Rae Erin Dachille
"Applying the Antidote: A Tantric Perspective on Body, Representation and Imagination"
Time: February 15, 2023
Place: Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center, 1299 Oread Ave, Lawrence, KS
This event is organized and sponsored by KU Center for East Asian Studies and KU Department of Religious Studies.
Abstract: Desire, hatred, and ignorance lie at the very root of suffering, from a Buddhist perspective. And yet, tantric teachings reveal ways in which these three poisons can also be used on the path to liberation. Likewise, the body itself is defined as both an obstacle to and an instrument of liberation. In this talk, I share my findings from a fifteenth-century debate on a tantric ritual practice known as body mandala to explore the ways in which bodies, texts and images function as antidotes. Tantric adepts engaging in body mandala transform the body into a celestial palace inhabited by buddhas through ritual acts of imagination. I show how two Tibetan authors navigate the boundaries of bodies and texts in the body mandala debate and why their maneuvers are relevant to contemporary debates on representation and the category of the “human.”
Book of the City exhibition, at Tucson Humanities Festival
Time: October 25-26, 2022
As a part of this year's Tucson Humanities Festival, the opening reception for the Book of the City exhibition was launched on Tuesday, October 25 from 6-9PM, followed by a dance performance at 7pm. Jacqueline Barrios hosted a follow-up Respondents' Panel at the MOCA on Wednesday, October 26, from 11am-12pm.
Join us as we celebrate the collective works to come out of the Big Book Field Studio: Design Methods and the Canon, where an interdisciplinary team of architects, artists, and students joined forces in a public, applied and urban humanist studio based on the Charles Dickens’ 1850 novel, David Copperfield. Enjoy light refreshments and tunes from our resident DJ as you view the premiere of a new dance work and browse original installations to emerge from the project. From stereographs of bus shelters to a figurine installation collected from thrift stores, from ‘zines paying tribute to the Tanque Verde Swap Meet to choreography inspired by the El Tiradito shrine – this is a Victorian novel like you’ve never encountered before, a Dickensian vision in the desert, a collective Tucsonan tale of the city.
This exhibition is a featured event as part of this year’s Tucson Humanities Festival<https://humanitiesfestival.arizona.edu/>, and in the spirit of its theme this year of “community,” we hope you will help us manifest the ways literature might be an instrument to gather and collectivize this evening. As recipient of the inaugural Opening the Canon Award<https://humanities.arizona.edu/news/prof-barrios-receives-opening-canon-award> from UArizona’s College of Humanities Fearless Inquiries initiative, the Big Book Field Studio seeks to surface the emergent questions a book can inspire in the hands of a fearless reader. Do join us in this showcase of works that display the unique author-ity of nine new readers who explored what it means to make such books matter in our time.
Research Professional News
"Navigating global research collaborations in a world of political upheaval"
Time: 9am, Tuesday October 25
Lee's topic will be on US-China research collaborations and the effects of the FBI’s China Initiative.
Arizona Linguistics Circle 16 Plenary Talk
"Co-operative production: A multidimensional approach to social meaning"
Time: 10:40-11:55, Saturday October 22
Place: ENR 2 Building, Rm 210. 1064 E Lowell St, Tucson, AZ 85719
Abstract: In this talk, I present an on-going research project that has grown as a result of COVID-19 restrictions on travel and in-person contact. Situated in the tumultuous development of US-China relation since the outbreak of COVID-19, the project investigates the speech styles of the spokespersons of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). In this talk, I focus on the performance of Zhao Lijian at MOFA’s daily press conferences. A micro-celebrity on Chinese social media and notoriously dubbed the “supreme wolf warrior” in Western media, Zhao has become a sociolinguistic icon of China’s changing diplomatic style from restraint to bellicosity in the global geopolitics of a rising China and its threat to the Western status quo. He combines a range of linguistic and semiotic resources in the performance of a widely recognized combative persona. Focusing on rhotacization, a salient phonological variable in Northern Mandarin and Standard Putonghua, I examine how it takes on new/additional meanings—higher order indexicalities—through intersecting ways.
Data are collected through digital ethnography from multiple (social) media platforms. In this talk, I examine 1) video clips of Zhao’s press conferences posted in official social media accounts, 2) social media participants’ commentaries about 1), and 3) reproduction and recontextualization of Zhao’s speech by other state media agents and Chinese netizens.
Analysis reveals that rhotacization takes on higher order indexicality through a co-operative process involving the speaker and other participants. It comes about as variation is taken up in the performance of personas and embedded in semantic content. It gets reproduced, specified, and contested through the uptake practices of other participants. Through these intersecting ways, phonological variation exerts real-world significance by participating in the co-performance of China’s confrontational persona and the larger project of “telling China’s story and spreading China’s voice” in global geopolitics.