Emory Report
November 7, 2005
Volume 58, Number 10


Emory Report homepage  

November 7 , 2005
Seminar to create ‘combined perspectives’ of Europe

BY Chanmi kim

There is something for everyone in this year’s European Studies Seminar, which kicks off today and runs on the first Monday of every month. Hosted by a variety of researchers, the seminar covers a range of topics on European studies, from national identity in the era of European integration (Feb. 6, 2006) to Paris fashion in the 1830s and 40s (Dec. 5) to “metaphysical shudder, or how to do things in tears” (Apr. 3, 2006).

“Emory has a wealth of scholarly, practical and personal expertise concerning Europe,” said Bruce Knauft, Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology and executive director of the Institute for Comparative and International Studies, “and the European Studies Seminar cultivates and profiles Emory’s scholarship on issues relating to Europe in a highly organic and creative way.”

The seminar does this by “presenting and exploring the groundbreaking work of Emory faculty members in relation to Europe across a range of humanities and social science fields,” Knauft said. In so doing, it will present “new scholarship and create new intellectual connections in relation to Europe.”

In addition to promoting the study of Europe, the seminar also provides a forum for dialogue and the exchange of ideas among faculty and graduate students. “It came out of a faculty need to be able to exchange and discuss our research,” said steering committee member Judith Miller, associate professor of history.

“We really wanted to put our focus on supporting research by Emory faculty who work in Europe,” Miller said, “and to create a space for that.”

The space is a six-part seminar to be held on the first Monday of each month for the remainder of the academic year, excluding January. At each session, two presenters will give 15-minute talks on their research, followed by a five-minute comment by another colleague and a
40-minute discussion.

“The strengths [of the seminar] are related,” said Kevin Corrigan, professor of the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts and a member of the steering committee. “[They are] to bring together and develop those faculty and student resources we already have here at Emory, and to make them known in a scholarly way to each other so we can plan something with a real vision for our students and faculty for the future.”

“Exploring different new perspectives on Europe promises the creation of freshly combined perspectives concerning this key region of our world,” Knauft said. “This method is unique to Emory.” Many European studies programs at other universities tend to pursue only a single set of disciplinary or applied perspectives.
“One purpose of the seminar,” Corrigan said, “is to allow European studies to emerge as part of the natural intellectual interests of Emory faculty without imposing a structure from on high or from outside. That is, to emerge as part of a continuing conversation or dialogue so that planning for the future can start there and develop.”

According to Miller, some possible plans for the future include setting up yearlong pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, bringing in doctoral and post doctoral fellows and/or visiting scholars, starting up a publication of scholarly research, or perhaps even a major conference.

The first session will be held today, Nov. 7, at 4:30 p.m. and features Erik Butler, assistant professor of German studies, and Walter Melion, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History. Butler will present “War, the Playful Muse, and the Emergence of European Vernaculars: Justus Georg Schottelius and the Bella Grammaticalia,” and Melion “‘Nor my praise to graven images’: Divine Artifice and the Heart’s Idols in a 16th Century Painted Print of The Trinity.”

The Trinity print, which presents God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, of the 1580s “functioned as an instrument of identity-formation,” Melion said. “We inhabit a time and place where confessional divisions demarcate cultural, political, and social differences. My paper examines an early modern instance of negotiation across such divides.”

All seminars are open to faculty and graduate students, and will be held on the first Monday of every month, from 4:30–6:30 p.m., in 323 Bowden Hall, followed by dinner for further discussion. To RSVP for dinner or for a full schedule of the seminar, contact Bo Klintberg at bklintb@emory.edu.