Reading Groups

IHUM sponsors a small number of reading groups for graduate students and faculty. Groups convene around an interdisciplinary interest, and are open to all. Details about meetings and membership are available on each group's page, linked below. Click here for guidelines for running a group. If you are interested in starting a new reading group, please contact the director.

After Critique

This reading group interrogates the alleged downfall of the “hermeneutics of suspicion” and “symptomatic reading” as dominant modes of critical thought. What are these modes, are they actually declining, and if so, what comes after them?
Tags:  2020–2021

Agency in the Anthropocene

This collaborative discussion group reexamines questions of action, choice, and other elements of agency with a historical focus and an interdisciplinary set of readings.
Tags:  2020–2021

Art and Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century

This reading group will convene virtually once a week to discuss both primary and scholarly texts related to art and culture in the long nineteenth century.
Tags:  2020–2021

Asian American Studies

This reading group aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to read and discuss works in Asian American Studies. Topics include race relations, diasporic communities, and food culture.
Tags:  2020–2021

Black Feminism(s): Theory, Praxis, and Poetics

We explore the changing terrain of Black feminist thought through poetry, theory, history, and current activism. Our theoretical lens is invested in Black Marxism, Black queer studies, Black geographies of space and time, and black radical thought.
Tags:  2020–2021

Chasing Ghosts: Hauntedness as Theory and Practice

Hauntedness has become a familiar expression of what it means to reckon with trauma, belatedness, and historicity. This group will explore its capacity as a frame for understanding both self and world.
Tags:  2020–2021

Derrida and Post- Phenomenology

One way of reading the transformative early work of Jacques Derrida is to understand that work as a complex response to, and reformulation of, the German phenomenological tradition – notably the writings of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger – in light of its political and philosophical shortcomings.
Tags:  2020–2021

Diaspora

This group discusses current theoretical debates within the field of “Diaspora Studies,” focusing on how and why “diaspora” has emerged as a viable framework to study personal identities, community ethics, patterns of migration, etc. We will read ethnographies and histories of “diasporic” populations and host some guest speakers.
Tags:  2020–2021

Imperial Sound Media

This reading group, “Imperial Sound Media,” examines technologies that facilitated the sonic development of colonial empires in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with an emphasis on phonograph and radio.
Tags:  2020–2021

Mysticisms

The mysticisms reading group brings together texts from a range of traditions, periods, and origins in order to consider how encounters with the ineffable are put into words.
Tags:  2020–2021

Race, Citizenship and the State

This reading group explores the interconnections between racial formation and state power, examining themes such as carcerality, labor and migration.
Tags:  2020–2021

Receptions of Latin Literature 2020-2021

A group that meets monthly to discuss topics in the reception of Latin literature, in all its manifold genres, in European and American culture.
Tags:  2020–2021

Technics

This reading group is concerned with the technical. It addresses the work of tools, the manipulation of matter, the function of machines. It tackles what it means to “know” technically, and the relationship between human subjects and technical objects.
Tags:  2020–2021

Theorizing Women in the Ancient World

Reading secondary scholarship on feminist and gender theory alongside primary texts from the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, ca. 500 BCE–500 CE
Tags:  2020–2021