Interdisciplinary Workshops for Graduate Students 2010-11

The Humanities Center interdisciplinary workshops, open to Harvard graduate students in all departments and programs, are intended to foster discussion of important areas of study that often cross departmental boundaries. While the workshops are especially focused on dissertation work, they will include periodic discussion of general issues and questions. Harvard graduate students at all levels of study, from the first year of graduate school to the dissertation stage, are encouraged to attend. Workshop meetings will include: discussions of chapters and works-in-progress, research areas, theoretical questions of general interest, current issues in the field, and professional development.

Hegel and Anti-Hegel
Faculty Directors: Julie Orlemanski (Humanities Center at Harvard), Gordon Teskey (English)
Graduate Student Coordinators: William Baldwin,; Steve Hequembourg,

"Most of us are Hegelians," Paul de Man wrote, perhaps especially those "who have never read a word of the master." What is the ongoing force of Hegel's thought? Can there be philosophical grounds for the study of literature? Can there be method in literary study or in other humanistic scholarship? Does the radical style of Hegel's dialectical thinking undermine or enable secure knowledge with respect to the arts? These questions guide our reading in the work of Hegel and post-Hegelian European thinkers, e.g., Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Adorno, Derrida, and Agamben. The workshop is concerned broadly with what possibilities may be opened by dialectical thinking in the humanities.

Sensing the Body
Faculty Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Anthropology), Arthur Kleinman (Anthropology)
Graduate Student Coordinators: Andy McDowell,; Julia Yezbick,

The workshop provides a forum for participants from an array of social science and humanities backgrounds to engage in theoretical and methodological discussions considering the senses and the body. Topics of discussion include—but are not limited to—memory, food, material culture, medicalized bodies, gender, space and the senses, phenomenology, media and the senses, etc. We will meet biweekly and workshops will consist primarily of graduate student presentations of works in progress, discussion of key texts, and a guest speaker per semester. Works presented are encouraged to be of varied perspectives, theoretical backgrounds, and forms of expressive media (i.e. video, text, audio, etc).

Thinking with Technology
Faculty Directors: Stephen Greenblatt (English), Leah Price (English)
Graduate Student Coordinator: Suparna Roychoudhury,

With new digital technologies emerging every day, and with the role of technology in academia likely to grow in coming years, it is important that humanities scholars be able to navigate the world of the “digital humanities.” This workshop offers a forum for students and faculty to practice “thinking with technology”—where, by “technology,” we include the range of professional research and pedagogical instruments on offer, as well as the many popular tools that are rapidly altering how we learn, think, and collaborate. Our objective is not to master the technologies themselves, but rather the art of assessing their promise—and their limitations—for the work that we do. Absolutely no technical expertise is assumed; all are welcome. For more information, visit the Thinking with Technology website.

Workshop in Cross-Cultural Philosophy
Faculty Directors: Khaled El-Rouayheb (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations), Parimal Patil (Study of Religion), Michael Puett (East Asian Languages and Civilizations)
Graduate Student Coordinators: Michael Allen,
; Lydia Porter,

This workshop provides a forum for the discussion of ongoing research in the study of philosophy across historical periods and cultural traditions. Our meetings bring together faculty and students from several departments,including Religion, Sanskrit and Indian Studies, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Philosophy. Two meetings—one in the fall and one in the spring—are reserved for invited guest speakers from other universities who have done significant work in comparative philosophy. The remaining meetings are devoted to student presentations. Any graduate student with interests in comparative logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of language, etc. is welcome.

Workshop in International Relations
Faculty Director: Dustin Tingley (Government)
Graduate Student Coordinator: Richard Nielsen,

This workshop brings together graduate students and faculty in international relations to discuss current research. The workshop is designed primarily for Government students studying International Relations but other Harvard students may request to join as well. It will cover both security and international political economy. We will meet for two hours each week during the academic year where graduate students and faculty will present their work and get feedback from a discussant as well as the workshop audience. We will also host several external faculty members through the year.

To join a workshop or to receive more information about a workshop, including the date of its first meeting, please contact the graduate student coordinator(s).