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Past Conferences and Workshops

SEPTEMBER 12-13, 2014

Symposium poster

Symposium - Globalization and the Social Sciences
Sep. 12 (300 Wallace Hall) | Sep. 13 (219 Aaron Burr Hall)

Directors: Jeremy Adelman, Princeton; Olivier Bouin, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Paris; Michel Wieworka, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Paris

How have global processes and global histories shaped the social sciences? While social scientists have thought a great deal about globalization, few how asked how the scales and depth of interdependence between societies have shaped the models and techniques – the cognitive styles – of the social sciences. This symposium aims to discuss the past, present and future of the social sciences from an international perspective. With hubs in Princeton and the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Paris, we plan to explore how new global scales remap disciplinary inquiry. This event will likely evolve into a working group and yield an anthology of future-oriented essays that chart alternative pathways for social science research.

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Co-sponsored by PIIRS and the University Center for Human Values.

OCTOBER 9-11, 2014

Symposium poster

Symposium - Unpacking Derrida's Library: Secrets of the Archive
Oct. 9,  3 to 6 p.m. | Oct. 10, 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. | Oct. 11, 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
101 McCormick Hall

No registration required. 

Directors: Eduardo Cadava, Princeton; Avital Ronell, NYU

The symposium was created to honor the tenth anniversary of the death of French-Algerian philosopher, Jacques Derrida. Participants will explore the ways in which Derrida’s writings helped transform our understanding of a range of disciplines and areas in the humanities, including philosophy, literature, art and art history, music, architecture, anthropology, cultural studies, gender studies, law, psychoanalysis and human rights. The symposium will bring together philosophers, literary critics and theorists from Algeria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Scotland, New Zealand and the United States to think about the multiple legacies his work has left.

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October 16-18, 2014

Zoopoétique: L’Animal en Littérature Française

André Benhaïm (Princeton University)
Anne Simon (CNRS / EHESS, Paris) 

“Zoopoetics” can be defined as the study of the literary representation of the animal’s modes of being. In this conference, European and American scholars will reach beyond literature to engage in a dialogue with other disciplines (ethology, ethics, philosophy...) more commonly associated with Animal Studies. Stemming from the scholarly activities of the international research program “Animots” (hosted by the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Paris), this colloquium thus aims at asserting the legitimacy of animality in literary studies.

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February 7, 2014
Workshop on India's Maoist Insurgency
Directors: Jacob Shapiro, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs, WWS; Oliver Vanden Eynde, Visiting Associate Research Scholar, WWS

March 2, 2014
The Modern Spirit of Asia: A PIIRS Symposium on Peter van der Veer’s The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India
Directors: Stephen F. Teiser, D. T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies, professor of religion, and director of the Program in East Asian Studies

April 26-27, 2014
The Mediterranean City and Its Rulers: A Comparison of Byzantium, Islam, and Western Christendom in the High Middle Ages
Director: Teresa Shawcross, Assistant Professor of History

May 16-17, 2014
Making and Justifying Territorial Claims
Directors: David Carter, Assistant Professor of Politics, and Anna Stilz, Associate Professor of Politics

September 20-22, 2013
The Mashriq in the Age of Late Imperialism: The Mandate in Perspective, Emergence of Risk in the Global System
Director: Cyrus Schayegh, Assistant Professor, Near Eastern Studies

October 3, 2013
Fortunately, There Were Rebels: A Workshop on Constituent Assembly Debates
Director: Rahul Sagar, Assistant Professor of Politics

November 1-3, 2013
Semaphores and Surfaces: Reading the New African Cinemas
Director: Wendy Belcher, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and African American Studies, and Robert K. Root University Preceptor
November 8-9, 2013
Owned by China: Economic, Political, and Security Risks and Opportunities of Chinese Direct Investment in the World
Director: Sophie Meunier, Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School
November 21-23, 2013
The Itinerant Languages of Photography
Directors: Eduardo Cadava, Professor of English, and Gabriela Nouzeilles, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures and Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages


September 28–29, 2012
The Emergence of Risk in the Global System
Directors: Miguel Centeno, Sociology,  and Keng Sum Alex Tham, Graduate Student/Sociology
October 4-6, 2012
Arabic Thought beyond the Liberal Age: New Directions in Middle East Intellectual History
Directors: Max Weiss, History and Near Eastern Studies, and Jens Hanssen, University of Toronto
October 26-27, 2012
Poetry and Place: The Rise of the South
Director: Ping Wang, East Asian Studies

March 25 – April 1, 2013
Theater of Conflict and the Middle East: ‘A New Approach to an Old Divide’
Directors: Tamsen O. Wolff, English,  and Mara Isaacs, McCarter Theater

April 19 – 20, 2013
Regionalizing the Globe: An Experiment with Senegambia, Kunming, and a Bend in the Ganges
Director: Benjamin Conisbee Baer, Comparative Literature

May 24 – 25, 2013
Climate, History, and Change in Medieval Anatolia
Director: John Haldon, History


August 26–27, 2011
A Research Agenda for the History of Nonalignment
Director: Bradley Simpson, assistant professor of history and international affairs

October 14–15, 2011
Uncertain Paradigms: Ethnography and Theory
Directors: John Borneman, professor of anthropology, and Abdella Hammoudi, professor of anthropology

November 4–5, 2011
The Analects: A Western Han Text?
Director: Martin Kern, professor of East Asian studies

December 2–3, 2011
Political Membership: Global Histories
Director: Linda J. Colley, Shelby M. C. Davis 1958 Professor of History

March 1–2, 2012
New Worlds, New Philosophies: Discovery and Knowledge in the Atlantic World, 1500–1800
Directors: Sarah Rivett, assistant professor of English, and Nigel Smith, William and Annie S. Paton Foundation Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature and professor of English

April 20–21, 2012
Language, Culture, and Power: The Linguistic Field in Early Twentieth-Century China
Director: Janet Chen, assistant professor of history and East Asian Studies and Christian Gauss Fund University Preceptor

May 4–6, 2012
Objects of Affection: Towards a Materiology of Emotions Interdisciplinary Conference
Director: Serguei Oushakine, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Anthropology, and Acting Director of the Program for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Cosponsored by PIIRS, Davis Center for Historical Studies, Eberhard L. Faber Fund of the Humanities Council, University Center for Human Values in honor of James A. Moffett ’29, and the Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies

May 11–12, 2012
Visualizing Asia in the Modern World: A Conference on Image-Driven Scholarship
Director: Sheldon Garon, Nissan Professor in Japanese Studies and professor of history and East Asian studies Cosponsored with the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, the Council of the Humanities, the Program in East Asian Studies, the Department of History, and MIT Visualizing Cultures.


September 24, 2010
Historical Legacies in Communist and Postcommunist Eurasia: State Executives, Property, Law, and Geopolitics since the 1970s
Directors: Directors: Mark Beissinger, professor of politics and acting director, PIIRS; and Stephen Kotkin, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History 

October 8–9, 2010
The Modernist City in the Age of Globalization: Chandigarh
Directors: Esther da Costa Meyer, associate professor, art and archaeology; and Beatriz Colomina, professor of architecture 

December 2–4, 2010
The Itinerant Languages of Photography
Directors: Gabriela Nouzeilles, chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literaturesl; and Eduardo Cadava, professor of English

March 11–12
Ethnicity and Race in Latin America
Director: Edward Telles, professor of sociology 

April 21–22, 2011
Historical Legacies in Communist and Postcommunist Eurasia
Exploratory Seminar Follow-up Conference
Directors: Mark Beissinger, professor of politics and acting director, PIIRS; and Stephen Kotkin, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History

May 13–14, 2011
Benito Arias Montano (1527–1598) Biblical Scholarship and the Late Renaissance
Directors: Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Adam Beaver, assistant professor of history

May 18–19, 2011
Texts and Textbooks in South and Southeast Asia: Rethinking Asian Circulations
Directors: Michael Laffan, professor of history, and Bhavani Raman, assistant professor of history and David L. Rike University Preceptor in History


August 27–28, 2009
Migrant Youth and Children of Migrants in a Globalized World
Directors: Marta Tienda, Maurice P. During Professor in Demographic Studies; professor of sociology and public affairs; and director, Program in Latino Studies; and Sara McLanahan, William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs; and director, Center for Research on Child Well-Being.

September 18–19, 2009
Paper Leviathans: State-Building in Latin America and Spain 1810–1930
Director: Miguel Centeno, professor of sociology and international affairs
October 2–3, 2009
The Contemporary Study of Saint-John Perse
Directors: Carol Rigolot, Council of the Humanities, and Susan Stewart, Annan Professor of English
February 4–6, 2010
From Mongolia to Maasailand: A Comparative Assessment of Linkages between Pastoralist Land Rights and Social-Ecological Sustainability
Director: Daniel I. Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology; chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; and director, Program in African Studies
March 5, 2010
Too Cute: Style, Utopia, and American Asia-Mania
Director: Anne A. Chang, professor of English and African American Studies
March 11–13, 2010
Anthropology and Social Innovation in the Field of Global Health
Director: Joao Biehl, professor of anthropology, codirector, Program in Global Health and Health Policy
March 15–17, 2010
Meeting a Grand Challenge to Hydrology: The Global Monitoring of Earth’s Terrestrial Water
Director: Eric Wood, professor of civil and environmental engineering
March 19–21, 2010
Northeast African Literature
Director: Wendy Belcher, assistant professor of comparative literature and African American Studies
April 30–May 1, 2010
Political Parties in Developing Democracies
Director: Rachel Riedl, postdoctoral research associate, PIIRS


August 31–September 2, 2008
Institutions and Development in Latin America: A Comparative Analysis
Directors: Alejandro Portes, Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology, and Lori Smith, graduate student, Department of Sociology

November 13–15, 2008
New Directions in Gender Studies and Medieval German Studies
Director: Sara Poor, associate professor of German
January 6–7, 2009
Internationalizing Machado de Assis
Director: Pedro Monteiro, associate professor of Spanish and Portugese
March 20–21, 2009
Turkish Modernity and the Social Sciences
Directors: Cemil Aydin, postdoctoral research associate, Department of Near Eastern Studies; and Michael Reynolds, assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies
March 27–28, 2009
Emergent Communication
Directors: Asif Ghazanfar, assistant professor of psychology, and Adele Goldberg, professor of linquistics
April 10–11, 2009
The Interface between Information Theory and Estimation Theory
Director: Sergio Verdu, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering
May 9–10, 2009
The Control and Disposition of Fissile Material in a Transition to a Nuclear-Weapon Free World
Director: Frank von Hippel, professor of public and international affairs


March 28–29, 2008
Reception of Netherlandish Art in Asia in the Early Modern Period
Director: Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Frederick Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology 

April 25–26, 2008
Sustaining the Global Commons: An Experimental Approach
Directors: Deborah Prentice, professor of psychology; Daniel I. Rubenstein, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; and Simon Levin, the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology
May 2–3, 2008
Sigmund Freud and Art
Director: Ruben Gallo, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese
May 3–4, 2008
Genre and Tradition in Early Medieval China
Directors: Martin Kern, professor of East Asian Studies; and Ping Wang, assistant professor of East Asian Studies