• Citron Public Lecture 

John McCarthy, Former ISI Fellow, To Focus on Position as Senior Vice Provost

Former ISI “Transformations” Fellow and Professor of Linguistics John McCarthy, is relinquishing his role as Dean of the Graduate School to devote more time to his duties as Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, as well as to his linguistics research. John has been tremendously successful in his position as Dean; we wish him all good luck going forward. 

Former ISI Fellow Elizabeth Chilton Named Dean of Harpur College at Binghamton University

Elizabeth Chilton, Professor of Anthropology, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, and former ISI fellow (2009-2010 and 2012-2013) has been named Dean of the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University in New York. In addition to twice being a member of our seminars, Professor Chilton offered valuable support to the Institute, especially during our transition from ISHA to the ISI. We wish her all good luck in her new position!

Linda Sarsour, “The Resistance: Organizing in the Age of Trump”

On Friday, April 28, the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is hosting Linda Sarsour, award-winning racial justice and civil rights activist and national co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington for a lecture. Sarsour will speak at 3:30 p.m. in the Mahar Auditorium on the UMass campus. ISI is among the many cosponsors of the event, which will be free and open to the public.

ISI Announces 'Dissent' Fellows

The ISI is delighted to announce that twelve faculty members have been chosen by the ISI Board as Fellows for our 2017-2018 seminar on “Dissent.” The Fellows will approach the theme of the seminar from a variety of perspectives, ranging from the humanities to the social sciences, from economics to theater.

The 2017-18 Fellows are Lee Badgett, Economics; Chris Couch, Comparative Literature; Barbara Cruikshank, Political Science; Laura Furlan, English; Hande Gurses, Comparative Literature; John Higginson, History; Kathryn Lachman, Comparative Literature; Megan Lewis, Theater; Marian MacCurdy, English; Roberta Marvin, Music and Dance; Bogdan Prokopovych, Isenberg; and Malcolm Sen, English.

ISI Cosponsors African Cinema Symposium and Festival

The ISI is a cosponsor of this year's African Cinema Symposium and festival, held from April 5-8 across the 5 College campuses. The event brings together leading filmmakers, festival programmers and scholars from Africa, Europe, and the United States. The schedule includes feature film screenings, question and answer sessions with African filmmakers, and scholarly panels. More information about the schedule can be found on the five college website.

Kanstroom to Lead Interdisciplinary Workshop at UMass

On March 23 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in ILC N400 the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute will sponsor a workshop for faculty and graduate students led by this year’s ISI resident, Professor Daniel Kanstroom. The workshop is open to all scholars and graduate students with an interest in incorporating collaboration with community-based groups into their scholarship and teaching on immigration policy issues. 

ISI Sponsors Di Maio Lecture

On February 15, Professor Alessandra Di Maio will give a lecture at 4:30 p.m. in Herter 601. Her talk, "AfroItalia: Voices and Images Across the Mediterranean," is related to her most recently edited poetry collection, Migrazioni/Migrations, and addresses the migrations, connections, and--in connection with this year's ISI theme--trespassings that have marked the relationship between Italy and the African continent. The recent arrival in Italy of migrants from Africa, while sparking controversy and igniting a heated debate on immigration to the EU, has urged Italians to reconsider their historical connections with the African continent and assess new cultural relationships. Among the first communities who crossed the Mediterranean and found a new home in Italy are Nigerians. In Migrazioni/Migrations, renowned Italian and Nigerian poets, headed by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, join their voices in telling the choral story of how Africa and Italy have always been united by a common sea and a shared experience of migration.

ISI Cosponsors Stewart Motha Workshop

The ISI is excited to cosponsor a workshop, open to UMass graduate students and faculty, led by Stewart Motha on February 13. The interdisciplinary workshop with Professor Motha will explore how memory and belonging can be studied from the perspectives of post-colonial studies and critical legal studies. A pre-circulated text drawn from Professor Motha’s book Archiving Sovereignty (forthcoming with University of Michigan Press) will form the basis for discussion. Reworking the notion of the ‘archive’, Motha explores the memorial and ‘as if’ function of modern law as it is elaborated through juridical case studies, and literary and other artistic works drawn from Australia, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean region. The workshop will be of interest to doctoral students and faculty studying topics that touch on sovereign violence, history, interpretation and language. The seminar is capped at twenty; if you are interested in attending, please write to isi@umass.edu to reserve a spot.

In addition to this workshop, Professor Motha will give a public lecture at Amherst College at 4:30pm on Tues, Feb. 14 titled “Redundant Refugees.”