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KAYA ŞAHIN

Empire and Power in the Reign of Süleyman: Narrating the Sixteenth- Century Ottoman World

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
5:00pm
College Arts & Humanities Institute
1211 East Atwater Avenue, Bloomington

Kaya Şahin’s book offers a revisionist reading of Ottoman history during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566). By examining the life and works of a bureaucrat, Celalzade Mustafa, Şahin moves beyond traditional, teleological approaches and argues that the empire was built as part of the Eurasian momentum of empire building, and demonstrates the imperial vision of sixteenth-century Ottomans. This unique study shows that, in contrast with many Eurocentric views, the Ottomans were active players in European politics, with an imperial culture in direct competition with that of the Habsburgs and the Safavids. Indeed, this book explains Ottoman empire building with reference to the larger Eurasian context, from Tudor England to Mughal India, contextualizing such issues as state formation, imperial policy, and empire building in the period more generally. Şahin’s work also devotes significant attention to the often-ignored religious dimension of the Ottoman-Safavid struggle, showing how the rivalry redefined Sunni and Shiite Islam, laying the foundations for today’s religious tensions.

Şahin is a historian of the early modern Ottoman Empire, with a particular interest in history writing, governance, religious/confessional identity, and the construction of discourses/fictions around the question of what it meant to be an Ottoman.

This event is free and open to the public.

Marlon M. Bailey

Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
5:00pm
College Arts & Humanities Institute
1211 East Atwater Avenue, Bloomington

Marlon M. Bailey, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies, discusses his book Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit, published in 2013 by University of Michigan Press.

This event is free and open to the public.

Jeff Isaac

Jeff Isaac discusses the new edition of Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto he has edited for Yale University Press.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
5:00pm
College Arts & Humanities Institute
1211 East Atwater Avenue, Bloomington

Jeffrey C. Isaac is James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also the current editor in chief of Perspectives on Politics: A Political Science Public Sphere, a flagship journal of the American Political Science Association. He has written four books, edited two others, and published over seventy scholarly articles and essays. His most recent publication is a new edition of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ The Communist Manifesto (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012) for Yale University’s Rethinking the Western Tradition series.

This event is free and open to the public.

Claudia Breger

An Aesthetics of Narrative Performance: Transnational Theater, Literature, and Film in Contemporary Germany

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
5:00 – 6:30pm
College Arts & Humanities Building
1211 East Atwater Avenue, Bloomington

The contemporary moment has been described in terms of both a “narrative” and a “performative turn,” but the overlap between these two has largely escaped attention. This curious gap is explained by the ways in which scholars across the humanities have defined narrative and performance as opposite forces, emphasizing their respective affiliations with time vs. space and identity constitution vs. its undoing. Although the opposition has been acknowledged as false by many in this simple form, its shifting instantiations continue to shape the ways we make sense of the arts as well as society. Instead, An Aesthetics of Narrative Performance: Transnational Theater, Literature, and Film in Contemporary Germany by Claudia Breger maps the complexities of imaginative worldmaking in contemporary culture through an aesthetics of narrative performance: an ensemble of techniques exploring the interplay of rupture and recontextualization in the process of configuration. Interlacing diverging definitions of both narrative and performance, the study outlines two clusters of such techniques—scenic narration and narrative “presencing” in performance vs. forms of narrative theatricalization—and analyzes the cultural work they do in individual works in three different media: literature, film, and theater. These readings focus on the rich configurations of contemporary worldmaking “at location Germany.” In the discussed representations of German unification, contemporary cultures of migration, and the transnational War on Terror, the aesthetics of narrative performance finds its identity as a multifaceted imaginative response to the post/modern crisis of narrative authority.

Claudia Breger is associate professor of Germanic Studies and adjunct associate professor of Communication and Culture and Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.

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Rosemarie McGerr

A Lancastrian Mirror for Princes:
The Yale Law School New Statutes of England

Thursday, February 21, 2013
5:00 – 6:30pm
College Arts & Humanities Building
1211 East Atwater Avenue, Bloomington

What do fifteenth-century English law books have in common with devotional works, political pageants, and courtly romances? This study explores the benefits of reading medieval and early modern legal texts in the forms in which they circulated among readers. Using the example of one of the most beautifully decorated fifteenth-century copies of the New Statutes of England, McGerr uncovers how fifteenth-century English legal manuscripts interweave religious, literary, and legal discourses to frame the reader’s perception of English law and royal power. Taking internal and external evidence into account, her study suggests that the Yale statutes manuscript was made for Prince Edward of Lancaster, student of Sir John Fortescue, transforming a legal reference work into a book of instruction in kingship, as well as a means of celebrating the Lancastrians’ rightful claim to the English throne during the Wars of the Roses. A Lancastrian Mirror for Princes also explores the role played by The New Statutes of England as a commentary on parliamentary power and a source of legal arguments for removing unjust kings.

Rosemarie McGerr is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Medieval Studies Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. She is author of Chaucer’s Open Books: Resistance to Closure in Medieval Discourse and The Pilgrimage of the Soul: A Critical Edition of the Middle English Dream Vision.

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