Geography and International Studies Faculty Stephen Young Wins Incubator Grant for Interdisciplinary Research

Six interdisciplinary research projects that blend place-based scientific inquiry with international expertise have been awarded incubator grants by the International Divisionand the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

These projects focus on Africa, South Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America, in fields as diverse as public health, child development, civil engineering, climate science, archaeology, genetics, virology, and environmental studies.

Offered this year for the first time, the grants are aimed at bringing together faculty in STEM fields who are conducting place-based research abroad with experts from regional and area studies centers within IRIS.

Poles apart? An Interdisciplinary Approach to Studying Climate Vulnerability in the Himalayas (Stephen Young, Geography; Tristan L’Ecuyer, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Anne Sophie Daloz, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences)

The main objective of this project is to examine the impact of climate change on the behavior of farmers in the Himalayas, while also attempting to understand the impact that migrant youth from the region have on household vulnerability.  According to many reports, climate change will induce major transformations in the landscape over the next few decades. These biophysical changes will clearly interact with socio-economic processes that include changing rural livelihoods and land use strategies.

Read more on the International Division’s website


Lecture: Come to Your Senses! – Sensiotics and Understandings of Art, Culture, and History (Henry Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor, Departments of Art History and Afro-American Studies, UW-Madison)

In this talk, Drewal explores the vital role of the senses with an approach he calls sensiotics. While Drewal focuses on the Yoruba peoples of West Africa and their cultural sensorium, he argues that sensing is constitutive of thinking and that sensiotics can help us understand the shaping of persons, cultures, histories and the arts universally, as suggested in trans-disciplinary research that documents the crucial role of embodied knowledge.

Come to Your Senses! – Sensiotics and Understandings of Art, Culture, and History
Henry Drewal (Evjue-Bascom Professor, Departments of Art History and Afro-American Studies, UW-Madison)
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 @ 5:30pm
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140

Lecture: “Reading Bandung”( J. Daniel Elam, Mellon Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow)

The Asian-African Conference in Bandung in April 1955 was a major moment in the postcolonial Global South as well as for Afro-Asian solidarity worldwide. It was, I will argue, an incredible moment beyond its state-based political importance. I argue that it is possible to “read” Bandung — the various texts, speeches, and journalistic accounts — as drawing from a particular intellectual history, literary history, and aesthetic history of radical and revolutionary thought. Some of this radical thought invigorated Global South after 1955, but some of it was foreclosed by the end of the conference. By “reading Bandung,” we can grasp a clearer sense of the aesthetic imagination that undergirded the political event.

J. Daniel Elam (Mellon Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Research in the Humanities, UW-Madison)
Tuesday, April 19, 2:30-3:45 pm, Humanities 1121

Mellon Sawyer Seminar “Bibliomigrancy: World Literature in the Public Sphere”

A Press of One’s Own
Friday, April 1, 2016
9:30-11:30 AM and 3:00-5:00 PM
Urvashi Butalia (Writer, Feminist Activist, Founder of Kali for Women and Zubaan Books)
Kabe Wilson (Multimedia Artist, Creator of Of One Woman or So)
Session I (9:30-11:30 AM)
• Urvashi Butalia: “Do Women Write? Can Their Books Travel?: A Feminist Publisher’s Experiences from India”

Session II (3:00-5:00 PM)
• Kabe Wilson: “‘The loneliness of the room is dreadful’: Spreading A Room of One’s Own across the Black Atlantic”

Location: The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI

All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for access to the readings. A limited number of participants will also be able to attend the lunch following the morning session. Available spots will be filled on a first come first served basis. For access to the readings or to register for the lunch, please send an e-mail to Anna at

This event is part of UW-Madison’s Mellon Sawyer Seminar series “Bibliomigrancy: World Literature in the Public Sphere.” Principal Investigators: Caroline Levine (Professor and Chair, Department of English) and B. Venkat Mani (Associate Professor, Department of German); Post-doctoral Fellow: J. Daniel Elam (Postdoctoral Fellow,Institute for Research in the Humanities); Project Assistant: Anna Muenchrath (PhD Student, Department of English).
Please check the website for more details and a schedule, and like the page on Facebook.

Lecture by Ram Singh, Professor at the Delhi School of Economics

“Eminent Domain to Acquire Private Properties:
A U.S.-India Comparison”
Friday, April 1, 12-1:30pm, 360 Science Hall 

Ram Singh - Eminent Domain US-India - April01-page-0

Ram Singh (Professor, Delhi School of Economics and Visiting Professor, Department of Economics,
Brown University)

Eminent domain — the taking of privately owned land by government without the individual’s consent — has always been a controversial topic. It is especially so now, in developed and developing countries. In the U.S. the contemporary controversy is rooted to the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court Kelo case, which expanded governmental authority by allowing local governments to take land for economic development purposes. In India where land ownership is rooted to the social and economic security of the lower and middle classes, resistance to governmental action is ever increasing, especially in light of a proposed new national law which would change the basis for such action. This talk explores the global controversy through a comparative examination of law, social response, and economic impacts in two of the world’s leading democracies.