Christopher A. Miller
A multi-modal, media-enhanced performance of John Cage’s 45′ for a Speaker (1954)
Athenaeum Classroom (Newman 124)
*hot teas and donuts served
Published in Silence, a collection of John Cage’s writings, 45′ for a Speaker is a performative series of lectures that provide insight into specific pieces of the prepared piano repertoire in addition to Cage’s general notions of composition by chance operations and consultation of the I-Ching. Such processes were also central to John Cage’s two artistic residencies in the local area, orchestrated primarily by Ray Kass, in 1983 and 1988 (Mountain Lake Workshop). This performance takes full advantage of the mediated classroom of Athenaeum to project selections from Cage’s New River Watercolors (1988) in complement with Cage-inspired digital art from Tony Obr and Kalak, photographs by LS King, and musical compositions from Bob Pillow and Kalak. Post-performance discussion will focus on Chris’ research on archiving as performance practice and the archives as a space for performance, which was the focus of his recent artistic residency at the Seoul Dance Center.
Professor Matthew Goodrum (STS, VT)
“Celts, Cavemen, and Other Contested Ancestors: Identifying the Prehistoric Peoples of Europe.”
Athenaeum Classroom (Newman 124)
*refreshments and conversation begin at 2:00p
By the middle of the nineteenth century archaeologists had extended human history into a deep prehistory, and soon paleontologists would extend that prehistory back into the geologic past of the Ice Age. For anthropologists the primary question was to identify who these prehistoric people were and what relationship they bore to modern Europeans or other existing peoples. My paper examines how anthropologists during the last half of the nineteenth century developed methods to examine and interpret prehistoric skeletons and formulated theories to explain how Europe became populated by successive waves of peoples (races). I then link this to my earlier research on the origins of paleoanthropology as a scientific discipline.
VT Publishing and Virginia Tech Libraries are excited to share a new Digital Humanities project, Redlining Virginia. The project is based on a physical exhibit that was held in the Newman Library at Virginia Tech from December 7, 2016 to February 17, 2017 and is part of a larger project, Mapping Inequality, a collaboration of three teams at four universities, including the University of Richmond, the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and Virginia Tech.
Mapping Inequality provides access to a collection of “security maps” and descriptions created by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) between 1935 and 1940. These maps and their corresponding descriptions used a color-coding system to assign risk levels to different areas within a city which were often based on racial lines. As a result, they changed the course of real-estate practice for over a century.
Redlining Virginia was created using Omeka by LaDale Winling, in the History Department, with Eleanor Boggs and Nicholas Bolin. It pulls together HOLC maps from popular areas in Virginia to show the impact on Virginia Cities over time.
For more information on Mapping Inequality, please see this VT News Story.
Please join us for an exciting event!
Athenaeum is participating in a national, synchronous celebration of Frederick Douglass’ birthday featuring a document transcribe-a-thon of the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers in collaboration with National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Transcription Center, and Colored Conventions Project. An event flyer is attached here.
Wednesday, February 14
Athenaeum Classroom (Newman 124)
Spillover locations: Athenaeum Collaboration Room (Newman 126) & Torgerson 3310 Classroom.
National event details: http://coloredconventions.org/hbd
Smithsonian transcription tool tutorial: https://transcription.si.edu/instructions
Freedmen’s Bureau Papers transcription page: https://transcription.si.edu/browse?filter=owner:16
National event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ColoredConventionsProject/
Event tags: #DouglassDay, #FreedmensBureau
National event planners have encouraged participants to visit the Smithsonian Transcription Center web site to register, view tutorials, and familiarize themselves with the tools ahead of the Douglass Day event.
In order to provide additional support for the event, our FlowGround time on Monday, February 12, 11:30am-1:00pm will be dedicated to STC transcription orientation.
Please do feel free to forward any questions, share the event as broadly as possible, and I hope you’ll join us for this terrific opportunity.
Please join us for the next Science, Technology & Society Seminar:Friday, February 9
Department of History
University of Virginia
“The First Extermination Event: Re-thinking the Sixth Extinction as the Necrocene.”
This talk argues that the contemporary Sixth Extinction Event is not the result of the Anthropocene, or humanity becoming a geological agent, but rather the Necrocene, or capitalism becoming an extinction event. The Necrocene – the New Epoch of Death-Necrosis – reveals how capitalism’s logic of “accumulation by extinction” has erased not just species, but peoples, cultures, and languages, a process that reached a planetary scale by the mid-Twentieth Century. By tracing the material dialectic of accumulation and extinction and its coevolution with a conceptual dialectic of risk and environment from the Eighteenth Century to Present, this talk shows how capitalism did not ignore environmental risk – it invented environmental risk and made it the central problem of its very survival. The history of Western environmentalism has been caught between two contradictory impulses. One has aided capitalism’s continued accumulation through a technocratic ethos of conservation. The other has embraced a misanthropic transcendentalism that argues it is the innate parasitic character of the human being itself that is driving ecological catastrophe. This dialectic produced both the scientific basis and ideological content of “planetary catastrophism.” Planetary catastrophism points to human nature as the agent of planetary destruction, obscuring who and what is responsible for the growing extinction crisis. But the First Extermination Event is something fundamentally different than the sixth iteration of a deep time bio-geological process. Only through awareness that it is global capitalist system of production, and not an undifferentiated “humanity,” can we begin to conceptualize what exactly this historical moment in the deep time of life entails.
Snacks and conversation to begin at 1:00. Josh Earle will handle your WebEx requests.