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Amos Oz
Renowned Israeli writer and peace activist Amos Oz delivers the Herman Wouk Visiting Lecture
Mandeville auditorium, April 22, 2013
Photo by Dirk Sutro, DAH

Upcoming Events

President’s Postdoctoral Lecture Series: Naomi Bragin

Literature Department’s President’s Postdoctoral Lecture Series: Naomi Bragin

Black Power of Hip Hop Dance: On Kinesthetic Politics

November 24, 2015


UCSD Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau)

At the height of backlash against black radical movements, Soul Train's 1971 syndi-cated premiere screened a performance of collective movement sense-ability among black youth. I begin with the landmark black popular music and dance show, using the term kinesthetic politics to attend to the political implications of kinesthesia, the body's "sixth" sense of motion. Kinesthetic politics rejects a mind/body split that secures Enlightenment conceptions of visual hierarchy and the human, asserting the significance of embodied knowledge production as a practice of illicit seeing. The televising of black youth having fun captures critical terms under which the scene is enacted--subjection to state power ensured by historical denial of the black body's sentience. Black folks joined together around TV sets learning improvisation-based dance-rhythms of the breakdown, locking, waacking and popping. These trans-located dances generate an intramural conversation on black aesthetics that continues in the Harlem Shake, A-Town Stomp, Nae Nae and Hit Dem Folks. Connecting to a political ontology of stolen bodies, the criminal and black, street dance draws theoretical force from a displacement of humanism proper that transforms notions of property, privacy, authorship and possessive individualism. My research draws from ethno-histories of early Soul Train dancers, street dance pioneers and practitioners, and my background as a street, studio, stage and club dancer since the early 1990s.

Dr.  Naomi Bragin is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Science at University of Washington Bothell, and UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Riverside

Sponsored by: UCSD Literature Department, Dean of Arts & Humanities, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Flyer (PDF)

Shi'ite Clerics and Political Modernization in Iran

Shi'ite Clerics and Political Modernization in Iran 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


UCSD Literature Building Room 155 (deCerteau)

In this book presentation, Prof. Farzaneh will discuss the role of Islamic jurisprudence in political reform in Iran.  Throughout the 1800s, Iran was challenged to politically modernize to undue the failed policies of its corrupt absolutist monarchical system.  Introduction of Western-style constitutionalism by secular Iranians brought about the establishment of the Islamic world's first parliament in Iran in 1906.  
However, that was the beginning of a long battle between the proponents and the opponents of rule of law as a new political reality.  Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khurasani led a group of high ranking Iranian Shiite clerics living in Iraq and began a transnational clerical movement in support of constitutionalism with the objective to sever the political influence of Muslim clerics and leaving "modern" politics to the secular parliamentarians.  This talk is based on Farzaneh's new book, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani (Syracuse University Press, 2015).

An Iranian native, Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh attended high school and college in southern California. After spending seven years in nursing and health care industries, his curiosity led him to pursue a higher education in history. He is quadrilingual, speaking Persian, English, Spanish, and Arabic. Recipient of a number of prestigious awards and fellowships, he taught world and Middle Eastern history at Santa Barbara City College and California State Fullerton before joining Northeastern Illinois University faculty of history in Chicago in 2010.  He is married and has one child.

Flyer (PDF)