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Social Theory Series Focuses on Transnational Lives

by: Lydia Whitman

(Feb. 2, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Science's Committee on Social Theory will host its 2015 lecture series, “Transnational Lives,” throughout the spring semester. This well-established series, organized around a different topic each year, gives the public access to lectures by four international scholars visiting the university campus to address a particular aspect of social theoretical thought from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. All lectures will be held on Fridays at 2 p.m. and are free to the public.

Committee director Marion Rust said these are among “the most exciting intellectual opportunities available to the UK community.”

Nina Glick Schiller kicks off the lecture series Feb. 6 on the 18th floor of Patterson Office Tower with her lecture, “Perspectives on Nations Unbound: The Transnational Paradigm in the Current Conjecture." Schiller is the director of the Cosmopolitan Cultures Institute at the University of Manchester. She has written more than 80 articles and several books on migration, transnational processes and social relations, diasporic connections, and long distance nationalism. She has also conducted research in Haiti, the United States and Germany and has worked with migrants from all around the world. Her current research documents the experiential cosmopolitanism that accompanies migrants’ transformations to urban life.

Otto Santa Ana will present his lecture "The Cowboy and the Goddess: News Myth-making About Immigrants," Feb. 27 in the Lexmark Room of the Main Building. Santa Ana, of UCLA, has spent the past 15 years focusing on language that constructs social hierarchies and on how mass media amplifies the construction of unjust social inequity. He has written several pieces on Latino Immigration including a book, "Brown Tide Rising" (2002), and the article "A May to Remember," which appeared in the Du Bois Review (2007).

The third speaker in the series is Floya Anthias, who will present her lecture, "Transnational Mobilities and Translocational Belongings: Reflecting on Identities and Inequalities," April 3 on the 18th floor of Patterson Office Tower. Anthias, of the University of East London, has researched a range of theoretical and empirical concerns relating to a focus on racism, diaspora and hybridity; multiculturalism, gender and migration; labor market disadvantages; and class position. Recently, she has been developing the concept of translocational positionality as a way of addressing some of the difficulties identified with concepts of hybridity, identity and intersectionality. Her most recent book is titled "Contesting Integration, Engendering Migration."

The fourth and final speaker in the series is William Nericcio, who will present his lecture "Chicanosmosis and the Transnational Imaginary (Imaginary): 21st Century Mextasy in and Beyond the Ivory Tower" in the President's Room of the Singletary Center for the Arts April 24. Nericcio serves as a professor on the faculty of the Center for Latin American Studies at San Diego State University. He is also the author of the award-winning "Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the 'Mexican' in America," "The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works Plus" and "Homer From Salinas: John Steinbeck's Enduring Voice for California." In his presentation, Nericcio will explore Chicanosmosis, a term that contemplates international intercourse through the semi-permeable fabric of the U.S./Latin American border.