Response Forum

The FCHI Faculty Response Forum is an annual event to bring together faculty, students, administrators and members of the greater Emory community to engage with cutting edge research and the role of the humanities in contemporary culture. Currently, the fora are led by the annual cohort of Fox Center Fellows discussing their research.  

Response Forum XX

Response Forum XIX

Response Forum XVIII

Response Forum XVII

Response Forum XVI

Response Forum XV

Response Forum XIV

Creation Stories
January 28, 2015

Response Forum XIII

Response Forum XII

Response Forum XI

Response Forum X

10th Anniversary Celebration - Humanities: Tradition and Invention
January 26, 2011


Comic Relief: Then and Now
Robin Forman, Dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics
Matthew H. Bernstein, Professor of Film and Media Studies
Moliere famously said, “the duty of comedy is to correct men by amusing them.”  Mel Brooks has said, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger.  Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”  Have recent successful exemplars of popular comedy—in stand up humor, films and television series--created new traditions or are they updating old conventions?  Have they benefitted from the loosening of standards of public propriety? Have any of the many functions and meanings of comedy changed over time?

The Invention of Tradition
Earl Lewis, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of Emory University and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies
Joseph Crespino, Associate Professor of History
While beginning our discussion with a short piece by Hobsbawm, we would like discuss "tradition" in a more contemporary vein, and in particular, to discuss how university communities depend on the invention of traditions to promote a variety of different agendas. 

Crossing Borders: Exploring Connections Between Maps, Art, and Science

Daniel Pollock, Medical Epidemiologist in the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sarah McPhee, Associate Professor of Art History
Maps, as representations of the spaces we inhabit or imagine, are informed by art and science and in turn influence them in literal and figurative ways.  These manifold connections are evident by looking at particular images created by mapmakers, artists, and scientists that blur the dividing lines between maps-proper and map-like objects.  The goals of this exploration are to further locate and understand the relationship between the mapping impulse and artistic and scientific world views.

Innovative Uses of Traditional Greek Myth

Bruce Covey, Lecturer in Poetry, Creative Writing Program
Louise Pratt, Professor of Classics
We will discuss how traditional Greek myths, despite their antiquity and familiarity, permit and inspire invention, focusing on participants’ favorite reuses of Greek myth, both literary and popular.

The Future of Books/The Fate of Reading

Elizabeth Chase, Coordinator for Research Services of Woodruff Library
Walter L. Reed, William R. Kenan University Professor of English
In this age of new media and changing technologies of communication, questions about the place of books and character of reading in the humanities are often raised.  Are printed books a relic of the past?  Are digital/electronic media soon to replace the bound volume of authored or edited chapters, essays, pictures and poems, the form familiar to humanists since the late 15th century?  Or is there a new “media ecology” taking shape, in which popular and scholarly writing, artistic and interpretive texts, are no long fixed in a single form we can put our hands on?  How dependent are the humanities on an out-moded “Gutenberg Galaxy,” as it was called by media prophet Marshall McLuhan?  How can humanistic inquiry adapt to new media and new ways of reading without losing its soul to an army of new machines?

Using the Humanities to Reimagine Health

Michelle Lampl, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology
Mark Risjord
, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies 
Health is pervasive in cultural representations, including art and literature.  These humanistic perspectives have not been fully integrated into health research and delivery.  This discussion will explore the benefits of the humanities for rethinking our concept of health, educating students in a rich appreciation of health, and in turn reorienting our expectations for health care.   

Art and Science: Innovations and Explorations
Rosemary M. Magee, Vice President and Secretary of Emory University
David Lynn, Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry
Leslie Taylor, Associate Professor of Theater Studies
The arts and sciences share many practices and principles, working in a laboratory/studio, posing questions, experimenting, coming across answers and ideas not originally posited. How can they inform each other, can they work interdisciplinarily?  We will explore the collaborations that have taken place between the arts and sciences and imagine future explorations.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Reading

Hazel Gold, Associate Professor of Spanish
Donald Tuten, Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics 
Reading has always been and continues to be at the heart of the humanities, but understandings of what reading is continue to evolve. Questions we will consider include: How is our understanding of the processes of reading changing? What goes on in the mind/brain when we read?   What does it mean to learn to read? What kinds of texts do we read and how do we make sense of them? How do changing technologies affect the way that we read?

Globalization Versus Translation Across Traditions

Laurie Patton, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Early Indian Religions
Deborah Elise White
, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Globalization has often been criticized for dissolving boundaries and erasing cultural differences.  We will consider how translation may suggest models for a globalization that is better able to work across cultural traditions without assimilating them to a single, homogeneous norm. In the humanities, translation has always been one of the ways in which different traditions learn from each other. How may it continue to play the same role in the context of the global economy? And what of differences that resist all translation?

The Judaeo-ChristianTradition? The Judaeo-Islamic Tradition?
Shalom Goldman, Professor of Hebrew and Middle Eastern Studies 
Devin Stewart, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies
What is the Judaeo-Christian tradition, and who invented it?  What would Abraham say about the Abrahamic faiths?  Judaism and Islam share fundamental ideas and institutions, particularly regarding prophecy and law, that make them resemble each other and differ from Christianity, and their traditions of legal and theological study overlap in profound ways, yet we do not often hear of a Judaeo-Islamic tradition.  Why not?  Join us to explore these and related questions.

Response Forum IX

Mind, Body, Humanities
January 27, 2010



Response Forum VIII

Response Forum VII

Humanities and War 
January 30, 2008


Response Forum VI

The Authority of the Humanities
January 31, 2007 


Response Forum V

Humanities and Dis-ease
January 25, 2006 

Partial List of Table Topics:

Race, Health and Dis-ease: What difference does difference make?
Leslie Harris, History and African-American Studies, and Joyce Essein, Public Health

Scholars in the liberal arts, in response to the negative results of biological definitions of race, have increasingly analyzed race as a "social construction." Scholars in the sciences and particularly in medicine have continued to explore the ways in which genetics play a role in disease. How can scientists and non-scientists bridge the gap between social construction and biological definitions of race? What is the role of disparities in access to care in creating racial differences in health?

Perspectives on Disease: Patients and Health Care Providers
Claire Sterk, Office of the Provost and Public Health

What is disease from the perspective of the diseased person as compared to that of a health care professional? By comparing narratives, we will look at the impact of health care seeking (including alternative medicine) and utilization.

Life Endings/Ending Lives
Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Women's Studies, Ira Schwartz, Medicine, and 
Martha Fineman, Law

Readings include "Not Dead at All: Why Congress was right to stick up for Terri Schiavo" and "Unspeakable Conversations," both by Harriett McBryde Johnston.

Response Forum IV

The Humanities and Race
January 26, 2005

Partial List of Table Topics:

Race in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Bruce Knauft, ICIS and Anthropology

Race relations and the notion of “race” itself are importantly different in different world areas and from the perspective of different national and cultural perspectives. World area differences and attitudes both contextualize and throw into relief race relations and understandings of race in the U.S.

Race and Migration
María Carrión, Spanish and José Quiroga, Spanish

Does race travel? Does it remain with the subject when the change of political, economic, and/or cultural landscape occur? Does it change, or is it changed by migration, movement, and exile? Is race a stationary category of representation?

From Integration to Transformation
Leslie Harris, History and Catherine Manegold, Journalism

Brown University and Yale University have examined their university and local ties to slavery and the slave trade. What are the creative possibilities and the political dilemmas of addressing and redressing the racial past in academia?

Response Forum III

Response Forum II

Who Owns the Art(s)? 
January 29th, 2003

Partial List of Table Topics:

Disposable Art
Moderator: Steve Everett, Music

What is the changing nature of evaluating artistic significance? When a work of art gains availability, to what degree is subjectivity lost?

Imaginative Properties
Moderator: Rosemary M. Magee, Emory College

If imagination, as Einstein suggests, is more important than knowledge, what are the implications for both art and science? What are the implicit and explicit connections between them?

The Problem of Religious Offense
Moderator: Laurie Patton, Religion

What are the functions of religious and anti-religious art? When is a work of art “critical” of a religious tradition, and when does it cross the line to “offense?” Should it matter?

The Artworld as Mental Property?
Moderator: Rudolf A. Makkreel, Philosophy

According to Arthur Danto, the “artworld” is as much constituted by theory, art criticism, and museum curators, as by artists. To what extent is contemporary art mental property?

Response Forum I

The Humanities and Terror
February 6, 2002

David Bright: The Paradox of Aesthetic Terror

Maria Mercedes Carrion: Engendering Terror

Alan Cienki: Speaking of Terror

Steve Everett: Representation of Terror

Tom Flynn: Hell is Other People”: Existentialism and Violence

Frances Smith Foster: Silence: Terror

Laurie Patton: Divine Love and Holy Terror

Ron Schuchard: The Universality of Terror