2013-2014 Events

Mithu Sen's "Body/Nobody"

A presentation by Mithu Sen titled "Body/Nobody," a contemporary artist from India. Thursday, May 1 at 7pm in 114 Belk Library.

Winner of the 2010 SKODA award, New-Delhi based artist Mithu Sen's work
 has been showcased in many
 parts of the world. She has done a number of solo shows: Belgium (2013),
 Paris (2012), Singapore (2012),
 Taiwan (2011), New Delhi (2011), Berlin (2010), Vienna (2009), London
 (2008) etc. Some of the titles of her
 solo exhibits are as follows: Cannibal Lullaby 2013; Nothing
 Lost In Translation 2010; I Hate Pink 2003; Can We Really Look Beyond
 the Map 2000 etc. Sen has also
 participated in numerous group exhibitions: The Body in Indian Art Brussels 2013; The Phenomenal World 2012; Myth-Reality Mumbai, 2011 etc.

This event was co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, Turchin Center, Academic Affairs, Office of Multicultural Student Development, Art Department, English Department, Department of Cultural, Gender and Global Studies, Philosophy and Religion Department, and the Sustainable Development Department.

Follow this link for more information about Mithu Sen's work:


“Cultural Racism: Muslim Veiling, Embodiment, and the Nature of Culture”

Alia Al-SajiA presentation by Alia Al-Saji, Associate Professor of Philosophy at McGill University and the author of articles in phenomenology, philosophy of race, and feminist philosophy

Monday, April 14 at 7pm in the Blue Ridge Ballroom in the student union.

There has been debate in recent years regarding whether the stereotyping of Muslims in several Western settings (e.g. France, the United States, and Canada) can properly be called “racism.” A compromise has been to employ other terms, such as “neo-racism” or “cultural racism”, to indicate the “newness” of the prejudice concerned. My purpose in this essay is twofold. First, to examine the phenomenology of “cultural racism”, arguing that it is indeed a form of racism. Second, however, I want to ask after the politics that frames this phenomenon as not really “racism”. My aim is, at once, to try to understand the process that undergirds cultural racism and to ask why it misrecognizes itself, how it involves an elision of itself as racism. This has to do with the way in which bodies are perceived in cultural racism: a form of racialization that relies on a strict nature-culture division with respect to the body. This division enables a mode of self-justification by which the cause of intolerance or prejudice can be attributed to cultural material practices (clothing, food, behaviour) rather than biological bodies (skin color, phenotype), hiding the racism at stake. My focus, in analyzing this phenomenon, will be Western attitudes towards, and perceptions of, veiling Muslim women, attitudes evidenced in the contexts named above.

This event was co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Multicultural Student Development, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance, the Philosophy and Religion Department, and the Anthropology Department. It is also part of programming for the NEH Bridging Cultures, Muslim Journeys grant and the spring 2014 Diversity Lecture Series.

Environmental Humanities Symposium

Friday April 4 (all day), Price Lake room in the student union.

Environmental Humanities symposium, April 2014

This event was the second annual Humanities Council symposium and features three keynote speakers, an interdisciplinary faculty panel, a closing roundtable discussion with all keynote speakers and presenters, and a reception.

Our three keynote speakers were:

  • Dale Jamieson (Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy and Affiliate Professor of Law at New York University). Jamieson’s publications include Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle to Stop Climate Change Failed – and Why Our Choices Still Matter (Oxford University Press, forthcoming March 2014) and Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Jamieson's talk is titled: "Ethics in the Anthropocene." 
  • Phaedra Pezzullo (Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Public Culture at Indiana University). Pezzullo’s publications include Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Travel, Pollution, and Environmental Justice (University of Alabama Press, 2007). Pezzullo's talk is titled: "On the Limits of Resilience: Becoming-with-Toxins and Pregnancy Loss." 
  • Mel Chen (Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at University of California at Berkeley). Chen’s publications include Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke University Press, 2012). Chen's talk is titled: "Crisis Materialities." 

Appalachian State University Faculty Presenting at the Environmental Humanities Symposium:

  • Kathryn Kirkpatrick, “Worlding the Climate Crisis Poem.” Kathryn Kirkpatrick is Professor of English and winner of the 2013 North Carolina Poetry Society’s Brockman-Campbell Award.
  • Patricia Beaver, “After Coal: Welsh and Appalachian Communities.” Patricia Beaver is Professor of Appalachian Studies and Anthropology.
  • Cynthia Wood, “'But It’s So Good for Our Students': A Postcolonial Critique of Study Abroad.” Cynthia Wood is Professor of Cultural, Gender, and Global Studies.
  •  Dana Powell, “Unsettling Landscapes: Infrastructures of Environmental (In)Justice on the Diné Nation.” Powell is Assistant Professor of Anthropology.

The Humanities Council thanks the following offices and departments for their generous support of this event: College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Sustainability, Anthropology Department, Philosophy and Religion Department, and Sustainable Development Department.

Panel and Poster Sessions at  17th Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors

The Humanities Council sponsored a panel as well as poster sessions at the 17th Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors Thursday, April 10, 2014 on the 4th floor of the new Plemmons Student Union addition. The theme for the year's Humanities Council-sponsored presentations is the Environmental Humanities.

College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be cover

Reading Group on College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be

The Humanities Council hosted a reading group on College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be by Andrew Delbanco.
This event was scheduled for Monday, February 10 at 5pm in Table Rock room in the student union.

This event had 30 participants.

Hannah Arendt, a film by Margarethe von Trotta

In Celebration of World Philosophy Day

Hannah Arendt

Discussion facilitated by:

  • Monique Lanoix, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at ASU, and
  • Simon Sibelman, Professor of French and Holocaust Studies and Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies at ASU

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Time: 7pm-9pm

Location: 114 Belk Library

Co-sponsors: College of Arts and Sciences and the University Library.

Mithu Sen's
Published: May 5, 2014 12:00am