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Research Workshops
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RESEARCH WORKSHOPS

As a new initiative in the graduate program, this year the Department will offer four Research Workshops, organized around intellectual, research, and teaching interests shared among faculty and graduate students. The Workshops are open to all English faculty members and graduate students, and will run throughout the year, meeting monthly. Each Workshop is coordinated by one faculty member and one graduate student. The Workshops will bring faculty and graduate students together for a series of conversations, talks, and special events, which may include: brown bag lunches; pedagogy discussions; writing and reading groups; excursions to talks, symposia, screenings, and archives; and visiting speakers. The goal of the Workshops is to enhance community and intellectual exchange between faculty and graduate students, and provide graduate students with an informal mentoring network. Workshops will be linked to the Department’s Speaker Series. 

Research Workshops, AY 2017-2018

Feminisms, Genders, Sexualities
Coordinators: Dr. Zarena Aslami and Jess Travers 

This workshop aims to create a collaborative space in which we will discuss feminist, queer, and transgender approaches to literature and culture. This year, we will act as reading group, publication workshop, and pedagogy/praxis collective. As we interrogate the ways that differences of gender and sexuality are imagined and used to create meaning, whether oppressive or liberatory, we will consider how these differences intersect with those of class, race, ethnicity, ability, and nationality. Some questions that shall guide our reflections on our research, teaching, and praxis include the following: How are constructions of gender and sexuality used to sustain white supremacy, a patriarchal and racist set of beliefs and institutions? How are they used to drive neoliberalism, with its economization of all domains of life? And, crucially, what are the possibilities for resisting these historical processes to create more inclusive, democratic worlds? We invite interested graduate students and faculty to participate.

Tentative Fall Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 28, 4:30-6:00 pm, Wells C607: Inaugural meeting and discussion of Sara Ahmed's Living a Feminist Life
Thursday, Oct. 26, 4:30-6:00 pm, Wells C607: Discuss special issue of journal in field of feminist, gender, sexualities studies (TBD)
Thursday, Nov. 2, 4:45 – 5:45 pm (Location TBD): Skype Q & A on "Academic Journal Publishing" with Professor Jennifer DeVere Brody, Co-Editor of GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Professor of Theater and Performance Studies, and Director of the Center for the Comparative Studies of Race & Ethnicity, Stanford University. 
Thursday, Dec. 7, 4:30-6:00 pm, C607 Wells: Workshop journal article drafts (to be emailed to participants two weeks in advance). 

Tentative Spring Schedule
Thursday, January 25, 4:30-6:00 pm, C607 Wells: Discuss chapters from Kim A. Case's Intersectional Pedagogy: Complicating Identity and Social Justice and articles from TLQ Special Issue: Trans*formational Pedagogies, vol. 2, no. 3, 2015.  Share syllabi, strategies.
Thursday, Feb. 15, 4:30-6:00 pm, C607 Wells: Discuss Gayle Rubin readings (Prof. Rubin giving talk in late March) 
Friday, March 23 or March 30, 3:00 – 5:00 pm (Date and Place TBD): Guest Lecture by Professor Gayle Rubin (Associate Professor, Anthropology and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan)
Thursday, April 19, 4:30-6:00 pm, C607 Wells: Feminist praxis, social justice (readings TBD)

Pedagogy, Race, and Lit*
Coordinators: Dr. Emery Petchauer and Briona Jones

This research workshop looks to develop our abilities to teach and think with/through race frameworks and epistemologies. We will be guided by questions such as the following: How can we imagine racial justice in classrooms? What kinds of curricula generate from racial inquiry? What kinds of pedagogical moves facilitate racial consciousness development among faculty and students? In what way is race inextricably linked to other forms of oppressions, such as homophobia, sexism, and classism? Why is intersectionality a crucial site of theoretical and praxis-centered inquiry? How can/should classrooms engage with the racial justice movements of our time? We will consider questions like these in context with lit*: literacies, literature, and pedagogical lituations (i.e., classroom situation that are lit).Pursuing these questions, we hope to grow as scholars, colleagues, pedagogues, and community members.

Tentative Schedule:

Sept 21st: Examining the Charlottesville Syllabus. 4:30 to 6pm, location TBD
Oct 9th: Exploring a Ratchet Epistemology with Dr. Bettina Love (in person guest) - time and location TBD.
Nov 2nd: “The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde” (film screening) 4:30 to 6pm, location TBD.

Distant Reading/Graphesis
Coordinators: Dr. Steve Rachman and Laura McGrath

This workshop is for faculty and graduate students who wish to learn more about two important turns in literary studies and digital humanities: distant reading and graphesis. 

Over the two semesters of this academic year we will engage the techniques and theories operating behind these analytical approaches. This workshop will 1.) discuss current work in the fields of distant reading and graphical analysis, 2.) share examples of works-in-progress by scholars on and off campus, and 3.) introduce relevant technologies and programs (Voyant, Gephi, etc., tailored to the interests of participants). 

For the distant reading portion of the Workshop, key questions include: Do literary genres possess distinctive features at all possible scales of analysis and to what extent can these features be measured? Should the DH practices associated with distant reading be considered as “science” or “humanities”? How can the techniques of distant reading be applied to questions of gender, class, race, or other problems of identity, representation, and diversity? 

The graphic mediation elements of the workshop will deal with a growing array of visual forms of knowledge production and consumption as they intersect with literary forms, and we will be investigating the ways in which diverse fields such as graphic design, mathematics, geography, the natural sciences, rhetoric, and philosophy and disciplines of the digital humanities, rhetoric, art history, architecture, and media studies have transformed and will transform literary study. As with the distant reading parts of the workshop, we will be trying to think through these interdisciplinary questions in terms of critical diversity.

Fall Semester events 

• Meeting 1, September 19, 4:30-6:00. Histories of Distant Reading. Reading, “Graphs” from Graphs, Maps, and Trees by Franco Moretti (full text available online through MSU Library); “A Genealogy of Distant Reading” by Ted Underwood. 
• Meeting 2, October 17, 4:30-6:00. Graphical Analysis and Machine Reading. Reading: selections from “Graphesis” by Joanna Drucker (to be circulated via email), and from “Comparative Textual Media” by Katherine Hayles (full text available online through MSU Library).
• Meeting 3, November 14, 4:30-6:00. Computational Hermeneutics, Computational Trends with Andrew Piper (guest via skype). Reading, “Novel Devotions” by Andrew Piper. Tentative Voyant workshop.
• Meeting 4, December 5, 4:30-6:00. Presentation of Works in Progress 

Moving Images: Film History and Theory

Coordinators: Dr. Kaveh Askari and Amrutha Kunapulli

This workshop, with its focus on film history and theory, will offer a space for collaboration and conversation among those working either in film studies or at the intersections of film and literature or the other arts. We will primarily workshop pre-circulated submissions from local and visiting scholars—work that is new and, preferably, in-progress. This will allow graduate students and faculty to closely explore each month’s text while also attending to broader questions of research methods, publishing processes, and moving-image pedagogy. Topics steering the workshop this year will include the intersections between film historiography and aesthetic, generic, or postcolonial theory, examinations of film as text, archival object, and commodity, and a focus on geopolitical categories of world, nation, and region that are currently used to classify film. 

Please contact the coordinators of the above workshops for more information. A schedule of fall events is forthcoming.