The Gallatin Distinguished Lecture Series is a forum that honors the School's commitment to interdisciplinary study and excellence in intellectual, civic, and aesthetic endeavors. The Gallatin DFL Series features speakers whose work or practice has made an outstanding contribution in one or more of these areas.
Alison Bechdel, internationally acclaimed, award winning cartoonist, author of graphic memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother, in a freewheeling, multimedia conversation/confab with distinguished scholar Hillary Chute, author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (Columbia Univ. Press: 2010). For twenty-five years, Alison Bechdel created the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. Her graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic was named Best Book of 2006 by Time Magazine. In 2008, she began devoting herself full-time to autobiographical work. A second graphic memoir, Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama, was published in 2012. She’s the recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Marsh Professor-at Large at the University of Vermont.
Hillary Chute is the author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (Columbia UP, 2010) and Associate Editor of Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus (Pantheon, 2011). In 2006, she co-edited the “Graphic Narrative” special issue of Mfs: Modern Fiction Studies—the first issue of an academic journal in literature devoted to exploring comics. In 2009, she founded the Modern Language Association’s Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives. Her essays have appeared in American Periodicals, Mfs: Modern Fiction Studies, PMLA, Twentieth-Century Literature, and WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, among others. Her current book project is titled Disaster is My Muse: Visual Witnessing, Comics, and Documentary Form.
David Kaiser is Germeshausen Professor and Department Head of MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and also a member of MIT's Department of Physics. His books include Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics (2005), and How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival (2011).
Anne Carson’s ANTIGONICK, A staged reading with Anne Carson, Judith Butler (as Kreon), Anne Waldman (as Tiresias), Beth Pollack (as Antigone), Denis Butkus (as Haemon), Emily Young (as Ismene), Paul Coffey (as Guard) and Laura Slatkin (as Eurydice). Directed by Kristin Horton. Co-sponsored by Gallatin’s Classics and the Contemporary Series; NYU Department of Comparative Literature; NYU Humanities Initiative
William Julius Wilson is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University. In 1998 he was awarded the National Medal of Science. His books include Power, Racism and Privilege (1973), The Declining Significance of Race (1978), The Truly Disadvantaged (1987), When Work Disappears (1996), The Bridge over the Racial Divide (1999), There Goes the Neighborhood (2006, co-author), Good Kids from Bad Neighborhoods (2006, co-author), and, most recently, More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (2009). Cosponsored by Gallatin's Human Rights Initiative, NYU Department of Sociology and the Institute for Public Knowledge.
Cohen, a prominent queer activist and the founder of the Black Youth Project, engaged the audience in a discussion on the role of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in global politics. Cohen referred to an article in the New Yorker magazine by Malcolm Gladwell, in which he contrasted the deep ties of the Civil Rights movement with the weak ties of contemporary social movements that are forged by new media.
The plein-air painter Rackstraw Downes, who is known for his rural and man-made landscapes of scenes ranging from farmland in Maine to the sidewalks of Coney Island, noted during a recent talk at Gallatin, “My idea is to paint the real state of the world.” The politics in his work, he added, are in the process of creation rather than in the finished image. “Spending so many hours of prolonged attention to real things in the real world is a critique of our sound-bite society, which is so enamored of technologically mediated experiences,” he said.
Gregg Mitman is Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also serves as Interim Director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. His research explores the history of ecology, nature, and health in American culture. Among his prize-winning books are Reel Nature: America's Romance with Wildlife on Film, and Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes.
Janet Halley is Royall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She is the author of After Sex?: New Writing since Queer Theory (with Andrew Parker) and Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism?, and is the editor of the new special issue of the American Journal of Comparative Law on Critical Family Law.
Joan W. Scott is Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science. Professor Scott's pioneering work in the areas of gender and intellectual history for over 30 years has helped to configure and reconfigure the study of feminism, politics, memory and language. She is the author of the seminal essay "Gender: A Useful Category of Analysis" (AHR, December 1986) and the book Gender and the Politics of History (Columbia 1988), as well as several dozen articles and edited collections, including the influential Feminists Theorize the Political, with Judith Butler (Routledge 1992). More recently, she is the author of The Politics of the Veil (Princeton 2007), a provocative assessment of the interplay of religion, feminism and democracy in modern France.
Michael Hardt is an American literary theorist and political philosopher. Hardt is perhaps best known for his book Empire, which was co-written with Antonio Negri. It has been praised by some as the "Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century."
A performative lecture which contextualizes her multidisciplinary practice through the framework of voice, the piece has also been presented at Goldsmiths College and University of Manchester, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles. "Though wildly diverse, Susan Silton's works of the past decade nonetheless share elements of formal experimentation and aesthetic choice, and employ coded imagery and iconography to deliver socially and politically charged messages."--Christopher Miles, Artforum