History and Theory Reading Group

Schedule and Readings
Session 8: Beyond the Strai(gh)ts
Time: 12-1:30pm on 31 August 2011
Location: Academia Sinica Activity Center Cafe
  1. Petrus Liu, "Why Does Queer Theory Need China?," positions: east asia cultures critique 18, no. 2 (2010): 291-320.
  2. Lisa Rofel, "The Traffic in Money Boys," positions: east asia cultures critique 18, no. 2 (2010): 425-458.
  3. David Eng, "The Queer Space of China: Expressive Desire in Stanley Kwan's Lan Yu," positions: east asia cultures critique 18, no. 2 (2010): 459-487.
Session 7: The Historian's Task
Time: 12-1pm on 24 April 2009
Location: CCNY Center for Worker Education (25 Broadway, 7th Floor)
  1. Gabrielle M. Spiegel, "The Task of the Historian," American Historical Review 114, no. 1 (February 2009): 1-15.
  2. John E. Toews, "Intellectual History after the Linguistic Turn: The Autonomy of Meaning and the Irreducibility of Experience," American Historical Review 92, no. 4 (October 1987): 879-907.
  3. Recommended: Carl Hammer, "Explication, Explanation, and History," History and Theory 47 (May 2008): 183-199.
  4. Recommended: Francois Cusset, French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States, trans. Jeff Fort (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008).
Session 6: Evidence, Truth, and Objectivity
Time: 2-3pm on 6 March 2009
Location: CCNY Center for Worker Education (25 Broadway, 7th Floor)
  1. Carlo Ginzburg, "Checking the Evidence: The Judge and the Historian," Critical Inquiry 18, no. 1 (Autumn 1991): 79-92.
  2. Lorraine Daston, "Marvelous Facts and Miraculous Evidence in Early Modern Europe," Critical Inquiry 18, no. 1 (Autumn 1991): 93-124.
  3. Joan W. Scott, "The Evidence of Experience," Critical Inquiry 17, no. 4 (Summer 1991): 773-797.
  4. Recommended: Carlo Ginzburg, "Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm," in Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method, trans. John and Anne C. Tedeschi (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 96-125.
  5. Recommended: James Chandler, Arnold I. Davidson, and Harry Harootunian, eds., Quetions of Evidence: Proof, Practice, and Persuasion across Disciplines (University of Chicago Press, 1991).
  6. Recommended: Forum on "Truth, Objectivity, and History: An Exchange," Journal of the History of Ideas 56, no. 4 (1995): 651-680.
  7. Recommended: Lorraine Daston and Peter Gallison, Objectivity (Zone Books, 2007).


Session 5: Collecting and Archiving
Time: 2-3pm on 4 December 2008
Location: Starbucks Coffee (93 Greenwich Ave. & 12th St., NYC)

  1. Paula Findlen, "The Museum: Its Classical and Renaissance Genealogy," Journal of the History of Collections 1, no. 1 (1989): 59-78.
  2. Anjali Arondekar, "Without a Trace: Sexuality and the Colonial Archive," Journal of the History of Sexuality 14, nos. 1-2 (2005): 10-27.
  3. Peter Fritzsche, "The Archive," History & Memory 17, nos. 1-2 (2005): 15-44.
  4. Recommended: Thomas Osborne, "The Ordinariness of the Archive," History of the Human Sciences 12, no. 2 (1999): 51-64.
  5. Recommended: Harriet Bradley, "The Seduction of the Archive: Voices Lost and Found," History of the Human Sciences 12, no. 2 (1999): 107-122.
  6. Recommended: Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, trans. Eric Prenowitz (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).
  7. Recommended: Stephen L. Collins and James Hoopes, "Anthony Giddens and Charles Sanders Pierce: History, Theory, and a Way Out of the Linguistic Cul-de-Sac," Journal of the History of Ideas 56, no. 4 (1995): 625-650.


Session 4: Visualizing and Staging the World
Time: 2-3 pm on 14 November 2008
Location: Think Coffee (243 Mercer Street & 3rd Street, NYC)

  1. Neil Smith, "The Lost Geography of American Empire," in American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), pp. 1-28.
  2. Laura Hostetler, "Qing Connections to the Early Modern World: Ethnography and Cartography in Eighteenth-Century China," Modern Asian Studies 34, no. 3 (2000): 623-662.
  3. Recommended: Hayden White, The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987). 
  4. Recommended: Bruno Latour, "Drawing Things Together," in Representations in Scientific Practice, ed. Micahel Lynch and Steve Woolgar (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), pp. 16-68.
  5. Recommended: Enrique Dussel, "The 'World-System': Europe as 'Center' and Its 'Periphery' beyond Eurocentrism," in Beyond Philosophy: Ethics, History, Marxism, and Liberation Theology, ed. Eduardo Mendieta (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefied, 2003), pp. 53-84.
  6. Recommended: Rebecca Karl, Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002).

Session 3: Comparitive Historiography
Time: 2-3pm on 12 October 2008
Location: Think Coffee (243 Mercer Street & 3rd Street, NYC)

  1. Ann Laura Stoler, "Tense and Tender Ties: The Politics of Comparison in North American History and (Post) Colonial Studies," Journal of American History 88, no. 3 (December 2001): 829-865.
  2. Nancy Green, "The Comparative Method and Poststructural Structuralism: New Perspectives for Migration Studies," Journal of American Ethnic History 13, no. 4 (Summer 1994): 3-22.
  3. Recommended: Shigehisa Kuriyama, The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (Zone Books, 1999).


Session 2: Concepts and Historical Temporality
Time: 2-3pm on Thursday, 3 July 2008
Location: Housingworks Boostore Cafe (126 Crosby Street, NYC)

  1. Rheinhart Koselleck, "The Temporalisation of Concepts," trans. Klaus Sondermann and reprinted in Finnish Yearbook of Political Thought 1 (1997): 16-24.
  2. Recommended: Rheinhart Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts, trans. Todd Samuel Presner and Others (Stanford University Press, 2002).
  3. Recommended: Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen, "Making Sense of Conceptual Change," History and Theory 47 (2008): 351-372. 


Session 1: Theory of History | History of Theory
2-3pm on Friday, 20 June 2008
Location: Think Coffee (243 Mercer Street & 3rd Street, NYC)

  1. Prasenjit Duara, "Why Is History Antitheoretical?" Modern China 24, no. 2 (April 1998): 105-120.
  2. Ian Hunter, "The History of Theory," Critical Inquiry 33 (Autumn 2006): 78-112.
  3. Recommended: Frederic Jameson, "How Not to Historicize Theory," Critical Inquiry 34 (Spring 2008): 563-582.
  4. Recommended: Ian Hunter, "Talking about My Generation," Critical Inquiry 34 (Spring 2008): 583-600.