University of Connecticut

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The Intimacies of Four Continents Faculty/Grad Seminar

Friday, November 13, 2015
12:00pm – 2:00pm

Storrs Campus
Stern Lounge / Austin 217

Faculty & Graduate Seminar / Professional Development

Sponsored by Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, Department of English and American Studies Program

“The Intimacies of Four Continents”

Friday, November 13, 2015 12:00 – 2:15 PM Stern Lounge, Austin Room 217

Our invited guest is Lisa Lowe, Professor of English and American Studies at Tufts University. She is the author of the widely cited Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (1996) and the co-editor of The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital (1997), both published by Duke University Press.

The Seminar will focus on Lowe’s newly released The Intimacies of Four Continents. In this uniquely interdisciplinary work, Lowe examines the relationships between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries, exploring the links between colonialism, slavery, imperial trades and Western liberalism. Reading across archives, canons, and continents, she connects the liberal narrative of freedom overcoming slavery to the expansion of Anglo-American empire, observing that abstract promises of freedom often obscure their embeddedness within colonial conditions.

Race and social difference, Professor Lowe contends, are enduring remainders of colonial processes through which “the human” is universalized and “freed” by liberal forms, while the peoples who create the conditions of possibility for that freedom are assimilated or forgotten. Analyzing the archive of liberalism alongside the colonial state archives from which it has been separated, she offers new methods for interpreting the past, examining events well documented in archives, and those matters absent, whether actively suppressed or merely deemed insignificant.

Lisa Lowe invents a mode of reading intimately, which defies accepted national boundaries and disrupts given chronologies, complicating our conceptions of history, politics, economics, and culture, and ultimately, knowledge itself.

Contact the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute for more information about the suggested reading.


Ms. Fe Delos-Santos by email or 860.486.5083

Asian American Studies Institute (primary), el Instituto, English Department, Graduate School - Events, Humanities Institute, UConn Master Calendar

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