Reading at the Table
The annual Reading at the Table series provides an opportunity for members of the IUPUI community to celebrate published books written by IUPUI faculty or staff. During each luncheon, the featured author/editor will read from his or her work and open the floor to discussion. All programs are held from 11:30am to 1:00pm at the University Club Indianapolis located on the 2nd floor of the University Place Conference Center (850 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis, IN 46202), Room 200. University Club members and nonmembers, alike, are welcome to attend the monthly sessions. Seating is limited; registration is encouraged. Walk-ins will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis—if space is available. Purchase of a buffet-style lunch for $13.00 (dessert and soft drinks not included) is required to attend this event.
The schedule for the 2015-2016 academic year is:
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Edward E. Curtis IV, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
The Call of Bilal: Islam in the African Diaspora
How do people in the African diaspora practice Islam? While the term “Black Muslim” may conjure images of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, millions of African-descended Muslims around the globe have no connection to the American-based Nation of Islam. The Call of Bilal is a penetrating account of the rich diversity of Islamic religious practice among Africana Muslims worldwide. Covering North Africa and the Middle East, India and Pakistan, Europe, and the Americas, Edward E. Curtis IV reveals a fascinating range of religious activities—from the observance of the five pillars of Islam and the creation of transnational Sufi networks to the veneration of African saints and political struggles for racial justice. Weaving together ethnographic fieldwork and historical perspectives, Curtis shows how Africana Muslims interpret not only their religious identities but also their attachments to the African diaspora. For some, the dispersal of African people across time and space has been understood as a mere physical scattering or perhaps an economic opportunity. For others, it has been a metaphysical and spiritual exile of the soul from its sacred land and eternal home.
Wednesday, October 21
Terri Bourus, Ph.D.
Department of English
Young Shakespeare's Young Hamlet: Print, Piracy, and Performance
One of the most vexing textual, theatrical, and interpretive puzzles in Shakespearean studies is the existence of three different versions of Hamlet. In this groundbreaking work, Shakespeare scholar Terri Bourus argues that this puzzle can only be solved by drawing on multiple kinds of evidence and analysis, including history of the book, theatre history, biography, performance studies, and close readings of textual variants. Combining the history of print culture with practical theatrical experience and special attention to Hamlet’s women, Bourus presents here a case study of the “dramatic intersections” between Shakespeare’s literary and theatrical working practices. In the process, she reshapes our assumptions about the beginning of Shakespeare’s career and his artistic evolution.
Tuesday, November 17
Susan Tennant, MFA
Department of Human-Centered Computing
Once Upon a Digital Story, A Modern Approach to an Ancient Art
Throughout time, telling stories has been an integral part of culture, history, and the human experience. In our contemporary, technological age, Once Upon a Digital Story teaches readers the concepts, principles, and construction of storytelling across a variety of digital formats and platforms. These range from fiction and nonfiction linear narrative to nonlinear interactive media including online, video, performance, game scenarios, and transmedia. In this e-book, readers will learn what it is that makes good digital storytelling. They will explore the development process, organization, construction, and the use of social media and mobile devices for storytelling. From process to production, Once Upon a Digital Story provides examples, hyperlinks, and imagery that inform the reader about what to write, how to write, and how to create a media-rich digital story. The book has been developed for courses in media literacy, communications, writing, and media arts and sciences.
Wednesday, December 16
Jennifer Guiliano, Ph.D.
Department of History
Indian Spectacle: College Mascots and the Anxiety of Modern America
Amid controversies surrounding the team mascot and brand of the Washington Redskins in the National Football League and the use of mascots by K-12 schools, Americans demonstrate an expanding sensitivity to the pejorative use of references to Native Americans by sports organizations at all levels. Indian Spectacle explores the ways in which white, middle-class Americans have consumed narratives of masculinity, race, and collegiate athletics through the lens of Indian-themed athletic identities, mascots, and music. Drawing on a cross-section of American institutions of higher education, Guiliano investigates the role of sports mascots in the big business of twentieth-century American college football in order to connect mascotry to expressions of community identity, individual belonging, stereotyped imagery, and cultural hegemony. Guiliano recounts the history of the creation and spread of mascots and university identities as something bound up in the spectacle of halftime performance, the growth of collegiate competition, the influence of mass media, and how athletes, coaches, band members, spectators, university alumni, faculty and administrators, artists, writers, and members of local communities all have contributed to the dissemination of ideas of Indianness that is rarely rooted in native people’s actual lives.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Fran Quigley, JD
McKinney School of Law
If We Can Win Here: The New Front Lines of the Labor Movement
Do service-sector workers represent the future of the U.S. labor movement? Mid-twentieth-century union activism transformed manufacturing jobs from backbreaking, low-wage work into careers that allowed workers to buy homes and send their kids to college. Some union activists insist that there is no reason why service-sector workers cannot follow that same path. In If We Can Win Here, Fran Quigley tells the stories of janitors, fry cooks, and health-care aides trying to fight their way to middle-class incomes in Indianapolis. He also chronicles the struggles of the union organizers with whom the workers have made common cause. The service-sector workers of Indianapolis mirror the city’s demographics: they are white, African American, and Latino. In contrast, the union organizers are mostly white and younger than the workers they help rally. Quigley chronicles these allies’ setbacks, victories, bonds, and conflicts while placing their journey in the broader context of the global economy and labor history. As one Indiana-based organizer says of the struggle being waged in a state that has earned a reputation as anti-union: “If we can win here, we can win anywhere.” The outcome of the battle of Indianapolis may foretell the fate of workers across the United States.
Wednesday, February 17
David M. Craig, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Health Care as a Social Good: Religious Values and American Democracy
David M. Craig traveled across the United States to assess health care access, delivery and finance in this country. He interviewed religious hospital administrators and interfaith activists, learning how they balance the values of economic efficiency and community accountability. He met with conservatives, liberals, and moderates, reviewing their ideas for market reform or support for the Affordable Care Act. He discovered that health care in the US is not a private good or a public good. Decades of public policy and philanthropic service have made health care a shared social good. Health Care as a Social Good: Religious Values and the American Democracy argues that as escalating health costs absorb more and more of family income and government budgets, we need to take stock of the full range of health care values to create a different and more affordable community-based health care system. Transformation of that system is a national priority but Americans have failed to find a way to work together that bypasses our differences. Craig insists that community engagement around the common religious conviction that healing is a shared responsibility can help us achieve this transformation—one that will not only help us realize a new and better system, but one that reflects the ideals of American democracy and the common good.
Tuesday, March 22
David J. Bodenhamer, Ph.D.
Polis Center and Department of History
Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives
Deep maps are finely detailed, multimedia depictions of a place and the people, buildings, objects, flora, and fauna that exist within it and which are inseparable from the activities of everyday life. These depictions may encompass the beliefs, desires, hopes, and fears of residents and help show what ties one place to another. A deep map is a way to engage evidence within its spatio-temporal context and to provide a platform for a spatially-embedded argument. The essays in this book investigate deep mapping and the spatial narratives that stem from it. The authors come from a variety of disciplines: history, religious studies, geography and geographic information science, and computer science. Each applies the concepts of space, time, and place to problems central to an understanding of society and culture, employing deep maps to reveal the confluence of actions and evidence and to trace paths of intellectual exploration by making use of a new creative space that is visual, structurally open, multi-media, and multi-layered. (Co-editors of this volume are John Corrigan, the Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion and Professor of History at Florida State University, and Trevor M. Harris, Eberly Professor of Geography at West Virginia University.)
Wednesday, April 20
Andrea R. Jain, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture
Pre-modern and early modern yoga comprise techniques with a wide range of aims, from turning inward in quest of the true self, to turning outward for divine union, to channeling bodily energy in pursuit of sexual pleasure. Early modern yoga also encompassed countercultural beliefs and practices. In contrast, today modern yoga aims at the enhancement of the mind-body complex but does so according to contemporary dominant metaphysical, health, and fitness paradigms. Consequently, yoga is now a part of popular culture. In Selling Yoga, Andrea R. Jain explores the popularization of yoga in the context of late-twentieth-century consumer culture. She departs from conventional approaches by undermining essentialist definitions of yoga as well as assumptions that yoga underwent a linear trajectory of increasing popularization. While some studies trivialize popularized yoga systems by reducing them to the mere commodification or corruption of what is perceived as an otherwise fixed, authentic system, Jain suggests that this dichotomy oversimplifies the history of yoga as well as its meanings for contemporary practitioners. By discussing a wide array of modern yoga types, from Iyengar Yoga to Bikram Yoga, Jain argues that popularized yoga cannot be dismissed—that it has a variety of religious meanings and functions. Yoga brands destabilize the basic utility of yoga commodities and assign to them new meanings that represent the fulfillment of self-developmental needs often deemed sacred in contemporary consumer culture.
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