Welcome to the Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University’s hub for interdisciplinary research in the humanities and beyond. Each year we run a biweekly seminar that draws faculty, advanced graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and various affiliated scholars into a sustained conversation on a topic of importance. In 2014-15 our seminar topic is “Totality.” The seminar addresses paradigms of the whole. Those paradigms—globe, world, planet, empire, system, and network, to name a few—ask us to imagine totality rather than particularity, whole instead of part. Within different fields, this development goes by many names, takes various forms, and has emerged at uneven rates, but it is everywhere freighted with ethical and political urgency. This seminar aims to historicize that urgency as well as the key terms with which it has been articulated. We will consider why this kind of thinking and imagining has seemed so important today. The interdisciplinary format of the seminar will allow us to explore how and why frameworks for totality have emerged in each field, and how that emergence has followed separate as well as overlapping paths. We will be interested to explore the prehistory for the terms we have—as well as new paradigms that may just now be emerging. Paradigms of totality are being used to organize knowledge, calibrate social relations, imagine communities, and calculate geographies. We seek to bring together a broad spectrum of humanists and social scientists who are using, inventing, and thinking about these and other models of the whole.
The CCA seminar meets from 1:10 PM – 4:10 PM on alternate Wednesday afternoons, usually to discuss scholarship by distinguished visitors to the seminar that has been pre-circulated to members. Upcoming guests may be found on our event calendar pages, or on the "Totality" page.
Please feel free to join the seminar when you can. Wednesday seminars, as well as our larger events, are open to the university community, space permitting.
The CCA also sponsors a number of interdisciplinary working groups that bring faculty and students into dialogue. The Developing Room studies the history, theory, and practice of photography. The Medical Humanities group works on the relationship between various humanistic disciplines and medical practice and research. If you are a faculty member or graduate student with an idea for a new, interdisciplinary working group, please contact us to discuss how we might convene it.
The CCA also houses several Affiliated Groups with an interdisciplinary mission: the Program for Early Modern Studies, the Modernism and Globalization Seminar Series, the Americanist Seminar, and the Digital Humanities Initiative. Working Groups and Affiliated Groups welcome new members; please check with the working group coordinator for policies and schedules.
Come visit us in our new home on the Busch Campus at 640 Bartholomew Road! And watch the CCA main page for news about upcoming events linked to our theme.