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Annual Report 2014-2015



Toril Moi

Director for PAL, 2009-present

James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies

PAL 2014-15 in numbers



Writing Groups


Years of PAL at Duke




Graduate student parties

PAL seeks to make a strong interdisciplinary contribution to the humanities at Duke. In 2014-15 we worked particularly hard to support the writing lives of our graduate students. With the help of Heather Gates (History) we co-ordinated and sponsored writing groups for over 50 graduate students. We ran a monthly series of workshops on writing. In spring, our writing events culminated in PAL’s third “Writing Is Thinking” Workshop, headlined by Verlyn Klinkenborg. PAL organized a reading group on Hannah Arendt. A panel of graduate students responded to Mark Greif’s presentation of his book The Age of the Crisis of Man. We sponsored talks by our young international visitors, Salla Peltonen and Corina Stan, with responses by Duke graduate students. PAL’s Graduate Certificate continues to attract students from across the humanities. PAL also launched a new series on intellectual women. In the fall we had a symposium on on Mme du Châtelet and Mary Wollstonecraft; in spring one on Hannah Arendt.

As usual, we sponsored lectures in In 2014-15 we welcomed the first philosophy and the arts: The distintwo PAL/FHI Seminars on “Concepts, guished art historian Keith Moxey Figures, Art Forms,” sponsored by the shared his thoughts on time and art, Mellon Foundation: Bruce Matthews (one of Duke’s Hu- • Whose Kafka? led by Saskia Zimanities Writ Large olkowski and Kata Gellen. “PAL seeks to make a fellows) presented • The Novel, led by Nancy strong interdisciplinary Schelling’s vision of Armstrong and Erdag the University, and contribution to the hu- Goknar. the renowned literary manities at Duke” In 2015-16 we will concritic Derek Attridge tinue the “Intellectual discussed literature Women” series, sponsor in history. We ended the year with more writing-focused events, and, a symposium on the philosopher J. not least, host PAL’s fourth Young L. Austin with Sandra Laugier (SorScholars Workshop on literature, ethbonne), Estelle Ferrarèse (Strasics, and philosophy, with Niklas Forsbourg), and Sarah Beckwith (Duke). berg (Uppsala) and Nora Hämäläinen On the invitation of then Dean Laurie (Helsinki). Patton, PAL set up a working group I hope to see many of you at our on Humanities education for underevents this year! graduates, and sponsored a symposium on teaching in the humanities October 2015 today, with Paula Findlen (Stanford), Toril Moi Sean Kelly (Harvard), and James Director of PAL Simpson (Harvard).


PAL 2014-2015


Index Introduction


Intellectual Women Series


PAL Lectures 7 PAL Symposia


PAL for Graduate Students


Writing is Thinking


PAL Forums


Co-sponsored events


PAL and FHI seminars


Graduate Student Staff



Intellectual Women Series October 2 The Making and Unmaking of Women’s Intellectual Reputations Mme du Châtelet and Mary Wollstonecraft Karen Detlefsen

Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania

Andrew Janiak Philosophy, Duke

Angela Maione

Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities Bard College

April 9

Hannah Arendt Lori Marso

Political Science, Gender Studies Union College

Ella Myers

Political Science, Gender Studies University of Utah


PAL Lectures

October 23

Imagining the Time of Art’s Histories A lecture by Keith Moxey

Moxey is Barbara Novak Professor of Art History at Barnard College and Columbia University. He is the author of Visual Time: The Image in History (2013). November 13

Envisioning the Modern University: Schelling’s Jena Lectures A lecture by Bruce Matthews

Matthews was a 2014-2015 Humanities Writ Large Visiting Fellow at Duke. He discussed the fragmentation and specialization of the disciplines within the university.

The Work of Literature: Event, Invention, History

January 15

A Lecture by Derek Attridge

Attridge presented a section of his forthcoming book, “The Work of Literature.” Attridge teaches at the University of York and is a Fellow of the British Academy.


PAL Symposia January 30

Undergraduate Education and the Humanities A Symposium for humanities faculty Paula Findlen

History, Stanford

Sean Kelly

Philosophy, Harvard

James Simpson English, Harvard

PAL was invited by Dean Laurie Patton to be the home for a conversation with Duke Humanities Faculty on undergraduate curriculum and the humanities. PAL hosted a symposium and faculty discussion with experts from other institutions that run special liberal arts programs. A committee of faculty members are working on a proposal for an intensive liberal arts program for Duke undergraduates.


April 21

J.L. Austin now A Symposium Sandra Laugier

Philosophy, Paris Sorbonne

Estelle Ferrarese

Political Science, Strasburg

Sarah Beckwith English, Duke


PAL for Graduate Students September 3

Happy Hour kick-off party

At PAL’s first party of the year, we introduced the PAL Writing Groups and the PAL Certificate to the graduate student community. We served signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at this fun bash. Running from Fall 2014 to Spring 2015

Writing Groups

PAL hosted 10 graduate student writing groups with more than 50 participants. Groups crossed disciplinary boundaries and across the stages of graduate coursework and writing. Running Spring 2015

Reading Group on Hannah Arendt A community of graduate students and faculty read and discussed from The Portable Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, and other Arendt texts

Responses to invited speakers

Six graduate students from various departments presented or responded at PAL’s events in 2014-2015: Salla Peltonen (Women’s Studies, PAL Visiting Scholar), Justin Mitchell (English), Myles Oldershaw (English), Jacob Soule (Literature), Brian Valentyn (English, Thompson Writing Program) and Heather Wallace (Philosophy)


PAL strives to provide a relaxed yet intellectually exciting atmosphere, in which graduate students are invited to come together across disciplinary boundaries to explore questions of common interest. You don’t have to be committed to any of PAL’s core fields to find PAL a welcoming space. PAL encourages graduate students to come together to read and write, and to discuss works of intellectual interest in many disciplines.


PAL Graduate Certificate

The PAL Graduate Certificate seeks to connect the study of specific works of art and specific art forms (e.g., literature, music, theater, painting, film) to questions concerning creativity, the nature of specific art forms, the relationship between knowledge and art, and between ethics and aesthetics. The Certificate aims to make students conversant with philosophical reflections on literature and the arts. The Certificate seeks to foster an understanding of the historical nature of different art forms, and of aesthetics and philosophy, and to encourage exploration of philosophy, art and literature from different historical periods. The Certificate is designed to provide students with a firm grounding in the research skills required to enable them to intervene in contemporary debates within the field and to encourage them to consider their own field of study from an inter- or cross-disciplinary approach. For more information 12


PAL Graduate Certificate Steering Committee

Sarah Beckwith

Owen Flanagan

Neil McWilliam

Toril Moi

Thomas Pfau

Jacqueline Waeber

Professor of English and Theater Studies; Chair of Theater Studies

James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies; Professor of Philosophy, English and Theater studies

James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy; Professor of Neurobiology

Alice Mary Baldwin Professor and Eads Family Professor of English and German; DGS-German Studies

Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Art History

Associate Professor of Music


Writing is Thinking PAL Writing is Thinking 2015 PAL’s 3rd Biennial Writing is Thinking included our usual two-day workshop for the Duke community. This year we also introduced Graduate Student Writing Groups and monthly workshops on the writing process. We had a record number of participants with more than 50 applications to join writing groups!

Graduate Students writing groups PAL supported over 50 graduate students in forming in writing groups. We hosted in-person feedback groups and online accountability groups. Participants came from a variety of departments including History, Music, English, Literature, Cultural Anthropology, and Philosophy.


Workshop series on writing

Workshop leaders:

• How to Start a Writing Group • The Writing Process • How to move from Research to Drafting • Several Short Sentences on Writing

• Kristen Neuschel • Jennifer Ahern-Dodson • Sarah Beckwith •Toril Moi

Workshop with

Verlyn Klinkenborg Verlyn Klinkenborg was Writing is Thinking’s 2015 keynote speaker. Klinkenborg is the author of Several Short Sentences About Writing (2012), and More Scenes From the Rural Life (2013). He is the recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and was a member of the New York Times editorial board from 1997 to 2013. He teaches at Yale University. Mr. Klinkenborg lives in rural New York state. During his visit to PAL, Klinkenborg met individually with participants in PAL Writing Groups and made two presentations: March 19

The Writer at Work March 20

The Language of Place Supported by

Graduate students read Klinkenborg’s book “Several Short Sentences on Writing” (graciously provided by the Thompson Writing Program) in the semester prior to his visit. 15

PAL Forums Reflections on the Posthuman

February 19

A PAL forum with

Salla Peltonen

Peltonan, PAL Visiting Scholar, presented a Wittgensteinian view on discussions of the posthuman in feminist theory.

February 10

How to Live with Others A talk by PAL Visiting Scholar Corina Stan

Stan presented a paper on the concept of interpersonal distance in Barthes, Murdoch, and Orwell.


April 21

The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973 Presentation by

Mark Grief

A book presentation by the author with graduate student respondents Co-sponsored by PAL and FHI

Screening of

November 5

Blade Runner (1982 dir. Ridley Scott)

The 1982 American neo-noir science fiction cult movie directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer


Co-sponsored Events

Faculty Bookwatch:

February 20

Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel

A panel discussion on Srinivas Aravamudan’s Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel (University of Chicago Press, 2011). Presented by the Franklin Humanities Institute and Duke University Libraries. Co-Sponsored by English, Romance Studies, the Program in Literature, and The Center for Art, Philosophy and Literature (PAL) at Duke University.

Presentation by Dr. Philip J. Ivanhoe:

February 20

The Contemporary Significance of Confucian Views about the Ethical Values of Music Co-sponsored by PAL and the Center for Comparative Philosophy

Ivanhoe presented a chapter of his forthcoming book. He described some of the ways that Confusians thought music was critical for personal and social wellbeing.



PAL and FHI Seminars Concepts, Figures, Art, Forms The “Concepts, Figures, Art Forms� collaboration between PAL and FHI is a central element of a new series of FHI Seminars in Historical, Global, and Emerging Humanities, a 3-year initiative generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation concerned with the state and direction of the humanities in the light of the interdisciplinary developments of recent decades.

Whose Kafka? Multiplicity, Reception, and Interpretation

Saskia Ziolkowski Kata Gellen

The Novel Nancy Armstrong Erdag Goknar Supported by


PAL Graduate Student Staff

Heather Wallace

Filippo Screpanti

Jack Bell

Heather Gates

Assistant Director


Graphic Design

David Berka Assistant

Writing group coordinator


In Memoriam Kaila Brown

Assistant Director for PAL, 2010-2013 PAL’s sixth year began in tragedy. We still mourn the loss of PAL’s longtime assistant, Kaila Brown, who died in September 2014. This annual report is dedicated to her memory.

Kaila was luminous. She shone with passion for literature, and for ideas. She was everyone’s favorite student. I was privileged to be allowed to work with her for five years. Our hearts go out to Kaila’s friends and family. — Toril Moi Kaila Brown was a beautiful soul, illuminated by her capacious loves–for books, for thinking, for dance and theatre–and above all, for others. She was funny, quick-minded, full of wit, spunk and spark. She was a catalyst for others. I am so sad to lose her. — Sarah Beckwith Kaila carried the banner for PAL while Toril was on leave. She was a model for me in how to host a rich intellectual community through attention to detail, grace, good spirits, and passionate inquiry. She shaped us in indelible ways. — Heather Wallace



PAL Center for Philosophy, Arts and Literature Duke University

B184 Smith Warehouse, Bay 5, 1st Floor Box 90403 114 S. Buchanan Blvd. Durham, NC 27708

palinfo@duke.edu www.dukepal.org


Profile for Filippo

PAL Duke 2014-15 Annual Report  

PAL Duke 2014-15 Annual Report

PAL Duke 2014-15 Annual Report  

PAL Duke 2014-15 Annual Report