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Friday, September 13, 2019 at 2:30pm
A.D. White House, Guerlac Room 121 President's Drive
“The Humanities of Testimony, revisited” The theories of testimony that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s to account for surviving atrocity take on new relevance and meaning in the context of today’s crises of truth. This paper revisits the theory of testimony and its risks in the time of great derangement (Ghosh), pervasive falsehood (Trump), and academic freedom (Derrida), arguing for the enduring possibilities posed by what Geoffrey Hartman called “the humanities of testimony."
Sara Guyer is Kellett Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she directed the Center for the Humanities from 2008-2018. She currently serves as the President of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, an international network of over 270 humanities institutions. Recent projects include the development of annual workshops for early career scholars on the African continent; new models for graduate training in the public humanities; and Global Humanities Institutes, a program for collaborative, interdisciplinary research with current working groups focused on Democracy; Translation; Labor Migration; and Global Mental Health. She directs the 2020 World Humanities Report, in partnership with the International Council for Philosophy and the Social Sciences and UNESCO. Her research focuses on romanticism and its legacies, theories of testimony, and philosophy and literature. She is the author of Romanticism After Auschwitz (Stanford, 2007) and Reading with John Clare: Biopoetics, Romanticism, Homelessness (Fordham UP, 2015) and has edited special issues of the journals Diacritics, Romantic Circles, and South Atlantic Quarterly. She co-edits the book series Lit Z (Fordham University Press).
This lecture is part of a two-day conference, "Re-Imagining the Discipline: German Studies, the Humanities, and the University." For full conference scehdule, visit http://events.cornell.edu/event/re-imagining_the_discipline_german_studies_the_humanities_and_the_university.