The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies will kick off its Anxious Agency theme on January 31 with a talk by Paul C. Johnson (University of Michigan) on "Charcot's Brazilian Monkey: Religion, Psychiatry, and Nearhuman Attraction." (NOTE: This talk was rescheduled for March 12.) The lecture is the first of five exploring the complexity of agency, including that of historians themselves, during the winter term (see below for full description of the theme). 

The institute's Friday Series includes three graduate student workshops and two symposia, including a February 1 program on the integration of climate change and environmental justice into teaching and a February 22 program on global approaches to public history. Other highlights include two Eisenberg forums: a portion of the "Iran Symposium" (February 15-16) and "Narrating Black Girls' Lives" (February 25-27).

The institute is also cosponsoring "Fighting for Our Rights: Three Young Women Facing Southern Racism in the 1960s," a 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Symposium event featuring Bettie Mae Fikes, Marilyn Lowen, and Martha P. Noonan. This is presented in conjunction with the Department of History and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Events take place in 1014 Tisch Hall except where noted; programs are free and open to the public. The term poster is available as a PDF. These events are made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg. 

Theme Description: Anxious Agency

Agency counts among the weightiest, if not thorniest, categories of historical analysis. Yet all too often, we ascribe it summarily, as if to avoid its intricacies: A group, be it a social class, women, individuals, or even material objects, is said to possess agency tout court or not. As a result, the mechanisms, gradations, varieties, paradoxes, and limits of the agential terrain vanish from sight, though they are constitutive of the histories this concept allows us to narrate. Our theme seeks to uncover and underscore the complexity of agency, including our own agency as historians. In times of crises, when we are in demand as citizens, humans, and historians, this has a timely urgency. 

Winter 2019 Events

January 21, 1 pm | Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium
Fighting for Our Rights: Three Young Women Facing Southern Racism in the 1960s
Bettie Mae Fikes, Marilyn Lowen, Martha P. Noonan

January 31, 4 pm | Lecture (RESCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 12)
Charcot’s Brazilian Monkey: Religion, Psychiatry and Nearhuman Attraction
Paul C. Johnson, University of Michigan

February 1, 12 pm | Symposium
Confronting a Climate of Despair: Transformative Pedagogies in the Anthropocene
Dagomar Degroot, Perrin Selcer, Anne Berg 

February 15-16 | Eisenberg Forum
The Iranian Revolution and Its Disciplinary Aftereffects
Part of the Iran Symposium.

February 21, 4 pm | Lecture
White Nationalists Dream of the Ethnostate
Alexandra Minna Stern, University of Michigan

February 22, 12 pm | Symposium
Public Engagements, Digital Tools, Global Contexts: A Roundtable and Discussion
Camron Michael Amin, Valentina Denzel, Jennifer Hart, Matthew Stiffler, Matthew Villeneuve 

February 25-27 | Eisenberg Forum
Narrating Black Girls’ Lives
Venues vary. Link to event listing for details.

March 21, 4 pm | Lecture (CANCELLED)
Migrant Longing, Courtship, and Gendere Identity in the US-Mexico Borderlands
Miroslava Chávez-García, University of California, Santa Barbara

March 22, 12 pm | Graduate Student Workshop
Intimacy and State Power
Stephanie Fajardo, Luis Flores Jr., Severina Scott, Molly Brookfield, Miroslava Chávez-García 

April 4, 4 pm | Lecture
Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Authoritarian’s Allure: 1939, 2019
Elizabeth Lunbeck, Harvard University

April 5, 12 pm | Graduate Student Workshop
Psych! An Interdisciplinary Conversation About Histories and Sciences of the Mind
Allura Casanova, Megh Marathe, Cheyenne Pettit,Naomi Vaughan, Henry M. Cowles, Elizabeth Lunbeck

April 18, 4 pm | Lecture
The Hoof of Destiny
Jamie Kreiner, University of Georgia

April 18, 12 pm | Graduate Student Workshop
Comedy and Power
Alexander Clayton, John Finkelberg, Alex Tarbet, Haley Bowen, Jamie Kreiner