Past Franke Lectures in the Humanities

The spring 2019 Franke Lectures have been organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar “Race & Caste” taught by Hazel Carby and Inderpal Grewal.

  • Deborah Thomas, University of Pennsylvania, “Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation: Affect, Witnessing, Repair”
  • Ilona Katzew, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “The Invention of Casta Painting: Race and Science in the Age of Enlightenment”
  • Duana Fullwiley, Stanford University, “The Ancestors Watch in Disbelief: Genomic Ancestry, Power, and (Un)freedom”
  • Gyanendra Pandey, Emory University, “Modernity in the Home: A Reflection on 20th Century India”
  • Anupama Rao, Barnard College, “Social Abstraction, Historical Comparison: Thinking Caste, Race, and Gender in the Time Capital”

Press release

The fall 2018 Franke Lectures have been organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar “Heidegger’s Being and Time” taught by Martin Hägglund.

  • Taylor Carman, Columbia University, “Narrative and Pictorial Truth”
  • Robert Pippin, University of Chicago, “Radical Finitude in the Anti-Idealist Modern European Philosophical Tradition”           
  • Robert Brandom, University of Pittsburgh, “A Spirit of Trust: Magnanimity and Agency in Hegel’s Phenomenology”
  • Steven Crowell, Rice University, “Methodological Atheism: An Essay in Second-Person Phenomenology”

These Franke Lectures have been organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar “New Orleans in the American Imaginary” taught by Joseph Fischel and Crystal Feimster.

  • Natasha Trethewey, United States Poet Laureate, 2012–2014, “Bellocq’s Ophelia: New Orleans in the American Imaginary”
  • Tom Piazza, novelist and writer on American music, “Improvising Identity: New Orleans and the American Dream”
  • Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, “NOLA 2018: New Orleans Tricentennial”
  • Lynnell Thomas, American Studies University of Massachusetts Boston, “New Orleans at 300: Tourism, Historical Memory, and Post-Katrina Reality”

Press release

These Franke Lectures have been organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar “James Baldwin’s American Scene” taught by Jacqueline Goldsby.

  • Windham-Campbell prize winner Hilton Als in conversation with Jacqueline Goldsby
  • The Price of the Ticket (USA, 1989) 87 min., Director Karen Thorsen, Filmmaker and Co-Producer Douglas K. Dempsey
  • Ed Pavlić, University of Georgia, “The Whole Body of the Sound: Listening to Jimmy Baldwin Listen”
  • Rich Blint, Pratt Institute, “The Devil Finds Work: James Baldwin on American Cinema”               
  • Magda Zaborowska, University of Michigan, “Erasure, Overlay, Manipulation: James Baldwin’s Queer Dwellings”   
  • Prerelease Special Screening, I Am Not Your Negro, Director Raoul Peck, (USA, 2016) 95 min.
  • Christopher Lebron, Yale University, “Why Does James Baldwin Love You?”        

Press Release

These Franke Lectures have been organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar “Interpreting Film Masterpieces” co-taught by Dudley Andrew and David Bromwich.

Monday, September 7
Grand Illusion (France, 1937) 114 min. 35mm.
Director Jean Renoir

Monday, September 14
Rules of the Game (France, 1939) 110 min. 35mm.
Director Jean Renoir

Monday, September 21
His Girl Friday (USA, 1940) 92 min. 35mm.
Director Howard Hawks
Introduced by Maria DiBattista, Princeton University

Monday, September 28
The Big Sleep (USA, 1946) 114 min. DVD
Director Howard Hawks

Monday, October 5
Citizen Kane (USA, 1941) 119 min. 35mm.
Director Orson Welles

Monday, October 12
Magnificent Ambersons (USA, 1942) 88 min. 35mm.
Director Orson Welles

Monday, October 19
Notorious (USA, 1946) 101 min. 35mm.
Director Alfred Hitchcock

Monday, October 26
Double Feature: Two Masterpieces of the 1950s
Johnny Guitar (USA, 1954) 110 min. Blu-Ray
Director Nicholas Ray
The Wrong Man (USA, 1956) 105 min. 35mm.
Director Alfred Hitchcock

Monday, November 2
A Man Escaped (France, 1956) 99 min. 35mm.
Director Robert Bresson
Introduced by Michael Roemer

Monday, November 9
Pickpocket (France, 1959) 75 min. 35mm.
Director Robert Bresson

Monday, November 16
Los Olvidados (France/Mexico, 1950) 80 min. 35mm.
Director Luis Buñuel

Monday, November 30
Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (France, 1972) 102 min. 35mm.
Director Luis Buñuel
Introduced by Linda Williams, UC Berkeley

Monday, December 7
Smiles of a Summer Night (Sweden, 1955) 108 min. 35mm.
Director Ingmar Bergman
Persona (Sweden, 1966) 83 min. 35mm.
Director Ingmar Bergman

Press release

These Franke Lectures have been organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar “Utopia” taught by John Rogers.

  • Christopher Kendrick, Loyola University-Chicago, “Marx, Winstanley, and Morris: Utopian Thinking and Practice in the Communist Manifesto, the Law of Freedom, and News from Nowhere”
  • Seo-Young Chu, Queens College, City University of New York, “Utopias Misplaced: The Cost of Outsourcing Dystopian Poetics to North Korea”
  • Chang-rae Lee, Princeton University and Yonsei University, “On Such a Full Sea (2014): A Reading

These Franke Lectures have been organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by Paul North, Associate Professor of German, and Paul Grimstad, Assistant Professor of English.

  • David Mikics, University of Houston, “Emerson, Nietzsche, and the Romantic World”
  • Ross Posnock, Columbia University, “On the Pleasures of Self-Misunderstanding: ‘How One Becomes What One Is’ in Nietzsche and Emerson”
  • Kathleen M. Higgins, University of Texas Austin, “ ‘Thoughts That Come on Doves’ Feet’: Philosophy as Experience in the Work of Friedrich Nietzsche”
  • David Farrell Krell, Brown University, “Emerson, Nietzsche’s Voluptuary?”

The Fall 2012 Franke Lectures explore the constant adaptation and reinvention of classical texts spurred by the trauma of modern history. The lectures were organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar “Contemporary Reception of Greek and Roman Classics,” taught by Professor Emily Greenwood.

  • Madeline Miller, author, The Song of Achilles
  • Robert Crawford, University of St Andrews and Norman McBeath, “Simonides and the War on Terror”
  • James Tatum, Dartmouth College, “Ragging the Classics: The Story of Music in James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man
  • Alice Oswald, poet, “Memorial: An Excavation of the Iliad
  • Peter Meineck, New York University, “Combat Trauma and the Tragic Stage: Ancient Drama/ Modern Catharsis”

This seminar was taught in conjunction with the exhibition “The English Prize: The Capture of the ‘Westmorland,’ an Episode of the Grand Tour” at the Yale Center for British Art, October 4, 2012–January 13, 2013.

  • Frank Salmon, University of Cambridge, “Carrying Off the Colosseum: British Architectural Encounters with Rome in the 1770’s”
  • Simon Goldhill, King’s College, Cambridge, “Sappho, Lincoln, and the Senate: Picturing Nineteenth-Century Female Desire”

The Fall 2011 series explored the history of Venice as it has been burnished and sustained through the creations of its artists and musicians from the late Middle Ages to the present. The lectures were organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by Robert Nelson, Robert Lehman Professor of History of Art, and Ellen Rosand, George A. Saden Professor of Music.

  • Deborah Howard, Cambridge University, “Music and Architecture in Renaissance Venice”
  • Edward Muir, Northwestern University, “People Who Believe in Nothing: Intolerable Thoughts in Late Renaissance Venice”
  • David Rosand, Columbia University, “Painting Music in Renaissance Venice”
  • William Barcham, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, “Public Life and Festivals in Eighteenth-Century Venice”

The Spring 2011 series studied the history of food and culinary styles from prehistory to the present, with a particular focus on Europe and the United States. These lectures were organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History.

  • Joanna Waley-Cohen, New York University, “Banquets and Politics in China”
  • Fabio Parasecoli, The New School, “The Masculine and the Meal: Representations of Food and Men in Blockbuster Movies”
  • Susan Tucker, Tulane University, “Inscribing Food/Talking Life: New Orleans Past”
  • Danny Meyer, New York City restaurateur, “The Power of Hospitality”

The Spring 2010 Franke Lectures studied the culture and monuments of the High Middle Ages in France in their historical and art historical context. The series was organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by R. Howard Bloch, Sterling Professor of French and Chair of the Humanities Program.

  • Walter Cahn, Yale University, “Romanesque and Gothic as Biblical Architecture”
  • Robert Nelson, Yale University, “Hagia Sophia: An Alternative Biblical Architecture of Light”
  • Jay Rubenstein, University of Tennessee, “Guibert de Nogent and His Demons”
  • Alyce Jordan, Northern Arizona University, “The Sainte-Chapelle in Paris: Kingship, Crusading, and the Legacy of Louis IX”
  • Jacqueline Jung, Yale University, “Some Strange Region of the Universe: Material Things in the Gothic Cathedral”

The Fall 2008 Franke Lectures were organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by Haun Saussy, Bird White Housum Professor of Comparative Literature.

  • Yi-Fu Tuan, University of Wisconsin Madison, “The Good Inherit the Earth”
  • Barbara Tversky, Columbia University, “Spatial Thinking”
  • Carolyn R. Nordstrom, University of Notre Dame, “emergent(cies)…”

The Spring 2008 Franke Lectures were organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by Christine Hayes.

  • E. P. Sanders, Duke University, “Does Law Debase the Human-Divine Relationship? The Christian Charge against Judaism”
  • Rémi Brague, Sorbonne and Ludwig-Maximilian University, “Church and State—Ever Separate?”
  • John Witte Jr., Emory University, “The Reformation of Rights:  Early Protestant Foundations of Western Rights”

The 2007 Franke Lectures were organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by Leon Plantinga.

  • Gary A. Tomlinson, University of Pennsylvania, “Hamlet and Poppea
  • Charles Rosen, University of Chicago, “Musical Ambition in the Eighteenth Century”

The 2006 Franke Lectures were organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar taught by John Lewis Gaddis.

  • William Taubman, Amherst College, ““Khrushchev: The Man and His Era”
  • Molly Worthen, Yale University, “The Man on Whom Nothing Was Lost: The Grand Strategy of Charles Hill”
  • Jack Miles, J. Paul Getty Trust,  “God: A Biography”

The inaugural Franke series celebrated the anniversary year of the great Jewish Cordoban thinker Moses Maimonides (1138–1204) by exploring topics in the history and culture of the Jews of medieval Spain.

  • Jerrilynn Dodds, City College, City University of New York, “The Synagogues of Medieval Spain: Jewish Life, Islamic Art, Christian City”
  • Raymond P. Scheindlin, Jewish Theological Seminary, “Trust in God: An Islamic Motif in the Pilgrimage and Poetry of Judah Halevi”
  • Jonathan Ray, Judaic Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow (Yale University), “From Islam to Christendom: The Jews in the Iberian Reconquest”
  • David Nirenberg, Johns Hopkins University, “How Jewish Is Spanish Literature? The Case of the Cancionero”
  • Peter Cole, translator, “The Dream of the Poem: Five Hundred Years of Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain—A Reading”
  • Ross Brann, Cornell University, “Competing Tropes of Andalusi Jewish  Culture”