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Claremont Discourse Schedule - Spring 2009
Claremont Discourse is a faculty lecture series sponsored by the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges
All lectures will be held in the Founders Room of Honnold/Mudd Library. Discussion will follow each lecture, and refreshments will be provided.
Women in the French Resistance 1940-1945: A Personal Story
Professor Monique Saigal, Romance Languages, Pomona College
Wednesday, April 15, 4:15 p.m.
A Jewish child, hidden by a Catholic family for several years, decides later in life to interview 18 women, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who fought in many different ways against the German Occupation in France. That Jewish child grew up to be Monique Saigal, Professor of Romance Languages at Pomona College. In her book, Héroïnes Françaises, 1940–1945: Courage, Force et Ingéniosité (published in 2008 by Editions du Rocher), recounts how her gradual awakening to her Jewish roots led to her own explorations of women in the French resistance. Who were they? What did they do? Why? In this lecture, Professor Saigal, will discuss the personal motivations of political courage. She will also show some excerpts from the DVD made of the interviews with her subjects.
Americans All: The Cultural Gifts Movement
Professor Diana Selig, History, Claremont McKenna College
Thursday, April 2nd, 4:15 p.m.
From the 1920s — a decade marked by racism and nativism — through World War II, hundreds of thousands of Americans took part in a vibrant campaign to overcome racial, ethnic, and religious prejudices. They celebrated the "cultural gifts" that immigrant and minority groups brought to society, learning that ethnic identity could be compatible with American ideals. In her book, Americans All: The Cultural Gifts Movement, published by Harvard University Press in 2008, Diana Selig tells the neglected story of the cultural gifts movement, which flourished between the world wars. Countering racist trends and the melting-pot theory of Americanization, the movement championed the idea of diversity long before it became a buzzword. Yet the power of Cultural Gifts was ultimately limited by failure to grasp the deep social and economic roots of prejudice. In the year of our first African American President — who is himself the very product of a diverse cultural background — the debates over difference and unity remain at the heart of American society. Professor Selig will talk about the history of the Cultural Gifts Movement and the successes and challenges that make it so relevant today.
Photos from an American Album: The Albatross Nudes, 1899-1900
Heather Waldroup, Visual Materials Curator & CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow, Libraries of The Claremont Colleges, Claremont University Consortium
Wednesday, March 4th, 4:15 p.m.
For seven months in 1899-1900, the U.S. Fish Commission Steamer Albatross explored the South Pacific Islands, collecting mineral nodules and documenting the coral reefs and atolls of the region. The participants of the journey also took photographs; some of these now reside in five elaborately composed albums at the Phillips Library, Salem, Massachusetts. The albums juxtapose landscapes, portraits of the crew, and documentary shots of scientific specimens with images of nude Pacific Island women. This lecture will focus on the nude photographs in the albums, arguing that the images were shaped by popular photography, ethnographic photography, and the American imperial vision of the Pacific Islands.
Heather Waldroup is Assistant Professor of Art at Appalachian State University and has been at the Libraries since August 2008 as the CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Postdoctoral Fellow. Based at Denison Library, she is the Libraries’ Visual Materials Curator.
Undercurrents and Rip Tides in Mormon Studies
Professors Richard and Claudia Bushman, Claremont Graduate University, School of Religion
Wednesday, February 4th, 4:15 p.m.
It can be said that The Church of Latter Day Saints, popularly known as Mormonism, is an American religion, whose tenets were revealed to Joseph Smith in the 1820's on American soil, and as such is tied to American history and culture. In the early stage of a religion, the more scholarly of its adherents study internally the theological core before gradually moving out for the wider view. In the last century, Mormon history writing has gone through a transformation called "The New Mormon History." It represents a new configuration of Mormon intellectuals' relationship to the broader culture. So far it has affected primarily history writing, but there are signs it will spread to other aspects of Mormon cultural production, including theology. Richard and Claudia Bushman-distinguished emeriti Columbia University historians and authors of books on American political and cultural history, as well as books on Mormon themes-were brought to CGU to help start one of the first Mormon Studies programs outside of Utah - and to help foster the new scholarship. The Bushmans will discuss the transformation Mormon Studies is undergoing.