Diana Taylor to Deliver Spring 2012 Katz Lecture

Spring 2012 Katz Lecturer Diana Taylor

On Tuesday, May 15, Diana Taylor will present the third Katz Distinguished Lecture of the 2011-2012 academic year. Working at the intersection of scholarship, artistic expression and politics, she will explore what options for political and economic justice people have when electoral processes have been violated or corrupted, the media sequestered in the hands of power-brokers, and official institutions unable to adjudicate in ways acknowledged as transparent and legitimate. 

For Taylor, the politics of passion explain the resurgence and centrality of the body in contemporary politics: embodied performances act as vehicles for the creation of new meanings and the transmission of cultural values, memory, and identity. As political parties fail to represent their constituencies, people are re-learning to represent themselves through performance, art, and activism.

Taylor, who received her doctorate from the UW in Comparative Literature, is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University. She is also founding Director of NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a collaborative, multilingual and interdisciplinary network of institutions, artists, scholars, and activists throughout the Americas.

Her lecture, “Taking to the Streets: Arts and Activism in the Americas,” will take place in Kane Hall, Room 220, at 7pm.

While at the UW, Taylor will co-facilitate a microseminar for graduate students with Cynthia Steele (Comparative Literature). The course, Performance Theory, Methods, and Politics, will provide a focused study of Taylor’s approach to performance theory and methodology as it informs the study of performance and politics.

She will also facilitate a discussion of multimodal scholarship, sharing examples drawn from her work at the Hemi and exploring their implications for scholarly communications, in a colloquium taking place Thursday, May 17, from 1:30-3:30pm in Communications 202. Visit the Simpson Center calendar for details.

The Katz Distinguished Lectures in the Humanities Series recognizes scholars in the humanities and emphasizes the role of the humanities in liberal education. The series is named after Solomon Katz, who served for 53 years at the UW, as an instructor, professor, Chair of the Department of History, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Provost, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Other lecturers for 2011-2012 include Linda Bierds (English, University of Washington) and Doris Sommer (Romance Languages & Literatures and African & African American Studies, Harvard University).

For information on the 2012-2013 Katz Lecturers, click here.

All Katz Lectures are free and open to the public. For more, visit http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/programs/lecture-series/katz/