2020-2021 Humanities Center Events
FALL 2020
W.E.B. Du Bois and the Origins of Public Humanities
Roopika Risam, Associate Professor at Salem State University
Author of "New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy"
Thursday, October 29 | 12:10-1:25 p.m.
Sponsored by the Mellon Humanities Lab
2019-2020 Humanities Center Events
These events are now on ZOOM. Please email Kathleen Kapila, for link(s).
January 21 | February 18 | March 17 | April 21 | May 19 | June 16 
Sponsored by: Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Lehigh University’s Humanities Center, and South Side Initiative
Facilitated by Professor Mary C. Foltz, Associate Professor, English Department, Lehigh University
The community reading group invites you to join us to discuss an award-nominated LGBTQ memoir each month. Our conversations allow us to reflect upon major topics in LGBTQ communities, discuss our own experiences as they connect or diverge from the memoir, and engage with impactful books that are starting national discussions. Books are provided free of cost to the first ten people to sign up with Kathleen Kapila,!
This group will meet from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, 522 West Maple Street, Allentown, PA 18101.
March 5 | 4:30 p.m. | Linderman Library, Scheler Humanities Forum, Room 200
Jack Halberstam, Professor of English and Gender Studies, Columbia University
In his brilliant, humorous and whimsical parody of a Smithsonian book titled American History in 101 Objects, artist Chris E. Vargas, in 2015, invited visitors into his imaginary Museum of Transgender Hirstory to see a show titled Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects. Riffing on the self-importance of the Smithsonian title, the precision of its 101 objects and its investment in the notion of authentic history in the first place, Vargas called attention to the way that a history of gender variance will necessarily fall by the wayside in any canonical account of American history and will require its own object lessons. The objects that collectively tell the story of gender variance are counter-intuitive and suggestive, risqué and emblematic. For Vargas’s show, the objects ranged from queer banners by Tuesday Smilie to sculptures of hybrid creatures and photographic records of transgender lives gone by. What Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects made clear, however, was that  trans* histories, which have been narrated as a record of pathology, dysphoria and trouble need their own archive in order to remove themselves from the medical history of disorder. This talk offers its own version of trans* history through a series of objects and archives ranging from photo albums to films, paintings and performances. 
March 17 | 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. | Bethlehem Area Public Library, Southside Branch
A free, public discussion about economic and environmental insecurity.
Why do so many working families feel uncertain about our jobs, income, and basic life necessities? How do today's employers shift the burden of risk onto their employees? What impact does this have? And more importantly: what can we do about it?
Two short readings available in advance at:
Light Refreshments Provided
Tackling T.I.N.A. Imagining Economic Alternatives
Sponsored by:
Humanities Center, Lehigh University
*Center for Ethics, Lehigh University
* The Center for Ethics is funded in part by the ENDOWMENT FUND for the TEACHING of ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING.
CANCELLED It Might Get Loud Music Film in Concert and Conversation
March 19 | 4:30 p.m. Humanities Center
Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace
Hosted by John Vilanova, Professor of Journalism, Lehigh University and 
Rolling Stone writer

Co-sponsor: Africana Studies (NEH)

May 1 | 12:00 p.m. Humanities Center (Online)
"Democracy and Truth" Seminar
Hosted by William Bulman and Nitzan Lebovic, Lehigh University


Co-sponsored Events

February 27 | 4:30 p.m. | Chandler Ullmann Hall, Room 216
Patrick Inglis, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Grinnell College
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Asian Studies, Humanities Center and Global Studies

Fall 2019

Humanities Center Antibiotic Resistance Seminar with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies
November 4 | 6:00 p.m. | STEPS 280
The Anthropocene in/of the Cell: Antibiotic Resistance and the History of Industrialization
Hannah Landecker, Department of Sociology and Director, Institue for Society and Genetics, UCLA
Lorenzo Servitje, Moderator, Assistant Professor of English, Lehigh University

The Anthropocene, being a concept that comes to us from geology and climate science, is generally seen in relation to material evidence gathered from the rock strata, marine sediments, and glacier ice. It is a concept of macro scales, carbon economies, epochs and world systems. This talk goes small instead, and reads biological and biochemical narratives to examine the idea of an Anthropocene in, or of, the cell. Drawing on specific examples of the industrial production of pharmaceuticals and pesticides, I show how microbial cells have changed to adapt to the biochemical environments generated during and after World War II by a growing chemical industry, shifts in medical protocols, and changing hygiene practices. Rather than the organism in sediment during historical time, I consider the organism as sedimentation of historical time: a repository of metabolic strategies for navigating novel chemical milieu after industrialization. From this perspective, the insides of cells can be seen as microscopic landscapes in their own right, in which the products of industrialization alter the biophysical and architectural character of molecular life, affecting the flow of mobile genetic elements, the dynamics of microbial community life, and the very nature of human-microbe relationships.