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Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor announces fall lineup

September 24, 2009

Rob Enslin
(315) 443-3403

Humanities CorridorThe Andrew W. Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor has announced its Fall 2009 schedule of events and activities. Unless otherwise indicated, everything is held at Syracuse University and is free and open to the public. For more information, call (315) 443-7192.

The Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor is an interdisciplinary partnership involving SU, Cornell University and the University of Rochester.

“The Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor reflects the vigorous humanistic traditions of the participating institutions,” says principal investigator Gregg Lambert. “Thanks to the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this initiative raises the visibility of the public humanities throughout the region and enhances the productivity of its key scholars, students and community partners.” Lambert also serves as Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and as founding director of the SU Humanities Center, in which the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor is housed.

The schedule is as follows:

Sept. 25-26
Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse University

Symposium: “Winslow Homer in the 1870s: A Time of Crisis in American Art”
This symposium coincides with “Winslow Homer’s Empire State: Houghton Farm and Beyond,” running through Oct. 11 at SUArt Galleries. Presenters include keynote speaker Sarah Burns, the Ruth N. Halls Professor of History of Art at Indiana University; David Tatham, guest curator and professor emeritus of art and music histories at SU; Erin Crissman, curator of the Farmers’ Museum; Judith C. Walsh, professor of art conservation at SUNY-Buffalo State; Kenneth Haltman, H. Russell Pitman of Art History at The University of Oklahoma; and Robb Goldstein, an Albany-based lecturer, musician and performer who will deliver the multimedia presentation “Winslow Homer and the Democratic Vista.” A complete schedule is available at

Oct. 1-2
Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester

Conference: “Visual and Cultural Studies: The Next 20 Years”
The renowned Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester marks its 20th anniversary with a special two-day conference. Events include a faculty roundtable, as well panel discussions on the future of visual culture, new art histories, new media and new ethnographies. More information is available at

Also, William J. Thomas Mitchell, professor of English and art history at the University of Chicago, will lecture on iconography and visual culture on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m., and photographer/art historian Deborah Willis and artist/storyteller Carrie Mae Weems will discuss the nature of beauty on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. Both events are part of Syracuse Symposium and will take place in SU’s Watson Hall.

Oct. 1-3
Syracuse University

Conference: “Place/No Place: Spatial Aspects of Urban Asian Religiosity”
This conference explores social, physical and mental spaces created by new or changing Asian religious influences. Discussion topics include physical spaces created by religious buildings, mental spaces created by spiritual leaders in response to consumerism and globalization, making and erasing spaces in global cities, and constructing identity and subjectivity in relation to urbanization. Events include the presentation of more than 15 papers by faculty members from SU, Cornell and Rochester. More information is available at

Oct. 7-8
Syracuse University
Symposium: “The Bilingual Mind”
More than a dozen internationally renowned scholars are converging at SU to examine individual and societal bilingualism. In addition to presenting papers on the challenges of bilingualism, panelists are engaging in an interdisciplinary exploration of a variety of topics, including bilingual language mixing (e.g., “Spanglish,” “Hinglish,” and “Chinglish”), bilingual language acquisition, and global popular culture. Support comes from the Mellon CNY Humanities Center, The College of Arts and Sciences, SU Humanities Center, and La Casita Cultural Center project. More information is available at

Oct. 15-17
Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center

Forum: “Music and Sound in Film”
This forum, produced in partnership with the Syracuse International Film Festival, encompasses an array of events, including the screening of Fritz Lang’s silent classic “Metropolis,” featuring a new score by South American composer Martin Matalon; a Syracuse Symposium lecture on Italian horror films by Richard Dyer, professor of film studies at King’s College London; and other discussions and screenings with sound designers and composers from around the world. More information is available at

Oct. 27-29
Syracuse University, Cornell University and University of Rochester

Film and Speaker Tour: “The Halfmoon Files”
Roger Hallas, assistant professor of English at SU, is organizing regional screenings of “The Halfmoon Files: A Ghost Story,” a 2007 documentary about an Indian soldier whose voice was recorded on shellac records while serving in a German P.O.W. camp during World War I. The tour will go to all three participating campuses and feature remarks by “Halfmoon” director/writer Philip Scheffner and producer Merle Kröger, the latter of whom will also discuss his cultural transfer exhibition, “Import-Export,” which toured Berlin, Vienna and Mumbai in 2005.

  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27
    Cornell Cinema, Willard Straight Theatre
  • 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28
    Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester
    Reception to follow screening
  • 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29
    Life Sciences Complex Auditorium, Syracuse University

Dec. 3-4
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Workshops: “Social and Cultural Understandings of Disability in Health Care”
The Center for Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University hosts a two-day workshop as part of the new Disability and Medical Humanities Project. National experts include Carol Schilling, senior fellow at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania; Debjani Mukherjee, associate director of the Donnelley Family Disability Ethics Program and an assistant professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; and Alicia Ouellette, associate professor of law and professor of bioethics at Union Graduate College and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Paper presentations include such topics as the role of the medical humanities, humanities and the medical school curriculum, deafness and cochlear implants, and end-of-life issues.

Other upcoming events that have yet to be scheduled include:

Syracuse University and University of Rochester

Seminar: “Reductionism”
The philosophy departments of SU and the University of Rochester are offering a graduate seminar this fall on reductionism, looking at the role of the so-called “special sciences” (e.g., biology, psychology, and economics) in relation to fundamental physics. The credit-bearing course involves 13 joint meetings, alternating between SU and Rochester. Most of the curriculum focuses on contemporary issues, including how philosophers understand reduction, the prospects for reducing “special sciences” to fundamental physical science, and the philosophical obstacles to reductionism. The seminar is constructed around visits by four preeminent scholars: John Bickle, professor and head of the Mississippi State University Philosophy and Religion Department; Jaegwon Kim, the William Herbert Perry Faunce Professor of Philosophy at Brown University; Barry Loewer, professor and department chair of philosophy at Rutgers University; and Michael Strevens, professor of philosophy at New York University. Each scholar spends two days at either campus, participating in multiple meetings with seminar participants. The course is organized and co-taught by Kevan Edwards, assistant professor of philosophy at SU, and Alyssa Ney, the James P. Wilmot Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rochester, with assistance from graduate students from SU, Rochester, and Cornell.

Other upcoming activities of the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor include two private workshops, “Understanding Translational Research” (Oct. 30), and various linguistics events—from invited talks by distinguished experts (e.g., Yosef Grodzinsky, psycholinguist/neurolinguist from McGill University and Tel Aviv University, on Nov. 13-14), to collaborative courses, to a “State of the Art” workshop on syntax, phonology and morphology at SU.

The Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor is housed in the SU Humanities Center, which also administers the Syracuse Symposium, the Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Humanities, and other interdisciplinary initiatives. “The Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor exemplifies the Humanities Center’s commitment to traditional, transdisciplinary, and publicly engaged research,” adds Lambert. “Also, the Corridor is probably one of the most vibrant examples around of collaboration across the schools and colleges and across the disciplines.” The SU Humanities Center is housed in the historic Tolley Building.

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