LCWA World Affairs Colloquium Spring 2019

On January, 14th LCWA will host Dr. Steven Lee, Associate Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley
Author of The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Minority Cultures and World Revolution, to present the lecture, “Beyond Interference: Soviet and Russian Lessons for
American Multiculturalism.”

Russian interference in the 2016 elections included the manipulation of U.S. identity politics: for instance, fake social media accounts promoted rallies both for and against the Black Lives Matter movement, apparently with the intent of exacerbating social discord. The new Cold War here merges with our new culture wars.
This circumstance finds a hopeful precedent from the old Cold War, when Jim Crow was a favorite topic for Soviet propaganda, which indirectly led to U.S. civil rights reform. Building on this precedent, my talk focuses on how Soviet and Russian discourses on race, ethnicity, and nationality might open new ways of conceptualizing multiculturalism here in the U.S. I’ll be arguing that in the Soviet Union, one’s identity as a minority subject could be simultaneously essential yet irrelevant, eternal yet absent—a phenomenon I trace back to both official nationalities policy and avant-gardist performance. The result was a layered, estranged approach to identity, one that possibly contributed to the USSR’s collapse but which also provides, I think, a useful complement to contemporary U.S. discourses of “otherness” and “intersectionality.”
As a case in point, I will then discuss the half-Korean, half-Russian rock star Viktor Tsoi (the Kurt Cobain of late socialism), the difficulty of ascribing any fixed identity to him, and his 1990 visit to the Sundance Film Festival.

Co-sponsored by the Russian Studies Program and European Studies Program.

Exciting events in Hispanic Studies

Check out some of the exciting things that have been happening in Hispanic Studies!

LCWA World Affairs Colloquium Series: Creating a Start-Up Region in Israel-Palestine

On October 28th at 10am in Arnold Hall Yadin Kaufmann will be presenting the lecture “Creating a Start-Up Region in Israel-Palestine.”

Stagnant economic growth, high unemployment, and a sharp decline in donor aid to Palestine create a volatile mix that breeds instability in the region. This situation is bad for Palestinians and dangerous for Israel. A bright spot in the otherwise grim Palestinian economic horizon is the technology ecosystem that has begun to develop in recent years. The technology sector, which already accounts for some 6% of Palestinian GDP, can be the engine to drive economic growth in Palestine, as it has been in neighboring Israel, with similar positive impacts. This is important both for Palestine and for Israel – irrespective of political developments.

Yadin Kaufmann has been involved in early-stage venture capital investments in Israel since 1987, through Athena, the first Israel-focused venture fund, and Veritas Venture Partners, which he co-founded in 1990. In 2011, Yadin co-founded Sadara Ventures, the first fund targeting investments in Palestinian technology companies. Most recently, Yadin founded and is Chairman of the Palestinian Internship Program, a non-profit organization that brings recent Palestinian university graduates for three-month internships at tech and finance companies in Israel. Yadin received his B.A. from Princeton, M.A. from Harvard, and J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. Foreign Policy named Yadin to the list of 100 “Leading Global Thinkers” in 2017. Yadin lives in Israel, but is a Charlestonian by marriage: his wife Lori Banov Kaufmann is the daughter of Dr. Charles and Nancy Banov.

Co-sponsored by Academic Affairs and the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs

FALL MINI-SEMINARS IN JEWISH STUDIES

Learning is what goes on in colleges and Jewish Studies is at its heart a vibrant academic program, with community outreach a prominent feature of its identity, from the Program’s inception more than thirty years ago. This semester Jewish Studies will re-introduce serious mini-seminars, essentially condensed courses (or highlights of courses) consisting of class sessions devoted to a single topic. Mini-seminars are free and open to the public. Enrollees are expected to secure the required reading, complete all assignments, and to attend all of the class sessions, thereby creating a genuine learning community. The class discussions will assume that enrollees have done the required assignments. The reading assignments will be made available on-line prior to the first class meeting.

Contact Mark Swick for details at swickmn@cofc.edu or 843-953-4930.

This fall, Jewish Studies will offer three mini-seminars; (1) a weekly immersive ulpan class by Professor Noa Weinberg which introduces students to Hebrew, both as a spoken language and as a written one; (2) a three-session exploration by Rabbi Moshe Davis of contemporary issues which help define Modern Orthodoxy; and (3) a three-session “highlights” of Professor Joshua Shanes’ course on Jewish Mysticism.