Session 1

9:30–10:30 A.M.

Ancient Greek Gems as Vehicles for Healing, Protection, Cursing, and Erotic Magic

During the Roman Imperial period Greeks began to inscribe gems with various texts that reveal them to be curative and protective amulets -- no surprise there -- as well as vehicles for cursing and erotic conquest.  This second class of gems, apparently worn on the body of the person who is launching the curse or erotic spell, is itself an invention of the period that confuses our understanding of amulets and innovates in the types of images it uses, most notably an image of the eagle feasting on the liver of the bound Prometheus.  This presentation will include color photographs taken over

Tour of En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I at the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery – 9:30 a.m.

On the centenary of the Great War’s commencement, En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I explores the conflict through French graphic illustration of the period. The exhibition presents themes essential to a deeper understanding of the war in France: patriotism, propaganda, the soldier’s experience, as well as the mobilization of the home front as seen through fashion, humor, and children’s literature. Like no other conflict before it, the Great War was a war of images.

Tour of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library

The Mansueto Library creates new spaces and tools for collections, preservation, and collaboration. Designed by Helmut Jahn, its inviting research space includes the Grand Reading Room, where scholars from all disciplines can work under a soaring elliptical glass dome with views of the historic campus.

What Makes Them Run, What Slows Them Down: Cinemetrics Looks at Film History and Culture

Nowadays, as filmmaking goes digital, so do film studies. This presentation features “Cinemetrics,” an online addition to the traditional toolkit of film studies. Some films are slow and pensive; some are fast and furious; some start slowly and run amuck after a while. Much of it depends on film cutting: some movies or sequences are “cuttier” than others. Cinemetrics is a speedometer of cutting; how it works and why we need it is what this presentation is about.

Antiquities Under Siege, Again

In the wake of the 2003 looting of the Iraq Museum and the consequent pillaging of thousands of archaeological sites, UChicago’s Cultural Policy Center convened an array of experts (legal, military, archaeological, economic) to better understand what went wrong and to develop recommendations on steps to be taken to prevent or mitigate future threats posed to cultural heritage in times of armed conflict. Recent events in the Middle East have raised new alarms about the future of the past.

Why Art Matters to the Humanities

The visual arts are often considered to be distinct from the humanities, as image is to text and practice is to theory. I want to open for discussion another perspective where the arts and humanities are imagined as inseparable and integrated activities that both challenge and enlarge our basic human capacities for interpretation and evaluation.

The Use and Abuse of Linguistics at the US Supreme Court

Legal reasoning in the U.S. in recent years has taken a linguistic turn, with heavy and increasing use of linguistic reasoning and dictionaries in courts from the Supreme Court on down; this is largely due to the increased prominence of originalism as a guiding legal philosophy. But these tools must be used with care, and the practitioners of these techniques are apt to reach erroneous conclusions. We show that more accurate use of large-scale data-mining techniques such as the Google n-gram corpus leads to conclusions in conflict with the decisions the courts have handed down.

Concrete Traffic

On January 15, 1970, the German Fluxus artist Wolf Vostell (1932–1998) had a 1957 Cadillac DeVille covered in sixteen tons of concrete to be exhibited as “event sculpture” in a parking lot on Ontario Street outside of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Today, Concrete Traffic counts as one of the most significant public art works not only in the University’s collection but in the history of 20th-century art.

Unsuspending Disbelief: What Photographs “Mean”

Is what the photograph pictures the same as what the photograph means? The photograph’s ubiquity naturalizes its ways of describing such that what is “pictured” is regularly taken as evidentiary. However, what the photograph actually means is in fact rarely self-evident and always relative. Through a variety of perspectives we will examine the photograph’s lamination of content and subject that will be the subject for a symposium, a practicum-seminar class, and the focus for an exhibition at the Logan Center, The Faculty of Belief, co-curated by Letinsky and Monika Szewczyk.

Pieces at an Exhibition: Music and Politics in 1930s Mexico

The current Art Institute of Chicago exhibit of graphic art by the Mexican print collective Taller de Gráfica Popular in the 1930s–40s provides the context for this discussion of how Mexican composers of the era reacted to the social and cultural currents of the time. We will listen to little-known pieces by Cesar Chavez and Silvestre Revueltas in conjunction with images on display at the AIC.


Subscribe to RSS - Session 1