Sunday, October 30, 2011

Conference on Global Modernities
May 3-4, 2013

California State University, Los Angeles

Sponsored by Cal State L.A.'s Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicano Studies, the Department of English, the Barry Munitz Fund, and the Emeriti Association.

Photos taken during the conference:

Friday, May 3

Photo by Mario Castillo

Registration Table:  Rosario Soto and Ivan Kasimoff

Registration on May 3.  Left to Right: Demetrius Margaziotis, Ted Crovello,
Rosario Soto, and Ivan Kasimoff

Conference Programs and Posters

Ivan Kasimoff at the Registration Table

Michael Cervantes, Cal State L.A. Alumnus
Conference Photographer

Left to Right:  Juan Carlos Parrilla, Donald Dewey,
Alfredo Morales, and Roberto Cantú

Group photos taken on May 3, 2013

Welcoming our conference guests to Cal State L.A.
and opening remarks

A warm welcome to our audience and conference guests

Left to Right: with Don Dewey, Ted Crovello, and Steve LaDochy

With Ted Crovello and Steve LaDochy

Lou Negrete opens his session
"Global Migrations and Travel Narratives"

Eliud Martínez makes his presentation

Left to Right:  Lou Negrete, Rune Graulund, Elisabeth Lore,
and Eliud Martínez

Rune Graulund presents

Elisabeth Lore at the podium

Interacting with the audience

Marc Haefele opens his session titled
"Arab enaissance, Modernity, and Religious Fundamentalisms"

Left to Right:  Marc Haefele, Amanda Batarseh, Zaman Stanizai,
and Kathryn Robison

Amanda Batarseh makes her presentation

Zaman Stanizai at the podium

Kathryn Robison's presentation

Interacting with the audience

After the session

Joseph Prabhu's featured lecture

Photo by Ted Crovello

Left to Right:  Joseph Prabhu and Ted Anagnoson

Ted Anagnoson's commentary

Left to Right:  Ted Anagnoson, Donald Dewey,
and Joseph Prabhu

Joseph Prabhu answers questions from the audience

Peter Brier intervenes in the Q & A

Left to Right:  Ted Crovello, Ewa Luczak,
and Yehudi Webster

Ewa Luczak delivers her featured lecture

Yehudi Webster's response

Interactions with the audience during the Q & A period

The future Professor Luczak takes notes...

Karina Oliva-Alvarado opens her session titled
"Chican@s and Mexica@s Norteños:
Bi-Borderlands Dialogues on Literary and Cultural Production"

Left to Right: Karina Oliva-Alvarado, Graciela Silva-Rodríguez,
Mario Castillo, and Manuel de Jesús Hernández

Graciela Silva-Rodríguez presents

Rosina Conde discusses her literary art and the poetics
of Baja California literature

Photo by Ted Crovello

Manuel de Jesús Hernández at the podium

Mario Castillo talks about his photography
annd the book's cover

Panel discussion

Rosina Conde responds to a question
from the audience

Stanley Burstein opens his session titled
"Asian Homelands, Modernity, and Globalization"

Shuei-may Chang makes her presentation

Left to Right:  Shuei-may Chang, Stanley Burstein,
and Pratim Barua

Pratim Barua at the podium

Question and Answer period with the audience

Manuel de Jesús Hernández interacts with the panelists

More questions and answers

Ted Crovello introduces featured speaker
Sheldon Lu, and respondent Toming Jun Liu

Left to Right:  Ted Crovello, Sheldon Lu, and Toming Jun Liu

Sheldon Lu makes his presentation on
China and modernity

My colleague and younger brother Toming Jun Liu responds

Sheldon and Toming discuss the question of modernity in China

Toming's closing remarks

Photo taken earlier in the day, Left to Right:
Sheldon Lu, Ted Crovello, myself, and Demetrius Margaziotis

Saturday, May 4

Registration Table: Cristóbal Palma and Teresa Metcalf-Yzaguirre

Cristóbal Palma (Cal State L.A. alumnus) at the Registration Table

Introducing Dr. James Ferguson

Dr. James Ferguson's lecture:
"Give a Man a Fish: The New
Politics of Distribution in South Africa
(and Beyond)"

Dr. Jennifer De Maio reviews her response

Introducing Dr. Jennifer De Maio

 Dr. Frances Rothstein contributes to the Q & A

Left to Right:  Sheldon Lu, James Ferguson, and William Patzert

Professor Deborah Conway de Prieto opens the session
"Africa and Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Globalization"

Panelists:  Amy Riddle (UC Davis), and Nicole Wardell (Weber State University, Utah)

Answering questions from the audience

William Patzert (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA)

Eliiud Martínez (UC Riverside) comments on the presentations

Steven Trujillo (microphone) intervenes in the discussion

Introducing Dr. Frances Rothstein and respondent Dr. Enrique Ochoa

Dr. Frances Rothstein's feature lecture:
"Global Modernities: Coherence and Contradiction in Rural Mexico"

Enrique Ochoa's response 

Q & A period with the audience

Session "Globalization and Its Discontents"
Left to Right: Bidhan Chandra Roy, Zlatan Filipovic,
Sandra Wawrytko, and Dennis Rohatyn

Bidhan Chandra Roy introduces speakers

Photo by Ted Crovello

Zlatan Filipovic (Sweden)

Sandra Wawrytko (San Diego State University)

Dennis Rohatyn (University of San Diego)

Questions from the audience:
Joseph Prabhu (microphone)

Rubén Quintero (microphone)

 Eliud Martínez (UC Riverside)

An amazing session!

The discussion continues:  Frances Rothstein and Steven Trujillo

Steve LaDochy opens session 
"Global Environmental  Change:
Impacts on Society and the Natural World"

Left to Right: Benjamin Hold (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA),
Steve LaDochy, and Steven Trujillo

Benjamin Hold makes his presentation

Steve LaDochy's presentation

Nancy Pearlman's presentation

William Patzert's keynote lecture:
"Climate Change, 7 Billion People, and 5 Billion Cell Phones:
The Future Aint' What It Used to Be"

Steve LaDochy and Benjamin Hold at dinner time!
Photo by Ted Crovello

Dining after a day of engaging lectures and sessions

Cristóbal Palma and Lou Negrete build on the conference's dialogue

The great staff at the Golden Eagle Ballroom!
See you next year!

Conference on Global Modernities

The organizers of this conference propose to continue the dialogue and productive exchange that took place at Cal State L.A. on February 12-13, 2011, on the occasion of an international conference on Modernity, Critique, and Humanism. We now turn our attention to areas of concern related to global demography, biodiversity, and to political and social movements in different parts of the world. The proposed scope of reflections range from the challenges to rethink and imagine a world that has become increasingly interdependent, to posing new questions, conditions, and possibilities for a better understanding of the ways in which modernity—global and manifold in scope--is shaping our modes of communication, the emergence of local identities, and a financial crisis in an unprecedented global scale.

The 2013 Conference on Global Modernities offers a scholarly forum for critical discussions that wish to move beyond the limits of current and established debates, encouraging an interdisciplinary dialogue with an emphasis on the experiences, critical examinations, and artistic expressions that have been recorded in print or other formats by scholars representing different fields and countries in the world, including artists and writers with innovative representations of global modernities.  Invited areas of critical examination include (a) practices of interaction in civic, communitarian, national, and global communication; (b) pedagogical forms of instruction that are emergent and innovative in the research and study of globalization; (c) challenges to our consumption habits by new research on endangered ecosystems and on the planet’s failing biodiversity; (d) theoretical innovations in the fields of literature and the arts, criticism, social theory, demographics, and philosophical and critical thought.

Nearby Hotels:  Alhambra and San Gabriel, CA.
Make your reservations ASAP

1. San Gabriel Hilton (San Gabriel, CA). This hotel is close to the San Bernardino Freeway (10), and to Cal State L.A.  It is located in the heart of nice shops and several restaurants, with luxurious rooms and beautiful décor. Highly recommended. All conference participants who are guests at the San Gabriel Hilton will receive a corporate rate of only $123 per night plus 10% tax per room (one King bed, or two Queen beds).  The San Gabriel Hilton‘s address is 225 West Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA, 91776.  To make your reservations call 1-800-HILTONS or go to and make your reservation with the code "CCGM."  Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the San Gabriel Hilton:  Super Shuttle, telephone:  (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.

2. Days Inn-Alhambra (Alhambra, CA).  This hotel is nearby restaurant row and close to the University. The managers (Mrs. Dimple or Mr. TJ) have agreed to give conference participants the corporate rate of $80.10 plus tax for a King bed; $89.10 plus tax for 2 Queen beds, per night. Continental breakfast is included.  Make your reservation by telephone: (626) 308-0014; or by Fax:  (626) 281-5996.  To receive this special rate you must identify yourself as a participant in Cal State L.A.‘s Conference on Global Modernities.  Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the Days Inn-Alhambra:  Super Shuttle, telephone:  (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.  

Conference Meals
Speakers and panelists will have two luncheons and two dinners as part of Cal State L.A.‘s hospitality during the conference. The cost of the four meals is a reduced rate of $110 (includes tax and service charge).  The deadline for meal payments is Monday,  April 22; for participants flying from abroad, the deadline extends to morning registration on May 4.  Make checks payable to Golden Eagle Hospitality, and mail to:

Dr. Roberto Cantú
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA  90032

All conference participants are expected to pay the $110 for conference meals, even if dining outside of the conference. The two luncheons and two dinners (one corresponds to the conference banquet on May 4), are open only to conference participants and to our general audience.  After the morning registration on May 3, participation in the meal program will be closed. 

Conference Program
Friday, May 3
Registration & Coffee
8:30-9:00 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom
California State University, Los Angeles

Welcome and Introduction
9:00-9:30 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Session #1

Friday, May 3, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Title of Session:

“Global Migrations and Travel Narratives”

Moderator: Louis R. Negrete, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Rune Graulund, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Globalization, Travel Writings, and National City Systems”

2. Elisabeth Lore, University of California, Davis
Mediating Authors: Literary discourse as an open discussion on immigration in
Luis Alberto Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North and Azouz Begag’s Camping à la ferme”

3. Eliud Martínez, University of California, Riverside
“Modernism in Nicolás Echeverría’s Film, Cabeza de Vaca: Lo real maravilloso on a 20th Century Film”

Session #2
Friday, May 3, 10:40-11:50 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Title of Session:
“Arab Renaissance, Modernity, 
and Religious Fundamentalisms”

Moderator: Marc Haefele, California State University, Los Angeles


  1. Amanda Batarseh, University of California, Davis
The Arab Renaissance (Al-Nahda) and the Reception of Greco-Roman Classical Antiquity”

  2. M. Christhu Doss, University of New Delhi, India
“Missionary Insurgency and Modernity of Marginality in Colonial Tamil Nadu”

  3. Zaman Stanizai, Pacifica Graduate Institute, California
“Robbing the Arab Spring of Political Legitimacy”

  4. Kathryn Robison, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
 Legislating a Divide: How Christian Fundamentalists
Reacted to Modernity and Secularization in the United States' Classrooms

Art by Kasuhiko Nakamura

Featured Speaker #1
May 3, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Dr. Joseph Prabhu
University of California, Los Angeles

Title of Lecture:

Human Rights:  The Dialogue between
Western Liberalism and Islam

Dr. Theodore Anagnoson
California State University, Los Angeles
Visiting Professor, UC Santa Barbara

May 3, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice and Beans,
Tortillas, Salsa, Full Salad Bar,
Desserts, Water, and Iced Tea

Featured Speaker #2
May 3, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Dr. Ewa Luczak
University of Warsaw, Poland

Title of Lecture:

“’The Menace of the Under Man’:
Eugenic Discourse and the Construction of the West”

Dr. Yehudi Webster
California State University, Los Angeles

Session #3
May 3, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Presentation of Book

“Chican@s y Mexican@s Norteños:
Bi-Bordernalds Dialogues on Literary and Cultural Production”

Moderator: Karina Oliva-Alvarado, California State University, Los Angeles


  1. Graciela Silva-Rodríguez, Chicago State University, Illinois
“Historicizing Literary and Cultural Production in the Chicano Southwest and Northern Mexico”

  2. Rosina Conde, Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México
“Sobre el proceso escritural: literaturizar el femenino del noroeste mexicano”

  3. Mario Castillo, Independent Art Photographer, Baja California
“Portada del Libro: las fronteras y un arte sin ellas”

  4. Manuel de Jesús Hernández-G., Arizona State University
“Past and Contemporary Chicano and Chicana Literature in Spanish and Translated into Spanish”

Session #4
May 3, 4:50-6:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Title of Session:

“Asian Homelands, Modernity, 
and Globalization”

Moderator:  Stanley Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Chialan Sharon Wang, Wenzhou Kean University, China
“Writing Away My Homeland: Ha Jin’s Waiting and Nanjing Requiem

2. Shuei-may Chang, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
“The Aesthetics of the Double:Reflections on Chinese Modernity in Amy Tan’s ‘A Pair of Tickets’”

3. Srijani Ghosh, Michigan State University, East Lansing
“California Dreams?  Diasporic Alienation and the Indian Chick Lit Heroine”

4. Linda Fitzgibbon, The University of Queensland, Australia
“A critical discourse analysis of a global commercial English language textbook: ‘I didn’t recognize about that before you talking’”

Featured Speaker #3
Friday, May 3, 6:10-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Dr. Sheldon Lu
University of California, Davis

Title of Lecture:

“Global Modernity and Local Condition:
Debates about China”

Dr. Toming Jun Liu
California State University, Los Angeles

Dinner, May 3, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
University Club

Sesame Beef Stir-fry,
Steamed Rice, Stir-fry Vegetables,
Asian Green Salad, Desserts,
Water, and Iced-Tea


Saturday, May 4, 2012

Featured Speaker #4

May 4, 9:00-10:15 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Dr. James Ferguson
Stanford University

Title of Lecture:

“Give a Man a Fish:
The New Politics of Distribution in South Africa
(and Beyond)”

Dr. Jennifer De Maio
California State University, Northridge

Session #5
May 4, 10:20-11:45 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Title of Session:

“Africa and Cosmopolitanism 
in the Age of Globalization”  

Moderator: Deborah Conway de Prieto, California State University, Los Angeles


  1. Nicole Wardell, Weber State University, Utah
“In Search of Liberia: Liberian Civil War Diasporic Literature”
  2. Amy Riddle, University of California, Davis
“Modernity and the Niger Delta in Helon Habila’s Oil on Water”

 3. Heidi Aijala, Western Washington University
“Embracing an Unforgiving World: Answering the Challenge of Cosmopolitanism in James and Hollinghurst”

 Featured Speaker # 5

Saturday, May 4, 12:00-1:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Dr. Frances Rothstein
Montclair State University, New Jersey

Title of Lecture:

“Global Modernities:
Coherence and Contradiction in Rural Mexico”

Dr. Enrique Ochoa
California State University, Los Angeles

Lunch, May 4, 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Basil Pesto Pasta & Grilled Chicken,
Garlic Bread, Full Salad Bar,
Dessert, Water, and Iced-Tea

Art by Didier Massard
Session #6
May 4, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Title of Session:

“Globalization and its Discontents”

Moderator: Bidhan Chandra Roy, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Zlatan Filipovic, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
“Being Ashamed: An Ethics of a Blush”

2. Dennis Rohatyn, University of San Diego
“Don’t Get Around Much Anymore: Polity, Technology, and Public Transportation”

3. Sandra A. Wawrytko, San Diego State University
“Buddhist Epistemology as a Means to Overturn the Cognitive Confusion of Infonomy”

4. Frank Weiner, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
“Mass Hysteria:  Notes Towards the de-Socialization of Architectural Knowledge in the Electronic age”

Art by Kasuhiko Nakamura

Session # 7
May 4, 4:15-5:50 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Title of Session:

“Global Environmental Change:
Impacts on Society and the Natural World”

Moderator: Steve La Dochy, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Nancy Pearlman, Executive Producer and Host of ECONEWS
“Protecting Cultures and Ecosystems Worldwide Through Ecotourism”

2. Benjamin Holt,  Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
“The Rapidly Changing Arctic Ocean and its Sea Ice Cover”

3. Steve La Dochy, California State University, Los Angeles
“California is Heating Up, but It’s Oh, So Much Worse in the Cities”

Keynote Speaker

Saturday, May 4, 6:00-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Dr. William Patzert
Oceanographer and Research Scientist at NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California

Title of Lecture:

“Climate Change, 7 Billion People 
and 5 Billion Cell Phones:

The Future Ain't What It Used To Be”

Conference Banquet

May 4, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Grilled Salmon, Roasted Red Potatoes,
Bread, Fresh Vegetables, Dessert,
Water, and Iced-Tea

End of Conference


Art by Josema Zamorano

Conference Abstracts 

Embracing an Unforgiving World:

Answering the Challenge of Cosmopolitanism in James and Hollinghurst

Heidi Aijala

Western Washington University

In his acclaimed, Man Booker Prize winning novel, The Line of Beauty (2005), Alan Hollinghurst answers the challenge modern cosmopolitanism presents: that cosmopolitan individuals act in ways that accept responsibility for larger, global communities, despite differing value systems. Hollinghurst responds to the challenge of cosmopolitanism by exploring nineteenth-century notions of Victorian detachment. Drawing on Amanda Anderson’s discussion of Victorian detachment and Kwame Anthony Appiah’s contemporary theory of cosmopolitanism, the paper critically engages the intersection between cosmopolitanism and “cultivated detachment.” Through close formal analysis, the essay explores how the nineteenth-century author Henry James appeals to the Victorian tradition of detachment and, in turn, how Alan Hollinghurst applies James’s notion of Victorian detachment to contemporary understandings of cosmopolitanism. Thus, James provides Hollinghurst a framework for understanding a world of “ugliness, desire, avarice [and] early death” which allows the latter to appreciate an unforgiving and conditional world.

The Arab Renaissance (Al-Nahda)
and the Reception of Greco-Roman Classical Antiquity

Amanda Batarseh
University of California, Davis

Al-Nahda, coming from the Arabic to rise or awaken, is commonly translated into English as the Arab Renaissance or Awakening. Stretching from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century (1870-1950), this period is typically regarded as one of intellectual and cultural modernization, concentrated primarily in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Fueled, on the one hand, by a cultural exchange between the Arab East and the European West, and on the other, by self-exploration and regeneration of the cultural achievements of the pre-Islamic Golden Age, in the early twentieth century, Al-Nahda emerged as an increasingly polarized cultural and political movement. The twentieth-century Lebanese scholar, Sulayman al-Bustani, who completed the first translation of the Iliad into Arabic in 1904, and the Egyptian scholar Taha Hussein, greatly credited for the establishment of Greco-Roman classical studies at Cairo University, both played crucial roles in Al-Nahda and more particularly in the evolution of the field of Greco-Roman studies in the Arab world. Their intellectual work highlights the controversial nature of the cultural and historical changes in Western and Islamic civilizations occasioned by modernity as these two cultural and political worlds came into a new engagement with each other. Nahda scholars attempted to reconcile the polemical socio-political relationship with the West in the colonized or formerly colonized Arab world with a cultural accommodation of the West that would entail translation of foreign, primarily Western European literature. At the same time, to engage with the European classical canon required a recognition of how the Arab East and the European West had both independently constructed a cultural relationship with classical Greco-Roman antiquity. This paper explores how the legacy of European colonialism and Arab nationalism and cultural tradition during the Al-Nahda period affected the new engagement with Greco-Roman literature specifically in the work of Sulayman al-Bustani and Taha Hussein.

The Aesthetics of the Double:
Reflections on Chinese Modernity in
Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets”

Shuei-may Chang
National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan

            One of the key concepts of global modernity is the discovery of diversity in the tendencies toward unity and homogenization. In the process of Chinese modernization, pluralism becomes an inevitable mark of almost everything. In fact, the synonym for Chinese modernization, as for all the so called third world countries, is westernization. Ever since China began to receive and accept western materials and ideas, every aspect of the modern life becomes manifold: one is the old and traditional Chinese way, and the other the modern western one—contradictory to each other but combined together at the same time. In Amy Tan’s short story “A Pair of Tickets,” which is the last first-person narrative of her renowned novel The Joy Luck Club, the narrator’s journey to China have become actually the pursuit of her own dual identity, and the China to be seen by her as a Chinese American is both exotic and familiar, like the last Polaroid picture that gradually develops a more clarified but multiple images of the faces of daughters from two worlds, east and west. The narrator’s journey hence can be seen as a metaphor for a voyage of exploration of the nature of duality in modern China.
Starting with the title of the story, the two tickets for the narrator and her father back to visit China indicate a double journey of two generations searching for one’s own family. In the process of the narrator’s meeting with her mother’s twin daughters, the narrator actually recognizes her alternative but hidden identity—she is becoming a Chinese besides being an American. The expression of the doubleness is explicitly articulated by the names of people and even places. Not only the narrator has both a Chinese and an American version of the same name, but also a Chinese name can have two kinds of spelling (For example, different ways of Romanization of the Chinese places) or a name has two Chinese characters for the same pronunciation and hence two meanings (For example, the narrator’s mother’s name). This essay thus tries to investigate the implications of the use of all the doubleness which permeates throughout the story in order to demonstrate the essence of Chinese modernity intended in Amy Tan’s work.           

Missionary Insurgency and Modernity of Marginality
in Colonial Tamil Nadu

M. Christhu Doss
University of New Delhi, India

            Countenance of cultural and religious forms of exclusion during colonial period had always been complex and convoluted. Changing affiliation from one religion to other later came to be known as “conversion,” often conceived by marginal communities like Nadars as a “safety valve” mechanism, an idea to escape from the rigid social hierarchy, proved to be “path-breaking”. For other converts, the idea parturitated anti-theses, creating multiple tensions, dissents and exclusion. Despite nuanced onslaughts from western missionaries through “elusive and steadfast denouncements,” Christians in India have continued to practice the profoundly pronounced notions of prejudices on caste lines. Consequently, the blood of cultural modernity through renewed caste assertion had become thicker than their blood of missionary given Christian identity. This issue had acquired new dimensions during missionary insurgency and is the biggest, most ceaseless, and most complex of all ongoing challenges of the present day Christianity irrespective of its structural and functional divisions—Catholic, Protestant, Mar Thoma, Syrian, conservative, liberal and so on. The multi-dimensional understanding of caste by missionaries made the question more contested, dividing the Christian community into two major hierarchically rigid components—marginal Christians, later came to be known as Dalit Christians and elite Christians, constituting largely of Nadars, Vellalas and so on in South India.
            Caste discrimination has been a predominant practice, and no substantial remedial measures could be so far prescribed to deal with it. At various times in the Indian history egalitarian reformers tried to do away with caste barriers; however, instead of undermining the system, their opposition ended in the creation of new castes. Their followers organized themselves in new sects, and each of these soon assumed the characteristics of a caste. This happened in the case of Lingayats, Muslims and Sikhs as well as among many other sections of the society. The Christian churches, too have been unable to break down the rigid caste hierarchical system in India partly because of colonization of mind and culture and partly due to the deliberate attempt of missionaries to compartmentalize caste consolidation
            The origins of the caste system are a continuing matter of speculation among scholars and there are clearly more theories than facts. In fact, in the early historical accounts on caste by British historians and anthropologists including Francis Buchanan’s Survey of Bengal, Studies on the Tribes and Castes of North Western India by W. Crooke and J.C. Newfield, C. Mayer, and R.V. Riley on Central India and Edgar Thurston and M.A. Sherring on South India, there were historical narratives and anthropological discourses,  constructing a new identity called caste which over a period of time replaced its previous identities like Jati, Kula and Varna. Despite difference of opinions among scholars from various ranges of disciplines, no substantial remedial measures could so far be prescribed to deal with it. The ways in which missionaries understood and interpreted caste within social and cultural paradigms through multi-dimensional approach not only failed to contain the ubiquitous supremacy of caste prejudices but created identities of sub-categorization.

 Being Ashamed: An Ethics of a Blush

Zlatan Filipovic
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

            This paper takes its point of departure in Emmanuel Levinas and his rearticulation of shame as the fundamental structure of ethical relation in order to consider its significance for contemporary critical discourse on otherness. For Levinas, the meaning of ethics is seen as a duty and responsibility to the other person, exceeding the naïve prerogatives of the subject’s claim to comfort and freedom. In other words, in ethical relation, our responsibilities exceed our rights and our entitlements.
However, all the trajectories of the ethical relation developed in Levinas’ later work seem to converge at the very point of his departure in On Escape (1935), where phenomenology of nausea, shame and pleasure posit a fundamental need to escape the ontological claims being has on our subjectivity. It is shame in particular that this paper will consider as the point and watershed at which subjectivity is sobered up from the arrogance and complacency of its being.
In the ethical and phenomenological considerations I will focus on, shame will emerge as a sentiment whose basic structure of being exposed to others testifies to our originary relatedness and compassion. Shame reveals our inability to escape our own predicament and is provoked by the proximity or presence of an other who places us in question and demands that we justify ourselves. It becomes, in other words, what articulates the very structure of social existence and intersubjectivity. This paper will thus chart an alternative route of shame seen not as a negative affect, as an internalisation of social prejudice that disables political agency, but as the primary structure of social relations and ethics, in order to further explore its implications for the contemporary discourse on otherness, in particular, in relation to the writing of Franz Fanon and Giorgio Agamben.
Shame, usually a negative affect in the context of cross-cultural and displaced identities, may also be symptomatic of a more fundamental fragility and vulnerability of subjectivity in general. The process of self-identification and access to meaning in diasporic identity is constantly compromised or pulled apart by the gravitational forces of opposing cultural values where shame is not only felt as an inferiority in the face of the dominant discourse but also in the face of one’s own inability to take possession of, maintain or recover the historical and cultural heritage supposedly one’s own. It is the familiar world that has grown just as alien and reflects back, with the same venom, one’s own shame. What I am suggesting, in other words, is that shame is a dominant sentiment that informs and shapes the experience of the displaced subject. The question is whether the experience of shame in Levinas can generate new epistemologies and new social and political configurations of otherness.

A critical Discourse Analysis of a Global Commercial English Language Textbook:
I didn’t recognize about that before you talking”

Linda Fitzgibbon
The University of Queensland, Australia
English as a foreign language has been taught in South Korea since the late 1800s when it was introduced by missionaries from the United States, and has been part of the school curriculum since the 1950s. Following WWII and the Korean War, multiple aspects of schooling were influenced by the U.S. (Lee, 2000).  With the advent of globalization, the country is in grip of a fever to learn English. Accordingly, English, as a foreign language, is taught as a compulsory school subject in South Korea, from the first year of formal schooling, until the last year of formal schooling then again, at university, students must take more compulsory English as a foreign language classes (EFL). However, there is some evidence to suggest that something is not quite right with English education in South Korea. For example, on the PISA: (Programme of International Students Assessment) test organised by the OECD, South Koreas rank 2nd in Maths and 4th in Science, yet on similar international tests of English, TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS, South Korean students rank near the bottom.
As an Australian who worked in South Korea, and who witnessed U.S. ‘Border thinking’, which is “ that hegemonic discourse endowed to ‘other’ people, classifying them as inferior and at the same time asserting its ...configurations as superior, and as models to be followed” (Mignolo & Tlostanova, 2006, p. 208). I began to wonder about the boarder issues of teaching and learning EFL in terms of content and ideology. To that end, I have conducted a critical discourse analysis of one popular global commercial English textbook: thinking that the unquestioned ideology could be the ‘not quite right thing’.
In my presentation, ideology is considered to be a problem because  it ‘recruits’ people into accepting it, and so the dominant groups attitudes, beliefs, and values are spread as the norm.  Second, ideology is hidden from people, so it passes as common sense. This means that the attitudes, beliefs, and values of the Non-Korean (usually) males become taken for granted in South Korean English language classes, and operate as the norm.
My research findings suggest that global commercial textbooks include multiple dominant ideologies that do not mirror South Korea’s norms. I argue that the students in compulsory EFL classes at universities, especially when their proficiency level is low, would be better served by textbooks that mirrored their own lives, values, attitudes and ideologies. Such changes would be in agreement with the emancipatory and empowering aspects of the work by Freire (1970) and Giroux (1981),

California Dreams? 
Diasporic Alienation and the Indian Chick Lit Heroine

Srijani Ghosh
Michigan State University, East Lansing

Authors of the Indian diaspora interpolate their own cultural sensibilities, perceptions and observations into their work, narrating their stories from a unique Indo-American/Indo-British point of view. Kavita Daswani and Anne Cherian, both writers of Indian-American chick lit, examine the experiences of Indian girls who go to the United States after an arranged marriage and the cultural differences they then have to navigate. The focus is on cross-cultural experience; the manner in which the female characters’ struggles in the diaspora fit both the conventions of mainstream chick-lit and those of more “serious” diaspora literature—the heroine adjusts to various aspects of foreign culture, going against the ingrained Indian traditions and values taught by her conservative parents. In Indian diaspora chick lit, the heroine adjusts to the various aspects of the foreign culture, but her family’s opposition to her integration puts pressure on her to retain an Indian identity. There is a suggestion that the heroine cannot straddle both Indian and foreign realms in terms of her personality, but needs to opt between having an Indian identity and having a foreign identity. In this way, Indian chick lit problematizes its invitation for the reader to identify with the heroine when Indian chick lit shows that integration to certain features of foreign life, such as marriage, work, and consumerism is a troubling identification.
Indian-American chick lit is a subgenre of chick lit which inflects the genre with some regional flavour and demonstrates that middle class women from comparatively more traditional backgrounds also experience the struggles involved in “having it all”. Indo-American heroines struggle to wed modernity with age-old tradition, often making an effort to break tradition completely. I examine Indian-American heroines who reside both in the US and who choose to adapt to Western culture although their family pressures them to retain an Indian identity. I focus on the Indian heroine’s struggle with her cultural identity in the conflicts explored by chick lit, such as relationships and love, work, personal development, beauty and self-acceptance, the fixation with consumerism, and the identification with Indian culture.
This paper will explore diasporic Indian chick lit from authors who write about the “new” Indian diaspora (Mishra 1996). In “Displaced Relations: Diasporas, Empires, Homelands,” Makarand Paranjape asserts that if the diaspora is voluntary, it “must involve some significant tension between the source and the target cultures” (Paranpaje 67). This point suggests that the diasporic subject’s experience involves tensions between the subject and the host country. In the books I will look at—Kavita Daswani’s The Village Bride of Beverly Hills and Anne Cherian’s A Good Indian Wife—I will examine the hybrid identity that both heroines struggle to attain while they undergo diasporic experiences where they feel the tensions between their innate Indian cultural habits and the aspects of American culture they have to adopt in order to assimilate better into their new cultural milieu.

Globalization, Travel Writings,
and National City Systems

Rune Graulund
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
            This paper will examine the ways in which globalization has impacted the travel writings of large, metropolitan cities that ‘transcend their respective national city systems’ (Brenner and Keil 2006). These so-called global cities, or world cities’, present intriguing phenomena both as travelled territories as of metaphors of the globalization process in terms of centre and periphery, home and away, self and other in a world that recently turned an important corner: with 2007 marking the first time in human history that more people lived in cities than in rural areas, city-dwelling recently became the norm rather than the exception.

Formerly easily identifiable as a handful of core locations in the northern hemisphere, e.g. London, New York and Tokyo (Sassen 2002), the term ‘global city’ has seen considerable expansion over the past decade, including but by no means limited to sites like Bangkok, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Mexico City, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro and Seoul. ‘Cities have grown closer to each other economically and culturally’, writes Andreas Huyssen in Other Cities, Other Worlds (2008), and, as such, comparisons between, say, London and Delhi indicate a marked increase in the latter’s economic power, but also of a shared yet abstract space without specific geographical attachments (Huyssen 2008). Charting the fluidity of these abstract spaces, the talk will attempt to answer what happens to travel, and travel writing, when the borders between centre and periphery, fiction and nonfiction, become tangled. What happens to travel once the entire world is at your doorstep, in a place you call home? What do you do with notions like centre and periphery, border and movement when the city has sprawled to such an extent that we can no longer tell where it stops or begins? How do we differentiate cities from each other if they are all conforming to one uniform and abstract template? And how do we express these mutable entities in non-fictional writing in a world that has (supposedly) long since moved beyond the distinction of fiction/non-fiction? The talk will examine specific textual examples of the manner in which these developments have manifested themselves over the past decade.

The Rapidly Changing Arctic Ocean and its Sea Ice Cover

Benjamin Holt
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology

            In this remote and harsh environment, satellites provide excellent observational tools to identify and monitor these changes. The longest continuous satellite record of the Arctic  commenced in 1979 with the identification of areal sea ice extent using passive microwave data.  The satellite record shows that the minimum sea ice extent (lowest areal coverage), representing the end of the melt season in late summer, gradually decreased from 1979 to 2006.  Since 2007, the five lowest years of minimum sea ice extent occurred, with the lowest being 2012. Other changes in Arctic sea ice cover observed by satellites include the reduction of sea ice thickness, by over 40% over the last decade, and a shift in the dominant ice type from older to younger ice. A summary of satellite results will be presented, with some consideration as to why the Arctic is undergoing such rapid change. Lastly, implications on the reduction of Arctic ice on current and future human activities will be discussed.

California is Heating Up, but Its Oh, So Much Worse in the Cities

Steve La Dochy
California State University, Los Angeles

The consequences of warming in California impacts water supplies, agriculture , energy supplies and the health of humans and other species.  In the past 60 years, California’s overall temperature has risen 2 degrees Fahrenheit.  But in the same period, large cities in the state have warmed much more.  Los Angeles, the largest of these cities, has shown a 6 degrees warming since the beginning of the 20th Century.  This rapid increase can be tied to a common phenomenon called the urban heat island, where urban centers become warmer than their surrounding rural areas.  Urban heat islands increase in intensity as the population of the city grows.  Higher temperatures in warm southern California lead to a greater need for water and air conditioning (energy).  With increasing population resources become stretched.  Heat waves become more common and longer in duration, while the sources of water become less.  This trend is not inevitable and can be curbed or reversed.  Urban planning that considers combatting the urban heat island can be both economically sane and lead to more healthy environments.  California’s AB25 mandates that the state addresses climate change.  Combatting the urban heat island will go a long way towards fulfilling that mandate.


Mediating Authors:
Literary discourse as an open discussion on immigration in
Luis Alberto Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North and Azouz Begag’s Camping à la ferme

Elisabeth Lore
University of California, Davis

            During the 20th and 21st centuries, Western nations have been experiencing an increased fusion of vastly different people groups, not just in their larger cities, but in the surrounding areas as well.  The reasons behind the rise in legal and illegal immigration over these two centuries are complex: two World Wars, the expansion of the European Union, the breakdown of communist regimes, economic hardships in less wealthy nations, and the rise of neo-liberalism, just to name a few.  In fact, Will Kymlicka, in discussing the diversity of residents in most countries, tells us that there are very few countries in which the citizens can even be said to all “share the same language, or belong to the same ethnonational group.” New waves of immigration around the world, resulting in increased cultural and linguistic diversity, has led to heightened tensions and violence between longtime citizens and recent arrivals in various countries, and has propelled debates about immigration to the forefront of many political platforms in receiving countries.  The majority of creative writers position themselves on specific sides of the debates, either as advocates for the immigrants, or as protectors of their nation’s borders.  However, some writers have been wrongly identified as standing only on one side of the immigration discussion.  These writers utilize literary discourse as a mediation tool to negotiate the relationships between the nation protectors and the immigrants. Luis Alberto Urrea in Into the Beautiful North problematizes the stereotypical image of the money-grubbing Mexican immigrants crossing the U.S. borders by creating a reciprocal relationship between the Mexican protagonist and her American friend.  In France, Azouz Begag employs a similar discourse in his film Camping à la ferme in which he sends troubled youth of immigrant parents to a village of all-white French citizens. Begag challenges the belief that these two groups cannot find appreciation for each other, but does so in a way that does not create an unbelievable utopic scenario.  Both of these texts suggest and demonstrate new ways to view the increasing reality of the multiculturalism clearly evident on a global level.

Modernism in Nicolás Echeverría’s Film, Cabeza de Vaca:
Lo real maravilloso on a 20th Century Film

Eliud Martínez
University of California, Riverside
Cabeza de Vaca, the modern film, is not strictly speaking a cinematic adaptation of the 16th century crónica de Indias.  However, the film was indeed inspired by the chronicle Naufragios and by the life of the man who wrote it, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca.
My essay proposes to show that international influences of modernism abound in the film. Jorge Luis Borges in the 1940s, and writers like Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, Guillermo del Toro and many others also gleaned from great modern literary works and international film traditions. International modern influences and the modernism of Cabeza de Vaca are the main topics of the present essay.
 In particular, I propose to show that ince the 1960s cosmopolitan Latin American writers began to depict and to reveal marvelous realities of Latin America.  My  essay proposes to show that the expressive powers of the camera in the 1992 film Cabeza de Vaca exemplify the Latin American concept of lo real maravilloso, a term coined by Alejo Carpentier in the 1940s. My essay will discuss how Carpentier arrived at this workable concept and how it relates to modernism.
My essay also proposes to show that the photography and filmmaking in Cabeza de Vaca are of a high caliber, that Nicolás Echeverría uses the expressive powers of the camera to create extraordinary visual spectacles that invite us to think of lo real maravilloso. Countless frames are composed in such a striking manner as to be modern works of art in themselves. Camera angles and dramatic lighting give visible reality to dreams, fantasies, obsessions, hallucinations; and make them visible before the viewers’ eyes.
My modest presentation acknowledges that the 16th century crónicas de Indias represent one of the major literary achievements that resulted from the meeting of Europeans and indigenous inhabitants in what we used to call the “New World.” How the  XVIth century literary work compares with the XXth century film will also be discussed.
 First published in 1542, the literary work describes the long eight-year journey of Cabeza de Vaca and three other survivors. In a very modern way the film begins and ends in 1536, after that remarkable odyssey, in a Spanish camp where the four men have been rescued by Spaniards. The film then moves back eight years, to a very dramatic scene of shipwrecked men on two rafts. The framing of that scene in the film, the dramatic contrasts of light and dark, the turbulence of the sea and the reclining semi-nude men on the raft all bring to mind the very modern work of Théodore Géricault’s Raft of The Medusa. In both cases cannibalism as a means to survive is important. In the literary work the conflict between the men on the rafts occurs in chapter X of the crónica.


Protecting Cultures and Ecosystems Worldwide Through Ecotourism

Nancy Pearlman
Executive Producer and Host of ECONEWS

            The presentation will feature some of my experiences in documenting on ECONEWS television series and Environmental Directions radio series the value of saving wildlife, introducing innovative green technologies, assisting needy individuals and tribes, and creating parks and wilderness areas.  As an anthropologist, I have focused 42 years work in safeguarding the earth’s ecosystems while helping diverse groups maintain effective resource management.  The presentation will include highlights of my visits and work in over 90 countries. 


Modernity and the Niger Delta in Helon Habila’s Oil on Water
Amy Riddle
University of California, Davis

            The recent novel, Oil on Water, written by Nigerian author Helon Habila, follows a journalist attempting to locate a British woman who has been kidnapped by militants claiming to fight for the restoration of the Niger Delta.  Previous readings of this novel have been restricted to an examination of the human dialogue and political message, which have been interpreted as being predictable and ambiguous.  I will argue in this paper that Habila’s novel intentionally dilutes human personality and perspective in the story in order to centralize “nature” as the main character by giving it agency.   This agency points to a modernity where humanity is an element of an ecosystem, but is ultimately subservient to its will.  In addition, the novel resists categorizing victim and aggressor, given that in an ecosystem the aggressor becomes the victim of his/her own aggression, as everything in the environment is connected and interdependent.  Such a biocentric view as is presented in the novel challenges conventional anthropomorphic narration and reading practices.  Though the human story is the most familiar, and therefore, easiest to identify and analyze, ultimately it is only a subplot to the story of the Niger Delta, in the same way that humanity is only part of an ecosystem. This local interpretation of modernity envisions a new way to face the massive environmental degradation created by unstable oil production practices in the Niger Delta.  Though modernity in Africa has often been associated with technology and human centered advancements, Habila’s novel points to a modernity centered by the environment. 

Legislating a Divide: How Christian Fundamentalists Reacted to
Modernity and Secularization in the United States' Classrooms

Kathryn Robison
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

            Traditional fundamentalist Christian values in the United States have not always existed comfortably in the modern world. This paper examines the legal conflicts that have arisen from a religious worldview clashing with modernity and secularization in the United States. Specifically, it follows the actions of conservative Christians and Christian groups in relation to the teaching of evolution in elementary and secondary schools. The struggles of conservative and fundamentalist Christians to come to terms with the reality of living in a secular and modern society are well documented in this work through a selection of major federal court cases from the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial to recent 2005 textbook disclaimer rulings, highlighting the cases that have dealt with the issue of science education in the United States' classrooms. It particularly examines the instances in which fundamentalists have attempted to assert their worldview in public schools. This paper illustrates, through the use of case studies of the aforementioned major federal decisions, how the rhetoric of anti-evolution, Creationism and Intelligent Design was crafted in direct response to the pressures of maintaining a fundamentalist worldview in an increasingly scientific and modern world. Additionally, this work examines how the actions of fundamentalists have served to further deepen the chasm between fundamentalist Christians and more moderate, science friendly Christians.

            This paper builds on and contributes to several fields of scholarship including Religion and Modernity, Public Policy and Religion in Public Life. It draws from numerous sources, both from the secular and religious world. At its heart, this work critically examines how the culturally ingrained idea of the separation of Church and State unfolds and survives in a modern world.


Don’t Get Around Much Anymore:
Polity, Technology, and Public Transportation

Dennis Rohatyn
University of San Diego

            Cars are killing us—on the road, and parked inthe garage (or a paid lot).  We know it, and (as taxpayers and consumers) we love to complain. Yet “car culture” has become the norm, both in the United States and elsewhere.  Despite smog, congestion, road rage, oil crises and gas prices, automobiles are still the vehicles of choice (the means chosen) for day-to-day commuter travel,and for all overland journeys from point A to B. Once the sign of what it means to live in a city, mass transit is in decline, even in places ideally suited for it.  The “tyranny” of the auto is both a scourge and a fetish, yet it goes on, like a bad marriage, or a despotic regime which refuses to change.  What can we do about it?  Will our car habit catch up with us, or is it already too late to “kick it”? Is there a solution to the car problem? Or is the myth of progress bound to backfire, as we go nowhere fast, and around in traffic circles?   For the record—and inspired by the work of such renowned urbanists (and transportation mavens) as Lewis Mumford, Robert Bruegmann,  Edward Soja, Richard Sennett, George Hilton, Scott Bottles, Sam Bass Warner, Robert Fogelson, Manuel Castells,David Brodsly, Saskia Sassen, Janet Abu-Lughod, Paul Barrett, Jeanne Gang, and the late Jane Jacobs, I propose a fleet of (methanol-powered) omnibuses,not as a stop-gap but as the cheapest, safest and most reliable means to curb congestion, avoid gridlock and ease the strain on truckers as well as pedestrians.  That was Pascal’s solution, in 1661, and despite the changes in the design of Parisian streets and boulevards, not to mention the combustion engine and horseless carriage, it still works, as elegantly as the equations themselves. However, the solution exists only on paper, and won’t operate all by itself, without the commitment to shared space, civic (communal) life and renewable resources.Those things are harder to invent than a “new” (or old) technology, for they depend upon unquantifiable terms: mind, heart, and the will to live together, rather than to die separately, strapped into our individual bucket seat.

Writing Away My Homeland:
Ha Jin’s Waiting and Nanjing Requiem

Chialan Sharon Wang
Wenzhou Kean University, China

            In Ha Jin’s The Writer as Migrant, the diasporic author disavows the notion of roots and demystifies the exiled writer’s sentimental attachment to his/her memory of the past in the native land. Ha Jin’s claim for universalism and linguistic reinvention in English in an immigrant writer’s works, nonetheless, links the artist’s back to his/her home country by bestowing upon him/her the calling of a writer whose works should eventually contribute to his/her home country’s national culture, as the home country remains the most desirable yet unreachable audience for a writer in exile. Ha Jin’s devotion to chronicling contemporary history of China in his fictional works puts his status as an Asian American writer in question. In light of the paradox and dilemma underlying his quasi-manifesto of a transnational artist, this paper analyzes his novels, Waiting and Nanjing Requiem, and contemplates the following questions:
            Legible both in the United States and the Chinese communities, how do the portrayals of an ordinary citizen dissatisfied with tradition and disillusioned with the modern human relationships and an outlander who witnesses and lives through historical turmoil in China, exemplify and enable cultural translations and imagination in the global context?
            How does Ha Jin’s detailing of China’s social customs and historical traumas embedded in reflections on conflicts and struggles in human nature locate him among multiple positions: native informant, cultural broker, or a new generation of Asian American literature?  Finally, how do his works allow us to rethink diaspora, hybridity, and transnational literature?

Robbing the Arab Spring of Political Legitimacy

Zaman Stanizai
Pacifica Graduate Institute, California

            The latest wave of technological advancement raised hopes that the Arab street would finally be able to bypass the dictates of the un-authoritative and venture into the open spaces of popular democracy.  The expectation was that popular networking media would empower the disenfranchised enabling the grassroots to evolve into a viable democratic system. 
            When the rumbling roar of revolutions signaled a region-wide power-shift, the West declared Arab dictatorships too indispensible to fail. The ‘holy cow’ of democracy was gored by the empire that struck back with vengeance rendering the revolutions irrelevant and their legitimacy heisted. The revolutions of the Arab Spring were derailed to guarantee the re-establishment of guarantors of Western ‘interests’ and to prevent any popular indigenous movement from gaining power on their own terms lest through them Islamic movements gain ideological traction and legitimacy. Thus, the Arab revolutions, if they succeeded at all, are re-cloaked status quo ante defined by their 360-degree turns.
            The unfolding of events show that the birthing pains have not delivered healthy and functioning democracies as Western ‘interests’ have trumped the interests of the people who are willing to die for a meaningful change.  Genuine efforts to attain political modernity in the Arab world have been put on hold for now with their prospects mired in the inevitably of political instability, ethno-sectarian tensions, stalled democratic reforms, and a breakdown in constructive political discourse.  In due course, the pundits, without reading the pulse of the Muslim society or listening to the thumping of its heartbeat, will conveniently blame these miseries on the incompatibility of Islam and democracy and/or Muslims and modernity. This paper will analyze the signs of this inevitability in the Arab Spring.

In Search of Liberia:
Liberian Civil War Diasporic Literature

Nicole Wardell
Weber State University, Utah

From 1989 until 2003 the sovereign republic of Liberia was plagued by two violent civil wars, killing thousands of Liberian citizens and displacing thousands more.  These civil conflicts were in part a result of ethnic disparity and a weak unifying identity.  The literature produced by the exiled Liberians fleeing the oppressive socio-political atmosphere of their homelands serves not only to heal the ethnic divisiveness but also to define and promote a distinct Liberian culture.  Scholars have researched Liberian diasporic literature through the lens of a weak national identity, stressing the important role of ethnic and tribal conflicts in relation to a failed cultural identity.  The role of women in helping heal the nation and shape the future Liberian society is a key talking point in current Liberian disaporic literature, though I believe more focus should be placed on how the diaspora allows exiled Liberians to create a canon of literature uniquely Liberian.  The literature of the diaspora represents a people that are fiercely resilient, culturally rooted, and actively engaged in creating not only a national identity, but in redefining Liberian culture.  My focus will include the current dialogue of the important role of women’s literature in the Liberian diaspora.  Additionally, I will focus on the emerging literature of Liberia as a means to define a unified cultural identity, create a connection to the Liberian land, and overcome post-war upheaval.

Buddhist Epistemology
as a Means to Overturn the Cognitive Confusion of Infonomy

Sandra A. Wawrytko
San Diego State University

            The data driven society of the Information Age, ushered in by the Digital Revolution, also has led to the rise of what we might call Infonomy, the reign of the law (nomos νόμος) of information in which data rules. The term nomos has been consciously incorporated in this neologism to reflect both its Greek roots and contemporary usages. For the ancient Greeks, nomos represented human customs and conventions. More recently, sociologists such as Robert Cover (Nomos and Narrative, 1982) and Peter L. Berger  (The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociology of Religion, 1967) discuss nomos as a tool with which humans construct social realities as “narratives” and “world-constructions” respectively.
            Some have identified Infonomy as a veritable Information Addiction that is gradually modifying both our brain functions and behaviors. The dire consequences of Infonomy are more immediate than possible mutations in our evolutionary path as a species. We are now able to collect information from innumerable online sources, credible and otherwise, that are used to justify a disturbing proliferation of virtual realities. The mere possession of mounds of data induces us to assume it endows us with a proportionate degree of power and control. This phenomenon generates defective risk assessments as we grossly overestimate our ability to fully understand the complex systems we have wrought. Many disasters have followed in the wake of our hubris, including Three Mile Island and the BP oil spill. In terms of global consequences the most sweeping example is the near collapse of the world’s economy in recent years, due to the reliance on  mathematical models of quantitative research by “quants” (quantitative investment managers).
            Human projections, constructs, delusions, often blatantly in conflict with Nature, seem to be endemic to human cultures. The ancient Greeks set noumenal nomos against phenomenal physis. The Chinese Confucian Xunzi荀子urged rulers to force conformance to artificial standards (wei 為) (Xunzi, 23), in direct defiance of Daoist wu-wei (無為).  The contemporary Chinese philosopher Li Zehou 李champions sedimentation (jidian積淀) for the purpose of  “the humanization of Nature.” Assumed to be generally productive, even when they become liabilities most regard our constructs as an unavoidable aspect of the human condition.
            However Buddhist philosophy defies the trend by consciously calling our mental constructs into question. Furthermore, Buddhist epistemology provides tools for overturning (paravrtti) the cognitive confusion due to our conceptual errors (viparyasa/viparyaya).  It trains us to deconstruct our dysfunctional delusions while exposing the dysfunctional assumptions that have spawned them. Models for such deconstruction will be discussed, drawn from Buddhist primary texts, including the Diamond Sūtra金剛經, The Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna大乘起信論 and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra 楞伽經.

Mass Hysteria:  Notes Towards the de-Socialization
of Architectural Knowledge in the Electronic Age

Frank Weiner
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

            For some time, perhaps as a result of the end of the political form of architecture, there has been an equal force reacting and working against architecture itself – an increasing belief in the efficacy of the social and what could be termed techniques of sociality. We have gone from being political animals to social entities divided into special interest groups each making a claim for social legitimacy amidst boundless cyber space. The fraternity of the social body has trumped the body politic traced back to the institution of the ancient Roman Senate. However in either case the body may be a corpse of its’ former self. The social body today is a simulated corpse and the body politic is a representational corpse. The mimetic rivalry of René Girard is still in play.
            The call for a return to the political, not without risks, is a way to hold the social at bay and energetically body forth - new forms of architecture. Is it too late for the body politic or any body for that matter? According to the poet Paul Valéry we are limited when we only understand weight as something one possesses rather than the energy that makes a body. The historical focus on the weight of a body (political or otherwise) is a malformed gravitas. The crucial aspect is the energy causing the body not the weight that results from the energy. How then to best re-energize the body of architecture is the question. What is energeia and ergon of architecture?
            In the field of architecture the force of the social has appeared in the unquestioned guise of digital visualization tools such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) along with the mantra of environmental awareness known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Phrases like William McDonough’s ‘cradle to cradle’ along with the more recent design-it-yourself (DIY) have become part of the unquestioned mantras of our time. Anyone can be an architect anytime and anyplace – no disciplinary knowledge required. It is nothing less than mass hysteria. Here the play on the term ‘mass’ understood architecturally, scientifically and theologically is important.
            We are being overwhelmed by a kind of mantric madness. In some ways the beautiful Vedic word mantra has gone through a demeaning of its meaning as a sound or word sung again and again to deepen inner concentration towards a meditative state to the crude repetition of an externalized slogan or buzzword. The fact that such an important and rich word such as mantra has been socialized and trivialized should in itself be cause for grave concern.
            How has post-modern post-industrial architecture understood as a form of knowledge been influenced by what could be termed the facebooking of architecture? Perhaps it is time to de-construct the influence of sociology and the social upon architecture and the socialization of architectural knowledge. After the ‘out of site’ critique of architecture there is a need for an insightful critique of architecture as knowledge in our electronic age in search of the traces of the interiority of a discipline. Can the inside of any discipline survive the advent of the Internet and high-resolution flat screens? The loss of disciplinary interiority and depth – the pure reason and critique of architecture or the architectonics of architecture – is staggering if not fatal to architecture and architects. It is clear most disciplines, including sociology, have been negatively impacted in ways not fully understood by the dominance of the social electronique of our time.
            What if anything remains within rather than without a discipline? Can there be an inner dialogue from within rather than without between disciplines? How have the origins of modern and contemporary sociology affected architecture and the education of architects? What is redeemable about the rise of modern sociology and sociological thinking (Max Scheler and Max Weber et al.) with respect to architecture in an electronic age? At the foundation of a critique of the social, is, the as of yet, un-extinguished capacity of a human being to act in ways true to oneself and in concert with others. Is it still possible to act architecturally? Can action be made? Can action be a body? From whence does the energy of the architect or architecture arise? Here one may speak weightily of a poetics of action arising from the efficacy of the individual among other individuals.

Conference Keynote and Featured Speakers

Dr. William Patzert
Oceanographer and Research Scientist at NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California

     Often called the "Prophet of California climate," Patzert is a scientist at the California Institute of Technology’s NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.

His research is focused on the application of NASA satellite data to improving our understanding of our planet's climate and important environmental problems ranging from developing El Niño, La Niña and longer-term climate forecasts to monitoring the health of coral reefs. The author of many scientific and popular articles,  Dr. Patzert works with undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world, and lectures at many local universities. A media favorite, he is often sought out by reporters and is regularly seen on local and national television representing NASA and JPL. In a recent article, he was named as one of the West’s most influential individuals in dealing with water issues.

He is a graduate of Purdue University and went on to earn a Ph.D. in oceanography at the University of Hawaii.  Dr. Patzert began his career on the research faculty of the University of California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., and then moved to JPL, where he has been employed since 1983. During his career, he has served as a consultant to many respected organizations including NASA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, United Nations and many scientific and environmental groups. He has received many awards for scientific accomplishments, as well as communicating science to the public, including 4 NASA Exceptional Service Medals and the Medal of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (highest award of the French Space Agency).

Keynote Lecture:
Climate Change, 7 Billion People
and 5 Billion Cell Phones:
The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

On March 12, 2012 the world population exceeded 7 billion living humans. The climb to 7 billion humans has been meteoric. World population tripled in my lifetime. Today, about 1 in 8 people in the world lives in a slum. By midcentury, with the population at more than 10 billion, the ratio would be 1 in 3 and there will be at least 2 billion more mouths to feed, and no one can say where the food will come from.
In dramatic contrast, almost all of us (5.5 billion) have access to cell phones. These phones are a paradigm for the revolutionary growth of technology.  This and other technologies have revolutionized business, education, government and, even, religion. But modern technology is a double-edged sword, a blessing and a curse.
The population explosion and technology revolution have come at huge price, a titanic release of greenhouse gases. Global mean surface temperatures have risen almost 1.0°C since 1860 and carbon dioxide concentrations may be 150 % higher than today’s levels by 2100. Some estimates place the potential temperature rise between 3.0° and 5.0°C in different parts of the world. With this rise, major environmental damage looms in our future.  
These population, technology and environmental changes carry potential catastrophic political, economic and social consequences. Seven billion of us now inhabit earth, with hundreds of millions still subsisting from harvest to harvest. We can only imagine the potential misery in an era when climatic swings may be faster, more extreme and completely unpredictable. We would be rash to ignore even theoretical scenarios, for our descendants and we are navigating uncharted climatic waters. Critical global challenges include the imperative to curb population growth, the stabilization of our global climate, and the wise utilization of our amazing technology. Modernization must be international and aimed at building a safer and more rational future. 

Dr. James Ferguson
Stanford University

Dr. James Ferguson is the Susan S. and William H. Hindle Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology. His research has focused on southern Africa (especially Lesotho, Zambia, South Africa, and Namibia), and has engaged a broad range of theoretical and ethnographic issues. These include the politics of “development”, rural-urban migration, changing topgraphies of property and wealth, constructions of space and place, urban culture in mining towns, experiences of modernity, the spatialization of states, the place of “Africa” in a real and imagined world, and the theory and politics of ethnography. Running through much of this work is a concern with how discourses organized around concepts such as “development” and “modernity” intersect the lives of ordinary people.
Professor Ferguson recently completed a sabbatical year at the Stanford Humanities Center researching emerging trends in social assistance to alleviate poverty in southern Africa. While welfare programs in the West have been pared back in recent years, there has been a surprising expansion of social payments to the poor across much of the developing world. In South Africa, for instance, nearly 30 percent of the population today receives some kind of social grant. Tracing emerging new rationalities of poverty and social assistance, the new research aims to illuminate both the dangers and the possibilities presented by new mechanisms of “social” government and emerging forms of politics focused on the question of distribution. This new research will be published in a forthcoming book, provisionally titled, Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution.

Title of Lecture:

Give a Man a Fish:

The New Politics of Distribution

(and Beyond)

Narratives of neoliberalism’s triumph have tended to obscure from view a startling fact about the contemporary world: that, across the global South, recent years have seen not a retreat or rollback of the welfare state, but rather an explosion of new forms of welfare and social assistance. Programs of “cash transfers” to “the poor” have become central to both the politics and the political economies of many developing countries. South Africa is one dramatic case where recent expansion of a system of old age pensions and child support grants means that nearly 30 percent of the entire population will soon be receiving some sort of monthly state social assistance. These programs raise fascinating questions about the role of welfare in societies where wage labor has never occupied the dominant role it played in the “classical” welfare states of the North. They may also open possibilities for new kinds of politics. This paper explores the recent campaigns for a “Basic Income Grant” (BIG) in South Africa and Namibia as a window onto these new political possibilities. It argues that a new politics of distribution is emerging, in which citizenship-based claims to a share of national wealth are beginning to be recognizable as an alternative to both the paradigm of the market (where goods are received in exchange for labor) and that of “the gift” (where social transfers to those excluded from wage labor have been conceived as aid, charity, or assistance). Beyond the binary of market and gift, the idea of “a rightful share”, it is suggested, opens possibilities for radical political claims that could go far beyond the limited, technocratic aim of ameliorating poverty that dominates existing cash transfer programs.

Dr. Sheldon H. Lu
University of California, Davis

Dr. Sheldon H. Lu taught at the University of Pittsburgh for ten years before joining the University of California at Davis in 2002 as Professor of Comparative Literature.  He was founding co-director of the Film Studies Program at UC Davis (2002-2004), and a Fulbright scholar n Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine (2004-2005).  He is the author and editor of many books, such as From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative (Stanford, 1994; Korean edition 2001); China, Transnational Visuality, Global Postmodernity (Stanford, 2001), Culture, Mirror-Image, Poetics (Wenhua, jingxiang, shixue, in Chinese, 2002), Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in Literature and Visual Culture (University of Hawaii Press, 2007), and editor and co-editor of several books, including  Chinese-Language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics (Hawaii, 2005). Choice's award of "Outstanding Academic Title of 2005,” and The Lyric Poetry of Lin Bicheng 碧城樂府:林碧城詞集, by Lin Ruhang 林汝珩,with annotations and supplemental materials (Hong Kong University Press, 2011), to name a few.   Dr. Lu’s research focuses on world cinema, Chinese-language cinema, Chinese art and visual culture, Chinese literature (modern and traditional), cultural theory, globalization studies and East –West comparative poetics. 

Title of Lecture:

Global Modernity and Local Condition:
Debates about China
The discourse of Chinese modernity is multifarious and contested.  Different groups attempt to theorize China’s historical path as well as articulate their visions of China’s future.   In this featured lecture, I will outline three main notions of the Chinese experience of modernity.  1) The discourse of East Asian modernity or Confucian modernity draws on late imperial (early modern) East Asia to locate an alternative origin of global modernity and thus contests the developmentalist model of center-periphery in world-systems theory.   2) China’s revolutionary legacy (what was called “Maoism”) and its current “socialism with Chinese characteristics” in official parlance are considered by New Leftist theorists as another alternative to capitalist modernity.  3) Universal modernity as such is regarded as a social and political imperative by the opposing camp of Neo-Liberalists as modernity is still an “incomplete project” in Chinese history.  I will contextualize the progressive or conservative implications in each of these theories.  Overall, such debates are efforts to chart out a cultural and theoretical landscape that does not easily fit in existing models of Western cultural studies that are often based on the colonial and postcolonial experiences of the Anglophone and Francophone world.

Dr. Ewa Luczak
University of Warsaw, Poland

Dr. Ewa B. Luczak is Associate Professor at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland and Vice President of the Polish Association for American Studies.  Dr. Luczak is the author of How Their Living outside America Affected Five African American Authors: toward a Theory of Expatriate Literature (2010), co-editor of Czarno na białym: Afro-amerykanie którzy poruszyli Amerykę (Black on White; African Americans who Challenged America, 2009), Mosaics of Words. Essays on the American and Canadian Literary Imagination (2009) In Other Words: Dialogizing Race, Ethnicity and Postcoloniality (2012), and co-editor of a Polish book series devoted to eminent American writers of the 20th and 21st century. She has been awarded numerous prestigious grants such as Fulbright Fellowship (UC Riverside 1996-7, UCLA 2007-8), and a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship (Johns Hopkins University 2012). Currently she is working on a book project on the use of eugenic discourse in American literature prior to WW II. Her talk is based on her research in the field of eugenics and American literature and culture in the years 1900-1940.

Title of Lecture:

“The Menace of the Under Man”:
Eugenic Discourse and the Construction of the East

In her latest novel Hope, Toni Morrison uses eugenic thought to construct a moving narrative of the individual’s struggle with the oppressive forces of American bio-politics. Morrison’s interest in eugenics seems not to be accidental but symptomatic of a growing awareness of the power of eugenic discourse to shape human lives in the 20th century United States. As Marius Tarda observed in his book Modernism and Eugenics, recent studies tend to revise the conceptualization of eugenics as merely a narrative of biological renewal and view it as an expression and a consequence of philosophical and social discourses of modernism. What I propose in my talk is to look at eugenics as a discourse which, by drawing on theories of nativism, latent prejudices, the Enlightenment trust in science and utopian theories of social perfection had an ambition to establish what I would call “the ethics of geography”. 
In the first half of the 20th century, the eugenic ethics of geography assumed the existence of spatial hierarchies congruent with the colonial and imperial division of the world. In order to theorize the supremacy of the West, American eugenic thinkers went to great lengths to construct the West’s corollary i.e. the East. The process resembled the construction of the Orient in imperial England at the close of the 19th century, which has been described so well by Edward Said. The East constructed by American eugenicists such as Lothrop Stoddard or Madison Grant, however, was not limited to the countries of the Asian continent. It was extended to include the Russian empire and nationalities and ethnic groups living in the territories east of Berlin. The political situation in Europe after the outbreak of the Soviet Revolution precipitated the tendency to relegate those living both in Soviet territories and on the Asian continent to “unthinking hordes” threatening the order and civilization of the West. In my talk I would like to delineate the eugenic understanding of the West and depict how the fear of the East impacted the attitude towards immigrants coming from Asia described, as the “yellow peril” (Jack London) and shaped responses towards Russians, other Slavic groups and the Jews.  
In the second part of my talk I propose to focus on American culture’s responses to the eugenic construction of the East in the years 1917-1945. I hope that examples from popular culture (e.g. eugenic sermons popular in the 1920s), cinema (movies such as King Kong) and literature (works by Jack London or Ernest Hemingway) will facilitate understanding of the complex process by which the eugenic ethics of geography infiltrated American popular imagination.

Dr. Joseph Prabhu
California State University, Los Angeles 

Dr. Joseph Prabhu joined the Philosophy faculty at CSULA  in 1978, and has also taught as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, Harvard, Occidental College, Boston University and universities in India and Germany. Dr. Prabhu’s interests are quite broad, spanning metaphysics and ethics to comparative religion and social and political theory. At the moment (2012) Dr. Prabhu is working on three books, in various stages of completion: Liberating Gandhi: Community, Empire and a Culture of Peace, Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspective and Hegel, India and the Dark Face of Modernity.  Broadly speaking, his interests are in bringing philosophical and spiritual perspectives to bear on ethical and political issues. Dr. Prabhu’s approach is both interdisciplinary and cross-cultural. He is former co-editor of the journal ReVision, a quarterly dealing with issues of philosophy, spirituality and psychology, and remains active in peace, human rights and inter-religious movements, local, national and international. Dr. Prabhu has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University and at the Martin Marty Center of the University of Chicago. 

In terms of professional responsibilities, Dr. Prabhu was the past President of the Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy (2008-2010) Member, Board of Trustees, Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, and the Program Chair for the Melbourne Parliament, 2009, the Program Chair of the Philosophy of Religion section of the American Academy of Religion, and the local (Los Angeles) co-Chair of the Southern California Committee for a Parliament of the World's Religions (SSCPWR).
Title of Lecture: 

Human Rights:  The Dialogue between
Western Liberalism and Islam

The concept of human rights strictly considered, that is the rights that attach to a human being, qua human being quite apart from his or her place in a social order and apart from considerations of citizenship, race, ethnicity, class, religion, or gender is a relatively recent one and has its origin in Western philosophical and political discourse. It received its most consequential formulation in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) passed and adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. In spite of its Western origin and provenance,however, this idea and its cognates have achieved near universal status and significance and have served as the basis for a number of other human rights agreements, pertaining, to cite just a few examples, to children and families, indigenous peoples and the handicapped. Human rights seems thus to be a universal moral language registering human progress or the lack of it.

This apparent universality should not conceal the fact that the philosophical and spiritual bases of human rights are still widely contested. I will argue that this contestation is a positive development for a number of reasons: 1. It explicitly raises awareness of the conceptual foundations of human rights and proffers them for cross-cultural discussion. Thus, 2. It moves us in the direction of a global ethic, which can be invoked as a standard and touchstone for assessing and regulating human behavior globally, while maintaining a global-local dynamic. 3. It draws non-Western cultural and philosophical traditions into dialogue, and thus is not only inclusive in scope, but also by invoking local cultural  traditions encourages greater compliance.

I shall in this presentation focus on the broadly Islamic participation in such human rights discussions. From an Islamic perspective there are at least two problematic aspects of UDHR and Western human rights discourse: 1. its emphasis on rights to the neglect of duties and obligations, and 2. its accent on the individual in isolation from the community. Both these ideas featured strongly in the discussion surrounding the Salman Rushdie and Danish cartoon cases and continue to be points of contention in an ongoing discussion. They have not surprisingly also surfaced as important themes in the recent discussions about the nature and shape of Islamic democracies that might come to pass in the Middle East and North Africa.

I shall propose that the two-way conversation between Islam and the West on this issue is crucial not only for Islamic cultures but also for broadening and deepening human rights discourse globally. It has been clear for some time that the UDHR represents just a beginning of a vital dialogue about human rights, their nature and scope. Such rights need to be balanced by duties and obligations and both rights and duties need to be anchored in viable notions of community. The implications of giving human rights a communitarian emphasis are quite radical; they point in the direction of developing fair and sustainable global communities and forms of humane governance.

Dr. Frances Rothstein
Montclair State University, New Jersey

Dr. Frances  Rothstein was Professor of Anthropology at Towson University where she taught courses in anthropology, Latin American studies, and women’s studies. She is a cultural anthropologist at Montclair State University whose current research focuses on globalization and migration from Mexico to the United States. She is the co-editor of New Directions in Political Economy: An Approach from Anthropology; The Global Factory: Studies of the New Industrialization in the Late 20th Century; and the author of Three Different Worlds: Women, Men and Children in an Industrializing Community, and most recently, Globalization in Rural Mexico: Three Decades of Change (University of Texas Press, 2007).

Title of Lecture:

Global Modernities:
Coherence and Contradiction in Rural Mexico

            To some globalization is a coherent and homogenizing process.  For others globalization as a process of hybridity. This paper, based on four decades of anthropological research in a rural community in Mexico suggests that globalization must be examined in terms of both coherence and contradiction.  When I first went to San Cosme Mazatecochco in 1971, a world of Keynesian economics and the idea that the state played an important role in encouraging employment had led to a shift from family agriculture to wage work in the national textile industry.  Ten years later, as the world economy changed to neoliberalism and globalization, thousands of textile workers lost their jobs and the economic basis of life in San Cosme changed again. This time it shifted to small-scale garment production in home workshops.  In the 1990s as neoliberal polices led to further deterioration, hundreds of San Cosmeros/as migrated to the United States.  Some of the more successful garment producers have been able to survive in San Cosme, not by labor migration, but by going elsewhere in Mexico for cheaper labor and more distant markets to produce or sell their garments. At the same time, while many San Cosmeros/as are now on the move for work, workers, or markets, others travel to Oaxaca, Chiapas, and elsewhere as tourists.  This paper describes these changes and analyzes how and why neoliberal globalization has differentially impacted various segments of Mexico’s population so that some must migrate and others are staying home and enjoying the benefits from that same globalization.     

Dr. William Patzert
   on Global Warming

Dr. Joseph Prabhu
Lecture on Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

Charlie Rose interviews Tom Friedman
on Globalization, the U.S., and China

Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales

     The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series has been established by the Morales Family Lecture Series Endowment in memory of the late Dr. Jeanine (Gigi) Gaucher-Morales, who passed away on May 20, 2007. Born in Paris, France, Dr. Gaucher-Morales was a professor emerita of French and Spanish at Cal State L.A. She taught from 1965 till 2005, thus devoting four decades of her academic life to Cal State L.A., where her friends, students, and colleagues knew her as Gigi.

     During her long and productive tenure at this campus, Gigi taught generations of students the literature and culture of France, of the Anglophone world, and of Latin America, including the Caribbean. With her husband, Dr. Alfredo O. Morales, also professor emeritus of Spanish, she co-founded, directed, and served as advisor of Teatro Universitario en Español for almost 25 years, bringing to Cal State L.A. annual theater productions based on plays stemming from different traditions and languages, such as the Maya (Los enemigos), Colonial Mexico (Aguila Real), Spanish (Bodas de sangre), French (The Little Prince), and English (Under the Bridge). In addition, Gigi was the founder at Cal State L.A. of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. She was recognized and honored by the French government for her contributions to the knowledge of French civilization in Latin America and the United States. Gigi was also honored by her peers at Cal State L.A. with the 1991-1992 Outstanding Professor Award.

     On March 7, 1997, Gigi was recognized by the Council of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, with a resolution that in part reads as follows: “be it resolved that by the adoption of this resolution, the Los Angeles City Council does hereby commend Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales valued Professor of Spanish and French at California State University, Los Angeles for her vision and her gift to the people of Los Angeles and for contributing to the richness of multi-cultural arts in Los Angeles.”

     Every spring quarter, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lectures will honor Gigi’s academic ideals as a teacher, colleague, and mentor. The lectures will respond to Gigi’s diverse yet interconnected interests in civilizations of the world such as Mesoamerica and that of the Andes, Latin America, Asia, and Francophone America, from Canada to Haiti. Gigi embodied the highest academic standards and a range of academic fields that were truly global and interdisciplinary. The Memorial Lectures shall serve as a forum for distinguished guest speakers who engage vital topics of our age in a world setting, thus offering students, staff, and faculty at Cal State L.A. an opportunity to be critically exposed to different areas of study and artistic traditions that constitute the highest cultural aspirations of humanity. In May 2014, the Gigi Caucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series will sponsor a Conference on Rudolfo Anaya: Tradition, Modernity, and the Literatures of the U.S. Southwest.  For more information, visit:  

Forthcoming Conferences:
2015 Conference on Mariano Azuela and the Narrative of the Mexican Revolution
2016 Conference on Cervantes and Shakespeare: Golden Age Modernities
2017 Conference on Jorge Luis Borges