ISHA 2011-2012

In a world of objects and purported truths about those objects, perhaps it is the transformations of both we should be concerned with. History is a story of transformation, while continuity and change tug at the inner dynamics of politics, society, culture, science. In North Africa and the Middle East, longstanding regimes are changing in front of our eyes. New technologies have come into play, and those technologies themselves are transforming, even as they transform our world. Are we at a new threshhold, seeing the transformation of transformation in our time? The biological universe is one of transformation, as is our physical universe—which we understand now may be a ‘multiverse.’ Works of art transform the ‘real’; morphology is intrinsic to language; translation deals intimately with the tensions of fidelity and change. What are the secrets of transformation, its mechanisms and logics? What factors determine that a state of affairs, stable for so long, will suddenly give way and begin to alter? Or does the apparently stable conceal underlying transformations every day? How do legacies and traditions transform? Does transformation run all the way from the cell to the cosmos? How have our very concepts of transformation changed? Or is transformation only an illusion? From the political to the historical, the philosophical to the musical, the artistic to the political, the biological to the physical, transformation may be an underlying key we have to understand. 


Annaliese Bischoff
Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
“Green Transformations Through Public Art”

Anne Ciecko
“Transformations of Arab Gulf Cinema and Media Cultures”

Stephen Forrest
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Japanese)
“Ehon hôkan: Transformations in 17th-century Japan”

David Glassberg
“History and Ecology in a No Analog World”

Peter Haas
Political Science
“The Anthropocene Transformation and Collective Understanding”

Jon Machta
“Modeling Complexity and Transformation”

John McCarthy
“Convergent Evolution in Human Language”

Max Page
Art, Architecture and Art History
“Towards a New Ethos for Historic Preservation”

John Simpson
Commonwealth College
“Music into Art: Transforming ‘The Planets’”

Michael Sugerman
“Bronze Age to Iron Age in the Eastern Mediterranean”

Millie Thayer
“Social Movements and Feminist Transformations in Brazil”