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Organized by a professor from the English department, the graduate student reading group is a great way to explore literary and cultural theory at both beginner and advanced levels. This longstanding group is known for its relaxed atmosphere and for bringing grad students and profs together to expand their theoretical knowledge in directions not covered by coursework. During the first few weeks of classes, BABEL’s faculty facilitator arranges a meeting with interested grad students to create a reading list and to arrange a schedule for the year. Even though the reading group is not a formal requirement to the program, students are encouraged to attend this venue, since its exploratory scope will greatly assist them in developing the theoretical dimensions of their research projects, grant proposals, and dissertations.

Current Session

Winter 2020

Thurs. Jan. 23

  • Donna Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocence, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin,” Environmental Humanities 6 (2015), 159-165

Thurs. Feb. 13

  • Mikhail Bakhtin, excerpts from Rabelais and his World: Holquist Prologue, Bakhtin Intro, and Chapter 1 pages 59-94.

Thurs. Mar. 12

  • Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study, pages 22 – 68

NOTE: All meetings in Gordon Wood Lounge (DT 1811) with the exception of the meeting on Feb. 13th which will be held in DT 1816. Readings are available as PDFs. Please contact the Graduate Administrator.

Past Sessions

Fall 2019

Oct 17: Derridean deconstruction

  • selections from Margins of Philosophy: 12-15, 309-330 (1982)
  • selections from Of Grammatology: xiv-xxi, lxvi-lxxix, 27-39, 68-73, 144-164 (1974)

Nov 14: recent thinking on the commons

  • Slavoj Zizek, “How To Begin From the Beginning” (2009)
  • Lauren Berlant, “The commons: infrastructures for troubling times” (2016)

Dec 5: conjunctural analysis in cultural studies

  • selections from Stuart Hall et al, Policing the Crisis: read Intro, 218-227, 254-272, 306-323, 378-397 (1978)
  • Jeremy Gilbert, “This Conjuncture” (2019)

NOTE: All meetings in Gordon Wood Lounge (DT 1811). Readings are available as PDFs. Please contact the Graduate Administrator.

Past Sessions

Fall 2017

Friday, October 20th, 1:00-2:30

Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century” Perspecta 12 (1969): 163-72.

Siegfried Kracauer, “Two Planes,” “Analysis of a City Map,” and “Farewell to the Linden Arcade,” from The Mass Ornament (36-44, 336-342) [these are extremely short]

Friday, November 3rd, 1:00-2:30

Jane Jacobs, “The Uses of City Neighborhoods,” The Death and Life of American Cities (112-140).

Friday, November 17th, 1:00-2:30

Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, “The City: The Sewer, The Gaze, and the Contaminating Touch,” The Politics and Poetics of Transgression (125-48).

NOTE: All meetings in Gordon Wood Lounge (1811 DT). Readings will be available in the main office (DT 1812) to photocopy.

BABEL Winter 2015 (click poster to enlarge)

BABEL Fall 2014 2

2013-14 - Babel

BABEL 2012-13