Penn State
Penn State

Promoting collaborative research on ideas central to the pressing issues of our time.

Resident Lecture Series

Presentations will occur online via Zoom promptly at 11:00 a.m.

Spring 2023

Faculty Scholars in Residence:

March 14: Désirée Lim, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

a black and white picture of women holding signs that read

“Internal Restrictions on Movement: A Reconsideration”

Focusing largely on the cases of apartheid South Africa and China’s hukou system, Désirée Lim discusses the history of internal restrictions on movement. Tying this to the existing literature on the ethics of migration, she explains how the restrictions faced by Black South Africans and rural Chinese migrants can be usefully conceptualized as (a) restrictions on travel, (b) restrictions on residency-related rights, and (c) restrictions on one’s ability to be fully recognized as a member of the territory in question.  However, despite the severe social inequalities that these restrictions have exacerbated, Lim argues that certain restrictions on movement can not only be legitimate, but perhaps also necessary. As a contrast case, she elaborates on the example of Singapore’s use of racial quotas in its public housing system and how it has served as a powerful tool against racial segregation. Click Here to Register for Désirée’s Talk.

March 21: David G. Atwill, Professor of History

a photo of a landscape showing three pagodas “The Yunnan Chronicles: A Field Guide to Southwest China’s Past”

From the ancient bronzes of the Dian Kingdom to Kunming’s oldest noodle house, The Yunnan Chronicles seeks to bring China’s indigenous and often misunderstood past into clearer focus. Atwill’s study tells the singular tale of China’s remote southwest by examining a broad constellation of people, places, and spaces central to Yunnan’s past. Tracing the broad outlines of Yunnan’s unique historical trajectory, this talk will focus on the ninth-century Nanzhao pagodas of Dali, Yunnan warlord Long Yun (1884-1962), and the recent rise of Shangri-la Wine (produced and bottled by Moët Hennessy). Click Here to Register for David’s Talk.

March 28: Marco A. Martínez, Assistant Professor of Spanish

“Origins in Tradition: Carlos Chávez at the MoMA”

In the summer of 1940, the Museum of Modern Art in New York held the exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art. In combination with the exhibition, the Museum sponsored a program of Mexican music arranged by Mexican composer and director Carlos Chávez. The composer aimed to represent in his program the various musical cultures and traditions of Mexico and their historical evolution from an imaginary Aztec music performed with original instruments (Xochipilli-Macuilxochitl) to orchestral arrangements of corridossones and huapangos. The program presented a historicist and teleological vision that corresponded to official post-revolutionary discourse and, in turn, sought to insert Mexican music within the Western canon. Analyzing the funding, musical selections, and reviews of these concerts, Marco Martínez demonstrates Chávez’s significance in the New York modernist musical scene, as well as his role as spokesperson and official translator of exported Mexican musical nationalism. Martínez proposes that Chávez translates a sanitized version of Mexican music infused with an idea of authenticity for a North American audience by integrating Indigenous musical instruments and practices with cosmopolitan sophistication in arrangements of traditional pieces for the chamber orchestra. Click Here to Register for Marco’s Talk.

April 4: Sarah Clark Miller, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bioethics, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

“On Relationality, Need, and Power”

What is the significance of relationality for human needs? Philosophers have generally thought of need as a matter of individual vulnerability to harm. On this account, needs arise in one person to be responded to by other people. While there is limited relationality in such forms of ethical responsibility, we must ask what this approach occludes. The individualized view fails to perceive the multiple relational dimensions of the concept of need. For example, some needs can only be met in the locus of specific kinds of relationships. Some needs may be relationally constituted. Moreover, understanding needs individually tends to lose sight of the significance of power: how power relations shape the way needs emerge socially, whether the normative weight of any given need is legible and receives proper uptake, and how such needs are met, if they are to be met at all. Reconceptualizing needs relationally in these ways offers a key insight into what relational ethics as a distinctive moral theory could be. Click Here to Register for Sarah’s Talk.


Graduate Student Scholars in Residence: Tuesday, April 18

  • a photo of the ihlseng cottage with a banner that reads Yilan Luo, Department of History. 

Huahui (Flower Society) Gambling in Twentieth-Century Shanghai, 1920-1939 

In this talk, I focus on a game that was popular in Shanghai during the 1920s: Huahui or Flower Society. This game was very popular among women, who not only played the game but also ran the game. This talk explores the social and cultural reasons behind such a phenomenon. Using Huaihui as an example, I shed light on the various social and cultural functions of gambling as a whole in twentieth-century Shanghai. Learn more about Yilan’s project.

  • Irene Kemunto Momanyi, Department of French and Francophone Studies, African Studies Program.

Surviving the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda: A Duty of memory or work of remembering?

My presentation will explore how Espérance  Mutuyisa-Brossard’s memoir, Mon Histoire Rwandaise, (re)presents survivors’ role in the memory of the genocide. Using Paul Ricoeur’s work on remembering and forgetting as a critical framework, I will discuss the different ways of remembering the genocide that survivors adopt to fight against genocide denial and revisionism.  Learn more about Irene’s project.

  • Michael Young, Department of English.

The Sophistic Gambit: Dale Carnegie at the Origins of Speech Communication

Twenty years before he became a world famous author, Dale Carnegie was among the founders of a new academic discipline: Speech. The attempt was so disastrous that the field’s leading journal publicly denounced Carnegie as a fraud. This was a complicated dispute over the nature of rhetorical education, the meaning of disciplinarity, the purposes of science, and the role of money that has both ancient and contemporary resonances. The history of this underlying controversy offers a fresh perspective on some of academic Speech’s foundational debates, and it also illuminates the function of an elusive rhetorical device that I call the sophistic gambit. Learn more about Michael’s project.

Click Here to Register for the Graduate Student Scholars in Residence Talk.


FALL 2022: Faculty Scholars in Residence Talks

Click the fliers below to learn more about the faculty resident talks from this past Summer and Fall of 2022.



Summer-Fall 2022: Graduate Student Resident Talks

Click the fliers below to learn more about the graduate resident talks from this past Summer and Fall of 2022.

flier showing the titles and speakers for each talk