Podcasts from Columbia University's The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, where we feature talks with professors about their recent work, publications, novels and more. Hear them read from their work, and also responses from other professors in their fields. These episodes are hosted by Olivia Branscum and Timothy Lundy.
We also feature The Trilling Tapes. In this podcast series, we mine the recorded archives--the Trilling Tapes--to uncover and contextualize more than forty years of exceptional critical thought.
Frank Andre Guridy's The Sports Revolution: How Texas Changed the Culture of American Athletics
In the 1960s and 1970s, America experienced a sports revolution. New professional sports franchises and leagues were established, new stadiums were built, football and basketball grew in popularity, and the proliferation of television enabled people across the country to support their favorite teams and athletes from the comfort of their homes. At the same time, the civil rights and feminist movements were reshaping the nation, broadening the boundaries of social and political participation. The Sports Revolution tells how these forces came together in the Lone Star State.
Tracing events from the end of Jim Crow to the 1980s, Frank Guridy chronicles the unlikely alliances that integrated professional and collegiate sports and launched women’s tennis. He explores the new forms of inclusion and exclusion that emerged during the era, including the role the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders played in defining womanhood in the age of second-wave feminism. Guridy explains how the sexual revolution, desegregation, and changing demographics played out both on and off the field as he recounts how the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers and how Mexican American fans and their support for the Spurs fostered a revival of professional basketball in San Antonio. Guridy argues that the catalysts for these changes were undone by the same forces of commercialization that set them in motion and reveals that, for better and for worse, Texas was at the center of America’s expanding political, economic, and emotional investments in sport.
Chris Washburne's Latin Jazz: The Other Jazz
Jazz has always been a genre built on the blending of disparate musical cultures. Latin jazz illustrates this perhaps better than any other style in this rich tradition, yet its cultural heritage has been all but erased from narratives of jazz history. Told from the perspective of a long-time jazz insider, Latin Jazz: The Other Jazz corrects the record, providing a historical account that embraces the genre's international nature and explores the dynamic interplay of economics, race, ethnicity, and nationalism that shaped it.
Kaiama L. Glover's A Regarded Self: Caribbean Womanhood and the Ethics of Disorderly Being
Hosted by Olivia Branscum and Timothy Lundy, this week's episode features Kaiama L. Glover's A Regarded Self: Caribbean Womanhood and the Ethics of Disorderly Being.
In A Regarded Self Kaiama L. Glover champions unruly female protagonists who adamantly refuse the constraints of coercive communities. Reading novels by Marie Chauvet, Maryse Condé, René Depestre, Marlon James, and Jamaica Kincaid, Glover shows how these authors' women characters enact practices of freedom that privilege the self in ways unmediated and unrestricted by group affiliation. The women of these texts offend, disturb, and reorder the world around them. They challenge the primacy of the community over the individual and propose provocative forms of subjecthood. Highlighting the style and the stakes of these women's radical ethics of self-regard, Glover reframes Caribbean literary studies in ways that critique the moral principles, politicized perspectives, and established critical frameworks that so often govern contemporary reading practices. She asks readers and critics of postcolonial literature to question their own gendered expectations and to embrace less constrictive modes of theorization.
Dustin Stewart's Futures of Enlightenment Poetry
This book offers a revisionist account of poetry and embodiment from Milton to Romanticism. Scholars have made much of the period's theories of matter, with some studies equating the eighteenth century's modernity with its materialism. Yet the Enlightenment in Britain also brought bold new arguments for the immateriality of spirit and evocative claims about an imminent spirit realm. Protestant religious writing was of two minds about futurity, swinging back and forth between patience for the resurrected body and desire for the released soul. This ancient pattern carried over, the book argues, into understandings of poetry as a modern devotional practice.
Jack Halberstam's Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire
In Wild Things Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which wildness has been associated with queerness and queer bodies throughout the twentieth century. Halberstam theorizes the wild as an unbounded and unpredictable space that offers sources of opposition to modernity's orderly impulses. Wildness illuminates the normative taxonomies of sexuality against which radical queer practice and politics operate. Throughout, Halberstam engages with a wide variety of texts, practices, and cultural imaginaries—from zombies, falconry, and M. NourbeSe Philip's Zong! to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and the career of Irish anticolonial revolutionary Roger Casement—to demonstrate how wildness provides the means to know and to be in ways that transgress Euro-American notions of the modern liberal subject. With Wild Things, Halberstam opens new possibilities for queer theory and for wild thinking more broadly.
Matthew Hart's Extraterritorial: A Political Geography of Contemporary Fiction
The future of fiction is neither global nor national. Instead, Matthew Hart argues, it is trending extraterritorial. Extraterritorial spaces fall outside of national borders but enhance state power. They cut across geography and history but do not point the way to a borderless new world. They range from the United Nations headquarters and international waters to CIA black sites and the departure zones at international airports. The political geography of the present, Hart shows, has come to resemble a patchwork of such spaces.
Hart reveals extraterritoriality’s centrality to twenty-first-century art and fiction. He shows how extraterritorial fictions expose the way states construct “global” space in their own interests. Extraterritorial novels teach us not to mistake cracks or gradations in political geography for a crisis of the state. Hart demonstrates how the unstable character of many twenty-first-century aesthetic forms can be traced to the increasingly extraterritorial nature of contemporary political geography. Discussing writers such as Margaret Atwood, J. G. Ballard, Amitav Ghosh, Chang-rae Lee, Hilary Mantel, and China Miéville, as well as artists like Hito Steyerl and Mark Wallinger, Hart combines lively critical readings of contemporary novels with historical and theoretical discussions about sovereignty, globalization, cosmopolitanism, and postcolonialism. Extraterritorial presents a new theory of literature that explains what happens when dreams of an open, connected world confront the reality of mobile, elastic, and tenacious borders.