3:30–4:30 P.M.

Electronic Music in the Cold War Era

Electronic music––made with sine-tone and white-noise generators, filters, and reel-to-reel magnetic tape—exploded in West Germany (and elsewhere) in the 1950s. Electronic studios were vibrant meeting points for scientists, composers, technicians, and performers. Together, these collaborators reclaimed wartime discourses and technologies, creating social and artistic “progress” by composing avant-garde electronic music.

Montaigne: A Life in Politics and Letters

Creator of the essay as a literary form, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) served as a bridge between what we call the Early Modern period and Modernity. If his literary and philosophical achievements have received much attention, scholars have underplayed his public life. This talk will discuss his Essays in relation to Montaigne’s political activities, notably in the parliamentary, diplomatic, and administrative milieus of Bordeaux, without forgetting Montaigne’s accession to the middle-level nobility of Guyenne, the outcome of the Eyquem family’s long social ascent. 

Why is it Good to be Free?

On one very familiar and plausible understanding of freedom, we are free inasmuch as the actions we perform are surrounded by a halo of other actions we might have performed but didn't. Freedom in this sense is very highly valued by almost everyone—and yet it is not easy to say why. This talk explores this issue and suggests an account of why it is good to have options.

Sneha Annavarapu

Sneha Annavarapu's dissertation research focuses the politics of road safety intiatives in Hyderabad, India. Her previous research on the self-fashioning of the emerging Indian middle class has been published in the Journal of Consumer Culture and the Journal of Developing Societies. Annavarapu is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology.

Joya John

Joya John is a PhD student in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her research is situated at the intersection of environmental history, energy humanities and literary studies. She is interested in vernacular ideas of nature, environment and habitat in Hindi literature, postcolonial ecocriticism and modern Hindi literary history.

Mannat Johal

Mannat Johal researches the archaeology of the medieval in southern India. She focuses on the corpus of medieval ceramics from the region and studies relationships between practices of making routine objects and experiences of time. Mannat is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology.

Rachel DeWoskin

Rachel DeWoskin is the award-winning author of the novels Blind (2014), Big Girl Small (2011), Repeat After Me (2009), and the memoir Foreign Babes in Beijing (Norton 2005), which is being developed into a television se

Will Boast

Will Boast is the author of a short story collection, Power Ballads (2011), and a best-selling memoir, Epilogue (2014), in addition to his writings in The New Republic, Granta, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. His debut novel, Daphne, will be published in 2018.

Augustus Rose

Augustus Rose is a novelist and screenwriter. His debut novel, The Readymade Thief, was published in August 2017. His screenplay, Far From Cool, was a finalist in the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships. Rose is Lecturer in the Program in Creative Writing.

Rachel Galvin

Rachel Galvin is a specialist in twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry of the Americas, as well as a poet and literary translator. Her first monograph, News of War: Civilian Poetry, 1936–1945, will be published in September 2017. Her poems, translations, and essays have appeared in McSweeney’sThe New Yorker, Poetry, and Los Angeles Review of Books, among others.