LAWRENCE — The Hall Center for the Humanities has announced the addition of two new one-year seminars to its regular lineup of interdisciplinary seminars. "Facing Genocide and Its Aftermath" will be co-directed by Rebecca Rovit, assistant professor of theatre, and Margaret Pearce, assistant professor of geography; and "Reimagining the City" will be co-directed by Ryan Dohoney, assistant professor of musicology; Clarence Lang, associate professor of African & African-American studies; and John Rury, professor of education.
The Hall Center sponsors seminars that bring together faculty and graduate students from different departments for interdisciplinary dialogue and discussion and to present research. Seminars also invite visiting speakers from other U.S. universities and internationally. The current roster of seminars includes seven diverse topics, ranging from the digital humanities to gender to nature and culture.
"Facing Genocide and Its Aftermath” offers scholars a forum within which to explore the trauma of genocide and how performance, expression and narrative may address the processes of reconciliation and resisting “cultural genocide.” Rovit and Pearce intend to examine the topic through various disciplines and will focus on historical, cultural and collective trauma and memory.
The world lives with the traumatic memory of genocides like the Holocaust, whose aftermath still haunts 70 years afterward, and images of recent ethnic cleansing in East Africa, Bosnia and Latin America saturate culture. The seminar will examine topics related to this trauma, examining place and the transformation of identity in creating collective memories of genocide.
"Reimagining the City" focuses on exploring the concept of the city from multiple angles. In particular, it will look at what the city and urbanism are, and what historical, social, economic, cultural, political and imaginative forces have shaped these definitions. Because of the broad range of factors that go into determining the meaning of the city and city life, the seminar will cover a wide range of issues related to life in metropolitan settings.
Understanding the city is critically important, the co-directors argue, because for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population is living in cities. Cities function as the center of culture and diversity, and advances in global communication and digital technology have only increased their importance.
Seminars take place ove 4-5 sessions a semester and are open to all faculty and graduate students. For information about any specific seminar, or to be added to a seminar mailing list, please contact the Hall Center by email or 785-864-7884.