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Professors Frieda Ekotto, Ursula Jakob, and Scott Spector, Collegiate Professorship Inaugural Lecture

LSA Collegiate Lecture Series
Monday, April 15, 2024
4:00-5:30 PM
10th Floor Weiser Hall Map
This event will take place both in person and virtually.

Frieda Ekotto
Lorna Goodison Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, Comparative Literature, and Francophone Studies

Lecture Title: Poetics of Peace and Quiet : One Breath at a Time

Lecture Abstract: I seek peace by passing through a long period of silence. Memories resurface then. How to speak of the pain of exile, if not from the self. To speak of myself, or of my condition as an exile, allows me to invent a new configuration, to open up other possibilities in the production and circulation of knowledge. I am another à la Rimbaud, and this becomes for me the question: Who am I? Right there, a deep malaise settles. This constant search for my identity renders me immediately vulnerable. To think as an exile is to return always to the self; it is a permanent questioning of the I that becomes possible, even when suffering the pain of being neither here nor there. This narrative will offer an autoethnography of a subject always wandering for a lost country. In other words, it’s a mise-en-scène of modernity par excellence, an example of 21st century contemporary questions.

Ursula Jakob
Patricia S. Yaeger Collegiate Professor in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Lecture Title: Why Do We Age And What Can We Do About It?

Lecture Abstract: Why do we age and why do some of us stay healthy longer than others? Many years of aging research have shown us that human lifespan is determined by a combination of our genetic make-up, the environment we live in and some, yet to be identified and seemingly stochastic events. Thanks to the development of shorter-lived aging model organisms, much has been learnt about the processes which contribute to our inevitable demise, and the tight connection between these processes and the development of age-associated diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. New drugs and interventions are being found that extend lifespan in model organisms and can help delay the onset of these devastating neurodegenerative diseases. My lab recently discovered that events that happen naturally in early life can have profoundly beneficial effects on the lifespan of organisms and their ability to stay healthy. Studying the underlying mechanisms by which this ticking clock is set during early life and manifests itself during adulthood gives us hope we can identify novel effective interventions to enable people to live long and healthy lives.

Scott Spector
Rudolf Mrázek Collegiate Professor of History and German Studies

Lecture Title: Atlas Of An Invisible Empire

Lecture Abstract: The cities of Vienna and Prague, but also Lviv in Ukraine, Sibiu in Romania, Trieste and Bolzano in Italy, Opatija in Croatia, share a history as ethnically diverse centers during their history within the Habsburg Empire. Nationalists and the historians that unwittingly supported them thought of this polity as a “prison-house of nations,” a phrase deliberately blind to the ways in which subjects living in this pluralistic region experienced their place in it. That experience informed innovative expressions of culture and modes of knowledge that have been investigated without fully exploring the context of this imperial existence. This project—a voyage as literary as it is historical—aims to expose the palimpsest of life and sensation in these places, where traces of a very different past are hidden in plain sight, even as they have been superseded by newer sensibilities of city and nation.

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Webinar ID: 921 6300 8026
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Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: AEM Featured, comparative literature, German, Germanic Languages And Literatures, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Comparative Literature, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of History, Germanic Languages & Literatures, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology