The University of Arizona


Humanities Week 2014

Monday , October 13, 2014
4:00 p.m.
Maggie Camp, East Asian Studies
Geishas to Harajuku Girls: The Changing Femininity of Japanese Women
Western stereotypes typically represent Japanese women as quiet, submissive, polite, and feminine. On the flip side, an average Japanese person may insist there is a lack of femininity exhibited by young Japanese women. But what is this ideal femininity? Does it really exist? Learn about the hegemonic norms and origins of modern femininity, and discover a variety of typical modern women who fall outside this “norm”. For more information, go to:
5:00 p.m.
Reception catered by Tazzina di Gelato
5:30 p.m.
Fabian Alfie, Italian
Breaking the Mold: The First(?) Woman in Italian Literature
Thirteenth-century Florence was not an ideal place to be a woman, especially a fairly outspoken poet. Active between 1260-1270, the woman known only as La Compiuta Donzella (the fulfilled damsel) attracted the attention of several male writers. Two of them were astonished that such wisdom could be found in a female. The third, the important poet Guittone d’Arezzo (1235-1294), praised her insights but reminded her to follow virtue. And yet, almost nothing is known about her, not even her name. She left a corpus of three sonnets, and her status as a woman in medieval Italy is a topic that her works all but invite us to examine. For more information, go to:
7:00 p.m.
Bonnie Wasserman, Africana Studies
Heroines, Hellraisers, and Homemakers: Famous Females in African Literature and Film
For a continent often referred to as “the motherland”, women have long played a pivotal role. Explore images of women in Francophone, Lusophone and Anglophone African literature and film. These portrayals cross time and place but our story begins with the traditional “Mother Africa” figure that appears in colonial poetry from Portuguese-speaking regions. Next, examine historical figures such as Nzinga, who fought against European colonialists and was later involved in the slave trade. Then, meet more recent figures from books portraying inter-racial relationships in post-colonial, African Islamic societies and women in polygamous families. For more information, go to:
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
5:00 p.m.
Karen Seat, Religious Studies
Daughters of Eve: Images of Women in the History of Christianity
Devil’s Gateway. Mother of God. Apostle to the Apostles. From the Genesis story of Adam and Eve to the New Testament texts encouraging both women’s silence as well as women’s unconventional public action, the Bible— and its interpretation by Christian communities—has loomed large in shaping the history of women in Europe, the United States, and around the world. Religious Studies Professor Karen Seat will discuss the social and political impact of Christian images of women, both past and present. For more information, go to:
6:30 p.m.
Caleb Simmons, Religious Studies
Mama is a Man: Gender and the Goddess Śrī Nārāyaṇī of Śrī Puram
Goddesses throughout history have come in many different forms. Some of the world’s oldest and most vibrant goddess traditions exist within the Hindu traditions, but how does goddess-centered devotion and philosophy translate into cultural assumptions about gender? Join us to discuss gender, sex, the divine feminine, and the male incarnation of the goddess Śrī Nārāyaṇī (Amma) at Śrī Puram in Tamil Nadu, India. Learn why Mama (Amma) can be a man. For more information, go to:
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
4 p.m.
Lincoln Cushing with Anne-Garland Mahler, Spanish & Portuguese
The Silkscreen Revolution: An Exhibit of Cuban Poster Art
Poster art produced following the Cuban Revolution offers a window into the island nation’s history and a truly revolutionary chapter in graphic design. With a unique graphic wit and exuberant colorful style, these posters rallied the Cuban people to the task of building a new society.  They helped organize massive sugar harvests and national literacy campaigns, promoted solidarity with global liberation struggles, and celebrated Cuba’s cultural scene. Lincoln Cushing, author of Revolución!:
Cuban Poster Art (2003) will guide us through the works’ rich social and artistic history. Reception immediately following the presentation. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Africana Studies Program. For more information, go to:
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Global Revolution From Harlem to Havana
After the reception ride the streetcar downtown to hear more from Anne-Garland Mahler as part of the UA Confluence Center’s SHOW & TELL @Playground.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
UA Poetry Center & UA Prose Series
A Reading by Benjamin Alire Sáenz 
Named one of the “Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World” by Poets and Writers Magazine, Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a transformational artist and bilingual poet, novelist, and writer of children’s books.  Sáenz’s most recent publications include a poetry collection titled The Book of What Remains (Copper Canyon Press, 2010) and the acclaimed young adult novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon and Schuster, 2012). Sáenz won the 2013 PEN/Faulkner award for fiction for his story collection Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club. For more information, go to:
Friday, October 17, 2014
 4:30 p.m.
Barbara Kosta, German Studies
City Girls: The  Modern Woman of Berlin’s Weimar Republic
Cut loose from a conventional female lifestyle of domesticity with her short hemline, bobbed hair, Cloche hat and cigarette, the new German woman became an icon of modernity during this period between World War I and II.  She graced the streets of the city on her way to work, to shop or to a show. She enjoyed an unprecedented freedom of movement with a range of opportunities little known to earlier generations of women. Join us for a look at the modern woman, a prominent figure that emerged in a time of vast social changes, a time that was driven by the passion to invent, change, and entertain. Her presence transformed the cityscape, and the city of Berlin became her stage. For more information, go to:
6:00 p.m.
Dessert Reception
7 p.m.
Russian & Slavic Studies
Wives, Widows, & Whoopee: The Lives and Loves of Russian Women
Russian women speak for themselves. A vengeful widow sending birds as incendiary bombs to raze enemy territory. A wife and mother abandoning her family to wage war against Napoleon. A cross-dressing saint. A Bolshevik revolutionary espousing free love. A brilliant bisexual poet. Meet these and other trail-blazing, hell-raising, rule-breaking, mold-shattering Russian women in readings of poetry and prose by members of the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies. For more information, go to: