Reply-To: Iowa Project on Place Studies
Sender: Iowa Project on Place Studies
From: "Dean, Thomas K"
Subject: IN PLACE: A SEMINAR CONFERENCE (UI, December 7)
IN PLACE: A SEMINAR CONFERENCE
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 4:30-7:30 P.M. 304 ENGLISH-PHILOSOPHY BUILDING
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
The participants in UI professor Barbara Eckstein's graduate seminar on place are presenting ideas and images from their projects on December 7th at 4:30 in 304 EPB. Everyone is invited.
SESSION ONE: PRODUCING URBAN PLACES 4:30-5:25
"Garden Gateways: The Construction and Use of Shaw's Garden, 1850-1890" Erica Hannickel, American Studies
To what extent is the botanical garden an imperialistic, disciplinary, or imaginative space? The early history of the Missouri Botanical Garden, now located in St. Louis, reveals that 19th century publics formulated their identities and nation through discourses of nature and by producing open green space in the city. Yet was the production of space consonant with the experience of it? Special attention will be paid to the national and international context (the capitalistic and rhetorical formation of the garden), as well the changing garden space itself.
Stories behind the "Hutongs" of Beijing Li Guo, Cinema and Comparative Literature
This project examines the "hutongs" in the city of Beijing in the 20th Century. The term hutong refers to the lanes, alleys and streets that came into being in what is today called Beijing City during the early Yuan Dynasty (1260-1368). "Hutongs" are an interesting place for study as an ancient architectural structure underlying the mapping of Beijing City still today and as the site of people's everyday practice. I will first study how "hutong" serves as a contested terrain where racial, social, and cultural forces met and interacted in the last century, basing the study on images, symbols and names of "hutong". Besides I will investigate "hutongs" as places of historical memories. Relating to the ongoing debate about the preservation of "hutong" in China's urbanization process, I will investigate who's to take the lead in the preservation, by what means, to what extent. In addition I am interested to see how the marginalized, broken, native memories carried by "hutongs" work against the totalizing perspective of constructing the modern city, and how these ephemeral memories carried by "hutongs"
contribute to the ongoing process of defining Beijing as a place.
"Reversible Destinies in Lower Manhattan" Ben Basan, English
This paper will examine the spatial and platial implications of architects Arakawa and Gins' Museum of Living Bodies (to be constructed in the Seaport area) in relation to the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan. In sum, I will ask what it means to build a site that intends to 'defeat death' in the center of a hyper-capitalist cityscape in close proximity to an (elided) site of mass death.
SESSION TWO: BETWEEN NONPLACE AND PLACE/ CONSUMPTION AND CITIZENSHIP 5:30-6:10
"The Self, the Suburbs, and the Non-South: Walker Percy's Thanatos Syndrome" Everett Hamner, English
Considerable attention has been given to both Walker Percy's distinction between dyadic "signaling" and triadic "sign-making" and his fiction's relevance to the American South and particularly the Mississippi River Delta. This essay takes the additional step of linking his semiotics and
geography and tying them to both his personal history and his fiction. Ranging among various late essays and fictions, I focus on Percy's last and somewhat- neglected novel, The Thanatos Syndrome, which invites both the South and an increasingly-suburbanized America into an active dialectic between placement and non-placement, the Old and the New, "nature" and technology, and the sacred and the secular.
"SALVATION ARMY? - An examination of the role of the American thrift store in the production of the critically conscious citizen." Joshua Haringa, Intermedia Studies
This paper asks whether the consumptive space of the thrift store plays a role in the development of critically conscious subjects and the production of public debate. This paper argues that thrift stores' unique practices of commodity collection and display result in the production of a publicly accessible space that elicit personal public memory. These unintended reflections upon one's personal history force the subject to do the type of examination of personal and social historical development that is an essential component of any critical debate.
SESSION THREE: PRODUCING SPACE AND THE POLITICAL SUBJECT 6:15-7:30
"The Secession of Yugoslavia: Political, Social and Ethnic Geographies." Francesco Molinari, International Studies
The war in Yugoslavia has often been explained and justified as a bloodbath steeped in ethnic and religious differences and historical antagonism, which eventually would not allow coexistence. I will argue that the conflict was the product of political and economic interests which manipulated social groups identified by different geographies, urban and rural, mountain and valley, not only among different ethnicities, but also within each one.
"The Formation and Deformation of the Colonized Subject's Space: Seoul 1936 and YiSan's 'Wings'" Chang Seop Song, Visiting Faculty Scholar
Taking a Korean short fiction written during Japanese colonial rule as an example, this study analyzes the colonized subject's sense of space as it is inscribed in materialist terms of the production of the text.
"Down the river, back to the origins: the travel guides to the Chusovaya River and the production of natural landscape"
Natalia Chernyayeva, Women's Studies
The paper will examine the corpus of advice literature for tourists traveling down the Chusovaya River published in Russia during the period from the early 1960s to the 1990s. It will analyze several intertwined discourses (imperial, fictional, scientific, industrial and militarist) that different travel guides applied to the river's landscape, and how different types of representation activated multiple social and cultural identities in the modern Soviet subject.
"Memory and museum: Imagining Cape Town's District Six Museum" Cinda Nofziger, American Studies
This paper will examine the politics of the District Six Museum. I will look at the intersections of discourses of memory, tourism and the history of apartheid
in the creation of a "new" South African national identity.