Set up Web site for discussion of presentations and sharing of drafts (TBD)
Begin organizing papers for a mini-series in the Working Papers of the Center (TBD)
Third series of readings and presentations, "Comparative Publics: Future Publics?" September through November, 2009 (TBD)
Our final series moves from "what" to "how"—in what ways do the technologies, genres, and institutions that mediate publics in our own age? We seek to illuminate a question long bereft of understanding: how do different communicative forms entail different publics, and vice versa? What are the political consequences and prospects?
Visiting lecturer TBD, November.
Summer and Fall 2010
First series of readings and presentations, "Comparative Publics: Ancient Publics," October through December, 2008
This series introduces the idea of the public, a political community brought into being through the circulation of texts. Readings from Warner, Anderson, and Habermas suggest publics cut across borders—but are they the uniquely modern property of the West? Invited experts will investigate ancient analogues, beginning as the old tribal ideology of “the people” as a speaking agent enters and transforms urban space and text in the Levant.
Building on our cross-cultural idea of a public as a people mediated through texts, we deepen the discussion by bringing it up to date. We investigate the horizon of modernity to see what, if anything, unique started to happen globally around the 18th century and conclude with analyses of contemporary publics in such diverse particular physical and social locations as East Timorese rebels and modern Evangelical prophets.