Middlebury

Relationship between memory and place topic of symposium October 15-18

September 30, 2008

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? The 2008 Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium, titled "Sites of Memory," will take place at Middlebury College on Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 15-18. The symposium will feature prominent scholars and authors, such as poet Galway Kinnell, and include lectures, panel discussions and readings.

Inspired by the recent construction and renovation of the Starr library, which was the college's centennial building in 1900, into the Donald Everett Axinn '51 Center for Literary and Cultural Studies at Starr Library, the symposium will focus on the historical and creative relevance of place.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m., the symposium will begin with a Middlebury College faculty panel discussion titled "Sites of Memory." Moderated by Associate Professor of American Studies and Film and Media Culture Jason Mittell, panelists will discuss the relationship between memory and place in literature, art and culture. Participants include Assistant Professor of American Studies Rachael Joo, Assistant Professor of English and American Literatures Daniel Brayton, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Culture Christian Keathley and Assistant Professor of History Rebecca Bennette. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Room 229 of the Axinn Center, located on Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125).

On Thursday, Oct. 16, at 4:15 p.m., a student reading will take place in the Abernethy Room of the Axinn Center. At 7:30 p.m., Marsha Kinder, a professor of critical studies and comparative literature at University of Southern California (USC), will give a lecture titled "Dramatizing the Archive: Contested Sites of Memory and Erasure." Kinder is a cultural theorist and prolific film scholar, whose specializations include narrative theory, digital media, children's media culture and Spanish cinema. Since 1997 she has directed The Labyrinth Project, an art collective and research initiative on interactive cinema and database narrative at USC's Annenberg Center for Communication. This event will take place in Room 232 of the Axinn Center. Both the reading and lecture are free and open to the public.

On Friday, Oct. 17, at 4:15 p.m., Yale University Professor of History George Chauncey will give a lecture titled "From Sodomy Laws to Marriage Amendments: A Century of Sexual Identity/Politics." Chauncey is the author of "Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940" (1994) and "Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality" (2004), as well as numerous articles on the history of gender and sexuality. He is currently completing "The Strange Career of the Closet: Gay Culture, Consciousness, and Politics from the Second World War to the Gay Liberation Era," which considers the racially-segregated and class-stratified gay male worlds of postwar New York and the generational shift to the culture of coming out, and reinterprets postwar antihomosexualism, the development of gay politics and the transformation of urban liberalism. This event will take place in Room 229 of the Axinn Center and is free and open to the public.

Later that evening, at 7:30 p.m. in Mead Chapel, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnell will read from his work. Kinnell has traveled widely throughout the Middle East and Europe and taught at several colleges and universities in the United States. Since the 1960s, he has worked for the Congress on Racial Equality, a prominent civil rights organization founded in 1942. The poems of his first volume, "What a Kingdom It Was" (1960), were informed by a Christian sensibility, though his later work moves away from traditional sources of religious authority and conventional notions of personality. Much of his work emphasizes the possibilities for transcendent realization that can be induced by the physical universe. Mead Chapel is located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125). This event is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Oct. 18, the symposium will close with a faculty panel discussion at 9:30 a.m. in Room 229 of the Axinn Center. The discussion, titled "Looking Backwards: Milestones in the Field," will be moderated by D.E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing Jay Parini and the panelists include Professor of Film and Media Culture Leger Grindon, A. Barton Hepburn Professor of History Paul Monod, Professor of English and American Literatures and American Studies Michael Newbury and Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature Brett Millier. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Established by the Middlebury College board of trustees in 1993 and named for College Professor of History Emeritus Nicholas R. Clifford, the Clifford Symposium presents a unique opportunity for members of the community to come together to reflect upon issues and problems that have an intellectual and cultural life beyond the boundaries of the campus. Clifford was a member of the Middlebury College history department from 1966 through 1993, and served as vice president for academic affairs on three occasions - from 1979-1985, in 1989 and from 1991-1993. A former trustee, he was a co-chair of the college's Bicentennial celebration committee.

This year's Clifford Symposium is organized by the Office of the Provost. For more information, visit the Web site or contact Madeleine Winterfalcon in the Office of Academic Affairs at 802-443-2007 or mwinterf@middlebury.edu.

To follow is a schedule of symposium events:

2008 Clifford Symposium
"Sites of Memory" Oct. 15-18

Wednesday, Oct. 15
7:30 p.m. Panel Discussion
"Sites of Memory"

Moderator: Associate Professor of American Studies and Film and Media Culture Jason Mittell
Panelists: Assistant Professor of American Studies Rachael Joo, Assistant Professor of English and American Literatures Daniel Brayton, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Culture Christian Keathley and Assistant Professor of History Rebecca Bennette
Room 229, Axinn Center, Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125)


Thursday, Oct. 16
4:15 p.m.    Student Reading

Abernethy Room, Axinn Center, Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125)

7:30 p.m. Lecture: Marsha Kinder
"Dramatizing the Archive: Contested Sites of Memory and Erasure"
 
Marsha Kinder is a professor of critical studies and comparative literature at University of Southern California (USC) and director of The Labyrinth Project, an art collective and research initiative on interactive cinema and database narrative at USC's Annenberg Center for Communication.
Room 232, Axinn Center, Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125)


Friday, Oct. 17
4:15 p.m.    Lecture: George Chauncey
"From Sodomy Laws to Marriage Amendments: A Century of Sexual Identity/Politics"
Yale University Professor of History George Chauncey is the author of "Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940" (1994) and "Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality" (2004).
Room 229, Axinn Center, Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125)

7:30 p.m.    Reading: Galway Kinnell
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Galway Kinnell will read from his work.
Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125)


Saturday, Oct. 18
9:30 a.m.    Panel Discussion
"Looking Backwards: Milestones in the Field"

Moderator: D.E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing Jay Parini
Panelists: Professor of Film and Media Culture Leger Grindon, A. Barton Hepburn Professor of History Paul Monod and Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature Brett Millier
Room 229, Axinn Center, Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125)

For more information, visit the Web site or contact Madeleine Winterfalcon in the Office of Academic Affairs at 802-443-2007 or mwinterf@middlebury.edu .