The University Record, September 10, 1996
Institute for the Humanities names visiting fellow
The Institute for the Humanities will host a varied group ofvisiting fellows during the coming academic year, announced Diane M. Kirkpatrick, professor of art history and the Institute's interim director for 1996-97.
"During their residencies, visiting fellows contribute to the interdisciplinary intellectual community of the Institute," Kirkpatrick said. "They join the 13 U-M faculty and graduate student fellows announced last March. Visiting fellows give a public lecture or present their work at forums with Institute associates, and they meet informally with faculty and student colleagues while here."
Kirkpatrick said the Institute programs this year will focus around the theme "Images and the Imaginary" and that lectures and other presentations on the theme would be "vitalized in important ways by the following group of distinguished visitors who are joining us for parts of the coming months."
Simon Goldhill (classics, King's College, Cambridge University) works mainly in Greek literature from Homer to the novel. His most recent book, Foucault's Virginity, examines the role of late Greek erotic narratives in modern accounts of sexuality. His other works include Reading Greek Tragedy (1986) and Art and Text in Ancient Greek Culture (1994). Goldhill will be the Norman Freehling Visiting Professor during the fall, teaching a course on "The Cultures of Desire: Greece and the Modern Image of the Erotic."
Richard Leppert is professor of comparative studies in discourse and society, and chair of the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, at the University of Minnesota. His Ph.D. is in musicology, with art history as a cognate field. Leppert's work is concentrated on the relations of music and imagery to social and cultural construction, principally revolving around issues of gender, class and race. Most of his work concerns European high culture from early modernity to the present, though he also has published on American music and art. His most recent books are Art and the Committed Eye: The Cultural Functions of Imagery (1996) and The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation and the History of the Body (1993). He is co-editor of Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance and Reception (1987). He will be on campus Sept. 8-21.
Vladimir Obatnin (artist) is a member of the Hermitage Group, an artistic association in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he teaches art history in the Academic Gymnasium of St. Petersburg State University. He has worked in various areas, from architecture (designing the interiors of industrial and public buildings) to applied graphics (posters and record jackets). But painting was always his primary aspiration. He says: "It is essential to note that in painting, in the search for expressive plastic constructions, there arises a moment of tension at all levels of human experience: spiritual, mental, emotional. Painting bestows upon one the opportunity for the survival of true, honest integrity, and the art bears traces of this survival." He will be on campus Oct. 13-Nov. 2.
Pauline Yu (East Asian languages and cultures, University of California, Los Angeles) is dean of the Division of Humanities in the College of Letters and Science . Her current project, a study of canon formation in Chinese literary history, focuses on the role played by key anthologies in defining and establishing what became identified as the glorious peak of the tradition---the poetry of the eighth century A.D. period known as the High Tang. "Canon formation is image formation," Yu says, "and throughout this study I focus attention on the ways in which such images have been constructed, suggesting ways in which poetic values and judgments are neither timeless nor universal but are rather related to, if not contingent upon, a host of cultural social, and institutional circumstances, which are themselves constantly changing as well. Recent books include The Reading of Imagery in the Chinese Poetic Tradition (1987) and Voices of the Song Lyric in China (ed., 1994). (Jan. 8-22, 1997.)
Ellen Driscoll is a visual artist working in sculpture, installation and public art. She often explores how our present is shaped by history: What do we remember and how do we construct and visualize what we remember? Her recent work has examined such 19th-century developments as train travel, chronophotography and film, and their impact on late 20th-century modes of visualizing---among others, she has worked with camera obscura, magnetism, zoetropes and 19th-century printing methods. She has completed a large commission of 14 photo-mosaics for Grand Central Terminal in New York that deal with cosmological theories about the night sky from different parts of the world. A recent camera obscura installation, "Passionate Attitudes," explores the work of J. M. Charcot, a 19th-century doctor who tried to establish a new theory of hysteria in women using photography as a principal instrument of scientific observation. Driscoll's work will be displayed at the Museum of Art Feb. 1-March 6. She will be on campus Jan. 27-Feb. 8, 1997.
Sander L. Gilman (comparative literature, University of Chicago) is also professor of the liberal arts in human biology, of German, of the history of science and of psychiatry, and a founding member of the Committee on Jewish Studies. Recent books include Picturing Health and Illness: Images of Difference (1995) and Jews in Today's German Culture (1995). He is currently working on Franz Kafka: The Jewish Patient and Smart Jews: The Construction of the Idea of Jewish Superior Intelligence at the Other End of the Bell Curve (both forthcoming). He will be here Feb. 9-22, 1997.
Froma Zeitlin (classics, Princeton) has worked in almost every aspect of the opening up of Greek literary studies to new interdisciplinary approaches, including structuralism, feminism, gender studies, the study of sexuality, ideological aspects of literature, problems of the self, representation or the relations of text and image. In 1995-96, as the Sathar Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, she delivered a series of lectures---"Vision, Figuration and Image from Theater to Romance"---that reflect her long-standing interest in the visual culture of ancient Greece as mirrored in works of literature ranging from Homer in the archaic period to prose fiction in the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman eras. She will be on campus March 16-29, 1997.