Duke’s Baucom Discusses Relationships Among War, Empire, Republicanism

Oct. 6, Duke University Professor of English Ian Baucom gave the first lecture in the English Department Lecture Series, titled "Reading a Letter: Republicanism, Empire, and the Archives of the Atlantic."

Baucom met with Wesleyan faculty and fellows on Oct. 7 to discuss his current book project, "The Disasters of War: On Inimical Life." Pictured at right is Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, who organized the event.

Professor Baucom directs the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke and is the author, most recently, of Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History (2005). During the seminar, faculty discussed Baucom's work on the relationships among war, empire and republicanism.

At left, Center for the Humanities fellow Isaac Kamola and Sean McCann, professor of English and director of the Center for Faculty Career Development, listen to Baucom’s talk.

Jonathan Cutler, chair and associate professor of sociology, responds to a comment by Ian Baucom. During two hours of lively conversation, the seminar traced the career of republicanism and empire from seventeenth-century Dutch colonization in Africa to the current U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Joel Pfister, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, chair and professor of English, professor of American studies, responds to Baucom on the role of violence in the formation of the U.S. republic. Pictured at left is Lorelle Semley, assistant professor of history. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

The English Department’s spring lecture will be led by Daniel Kim, associate professor of English at Brown University. Kim will speak on his new book project, The Dematerialized Zone: American Representations of the Korean War. That lecture is being organized by Amy Tang, assistant professor of English and American studies.