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Prof. Lucy Schiller, Department of English: 

"Unnamable but Clearly Magical: A Portrait of Jerry Hunt"

Jerry Hunt, of Dallas and then Canton, Texas, was as much a guide as he was a musician—at least his performances indicated so. He might play a piano with bells on his wrists and legs, to add a secondary language of unearthly chime. He might wear an Elizabethan ruff around his neck, referencing John Dee, the 16th century man whose "Enochian tablets" Hunt sometimes used as generative constraints. He might talk about the "delicate miniature corn" he enjoyed the previous night, in response to his collaborator's musings on good and evil—part of a performance structured like a conversation, one whose understandability began, quickly, to gape. What Hunt was "getting at" in his work was at once highly particular and hard to describe, and might be best summed up as simply a departure from what is easily known, easily understood. "I don't think anything is at the bottom of the world," Hunt proclaimed once, describing his lack of "value structure." Fitting words for a man whose music, if we can call it that, was sometimes a translation of a translation of a translation, and took audiences away from the familiar by way of modern technology, Texas place names, and references they thought they understood. Also, he was funny.


Lucy Schiller is an assistant professor of creative writing, specializing in nonfiction, and will read from a creative essay on Jerry Hunt focused on the tension, in his work and life, between the known and the unknown, the Texan and the great beyond, the present and those other planes of existence only he, in his Elizabethan ruff or his regular-guy garb, seemed able to hear.

Join us for this talk at 7pm at the School of Art Satellite Gallery, 1106 5th St.


Panel, “After Jerry Hunt: A Conversation on Contemporary Art, Performance, and Music Composition,” with Heather Warren-Crow, Natalie Hegert, Justin Houser, and Hideki Isoda

Join us for this panel at 7pm at the School of Art Satellite Gallery, 1106 5th St.


Value/Values Speakers Series:

Dr. William Deringer
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

“Psychic Income: A Metaphysical Moment in Early Twentieth-Century Economics”

In the early years of the twentieth century, the American economist Irving Fisher set out to place the science of economics on sounder footing by redefining some of the field's most fundamental categories, including capital, income, value, and interest. At the center of this project was a dramatic rethinking of the nature of economic value and its relationship to time. Fisher concluded that the economic value of anything ultimately derived from the subjective satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) it brought to the individuals who used or consumed it, what Fisher called “psychic income.” These psychic benefits were not a static quantity, but were always realized over some space of time, whatever the item—a financial asset, an item of food, a house, a piece of furniture, a piano. Psychic income flowed. All economic decisions, Fisher argued, entailed translating this future flow of benefits into present time. Fisher described this process mathematically through a technique called “discounting,” which would become one of the rudiments of neoclassical economics in the ensuing century. How did Fisher come to comprehend the relationship between time, value, and economic subjectivity in this way? And how did he come to see a relatively esoteric calculation, discounting, as the key to understanding the economic self? This paper—drawn from a book-length “biography” of discounting—recovers an essential and overlooked influence on Fisher's thinking: the highly popular spiritual and self-help movement known as “New Thought” or “mind cure.” The story of Fisher's metaphysical moment offers new insight into the spiritual and psychological underpinnings of American neoclassical economics—and a vivid case study of how highly technical ideas in the sciences (like discounting) reflect seemingly distant cultural trends.

William Deringer is an associate professor in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at M.I.T. His research examines the history of the numbers, formulas, and calculations that organize our economic, financial, and political lives. His work ranges widely across time, from compound-interest tables in the early 1600s to computer spreadsheets on Wall Street in the 1980s. His first book, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age (Harvard University Press, 2018), is a history of how numerical “facts and figures” became seen as an especially trustworthy and powerful form of knowledge in the political realm, focusing eighteenth-century Britain. Calculated Values was awarded the Oscar Kenshur Prize in Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Joseph Spengler Prize in the History of Economics. His current project, The Formula That Rules Our Future: A History of Discounting examines the history of one powerful mathematical technique (“discounting”) that has come to dominate how the future is valued across many modern domains, from finance and business to law and public policy. Deringer's book will offer a “biography” of that potent yet perplexing calculation, from its medieval roots to contemporary debates about climate change policy.

Join us at 7:30pm at Human Sciences 169.


       Value/Values Speakers Series:

Dr. Marcus Folch (Columbia University)
"Prisons Before Penitentiaries: Incarceration 
in the Ancient Mediterranean"

This talk considers the role of the prison in the ancient Greco-Roman Mediterranean, with particular emphasis on classical Athens.  Whereas prisons are recognized as part of the fundamental architecture of the modern state, it is often assumed that in antiquity prisons were merely jails: temporary detention facilities for short-term custody of inmates before trial and after conviction. As such, prisons are thought to have played a limited role in ancient history. In this presentation, Marchs Folch pushes against the conventional, custodial model of ancient imprisonment. He makes two arguments. First, Folch suggests that prisons were—and were perceived as—integral parts of premodern states. In other words, prison was a thing, and imprisonment was far more prevalent in ancient societies than previously thought.  Second, prison in the ancient Mediterranean has a history, a history profoundly shaped by fifth and fourth century Athenian democracy.  The dynamics of political polarization and intra-elite competition in classical Athenian democracy produced a model of incarceration that outlasted Athenian democracy itself. Long after Athens' experiment in direct democracy came to an end, ancient authors, politicians, and religious innovators continued to represent the prison and prisoners within conceptual categories that emerged in the democratic period of Athenian history.

Humanities Building (formerly English & Philosophy) Room 108 - 7:00 PM


Value/Values Film Series:

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Alamo Drafthouse-Lubbock, 7:30pm.
Discussion to follow the screening.


JAN. 20 Chicana/x  Latina/x  Working Group

12:00-1:30 PM

FEB. 3 TLDC: "Wise Paths and Rash Pitfalls" with Dr. James Wages

TLPDC 151 or online / 2:00-3:00 PM


FEB. 15, 22 Spring 2023 Book Club: Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King

Virtual / 5:30-7:00 PM 


FEB. 17 Chicana/x  Latina/x  Working Group

 2:00-5:00 PM


FEB. 20 The Great Book Reads Club: Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid

TTU Urban Tech or virtual / 5:30-7:00 PM


FEB. 22 HEALTH Speaker Series:
Dr. Jane Thrailkill
Entertaining Trauma: The Peculiar Pleasures of Henry James's 'The Turn of the Screw'

English and Philosophy Room 106 - 7:00 PM

Trauma has been a key theme for many readers of Henry James's most notorious ghost story since its first publication in 1898. Are ghosts tormenting the children? Or, is their caregiver inadvertently traumatizing them with her weird fears?

In this talk, Prof. Jane Thrailkill shifts the emphasis away from early Freud and psychological trauma, to early cinema and physiological “thauma” – the peculiar pleasures produced by newfangled optical devices such as the thaumatrope, stereoscope, and early film projection. Known as philosophical toys, these lively tools provide a new lens for understanding Henry James—along with his brother William James and sister Alice James—as experimenters interested in human beings' sensory and cognitive dexterities.

Following these precocious siblings, and approaching literary works in the spirit of curiosity and play, provides an alternative to recent “turns” in literary studies (the ethical turn, the affective, the digital). This talk will conclude on a note of wonder and pleasure at the myriad artistic adaptations of “The Turn of the Screw”—The Haunting of Bly Manor, The Turning—which repeat and extend the complex thrills of James's story into different genres and for new audiences.

Jane F. Thrailkill is Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she teaches U.S. literature and health humanities. She is a founder and current co-director of HHIVE, the first health humanities lab in the United States. She publishes widely on the connections among literary study, medicine, psychology, and philosophy. She is author of Philosophical Siblings: Varieties of Playful Experience in Alice, William, and Henry James (Penn Press, 2022) and Affecting Fictions: Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism (Harvard UP, 2007). An award-winning interdisciplinary teacher—she also leads seminars in UNC's School of Medicine—Dr. Thrailkill is at work on an interdisciplinary & collaborative volume entitled Understanding Empathy: A Handbook for Humanistic Clinicians
English and Philosophy Room 106 - 7:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Dr. Michael Shanks
"Perspectives on the future of technology and the humanities from an archaeologist in Silicon Valley"

How might the research and pedagogy of the academy, and especially disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, connect fruitfully with dynamic agendas in technology development, change management in business, and the challenges of a complex world of runaway crises? How might we address this question of transdisciplinary reach while cherishing the specialized expertise of orthodox disciplines? This talk will present a pragmatist case for managing creative knowledge building in research and learning. Four interconnected case studies will be described: in university education (Stanford Humanities Lab and design programs, project-based learning in Denmark); in science and technology studies (histories of design); in corporate design-based strategic planning (projects with the automotive industry over 25 years); and in critical theory developed in the archaeology of prehistoric Europe and classical antiquity. These case studies illustrate the enduring value of tried-and-tested toolkits drawn from design practice and rhetoric and applied in synthetic fields that can be called design foresight, creative pragmatics, and futures literacy (after the UNESCO initiative). This synthesis of mindset, methods, and concepts that will be familiar to many could be called an argument for a revitalised liberal arts that brings creative design skills (rhetoric) to STEM education, research and development.

Michael Shanks is a professor and archaeologist at Stanford University. His research and teaching supports undergraduate and graduate programs in design, science technology society, urban studies, writing and rhetoric, classics, and archaeology. He is lead faculty in Stanford Foresight and Innovation, directed Stanford Humanities Lab and the Revs Program in automotive history and design. For ten years he was planning advisor to the city and port of Rotterdam, and has consulted with many corporations and organizations, most recently on digital transformation with Biprogy and Aisin, and human-centered design with Nissan Motor Company. His commitment to archaeology continues with projects in the borders of the Roman empire treated though theatre/archaeology, and in the speculative fabulation of classical antiquity. This year MS joined Ng Humanities House at Stanford as resident faculty.

Texas Tech Student Union Building - Escondido Theater / 7:00 PM

HEALTH Series Speaker: Dr. Shanta Smith 
"Centering Self-Care as a Liberatory Identity-Based Practice: Retooling to Reckon with the Past, Recognize the Present and Reimagine the Future"

Studies have shown that racism and sexism have profound implications that negatively impact the health and wellbeing of individuals who are marginalized and oppressed based upon their social identities. Join Dr. Shanta M. Smith as she discusses her influential work that illuminates how intersectional identity-based discrimination impacts health and wellness and the role of culturally responsive radical self-care as a resistive retooling framework.

Canyon Room - Student Union Building / 7:oo PM

Faculty Fellow Talk: Prof. Aaron Hegert
"Seldom Seen: Visual Resources and Hidden Realities"

This talk will provide an overview of Assistant Professor Aaron Hegert's recent project Seldom Seen: Visual Resources and Hidden Realities in the American Landscape. The project, which was supported by a TTU Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship in Spring 2022, and will debut as an exhibition at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Spring 2024, is a continuation of Professor Hegert's ongoing artistic exploration of the relationship between images, technology, and power; with this work specifically addressing the ways artistic and technical images have shaped the landscape of the American West over the past 150 years. Using the Bureau of Land Management's esoteric “Visual Resource Management” system as a central node, the project examines the convergence of American Landscape Painting and early Landscape Photography with Ecology and Geography during the period of Western Expansion; tracing a history of how images created in that era conditioned American attitudes towards nature and landscape, and eventually influenced major policy and land-use management decisions, starting with the Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Equally importantly, the project includes new and experimental artworks, created by Professor Hegert and his collaborators, that critique existing artistic conventions, and speculate about ways we may begin to see and depict the natural landscape differently when faced with a future of climate change and biodiversity loss.

2nd Floor Weeks Hall  / 12:00-1:00 PM

Queering las fronteras: Border Corporalities in Texas
Physical border, language border: The making of the Spanish to English translation of Basura/Trash (Deep Vellum, 2023) by Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny. 

Conversation with author Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny and translator JD Pluecker about the different borders that are crossed when translating pieces written in Spanish on the US-Mexico border.

Location TBD - 10:00AM

In Texas my Queer Body Ain't Gotta Wait

Public reading by Texas-based LGBTQAI+ authors + Open mic 
Readers include: Saul Hernandez, Aldo Amparan, JD Pluecker

East Lubbock Art House - 6:00PM


HEALTH Conference Keynote: Dr. Gail Carlson (Colby College)
"Perspectives on health and equity in the climate crisis"

The climate crisis is affecting human health in ways that are increasingly visible, including via increased heat-related illnesses, respiratory diseases and allergies, higher vulnerability to crop failures and food insecurity, mental health impacts, and shifting vector-borne disease burdens. These harms are disproportionately experienced by populations and communities who already suffer from inequities in health care and other socioeconomic and environmental conditions. Using an equity lens helps us better identify these health harms and recognize how actions to address climate change are also public health and social justice actions.

Gail Carlson directs the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment and teaches environmental public health and activism courses in the Environmental Studies Department at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She is the author of Human Health and the Climate Crisis (Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2023). Her research includes characterizing environmental contamination by harmful pollutants, including PFAS “forever chemicals” and pharmaceutical and personal care product chemicals. Her research has been reported by numerous media outlets, including Marketplace on NPR, and her opinion writing about climate change and safer chemicals policies appears frequently in Maine newspapers. She lends her scientific expertise to legislative initiatives in Maine to protect public health from environmental hazards. Carlson received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Virtual Talk / 12:00 PM

Register for event at: https://texastech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMqfu-gqj4sEtHpmUszdqQsZ_7Lht_qXXau#/registration 


HEALTH Conference Keynote: Dr. Rebekah Lee (Oxford University)
"Recovering histories of health and patient communities: ‘New' sources for African pasts"

This keynote lecture offers preliminary thoughts on the problems and potentialities of  ‘decentring' the archive on health in Africa. Historical scholarship has, in recent decades, transformed our understanding of disease patterns and trajectories, local healing traditions and institutions, the perception and reception of biomedical interventions, and the complexities of ‘Africanizing' and ‘decolonizing' public health institutions. Yet, many silences and gaps remain in accounting for the health experiences of ordinary Africans and patient communities. This lecture explores novel approaches to ‘refiguring' the historical archives on health and medicine in the sub-Saharan African context, particularly through the collection of oral testimonies and illness narratives. It examines the multivalent registers and interpretive possibilities of these narratives, and considers the extent to which these oral texts serve as vehicles of historical ‘recovery' of the meaning and management of illness and health in Africa. Case studies will be drawn from continuing research on the history of death and of road accidents/road safety in South Africa and beyond. 

Senate Room - Student Union Building / 7:00 PM

Reception to follow - Lubbock Room, Student Union Building