Monthly Archives: April 2010

Draper Open Houses for Prospective Students (Current Students Welcome!)

Draper will be holding three open houses over the summer for prospective students. These open houses will be an opportunity to meet with Draper staff, learn more about the program, and have prospective students’ questions answered.

The dates are:
Tuesday, May 25th
Wednesday, June 2nd
Thursday, June 17th

We’re also more than happy to have current students attend and be on hand to answer questions from a current-student perspective. Let us know if you’re interested!

All open houses will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in Draper’s office at 14 University Place, 1st floor. A map with walking directions can be found here.

Prospective students, please RSVP at draper.program[at]

Draper Alumn Matt Williams on the Barnes Club Graduate Conference (March 2010)

Matt Williams graduated from Draper in 2008 and is currently a Ph.D. student in the history program at SUNY Binghamton. Matt recently presented a paper at the Barnes Club Graduate Student Conference and agreed to write about the experience for in.ter.reg.num. Thanks, Matt!

Over the weekend of March 26-27, I had the chance to present an early version of a new paper at the 15th Annual James A. Barnes Club Graduate Student Conference at Temple University. Bringing together students from across the country, working in fields as varied as media, comics, political history, and the Cold War, the conference offered an almost dizzying array of temporal and theoretical perspectives. I recommend it highly to anyone working in nearly any American, European or Global history field.

The weekend’s activities began on Friday evening with a panel discussion on how articles and books get published. Racing down from upstate New York, this panel alleviated a lot of confusion on my part about the process, despite the fact that I spent a decade in trade publishing before attending Draper. Academic publishers welcomed work from graduate students; in fact, few seem to submit material meaning that there is opportunity for those of us willing to try. The bad news is that peer review is not for the impatient: even accepted articles undergo months of revision and publication is contingent on producing an acceptable final article.

After some chit-chat with panelists and fellow presenters, I went back to my hotel and practiced reading through my article a few more times before collapsing into bed. My panel began at 9:00 am Saturday and I went first. My paper is a new work titled ‘“Launched among Strangers”: Personality and Politics During the Administration of Governor William Cosby, 1732-1736.’ This era in New York history was highly contentious, and historians often consider it as a precursor to the American Revolution. In contrast, I focus on the personal disputes between Britons like Cosby and their colonial adversaries in more personal terms where each was strange to the other, especially in their assumptions over who got the short end of the imperial relationship. I got some good comments on my paper and Power Point but almost would have welcomed more criticism.

Of course, I can’t blame anyone for not knowing or being interested in my specific little field. I suppose that’s the one drawback to a conference with such a wide range of work: it’s difficult to know enough about various fields to think of a probing question. I felt this myself later in the day while attending others’ presentations, wanting to comment critically without coming across as a wind-bag or know-it-all.

The day concluded with some awards (not won by me!) and comments from the student and faculty organizers. I would have loved to stay for the post-conference karaoke at a nearby bar, but had to high tail it back to New York, where I still live while commuting to Binghamton. Not only did the conference motivate me to get working on a new project, it also opened my eyes to some of the creative work being done at campuses across America.

Trauma and Violence Studies Event: Narrativation of Traumatic Experience through Testimony (4/14)

Please join us.

Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies


(Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine; Cofounder of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale)


Wednesday, April 14th at 6:45 p.m.
13-19 University Place, Room 102

Discussant: Sue Grand, Ph.D. (Faculty and supervisor NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; Faculty Mitchell Center for Relational Psychoanalysis; Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues; Author of The Reproduction of Evil: A Clinical and Cultural Perspective and (just off the press) The Hero in the Mirror: From Fear to Fortitude.

Introduced by Judith Alpert, Ph.D., (Professor of Applied Psychology, NYU; Faculty and Training Supervisor, NYU Postdoctoral Program for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; Co-Director, Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies, NYU; psychoanalyst)

This event is free and open to the public. Photo I.D. required.

Call for Papers: Recycling (Abstracts Due 5/15)

Call For Papers…


The Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University is pleased to announce its inaugural graduate student conference will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at the Stony Brook Manhattan campus. We are also excited to announce that Lisa Gitelman, Associate Professor of Media, Culture & Communication and Associate Professor of English at NYU will be the conference keynote speaker.

The conference will be structured around the theme of recycling, such that we will not only invite graduate students to present papers on recycling itself, but also make space for interactive projects that use recycling practices to alter the proceedings of a conventional conference. We are currently soliciting papers that explore the significance of recycling as a cultural practice and as a metaphor for understanding artistic and literary production. We also welcome creative modes of presentation, including performance art, short films, musical acts, visual art, collages, video games, and other expressive forms.

In recent years, “going green” has become an increasingly popular buzz-phrase. Advice on resource and waste management is ubiquitous, coming from such sources as credit card companies, Greenpeace, reality TV shows, the Environmental Protection Agency, car manufacturers, and Facebook applications. A successful generator of capital in its own right, “greening” has become a pop culture sensation in a world poised on the brink of environmental collapse. How do discourses of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” take shape in a corporate culture premised on planned obsolescence? Might our relationship to waste change as we search for new sustainabilities?

As we are called to be conscious of our resource management, how might we become conscious of our idea management? Taking the notion of recycling as an environmental concept and applying it to the cultural realm, we want to explore how old and new media forms navigate their own forms of recycling. How does the concept of recycling, the act of reusing materials and/or ideas once considered “wasteful,” apply to cultural, artistic, and literary production? What happens when we characterize a once-useful idea with waste? What strategies enable us to recover a supposedly wasteful idea?

Concerning the problem of idea management, we invite proposals covering topics such as:

– copying of themes, tropes and characters in literature

– literary translation

– the “remake” in popular film

– the digital music mash-up

– the televised rerun

– the video game engine

– fan cultures (including fan vids, fan sites, fan blogs, fan discussion boards, fan events)

– technology law

– literary genres

– bootlegging, piracy

– appropriation, plagiarism

– literary and film adaptations

– collage

– virtual lives (e.g. Second Life)

– recycling of history

– mutation of myths over time and across cultures

All of these topics gesture toward cultural practices that may be thought of by some as recycling and reusing or as appropriation and plagiarism by others. These are just some of the possible areas ripe for examining the implications and intersections of intellectual, creative, and environmental “recycling.” We welcome submissions that play with the theme of recycling in creative and unexpected ways.

Concerning the problem of resource management, we invite proposals covering topics such as:

– the history of the slogans “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and “going green”

– case studies of recycling’s environmental impact

– waste disposal

– the history and future of environmental movements

– environmentalism in the developing world

– land appropriation and reappropriation

– the branding of environmentalism

– capitalism’s co-optation of environmental movements

– recycling as a form of cultural reconstruction and its impact on communities

– political and cultural attitudes toward sustainabilities and conservation

– the rise of Green Parties across Europe and, to a lesser extent, in North America

Please submit abstracts of 250 words (for individual proposals) or 400 words (for panel proposals) to by May 15th, 2010. Please include your full name, contact information, and institutional affiliation. If submitting creative work, please explain how you plan to present your work (paper, performance, installation, etc.)

Individual presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes. Panels should be no more than one hour.

For more information, please see the conference website at Also, feel free to email with any questions or concerns.

Reminder: DSO Colloquium This Friday, April 9th

DSO Spring Colloquium
Friday, April 9th
7:00 PM in the Draper Map Room

with presentations by:

Alex Ponomareff
“Little Boxes: A brief excursion into the panels of American comic books”

John Allen
“The Structure of an Empirical Theory of Taste”

Sarah Broderick
“One Creator + One Creature = One Trickster:
Secondary Title as Frame for Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus