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English

Spring 2013 Calendar of Events

Bowdoin Book Lecture Series: Cassandra Borges on Euripides's Trojan Women

Bowdoin Book Lecture Series: Cassandra Borges on Euripides's Trojan Women

February 12, 2013 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

The Association of Bowdoin Friends is pleased to continue this program. All members of the community are invited to read a good book and hear an excellent Bowdoin College professor lecture on it. There will be an opportunity for questions. The event is free and open to the public. Just come, listen, and learn.


"Suffering What They Must: Euripides' Trojan Women"
by Cassandra Borges,
CFD postdoctoral fellow, Classics

Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Bowdoin College, Main Lounge, Moulton Union


Euripides' tragedy Trojan Women, originally produced in 415 BC, is a stark look at the aftermath of the legendary Trojan War. In a series of vignettes depicting the women of Troy, waiting by the ruins of their city to be enslaved by the conquering Greeks, he comments not only on the brutality of traditional Greek myths, but also on brutality in his own time and place. In this discussion, we will explore the ways in which ancient Greek writers could reuse classic stories to examine enduring problems such as the nature of power and the consequences of war. - Cassandra Borges

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Sweet! Sweet! / Come, Come and Eat / Dear Little Girls / With Yellow Curls: Race and the Queer History of Eating in the Nineteenth Century - A Talk by Kyla Wazana Tompkins

Sweet! Sweet! / Come, Come and Eat / Dear Little Girls / With Yellow Curls: Race and the Queer History of Eating in the Nineteenth Century - A Talk by Kyla Wazana Tompkins

February 13, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:30 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Kyla Wazana Tompkins's talk asks us to consider the mouth as a sensory space, one that offers insight into new ideas of sex and sexuality in circulation in nineteenth-century America, and that invites new ways to think about embodiment, materiality and race. Engaging children's literature and early advertising culture, Tompkins discusses eating as an act that points to the mouth as not simply a passageway but as a place even a stage where transgressive and normative desires are acted out and displayed.

The act of eating is both erotic and violent, as one wholly consumes the object being eaten. At the same time, eating performs a kind of vulnerability to the world, revealing a fundamental interdependence between the eater and that which exists outside her body. Racial Indigestion (New York University Press, 2012), Tompkins' first book, explores the links between food and visual and literary culture in the nineteenth-century United States to reveal how eating produces political subjects by justifying the social discourses that create bodily meaning.

Tompkins is an Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies at Pomona College, and a former food writer and restaurant critic. She writes about food, eating, sexuality, race and nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, culture, film, and dance.

Learn more at Tompkins's site, Racial Indigestion.

Sponsored by the English Department and the Africana Studies Program.

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Greta La Fleur - The Complexion of Sodomy

Greta La Fleur - The Complexion of Sodomy

February 14, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Greta La Fleur will discuss her current work on Barbary pirate captivity narratives. Her lecture stems from her book project, American Insides, which argues that the history of sexuality in early America must be conceptualized by examining moments of cultural debate about the relationship between bodily behavior and inner character.

La Fleur is assistant professor of English at the University of Hawai'i, and her primary research interests fall within early American literature, feminist and queer theory, the history and historiography of sexuality, the history of science, and 18th-century philosophies of consciousness and subjectivity.

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts and the English Department.

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Santagata Lecture with Colm Toibin

Santagata Lecture with Colm Toibin

February 27, 2013 7:30 PM  – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Colm Toibin

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A Reading by Fiction Writer Keith Lee Morris

A Reading by Fiction Writer Keith Lee Morris

March 5, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:30 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Keith Lee Morris is the author of two novels, "The Greyhound God" (University of Nevada Press,2003) and "The Dart League King" (Tin House Books, 2008), and short story collections, "The Best Seats in the House and Other Stories" (University of Nevada Press, 2004) and "Call It What You Want" (Tin House Books, 2010).

Morris will present selected readings from his work, which has been published in A Public Space, The Southern Review, Ninth Letter, Story Quarterly, The New England Review, The Cincinnati Review, and The Georgia Review. He is an associate professor of creative writing at Clemson University.

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"The Political Aesthetics of Drag": Talk by Shaka McGlotten

March 26, 2013 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Shaka McGlotten is an anthropologist and Associate Professor of Media, Society, and the Arts at Purchase College-SUNY. He teaches about digital culture and new media, and studies how media technologies intersect with ideologies of gender, sexuality, and race.

In his public lecture, The Political Aesthetics of Drag, Professor McGlotten will consider drag more broadly as a possible model for nourishing aesthetic forms that creatively respond to the constraints of modern nation-states. From underground dance clubs to galleries and political protests, he contends that these and other theatrical modes of cross-dressing simultaneously operate both at the margins of cultural production and at its centers. Ultimately, these performers, as well as the aesthetic value of their spectacularly staged gender crossings, form part of the larger whole of queer cultural histories as well as globally circulating ideas about queer difference. In the end, Professor McGlotten argues that these theatrical performances are an aesthetic product that invites its participants and audiences to reconsider notions of personal and collective autonomy.

Brought to you by Gay and Lesbian Studies, Africana Studies, and the departments of English and Sociology & Anthropology

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The Poets and the Assassin: Performance and discussion of a play by Reza Jalali

The Poets and the Assassin: Performance and discussion of a play by Reza Jalali

March 28, 2013 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Iranian women live contradictory lives in an intensely traditional and patriarchal society. Veiled by the chador, unseen but seeing, they have found ways to resist, protest, and fight for equality. The Poets and the Assassin challenges stereotypical assumptions about Iranian women and offers historical and contemporary insights into their lives. The playwright, Reza Jalali, is a Kurd from Iran who has lived in Maine since 1985, a human rights activist, Muslim scholar, and writer. He teaches at the University of Southern Maine and the Bangor Theological Seminary and serves as the Muslim chaplain at Bates College. He has written the foreword to New Mainers, a book about immigrants' experiences in Maine, and Moon Watchers, a children's book about a Muslim family at Ramadan.

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The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food

The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food

March 29, 2013 12:30 PM  – 1:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Events with Janisse Ray:

Thursday, March 28th
11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Lunch at the Outing Club
12:30 pm -2:00 pm Shuttle and tours of Milkweed Farm, Brunswick
7:00 pm: Dinner with Students and Faculty at Ladd House (limited seating)

Friday, March 29th
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lecture: The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food (Kresge Auditorium), book signing to follow in the Kresge Lobby. The lecture is open to the public free of charge

Janisse Ray is writer, naturalist and activist, and the author of four books of literary nonfiction and a collection of nature poetry. She is on the faculty of Chatham University's low-residency MFA program and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana.
In her most recent book The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, Ray writes about the renaissance of local food, farming, and place-based culinary traditions taking hold across the country and of something small, critically important, and profoundly at risk that is being overlooked in this local food resurgence: seeds. We are losing our seeds. Of the thousands of seed varieties available at the turn of the 20th century, 94 percent have been lost-forever.

Copies of the book are available at Hatch Science Library and H & L Library, along with free electronic versions on library Kindles.

Join a Book Discussion over lunch or dinner:
Monday, March 25 Dinner with Ian Kline, Mitchell South, Thorne, 5:30-7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 26 Lunch with Sara Cawthon, North Dining Room, Moulton Union, 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Wednesday, March 27 Dinner with Andrew Cushing, North Dining Room, Moulton Union, 5:30- 7:00 pm


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Reaching Day Zero: Living Sustainably at Bowdoin and Beyond

Reaching Day Zero: Living Sustainably at Bowdoin and Beyond

April 2, 2013 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

An interdisciplinary faculty-facilitated conversation on what Bowdoin students can do about climate change and how different fields can contribute to the conversation. Moderated by President Barry Mills and led by a panel featuring Casey Meehan (Education), David Collings (English, Gay and Lesbian Studies), Emily Peterman (EOS), Laura Henry (Government), Mary Lou Zeeman (Math), Barbara Putnam (Visual Arts), and Katy Longley (Bowdoin's Chief Financial and Administrative Officer).

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Place, Hope and Conservation: How the oldest species of bird on earth taught one man to adapt to the future

Place, Hope and Conservation: How the oldest species of bird on earth taught one man to adapt to the future

April 11, 2013 4:00 PM  – 5:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Hank Lentfer will discuss the challenges of conservation work in our increasingly consumptive culture, and how having an attachment to place and community can give us greater hope for the future. Using images and sounds gathered from a life embedded on Alaska's wild edge, Hank will explore the role of beauty and wonder to inspire the work of conservation.

Hosted at Bowdoin by the English and History Departments and the Environmental Studies Program. Offered collaboratively by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust & The Nature Conservancy. Open to the public free of charge.

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Harry Spindel Memorial Lectureship Allegra Goodman

Harry Spindel Memorial Lectureship Allegra Goodman

April 11, 2013 7:30 PM  – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

"Becoming a Jewish Writer"

Allegra Goodman is the author of Intuition, Paradise Park, Kaaterskill Falls, The Family Markowitz, and Total Immersion . The Other Side of the Island is her first book for younger readers. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary, and Ploughshares, Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories . Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, and The American Scholar.

Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied English and philosophy at Harvard and received a PhD in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study.

She lives with her family in Cambridge, Mass, where she is writing a new novel.


Established in 1977 by the gift of Rosalyne Spindel Bernstein, Honorary 1997, and Sumner Thurman Bernstein in memory of her father, Harry Spindel, as a lasting testimony to his lifelong devotion to Jewish Learning, this fund is used to support annual lectures in Judaic studies or contemporary Jewish affairs. The fund has celebrated Jewish culture and identity through lectures, music, photography, and film.

bowdoin.edu/academic-affairs/funding/endowed-lecture/spindel/

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James Smalls, Art Historian - Feral Benga: An African Muse of Homo-Utopia

James Smalls, Art Historian - Feral Benga: An African Muse of Homo-Utopia

April 18, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

University of Maryland, Baltimore County art historian James Smalls will speak on the influence of the Senegalese dancer and artist/model Feral Benga on early to mid-twentieth century queer visual representation.

Smalls writes on representations of homosexuality in Western art, with a focus on the intersections of race, gender, and queer sexuality in the art and visual culture of the nineteenth century, as well as the art and visual culture of the black diaspora.

He is the author of Homosexuality in Art (Parkstone Press, 2003) and The Homoerotic Photography of Carl Van Vechten: Public Face, Private Thoughts (Temple University Press, 2006). He has published essays in a number of prominent journals, including American Art, French Historical Studies, Third Text, Art Journal, and Art Criticism.

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts, the Gay and Lesbian Studies Program, the English Department, the Art History Department, and the Africana Studies Program.

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Peter Coviello - "Tomorrow's Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America" Book Release Celebration

Peter Coviello -

April 24, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:30 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Bowdoin English professor Peter Coviello's book Tomorrow's Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America asks: what was sex before it became the "sexuality" we know it as today, before categories like "heterosexuality" and "homosexuality?"

Through authors such as Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mormon founder Joseph Smith, the book illuminates the forms sex could take before its seizure by the codings of modern sexuality.

Professor Coviello will discuss Tomorrow's Parties, the relations of literature to queer theory, and, particularly, the curious place of Mormonism in the American history of sexuality. 

Peter Coviello is also the author of Intimacy in America: Dreams of Affiliation in Antebellum Literature and editor of Walt Whitman's Memoranda During the War.

Sponsored by the English Department


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