Friday and Saturday and a dinner meeting on Friday evening. The event featured a public lecture on Friday, September 7 by Professors Pan Gongkai and Peng Feng titled, “Ink Painting Meets New Media: China Pavilion at 54th Venice Biennale.” Professors Pan Gongkai and Peng Feng are two of China’s most distinguished figures visual arts and art theory. Professor Gongkai is President of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association, and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and represented China at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Professor Peng Feng is Chair of the Department of Art Theory, History and Criticism in the School of Arts, and Vice Director of the Center for Aesthetics and Aesthetic Education at Peking University, and was curator of the China Pavilion at the 2011 Biennale. The lecture was followed by a reception, which was open to the public.
In an area full of very active musicians, musicologists and music historians, the discipline of Corridor funding has encouraged collaborative research and performance. The faculty members of the Musicology and Music History cluster have exchanged teaching and conducting podia, and brought world-class musicians to play side by side with their graduate students, who composed the works being played. Through Corridor funding, the organ scholars have explored the historic instruments in the region. Chamber music groups have given workshops and performances. Exploring archives, film music scholars have held symposia and Syracuse University’s Bird Library archivist brought together artists, lawyers and producers to discuss copyright law and musicians.
Musicology and Music History: Funded 2012 Phase II Events
MMH12: The New Chamber Music Initiative, Phase II
Building on the success of the New Chamber Music Initiative, Phase II retained all of the features of the original project. In 2012, the working group’s activities consisted of concerts of contemporary music by current music groups at the top of the field, readings and performances of works by student composers, and colloquia and informances (informal lecture-recitals) on the varied cultural lives of the countries represented, and the place and future of contemporary music in each. To facilitate this last concern the series featured two groups from North America, one with a connection to China, and two from Europe.
This year's series of activities featured concerts, master-classes and colloquia by groups from the United States and abroad, including the California EAR Unit, Mario Caroli and Masako Hayashi-Ebbesen (France), Duo Diorama (Canada/Chine), and Ensemble Nordlys (Denmark). Each group in the series performed one concert and a variety of master-classes, both for students in the Setnor School of Music and from the greater Syracuse region. In addition, both the EAR Unit and Ensemble Nordlys participated in colloquia on the differing new music scenes in the U.S. and Europe, with particular attention to challenges of audience-building; fundraising; and the place of new music in the larger culture. All the groups gave open rehearsals, allowing audience members to listen in on their rehearsal process as well as become more familiar with what in many cases was entirely new repertoire. In addition, Ensemble Nordlys worked closely with student composers on developing their contributions to the chamber music literature.
Each event targeted distinct but overlapping populations, both on- and off-campus. The EAR Unit was of particular interest to School of Music performance and composition majors, as well as majors in the History of Music program in Arts and Sciences, many of whom are studying music as an aspect of contemporary culture. Mario Caroli and Masako Hayashi-Ebbesen were of special interest to international students, as well as those who work in study abroad. Their concert was the centerpiece of last spring's meeting of SUAbroad Center directors. Duo Diorama was directed toward music composition and performance majors. Its program of music largely by contemporary Chinese composers proved highly attractive to local audience members with an interest in new music with roots across different cultures. Ensemble Nordlys drew heavily from all populations in the School of Music, as well as among University faculty, students, and area audience members from Scandinavia or of Scandinavian heritage. What was essential in each set of events was the mix of new and old musics, from the Western canon as well as from contemporary literatures in the process of formation and culturo-stylistic identification, and the opportunity this juxtaposition gave local audiences to expand and deepen their senses of just what defines classical music in general, and new classical music in particular.
March 7, 2012 Syracuse University: The California EAR Unit (Eric km Clark, violin, Amy Knoles, percussion, Vicki Ray, piano) performed their original compositions Belgo II, Moi Qui Tremblais, Spill Out, As Alice, and Champ Vital.
April 22, 2012 Syracuse University: Mario Caroli (flute) and Masako Hayashi-Ebbesen (piano) performed music of Brahms, Debussy, Mendelssohn, and Waggoner (three transcriptions and a new work composed for Mario Caroli in 2007).
October 31, 2012 Syracuse University: Duo Diorama (MingHuan Xu, violin Winston Choi, piano) performed the music of Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, Huang Ruo, Mischa Zupko, Colong Nancarrow, Anton Webern, and Robert Morris.
All three institutions in the Mellon Corridor have distinguished faculties in musicology, but since no single faculty body can cover all the areas that now figure within the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory, the teaching exchange permits guest teachers from one of the institutions to lead a class or graduate seminar at one of the others.
The Corridor allotted funds in 2012 with the goal of allowing each institution to invite two guests, for a total of six teaching exchanges per year. This exchange focuses primarily on graduate seminars and its feasibility depends on fruitful matches between course offerings at each institution and areas of expertise found at the other two campuses. In 2012, the working group’s first year of activity, one exchange has taken place. Efforts are as yet underway to schedule a second exchange, originally planned for spring 2012, before the close of the calendar year. Course offerings and teaching and leave schedules among the three Corridor institutions in 2013 are favorably aligned to facilitate six or more exchanges, with support from the Corrirdor.
March 9, 2012 Cornell: Stephen Meyer (Syracuse University) led a session of Arthur Groos’s seminar, “Operatic States: Imagining Community in Music-Drama,” (Music 7223/GERST 6420).
March 22, 2012 Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester): Ellen Koskoff invited Carol Babiracki (Syracuse University) to lead her ethnomusicology seminar. Event canceled. Planned to be reschedule December 2012.
Fall 2012 Syracuse University: Stephen Meyer invited Neal Zaslaw (Cornell) to teach in his class on Mozart. Event canceled.
MMH18: Improvisation in Theory and Practice
Over the course of 2012, faculty and graduate students from Cornell University, the Eastman School of Music, and Syracuse University gathered in diverse contexts to consider the phenomenon of musical improvisation in theory and practice. At an array of events ranging from an electrifying performance and discussion by musicians from Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians to a demonstration of the art and craft of silent film accompaniment, and from extemporization on the seventeenth-century organ and the nineteenth-century operatic stage to the investigation of avant-garde improvisatory practices, participants collectively explored the historical specificity, aesthetic implications, and political resonances of improvisation as art and handcraft, as epiphanic and ordinary, as the bringing of the imaginary into sonorous being. Thinking, talking, and playing across historical, geographical, idiomatic, and disciplinary boundaries, the group addressed the concepts that inform improvisation (such as spontaneity, temporality, indeterminacy, contingency, convention, emergence, risk, creativity, agency, freedom) and considered its current rise to prominence as critical lens and philosophical stance. The group's activities generated enthusiasm from those who took part and created momentum and has led us in a variety of exciting new directions that we feel have real potential both for the Music Department at Cornell and for the wider Corridor community.
There were four working group meetings at Cornell in the spring semester, featuring presentations, performances, and discussion by faculty members from Cornell, Eastman School of Music University of Rochester, and Syracuse University. These gatherings also included several graduate students.
As well as stimulating discussion within and between Corridor institutions, Roger Moseley and Paul Steinbeck represented the working group at the recent joint annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Society for Music Theory. Their papers, delivered at a panel session on improvisation, will be published in the peer-reviewed journal Music Theory Online in 2013.
This year’s events were crucial in engendering a greater awareness of improvisation and its possibilities among faculty. In the fall semester, we focused on intersections between musical improvisation and the moving image.
These foundations will be built upon with classes and workshops offered at Cornell that equip graduate and undergraduate students with various forms of improvisatory skills and the curricular ramifications of those ideas in the coming year. Thereafter, a large-scale event and resultant publication will make a significant contribution to the burgeoning literature on improvisation and to its practice as art, craft, and educational method at the Corridor institutions and beyond.
February 29, 2012 Cornell: Fred Frith with Annie Lewandowski in concert
March 1, 2012 Cornell: Improvisation Masterclass and open rehearsal with Cornell Avant‐Garde Ensemble (facilitated by Kevin Ernste).
March 14, 2012 Cornell: Pauline Oliveros and Benjamin Piekut, a public interview.
April 20, 2012 Cornell, “Creating Culture”: Mwata Bowden’s Low End Theory, featuring Thurman Barker, and Paul Steinbeck in conversation and concert.
October 11, 2012 Cornell: Annie Lewandowski and Tim Feeney improvised soundtracks to the short films of Michael Ashkin. The event was followed by a question and answer session with Benjamin Piekut.
October 31, 2012 Cornell: Guest organist Dennis James demonstrated the historic art of silent movie accompaniment. This was followed by a collaboration with Mark Goldstein on organ, Theremin, and Buchla lightning wands to accompany a packed screening of F. W. Murnau's Faust (1926).
November 14, 2012 Cornell: David Yearsley presented a program entitled "Improvisation and the Art of the Organ Fantasy, c. 1650" on Cornell's new baroque organ, based on 17th-century organ builder Arp Schnitger's design for the instrument in Berlin's Charlottenburg-Schlosskapelle. Professor Yearsley’s improvisation was followed by a pedagogical session demonstrating how the motives and means of improvisation can be transmitted orally, literally, and kinesthetically.
November 16, 2012 Cornell: Celebrated visiting organist and improviser, Edoardo Bellotti, gave a recital on the baroque organ. His program, entitled "Echoes of Italy," featured fantasies, concertos, and toccatas from the late 17th and early 18th centuries and was followed by a roundtable discussion concerning the art and craft of improvising in historical German and Italian idioms.
MMH19: Britten- Lutoslawski Year
The year 2013 marks the centennial of two of the 20th century’s greatest composers, Benjamin Britten and Witold Lutoslawski. The two shared more than a birth year: Lutoslawski’s music was often heard at Britten’s Aldeburgh Festival – including Paroles tissées, written for the festival and premiered there by Britten’s partner, the tenor Peter Pears, in June 1965 – and the two composers maintained a warm, mutually admiring friendship for many years.
A yearlong celebration of works by these two composers through scholarship and performance on all three Corridor campuses is planned for the 2013 spring and fall semesters. Spring 2013 will include numerous performances of Britten and Lutoslawski works by the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Chamber, the Cornell Chorus, and by Cornell voice students. Activities in 2012 included planning for these events and a performance tying into the centennial year.
September 23, 2012 Syracuse University: The Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra performed under the direction of James Tapia, associate professor in the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music. The concert featured Matthew Scinto, graduate conductor, and Caroline Stinson, violoncello soloist performing Concerto for Cello and Orchestra by Lutoslawski, along with works by Schubert and Tchaikovsky.
MMH20: Music: Cognition, Technology, Society
Technology plays a crucial role across a broad spectrum of sonic activity, offering new cognitive frameworks and reshaping social networks in ways that challenge the conventional binary of the individual subject versus the collective. It mediates performance and listening, provides new modes of analysis, and inspires musical creation. It conditions our perception of sound as well as our ability to change it, and is thus both an appropriate tool and topic of aural research. The nexus of social, cultural, and political issues in and around music, cognition, and technology encompasses a range of interdisciplinary approaches to the question of musical meaning.
How can music “speak” and how do we have knowledge of it? What is its potential to express, represent, and communicate? How has changing expertise concerning sonic and musical knowledge shaped these questions across time and space?
Whether through studies of perception and performance, psychoacoustic experimentation, computational or linguistic analyses of musical texts, or ethnographies of musical collectives, scholars have sought to investigate the complementary issues of how music is constructed and received. The increasing—and occasionally controversial—importance of technology to this project raises a host of related questions: What are the possibilities and limitations of technology in exploring music cognition and social meaning, and how does it influence our approach to this exploration? What impact does it have on new music, and how does this feed back into our understanding of what “music” is?
May 11-13, 2012 Cornell The Music: Cognition, Technology, Society Conference
This international conference drew on a wide range of scholarship, including musicology and composition, cognitive science, science and technology studies, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, performance studies and anthropology. Papers were featured that attempted to reconcile the hermeneutic and the performative, the empirical and the abstract.
Eric Clarke (University of Oxford), Ichiro Fujinaga (McGill University) and Robert Gjerdingen (Northwestern University) delivered keynote lectures.
Tod Machover (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) was the guest composer. Videos of the daily conference sessions are available here.
Friday, May 11
9:00–11:15 Session 1: Patterns, Schemata and Systems
Tyran Grillo (Cornell University) – Going Against the Grain: Synthesizing Body, Sound, and Image in (Un)real time
Bryn Hughes (Ithaca College) – Does Rock Play by Its Own Rules? An Empirical Investigation of Harmonic Expectation in Rock Music
Joshua Mailman (Columbia University) – Cybernetic Phenomenology and Music Ontology
11:30–1:00 Session 2: Improvisation
David Borgo (University of California, San Diego) – Agency in Coaction: A Material-Semiotic Approach to Understanding Electro-Acoustic Improvisation
Jeremy Grall (University of Alabama at Birmingham) – Contemporaneousness and Process within Improvisation
Cornell Avant-Garde Ensemble (CAGE)
Robert Gjerdingen (Northwestern University) – Schema Theory Today: Challenges and Opportunities
4:15–5:15 Session 3: Demonstration Session
William Brent (American University) – Gesturally Extended Piano and Open Shaper
Joshua Mailman and Sofia Paraskeva (Columbia University) – "The Fluxations Human Body Movement Interface for Comprovisational Computer Music"
Tod Machover (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – “Extending Performance: Onstage, Inside, Interconnected”
Tod Machover (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – “Another Life”
Argento Ensemble – Matt Ward, conductor; Fiona Kelly, flute; Clara Lyon, violin; Laura Barger, piano; Vasko Dukovski, clarinet; Andrew Borkowski, cello; Matt Gold, percussion; John Lathwell, oboe; Wendy Richman, viola; Nicholas Walker, double bass; Andrew Zhou, electronic keyboard
Sean Friar (Princeton University) – “Scale 9”
Bryan Christian (Duke University) – “Walk”
Amit Gilutz (Cornell University) – “Miscellaneous Romance No. 1”
Eric Lindsay (Indiana University) – “Town’s Gonna Talk”
Christopher Chandler (Eastman School of Music) – “the resonance after…"
Juraj Kojs (Miami International University of Art and Design) – “Re-route”
Saturday, May 12
9:00–10:30 Session 4: Text, technology and the voice
Owen Marshall (Cornell University) – The Social Construction of Autotune: Standardizing Standardization in Pitch Correction Technology
Carmel Raz (Yale University) – From Trinidad to Cyberspace: Reconsidering Toch’s Geographical Fugue [Video]
10:45–12:15 — Session 5: Psychology and the sonic object
Alexander Bonus (Duke University) – Refashioning Rhythm: Hearing, Acting, and Reacting to Metronomic Sound in Experimental Psychology, 1875–1915
Murray Dineen (University of Ottawa) – The Historical Soundscape of Monophonic Hi-Fidelity: Sonic Pathology and Loss
Eric Clarke (Oxford University) – Explorations in virtual space: music perception and recorded music
3:15–5:30 — Session 6: Instruments and soundscapes
Jonathan De Souza (University of Chicago) – Instruments, Affordances, Idioms; or, Three Ways to Play the Harmonica
Paul Chaikin (University of Southern California) – Clattering Bells as a Field of Experience and Cognition
Adem Merter Birson (Cornell University) – The Craft of the Luthier: Geometry of the Lute and Humanistic Thought in Renaissance Italy
7:00–7:45: Discussion Panel
Electroacoustic Music Concert
Nicholas Cline (Indiana University) – “Homage to La Monte Young”
Nathan Davis – “Ecology No. 8”
Nicola Monopoli – “The Rite of Judgment”
Peter Van Zandt Lane (Brandeis University) – “Hydromancer”
Eliot Bates, Taylan Cihan (Cornell University) – “Zey-glitch”
Stelios Manousakis (Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media) – “Megas Diakosmos”
Chris Stark (Cornell University) – “Two-Handed Storytelling”
Sunday, May 13
9:00–11:15 — Session 7: Music Information Retrieval
Damien McCaffery (University of Glasgow) – MIR and the Creation of Taste Tautologies
Douglas Turnbull (Ithaca College) – Exploring Control and Feedback Mechanisms for Personalized Internet Radio
William Brent (American University) – Physical Navigation of Virtual Timbre Spaces
Ichiro Fujinaga (McGill University) – The Research Program at the Distributed Digital Music Archives and Libraries Laboratory
MMH21: Mobilizing Music
The Mobilizing Music working group was formed in 2011 to serve as a catalyst for continuing interdisciplinary research by faculty and graduate students, concerning how and why people mobilize music to accomplish artistic and social goals.
The working group planned that for each of the next three years a different core Corridor institution would host events, involving faculty from one or more of the two other original Corridor institutions. Participating faculty would represent a wide array of fields and disciplines including anthropology, ethnomusicology, folklore, music composition, music education, music performance, popular music studies, and science and technology. These events were to be devoted to interconnected sub-themes chosen to capitalize on faculty research interests, build on existing informal collaborations, and to stimulate new research:
In 2012, following the realignment and rebuilding of working group members, planning for events coalesced around the theme, "Gender and Performativity." In the fall of 2012, faculty from Syracuse University, Colgate University, and the University of Rochester initiated the process of organizing four mini-seminars under this new theme to be hosted in the spring of 2013. It is anticipated that these four seminars will attract a broad, interdisciplinary audience of faculty and graduate students interested in music and performance, fulfilling the key objective of the Mobilizing Music working group as it was originally envisioned.
PIs Gregg Lambert (Syracuse University), Thomas DiPiero (University of Rochester) and Timothy Murray (Cornell) have sponsored successful events in the digital humanities within their respective humanities programs and they are nurturing working groups of local faculty with planning grants.
Digital Humanities: Funded 2012 Phase II Events
DH6: Digital Witness Symposium
The Digital Witness Symposium has become an annual event exploring the dynamics of transnational collaboration and collective storytelling in the digital era. Speakers on the vanguard digital culture are invited to discuss how evolving digital ecology is impacting human rights media.
This fall, the 3rd Digital Witness Symposium explored the dynamics of transnational collaboration and collective storytelling in the digital era. Filmmaker and journalist Jigar Mehta discussed the crowd-sourced documentary project about the ongoing Egyptian revolution, 18 Days in Egypt, which he co-founded and Ken Harper from the Newhouse School talked about the African media development project Together Liberia and the African media organization New Narratives.
October 3, 2012 University of Rochester: 3rd Digital Witness Symposium
October 4, 2012 Syracuse University: 3rd Digital Witness Symposium
Jigar Mehta is a digital entrepreneur, filmmaker and journalist. He was a 2011 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, and is currently a board member of the South Asian Journalists Association, and Director of Operations at Matter. Mehta is also the co-founder of GroupStream, an online collaborative storytelling platform. Mehta was previously with the New York Times as a video journalist.
Ken Harper is an award-winning multimedia designer and photojournalist and an assistant professor of Multimedia Photography and Design at the Newhouse School. He is also the Director of Digital and Visual Media at New Narratives, an association of African Journalists for Change.
DH8: Digital Humanities Speaker
The Digital Humanities Speaker Series supports lectures for the Digital Humanities Project across the Corridor.
February 28, 2012 Cornell: Drs. Kevin Franklin and Michael Simeone (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) presented a lecture titled, “Articulating the Humanities to a Digital Age.” Dr. Franklin is the principal co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Science (I-CHASS). Dr. Simeone is the Associate Director for Research and Interdisciplinary Studies at I-CHASS.
October 30, 2012 Cornell: Cathy Davidson (Duke University), Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English, John Hope Franklin Humanities Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University was scheduled to give a talk titled, "Now You See It: How the Future of Higher Education Demands a Paradigm Shift". Cathy Davidson was the first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University, helping to create the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the program in Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS), among other programs. She co-founded Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, HASTAC ("haystack"), a network of innovators dedicated to new forms of learning for the digital age. She also co-directs the annual HASTAC/John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition
Event canceled due to weather.
This is a new cluster was organized the basis of shared strengths and faculty resources in languages and literatures across the Corridor, including faculty from regional liberal arts colleges and universities. In addition to previously established CNY groups, including Nineteenth Century Studies and Early Modern Thinking, this cluster currently encompasses a total of six active working groups and is poised to expand further in 2013.
Language, Literature and Culture: Funded 2012 Phase II Events
LLC1: Language, Identity, Power
The related issues of language, identity and power have become enormously significant over the last two decades at the national, international, institutional, group/interpersonal, and textual levels. At the national level, there are efforts by minority groups to gain recognition of their languages, which has been seen in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union and EU edicts on minority languages. At the institutional level, language is identified as a key component of identity construction. At the group and individual levels, gendered language is a topic of perennial interest in discussions of power, especially in regards to women and men’s communication styles, as well as the role of language in constructing gendered and LGBTQ identities. At the textual level, group identities are created, along with dominant discourses around specific topics, often leading to issues of intertextuality and the reification of authoritative meanings.
This group is comprised primarily of faculty and graduate students from Linguistics, Anthropology, Writing, Education, as well as Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University, Cornell, and Hamilton. Many were trained in linguistics or linguistic anthropology while others approach the topic form different disciplinary perspectives.
April 13, 2012 Syracuse University: An afternoon workshop of papers in progress and discussion.
Two papers focusing on discourse around LGBT issues:
Chris Perrello (Syracuse University, graduate student) looking at English/American discourse
Kwame Otu (Syracuse University, graduate student) looking at Ghanian discourse
Four papers focusing on identity and language in education:
Azra Hromazdic (Syracuse University), looking at language in a Bosnian school
Chaise LaDousa (Hamilton), English and Hindi language in schools in Banaras, India
Ishwari Pandey (Syracuse University), remedial English for lower caste students in English language universities in India
Jesse Harasta (Syracuse University, graduate student), decisions around teaching Cornish in schools in Cornwall as part of a language revitalization movement
October 5, 2012, Syracuse University: Analyzing Discourse Workshop (organized by Professor Richard Buttny)
October 30, 2012, Syracuse University: Robert E Sanders, Professor Emeritus of Communication (University at Albany, SUNY), was scheduled to present on "Representations of the Self through Dialogic Properties of Talk & Conduct."
Event rescheduled due to weather.
LLC3: Early Modern Thinking
Since the “turn to theory” in the 1970’s, contemporary theorists have frequently relied on works by early modern writers: Spinoza, perhaps most notably, but also others such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, More, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Rousseau, and Kant. This prompts the questions: what is the impact of the “early modern” on theory and how has contemporary theory shaped scholarly inquiry into early modern literature and culture?
This working group explores the extent to which “theory” continues to undergird our discussions, even as the profession more generally (and early modern studies in particular) has become ostensibly “post-theoretical.” The group aims to create an environment for thinking dynamically about how to engage the past with the present, and how to integrate historical and conceptual approaches.
The 2012 events focused on an important development in Early Modern Studies of a conceptual or methodological nature to emphasize the ways that “theory” more generally is inflected by historical concerns. For instance, digital humanities inspire a reflection on earlier technologies of reading and ongoing present day battles over constitutional questions provoke attention on the “framers.”
April 20, 2012 Cornell, Lecture: “The Reader’s Eye: Between Annotation and Illustration.” William Sherman (University of York, U.K.)
September 7, 2012 Cornell, Lecture: “On Constitutions: How to Frame Your Government.” Rayna Kalas (Cornell)
October 19, 2012 Cornell, Seminar: “On Badiou’s Spinoza.” Seminar. Bruno Bosteels (Cornell)
November 2, 2012 Syracuse University, Lecture: “On Corporations.” Henry Turner (Rutgers University)
LLC4: Transnational American Literary Cultures
Emphasis on transnational encounters and global exchanges is a recent and rapidly expanding direction in American studies. To distance the study of U.S. literature and culture from versions and visions of American exceptionalism requires a critical interrogation of the origins, evolution, and deployment of exceptionalism itself and an investigation of its relationship to less exceptional versions of particularity. This working group includes invited lectures and roundtables to take up revisions of American studies that involve the circulation of literature and ideas in this hemisphere, around the Atlantic basin, and the Pacific rim from the colonial period through the present day.
With the assistance of the Mellon Corridor, this group collaborated with the English Department and the American Studies Program at the University of Rochester to begin exploring the issues surrounding the growing interest in the transnational in American studies, which has long been among the most nation bound of all national studies.
September 20, 2012 University of Rochester: “Pentecostal Modernism: Lovecraft, Los Angeles, and New World-Systems Literary Analysis.” Stephen Shapiro (University of Warwick, U.K.)
October 24, 2012 University of Rochester: “Monticello Legacies: Jefferson, Slavery, Race.” Annette Gordon Reed (Harvard)
LLC5: Revival Cultures
Inspired by the approaching bicentennial of the upsurge of religious enthusiasm that earned Western New York the moniker the burnt over district, this working group tackled the intellectual and cultural legacy of American religious revivalism. As was confirmed via genealogical engagement with secondary and primary sources, the spirit of nineteenth century revivalism continues to haunt American culture—informing how Americans pray to their gods, celebrate their public festivals, and pursue their political objectives.
In 2012, the group’s focus was on the religious roots and legacies American revivalism with plans in 2013 to explore revivalism’s political expressions with particular attention to its abolitionist impulses.
May 4-5, 2012 Cornell: Meeting to discuss important classic and contemporary scholarship on revival cultures, with particular attention to western New York. Participants included faculty and graduate students from Syracuse University, Cornell, and the University of Rochester.
September 20-21, 2012 Syracuse University, Public Lecture and Discussion: “Plymouth, Pentecost, Woodstock, and Bedlam: Remembering the Cane Ridge Revival” Leigh Eric Schmidt, Edward Mallinckrodt University Professor of the Humanities (Washington University, St. Louis).
December 7-8 2012, University of Rochester: Exchange of original and found documents as inspired by this year’s discussions. Participants included faculty and graduate students from Syracuse University, Cornell, and the University of Rochester.
LLC6: Nineteenth Century Studies
The LLC6 working group is an outgrowth of a bi-annual works-in-progress workshop for central and western English Department New York faculty, engaging in research in nineteenth-century British literary and cultural studies. In 2012, with Corridor funding, the workshop evolved into a two-day, twice yearly format. This format allowed for the inclusion of an outside presenter to infuse the group’s ongoing discussion with new energy and ideas, as well as to add a full day of programming geared specifically towards including graduate students in the workshop.
Support from the Corridor enabled the workshop to strengthen the regional ties it already forges between and beyond Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor institutions; to expand its mission to include participation by graduate students at these institutions; and to draw more national attention to the Corridor as the outside presenters participate in and help coalesce the workshop’s activities.
Through new format, graduate students at the participating institutions and other regional universities had the opportunity during the Friday session not only to present their work as part of a conference panel-style discussion but also to participate in a the lecture by the visiting scholar. Graduate students from participating institutions were thus given the opportunity to share work among themselves. They were also able to develop scholarly relationships with faculty from surrounding colleges and universities, increasing the scholarly resources available to them by drawing on a broad array of faculty specializations in constructing their own advanced research projects. Faculty from participating institutions could serve as outside readers on dissertations, formalizing these graduate student-faculty relationships. In addition to providing benefits for the graduate students, these relationships also provide the opportunity for advisory roles to faculty whose institutions do not have advanced degree programs.
November 9, 2012 Syracuse University: Graduate Student Mini-Conference Seven graduate students working in the field of nineteenth-century literature and culture from SUNY Binghamton and Syracuse University presented conference-style papers to one another, other graduate students, and faculty from participating institutions. Students submitted papers to the faculty from their home institutions in September. At this point only students from Binghamton and SU submitted proposals. Those faculty members then consulted with other faculty members to put together two panels arranged loosely around themes of Victorian imperialism and Victorian affect studies. Students presented 20-minute papers, followed by opportunity for question and answer periods with the audience and fellow participants.
Keynote Lecture and Q&A: Jed Thayer (SUNY-New Paltz)
Participants included faculty and graduate students from Syracuse University, Cornell, Le Moyne, and SUNY Binghamton.
November 10, 2012 Syracuse University: Faculty Works-in-Progress Workshop
Faculty reconvened Saturday morning to discuss an article manuscript, “Frustrated Listening: The Aural Landscape of The Heart of Darkness,” by Melissa Free (faculty, SUNY Binghamton). Saturday afternoon a book manuscript chapter, “Impersonal Domesticity,” by Kevin Morrison (faculty, Syracuse University) was discussed.
Participants included faculty from Hamilton College, Hilbert College, Hobart and William Smith College, Syracuse University, SUNY Binghamton, and Le Moyne.
LLC7: Legacies of the Second World (the Black and Blue Danube Symposium)
This new working group is bringing together scholars from diverse disciplinary approaches and across regional fields of study to focus on the multinational, culturally diverse, historically intertwined spaces traversed and connected by the Danube River. Europe’s second longest river, the Danube flows through or borders ten countries, while its watershed covers four more. The river serves as an artery to an understudied, yet fascinating part of Central and Eastern Europe.
In the first semester of operations (Fall 2012), the working group organized and hosted three lead-up events in anticipation of the spring 2013 symposium: “The Black and Blue Danube,” which will be held at Colgate University. Fall events served to introduce the project on the Danube and Danubian cultures, attract interest amongst scholars throughout the corridor, and familiarize members of the Corridor with related scholarly interests with one another’s work.
Fall 2012 events: (all open to the public)
October 12, 2012 Colgate University: Film Screening, Revanche (2008)
The event included an introduction to the film, a discussion and a Corridor working group dinner.
November 16, 2012 Colgate University: Film Screening, The Round-Up (1965)
The screening of a rare print of this Hungarian film included an introduction before the film and discussion after the screening, led by Lilla Töke, an expert on Hungarian cinema. A Corridor working group dinner followed the screening.
November 30, 2012 Colgate University: Film Screening, Q&A and Roundtable Discussion, Frozen Time, Liquid Memories (documentary-in-progress by Dragan Kujundzic). A leading scholar of Slavic and Jewish Studies, Kujundzic moderated a roundtable discussion of Claudio Magris’ Danube, a formidable cultural history of the river that is also a key source text for the working group’s inquiry as well as the upcoming symposium.
Important scholarly works on the history of recorded sound have recently appeared, and the field is enjoying attention both inside and outside of academia. Of particular interest are the ways in which sound technology influences and is influenced by musical practice, the history of performance, and ways in which sound technology intersects with identity politics.
Archives and Media: Funded 2012 Phase II Events
AM1: Memoryscapes and Imageworlds
Among others, the group’s goal was to highlight two interrelated issues: first, the question as to what happens to memory archives and their explosive dynamics in the wake of the technology and communication boom; second, the apparent need to orchestrate memory places and strategies given the dialectics of regionalism and globalism as well as an ‘imbrication of disjunctive collectives’ in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
October 31 - November 2, 2012 Cornell; Syracuse University – Archive, Architecture and Media between Walter Benjamin and 9/11 Aesthetics
Although Walter Benjamin has been dead for over seventy years his cultural theories as to how the modern world is perceived, constructed and archived have continued to fascinate artists and scholars.
Benjamin’s deductions and theories have subsequently been integrated into the body of cultural theory developed and popularized during the latter half of the 20th century. In The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, written in 1936 during his exile in Paris, he was able to show that archive, architecture and media are directly dependent upon their technical formation.
Placing emphasis on symbolic models, most of which are grounded on mankind’s aptitude to distinguish similarities and correspondences in the ambient world, the German-Jewish theorist envisioned an interrelated network of signs that are embedded in the micro and macro cosmos. As he frames it, transformations to cultural artifacts as well as to archives and visual perceptions, urban landscapes and media reflect modifications to the ensemble of semiotic agents used to model modern memory. Included among these are language and the written word, the body and inanimate objects, media developments and technological advances, all of which impact collective memory in the wake of urban commodity capitalism.
Pinpointing the visual and spatial dimension of semiotic systems as forms of collective mediation, the conference explored the transformations that script, language and cultural archives, images and non-print media, architecture and cityscapes, bodies and objects, as well as the signatures of cultural semiotics, have undergone between Benjamin and today.
The conference was recorded. Cornell events averaged 70 attendees. Attendance at Syracuse University events was approximately 200.
Since its publication in 1983 Walter Benjamin’s Passagen-Werk (The Arcades Project) has become an essential compendium of nineteenth century modernism in European intellectual history and an exhaustive, though fragmentary inquiry into the emergence of bourgeois urban culture between the Revolution of 1830 and the Paris Commune in 1871. Compiled in the years between 1927 and the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, Benjamin laid the groundwork for what was to have been a definitive monograph on Paris during the central decades of the nineteenth century. Transforming geographic space into a matrix of text, Benjamin explores the reconfiguration of early contemporary cityscapes and maps out an allegorical blueprint for bourgeois cultural memory. Singling out the arcades, glass-covered shopping and bourgeois recreation areas, Benjamin determines that these liminal structures are tantamount to testimonies in the continuum of European cityscapes. By the same token, their decline at the time that Benjamin began to chronicle their significance not only points to a historical index or discernible juncture in time, but also heralds the passing of nineteenth century collective memory as the twentieth century encroaches, erases and rewrites collective memoryscapes.
Datenwerk explores contemporary implications of philosopher and critical theorist Walter Benjamin's well-known Das Passagen-Werk or The Arcades Project, left incomplete at Benjamin's death as a collection of musings, quotations, and fragments of writing. Das Passagen-Werk uses the shopping arcade to reflect Benjamin's observations on life, culture, and the city in turn-of-the-century Paris, but many have argued that it is the collection as much as, if not more than, the arcade itself which has the capacity for such reflection. Datenwerk begins with this contention, and seeks to provoke the capacity of the archive to reflect contemporary life. As Benjamin's authored and collected fragments serve, among other things, to index a 19th century spatiality, Datenwerk proposes that an index of 21st century spatiality is already authored, in the vast archive of fragments tweeted, blogged, liked, or posted.
An immersive multi-media installation, Datenwerk seeks to spatialize the collectively authored social media archive, merging Benjamin's observations with edited feeds from Facebook, Flickr, Reddit, Anobii, Foursquare, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.
The exhibition constructed a media-space both physically and informationally in the gallery through four inter-connected components.
Das Passagen-Werk as social-media database:
Extracts from Das Passagen-Werk were represented as entries in eight social media networks (Facebook, Flickr, Reddit, Anobii, Foursquare, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube) as users, 'liked' images, 'read' books, places visited, etc. Forming the entry wall of the exhibition, a live visualization of randomized searching across these data representations provoked the idea of social-media user as convolute-gatherer. What relationship does a social-network search have to an authored convolute? What is the substance of the personally-driven archive of web 2.0 data systems? Does it matter if Walter Benjamin is 'liked?'
A camera and printer accompanied this large (20' x 6') display wall, capturing and printing images of the wall and anyone occupying the space on regular intervals. These prints fell from the ceiling, forming an ongoing collection (archive?) of media detritus on the floor, capturing the show over time.
Walter Benjamin as social media networker:
To allow the online presence of the social media archive to grow around the event, four small tablets were installed behind the visualization to allow gallery-visitors to tweet, post, like, scan, upload, check-in, or pin whatever may be on their mind as part of 's online presence.
Walter Benjamin on YouTube:
Subsets of the results of searching for "Walter Benjamin" on YouTube were displayed as a media wall, representing the plurality of both authorship and reference in the social media universe.
Hanging out re: Walter Benjamin
A google+ hangout (http://bit.ly/datenwerk) was setup for public access during the course of the show, allowing online visiting of the exhibition space.
AM2: Visiting Scholars Program
The goal of this project is to draw outside scholars to the archival resources of the Central New York Humanities Corridor, and to illuminate connections among those resources. A call for applicants is circulated via disciplinary e-mail listservs and posted to the website of the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). A review panel, including members of SCRC’s faculty advisory board, as well as librarians from Syracuse, Cornell, and Hamilton reviews applications.
Criteria for selection include the anticipated impact of the project on the applicant’s field of inquiry (and on the humanities generally), the degree to which targeted collections support the proposed project, and the innovative use of primary sources in research. Visiting scholars are expected to present their work at Syracuse University at the close of their Corridor stay.
In 2012, close to thirty scholars applied for the program, four were awarded grants:
Makeda Best (University of Vermont). Best is researching the Civil War-era photographer Alexander Gardner for a forthcoming book and exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. Specifically, she is interested in Gardner’s role in shaping the developing genre of photographic portraiture. During her stay in Central New York, she consulted archival collections at Cornell University, Syracuse University, and the George Eastman House. She holds a Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University.
Visit: August 2012
Presentation: October 2012
Exhibitions/Publications: National Portrait Gallery, 2013
Woody Register (Sewanee: the University of the South). Register’s project, “True and Loving Friends: A History of Obligation, Ambition, and Love in American Social Reform, 1890-1930,” considers 19th century philanthropy from the perspective of those who benefited from it. He traced the lives of four boys who were relocated from New York City’s impoverished neighborhoods to the George Junior Republic, the most important Victorian-era juvenile reform program. Register conducted research in the William O. Dapping papers at SU and the William R. George Family Papers at Cornell. His other books include "The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements" (Oxford University Press, 2001).
Visit: Summer/Fall 2012
Exhibitions/Publications: True and Loving Friends: A History of Obligation, Ambition, and Love in American Social Reform, 1890-1930 (Forthcoming Book)
Bridget M. Jacobs (University of Louisiana at Lafayette). Jacobs is a doctoral student writing her dissertation on Jane Leade, a prolific but under-investigated early modern English prophetic writer. Jacob is attempting to measure Leade’s influence on subsequent religious traditions, including the communal Shakers and Mary’s City of David. Her research will bring her to Hamilton College, which holds the Mary’s City of David archive, and to SU, which holds a renowned collection of Shaker publications.
Visit: July 2012
Exhibitions/Publications: Dissertation on Jane Leade in process
*Lise Jaillant (University of British Columbia). Jaillant is a doctoral student writing her dissertation on the publisher Random House. She is interested in the way that the more mainstream Random House and avant-garde Grove Press marketed material that would both challenge existing obscenity law and realize a profit in the period from 1910-1960. She will be conducting research in the Grove Press archive at Syracuse University and in Cornell University’s James Joyce collection.
Visit: May/June 2013
*Visit postponed until after 2012/2012 academic year