With the proliferation of online lectures, working groups and all manner of events, we at the JHI Blog thought it would be a good idea to consolidate news and opportunities relevant to our colleagues working in intellectual history. We will publish these roundups of public lectures, conferences, calls for papers, working groups and new journal issues every other Saturday.

We encourage our readers to send us information and updates about any news or events that fits within this scope. You can use this form to let us know about something you’d like us to publicize.

Lecture: “Castration Fever: On Trans, Body, and Psychoanalysis in Modern China,” (Howard Chiang, UC Davis)

Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago

This lecture considers the evolution of the speaker’s research over the last 15 years in which the treatment of castration as a historical problem holds promise for bridging disparate scholarly fields and paradigms.

Monday, May 10, 5:00pm CDT. Registration.


Public Conversation: David Runciman and Pankaj Mishra on Histories of Ideas

London Review of Books

To mark the conclusion of the second series of the podcast Talking Politics: History of Ideas, David Runciman will be joined by Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger and Bland Fanatics, for a conversation about those subjects of David’s that Pankaj has also written about extensively – including Gandhi, Rousseau and Nietzsche – alongside an alternative canon of non-Western theorists of politics and crisis.

Tuesday, 11 May, 7 p.m. UK Time. Registration.


Public Conversation: Paul Gilroy and Ruth Wilson Gilmore on Stuart Hall’s Selected Writings on Race and Difference

Theory from the Margins

In Selected Writings on Race and Difference, editors Paul Gilroy and Ruth Wilson Gilmore gather more than twenty essays by Stuart Hall that highlight his extensive and groundbreaking engagement with race, representation, identity, difference, and diaspora.

Thursday, May 13 at 8 AM CDT. Link.


Book Launch: Knowledge Worlds: Media, Materiality, and the Making of the Modern University, by Reinhold Martin

Heyman Center at Columbia University

Addressing media theory, architectural history, and the history of academia, Knowledge Worlds reconceives the university as a media complex comprising a network of infrastructures and operations through which knowledge is made, conveyed, and withheld.

Friday, May 14, 1:00pm EDT. Registration.


Conference: Global Early Modern Formations of Race and Their Afterlives

Cornell University

This event will examine early modern formations of race and their enduring presence in the contemporary world. While the intertwined operations of settler colonialism and the mass enslavement of Africans still shape the experiences of Indigenous people and those of the African diaspora today, so do the multiple historical and present-day resistances to these actions.

Friday, May 14, 4-6pm EDT & Saturday, May 15, 1-3pm EDT. Link.


Lecture: Undisciplining (Environmental) Humanities: Collective Reconstruction of the Histroy of the Gulf of California, Mexico (Micheline Cariño Olvera)

KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory

The EHL have been Undisciplining the Environmental Humanities since 2011. But what do we and others mean when we use the expression? Join us in this series of seminars, as we meet to discuss this and to share experiences from our undisciplining practices around the world.

Friday, May 14, 2021 at 11 AM CDT. Link


Lecture: “The Workers’ University: Defending Social Care” (Damir Arsenijevic)

KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory

Monday, May 17, 11 am CEST. Link


Public Conversation: History After Hours: Podcasting the Past, with Averill Earls (DIG Podcast) and Professor Jarett Henderson

UC Santa Barbara History Department

History After Hours is an hour-long Zoom conversation designed to provide alternative forms of learning and enrichment to undergraduate students by focusing on the opportunities that exist (both on and off-campus) to hone their skills as historians in training (History majors, minors, and the History curious are all welcome).

Tuesday, May 18, 4:00 PM PDT. Link.


Lecture: Art Talk Live: “Reframing the Tianlongshan Cave Temple Fragments,” (Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums)

Harvard Art Museums

In 1943, the museum was gifted 25 stone fragments from the Tianlongshan cave temples in China’s northern Shanxi province. Beginning in the late 1920s, the reliefs and sculptures were removed from the site and published by art dealer Sadajirō Yamanaka, sparking interest among collectors worldwide. This talk will highlight a collaboration with Harvard students that investigates the creation of the works, their meaning in Buddhist medieval China, their sale and journey to their current home, and the ravaged site they left behind.

Tuesday, May 18, 12:30 PM EDT – 1 PM EDT. Registration.


Lecture: “Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities” (Merve Emre, Oxford University)

Dahlem Humanities Center, Free University Berlin

Post-Discipline asks how (and if) literary scholars should think with and against the innovators of the professional-managerial classes and their deterritorialization of literary pedagogy. Emre’s talk provides an overview of both halves of her book. The first half interrogates why and how narrative fiction is used in schools of professional education to cultivate virtues like leadership, empathy, and judiciousness. The second half imagines how earlier myths and models of literary study, which institute the study of comparative philology, grammar, and taste-making as part of literary professionalization and pedagogy, might point us toward different futures for the discipline

Wednesday, May 19, 06:15 PM CET. Registration.


Book Launch: “Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought,” by Tae-Yeoun Keum (UC Santa Barbara)

Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UC Santa Barbara

Tae-Yeoun Keum argues that myth is neither irrelevant nor inimical to the ideal of rational progress. She tracks the influence of Plato’s dialogues through the early modern period and on to the twentieth century, showing how pivotal figures in the history of political thought—More, Bacon, Leibniz, the German Idealists, Cassirer, and others—have been inspired by Plato’s mythmaking. She finds that Plato’s followers perennially raised the possibility that there is a vital role for myth in rational political thinking.

Thursday, May 20, 4:00-4:45 pm PST. Registration.


Conference: Political Concepts: Graduate Student Edition

Cogut Institute for the Humanities, Brown University

The Spring 2021 edition of Political Concepts at Brown invites the featured graduate speakers and the conference participants more broadly to generate and rethink concepts from the positions of the student. The conference addresses a moment of crisis indicated in the U.S. by the failure to contain the coronavirus pandemic, sustained state violence against Black Americans, and increasingly active White supremacist movements. Proposed as early as April of last year, all the concepts to be discussed from across the humanities and social sciences link the structural conditions of, as well as the persistence of popular resistance to, this crisis.

May 20-22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm EDT. Registration.

Featured Image: Boris Kustodiev, 1926. Courtesy of WikiArt.