Center for the Advancement of the Humanities
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MU HUMANITIES ON SOCIAL
Featured Humanities at Marquette
The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will feature news stories regarding humanistic knowledge here on Marquette campus. We aim to highlight the amazing and diverse work being done to further the humanistic studies and goals embraced at Marquette.
Dr. Elizaveta Strakhov, Assistant Professor of English here at Marquette, was recently interviewed for EuropeNow by Sarah Wilma Watson on transnational teaching and scholarship.
Dr. Strakhov's current book project, Politics in Translation, examines a cross-European Francophone community. Her most recent undergraduate course, Crossing Over in Medieval England, similarly engages with the themes of transnational culture and national identity. Her work has been shaped by an interdisciplinary education and a personal history of migration and multilingualism. In both her teaching and scholarship, Dr. Strakhov is committed to thinking across time and space, challenging the artificial boundaries of national literary canons, periodization, and discipline and prompting us to consider how early history and literature speaks to our modern moment.
Dr. Tara Daly, Assistant Professor of Spanish at Marquette, has won the 2017 Claire Goldberg Moses Award for the most theoretically innovative article published in Feminist Studies for her paper "Christian Bendayán: Queering the Archive from Iquitos, Peru."
Christian Bendayán (Iquitos, Peru 1973 - ) is one of a cadre of visual artists from Iquitos, Peru that has cultivated an Amazonian pop aesthetic over the last decade. Bendayán creates an alternative, counter-dominant viewpoint to seemingly intractable archival versions of the Amazon and its peoples. The place, its habitants, and its flora and fauna have been documented in published texts and drawings by sixteenth-century missionaries, eighteenth-century botanists, nineteenth-century rubber barons, and countless adventurers. I argue that Bendayán queers some of these archival documents through his incorporation of gender non-conforming and homoerotic figures into his depiction of Iquitos. Additionally, he reconfigures images and texts from previous eras via his transformation of historical facts into open-ended narratives that reflect a queer temporality that toggles back and forth between the past, the present and the future. Through his transformation of archival materials, and his incorporation of local myths and pop culture, he presents physical desire not as a means to procreation, but as an end in and of itself. In sum, through his paintings, Bendayán perceives from and with Iquitos. He turns his city into a distinct viewpoint instead of a fantastical destination for the projections of outsiders.
Dr. Michael McCarthy, Associate Professor of Sociology at Marquette, has won the 2018 Paul Sweezy Outstanding Book Award of 2018 from the American Sociological Association section on Marxist Sociology for his book, Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal (Cornell University Press, 2017).
Why has old-age security become less secure and increasingly tied to risky capitalist markets? Drawing on rich archival data that covers more than fifty years of American history, Michael A. McCarthy argues that the critical driver was policymakers' reactions to capitalist crises and their political imperative to promote capitalist growth.
Pension development has followed three paths of marketization in America since the New Deal, each distinct but converging: occupational pension plans were adopted as an alternative to real increases in Social Security benefits after World War II, private pension assets were then financialized and invested into the stock market, and, since the 1970s, traditional pension plans have come to be replaced with riskier 401(k) retirement plans. Comparing each episode of change, Dismantling Solidarity mounts a forceful challenge to common understandings of America’s private pension system and offers an alternative political economy of the welfare state.
McCarthy weaves together a theoretical framework that helps to explain pension marketization with structural mechanisms that push policymakers to intervene to promote capitalist growth and avoid capitalist crises and contingent historical factors and events that both drive them to intervene in the particular ways they do and shape how their interventions bear on welfare change. Dismantling Solidarity demonstrates how important the capitalist context is to the long-term transformation of social welfare policies - and in doing so provides insights into the indirect forms of business power in modern democracies.