Faculty and staff note: Kevin Kain announces new publications

UW-Green Bay Senior Lecturer Kevin Kain (Humanities, History, Global Studies) has published a set of books co-edited with David Goldfrank (Georgetown U.): Russia’s Early Modern Orthodox Patriarchate 2 vols. 1. Foundations and Mitred Royalty, 1589-1647 and 2. Russia’s Early Modern Orthodox Patriarchate: Apogee and Finale, 1648-1721(Washington: Academia Press, 2020).

This project originated with a 23,000 Euro grant awarded to Kain and former UWGB International Visiting Scholar Wolfram von Sheleiha (U. Leipzig) by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung fur Wisssenschaftsfoerderung. The interdisciplinary collection features sixteen chapters by American, Russian and European scholars of history, art history, religious studies and philology. These include Kain’s essay, “The Living Image of Patriarch Nikon: The Life of the Parsuna [Portrait] ‘Patriarch Nikon with Clergy’.”

Commendations on the book jackets include:

“A wide-ranging account … a fundamental contribution to Russian religious history as well as the story of politics, art, and culture in an era of change and crisis.” – Paul Bushkovitch, Reuben Post Halleck Professor of History, Yale University

“A major contribution to our understanding of Russia’s patriarchate, and more generally, the Russian Orthodox Church in the early modern period.” – Russell E. Martin, Associate Professor of History, Westminster College

Here are the descriptions:

Volume 1 Russia’s Early Modern Orthodox Patriarchate: Foundations and Mitred Royalty, 1589-1647

Focusing on one of Russia’s most powerful and wide-reaching institutions in a period of shattering dynastic crisis and immense territorial and administrative expansion, this book addresses manifestations of religious thought, practice, and artifacts revealing the permeability of political boundaries and fluid transfers of ideas, texts, people, and objects with the rest of the Christian world. The historical background to the establishment Russia’s patriarchate, its chief religious authority, in various eparchies from Late Antiquity sets the stage. Writings such as “The Tale of the Establishment of the Patriarchate,” proved crucial for legitimizing and promoting both this institution and close cooperation with the established tetrarchy of Eastern Orthodox patriarchs. Their attitude remained mixed, however, with persisting unease concerning Russian pretensions to equality. Regarding the most crucial “other” for Christianity’s self-identification, the contradictions inherent in Christianity’s appropriation of the Old Testament became apparent in, for example, the realm’s imperfectly enforced ban on resident Jews. An instance of ordained royalty emerged in the seeming, but really complementary co-rulership of the initial Romanov Tsar Mikhail and his imperious, yet inconsistently xenophobic father, Patriarch Filaret. As a pertinent parallel to Moscow’s patriarchs, and here combining a Romanian regal, Polish aristocratic, and Ukrainian Orthodox self-identity, Petro Mohyla, a metropolitan of the then totally separate Kievan church, founded the Academy which became the most important educational institution for the Russian Orthodox Church into the eighteenth century.

Volume 2 Russia’s Early Modern Orthodox Patriarchate: Apogee and Finale, 1648-1721 

Patriarch Nikon, the most energetic, creative, influential, and obstinate of Russia’s early modern religious leaders, dominates this book, which addresses specifically not only the rich variety of Nikon’s activities and of scholarly interest in him, but also the operations of the patriarchate and range across reform movements and ideology, politics, diplomacy, war, taxation, institutional alms, relic cults, monastery foundation and financing, iconography, architecture, hierotopy, sacral semiotics, portraiture, literature, and education. As head of the Russian Orthodox Church, his most important initiative was to bring Russian religious rituals into line with then current Greek Orthodox practices, from which Russia’s had diverted. Although both Nikon and Tsar Alexis I (r. 1645-1676) envisioned Russia transformed into a new Holy Land, eventually Nikon was accused of challenging the tsar’s authority. His reforms endured, but his poor political judgment appears decisive in his fall and the patriarchate’s reduction in status. Ultimately, the reforms of Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) led to its replacement by a new, government-controlled body, the Holy Synod, which nevertheless carried out a continuity of Nikon’s policies. This exceptional volume contextualizes Nikon’s patriarchate as part of the broader continuities in Russian history and serves as a bridge through the late Imperial revival of interest in him, to the present, where Russia is forging new relationships between Church and state power.

 

Common CAHSS keynote is Nov. 30

November 30, 2020 from 6 to 7 p.m. Prof. David Voelker (Humanities, History) leads the discussion, Beyond Sustainability; Imagining an Ecological Future. Here’s a description:

“It’s time for an honest conversation about sustainability—not to demolish the concept, but to recognize that it has fallen short in helping us change our unsustainable ways. Although the dominant models of sustainability in theory recognize that environmental problems are entangled with economic and social justice issues, in practice sustainability efforts have tended to focus rather narrowly on what we usually call “the environmental impact” of our activities. We have thus failed to transcend not only the polluting energy systems of the past two centuries but also the economic and ideological systems that see unlimited growth as the only viable option. Unsustainability is not simply a technical problem that can be solved through technological means. To mitigate the multiple environmental crises into which we are rushing, we need to reconsider our roles on this living planet as human beings. Can we imagine an ecological future in which we thrive as members of the larger community of life?”  See more on the Common CAHSS page.

Common CAHSS

Part 3 of Common CAHSS: Beyond Sustainability Speaker Series to focus on Ecopoetics

Chris McAllister Williams
Chris McAllister Williams

Join Assistant Professor Chris McAllister Williams (English and Humanities) on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020  from 4 to 5 p.m to learn about ecopoetics. Ecopoetics is more than just poems about nature. Rather, it is poetry that positions humankind in relationship to ‘the natural,’ embodying the tensions between ecological landscapes and late capitalism in, as scholar Lynn Keller terms it, the “self-conscious Anthropocene.” This talk will draw upon the work of bell hooks, Juliana Spahr, Forrest Gander, and others to situate the concerns of the Anthropocene—the proposed name for a new epoch when human activity is the dominant force reshaping the planet—alongside poetic approaches that seek to explore those concerns, culminating in a discussion about the interwoven nature of the ecological location, sustainability, and creativity.

To join the virtual event, visit the CAHSS and Effect website.

The Emancipation of George Jackson: Featuring Professor Nolan Bennett, Oct. 23

This virtual talk in collaboration with UW-Madison draws on the writings and legacy of 1970s activist George Jackson to articulate what he and fellow radicals envisioned as the political potential and limitations of writing as emancipatory and to consider what hope we should see in prison writing today. This virtual lunch event featuring UW-Green Bay Prof. Nolan Bennett (Political Science), is Oct. 23, 2020, at Noon. Please RSVP: To receive a link to the Friday Lunch event, please send an email including your affiliation to rsvp@humanities.wisc.edu.

Common CAHSS

‘The Civil Rights Movement meets the Environmental Movement: How We Can Advocate for Environmental Justice’

Green Bay, Wis.—University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Associate Prof. Elizabeth Wheat will discuss environmental justice and its relationship to civil rights in a presentation, Thursday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public and can be accessed at https://cahsseffect.org/events/.

According to the event description, Wheat will be diving into the environmental justice movement in the United States that began in 1982 when residents of Warren County, North Carolina, used non-violent tactics to oppose the siting of a toxic PCB landfill in their mainly African American community. Decades later, Sheila Holt described her family’s health struggles after the government of Dickson, Tennessee, protected white families from polluted drinking water but told her and other Black families that the water was safe. She inspired countless of other people to think of environmental issues as human rights issues that must be addressed through confronting systemic racism.

“As I see protests in 2020 bringing many of the environmental justice crises into a bigger public discussion, I hope we can think beyond traditional environmental and sustainability challenges and really start addressing the core issues of racism that magnify existing environmental problems,” Wheat says.

Wheat is the second in a speaker series brought to both campus and community as part of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 2020-21 theme, “Beyond Sustainability.” Professor David J. Voelker (Humanities, History), co-chair and program director said this theme is especially timely…

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, which have cast intense light on the challenges that we face as a society, provide especially poignant contexts to address the theme of ‘Beyond Sustainability: Imagining an Ecological Future,’” Voelker says. “We need a more robust framework than “environmental sustainability” to address the interrelated environmental and social crises that we now face. The word ‘environment’ draws a line of separation between humans and the rest of the community of life. We have been talking about sustainability for decades, but we’ve made little progress on addressing unsustainability,” Voelker said. “I hope that the conference theme helps us as a community to imagine something beyond ‘environmental sustainability’—an ecologically sound and just society.”

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science will also host a virtual week around the theme, Nov. 30, 2020 through December 4, 2020.

Prof. Wheat to lead environmental justice/civil rights presentation, Thursday, Oct. 22

UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Elizabeth Wheat will discuss environmental justice and its relationship to civil rights in a presentation, Thursday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public and can be accessed at https://cahsseffect.org/events/.

According to the event description, Wheat will be diving into the environmental justice movement in the United States that began in 1982 when residents of Warren County, North Carolina, used non-violent tactics to oppose the siting of a toxic PCB landfill in their mainly African American community. Decades later, Sheila Holt described her family’s health struggles after the government of Dickson, Tennessee, protected white families from polluted drinking water but told her and other Black families that the water was safe. She inspired countless of other people to think of environmental issues as human rights issues that must be addressed through confronting systemic racism.

Global Studies Roundtable is Friday, Oct. 9

The next Global Studies roundtable is Friday, Oct, 9 at 1:00 pm ET,  and welcomes Ben Levelius, Vice Consul from the U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad, India. Levels is a native of Wisconsin and will also be discussing his path to foreign service in the U.S. State Department. The U.S.-India relationship plays a key role in 21st-century international affairs. From high tech development to pharmaceuticals, naval power to Foreign Aid, and everything in-between, how India and the U.S. get-along will affect U.S. foreign policy, business, and individuals for the years to come. Not even a global pandemic stands in the way! This free public event is on Oct. 9, 2020, at Noon Via Microsoft Teams. Join Meeting

Video: Pestilence and Print History recorded event

On September 17, 2020, a virtual public program called Pestilence and Print History organized by the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) in Massachusetts took place. UW-Green Bay’s own assistant professor Sarah Schuetze (English) was one of the speakers during the event.

In this panel presentation, scholars David Paul Nord, Assistant Prof. Sarah Schuetze, and Kelly Wisecup examined case studies of epidemics in early America through the lens of printed material to answer questions such as: How did people get information about epidemics and pandemics? Who was providing that information, for what purposes, and in what print mediums? Who had access to these resources? How did people respond to them? From diphtheria to yellow fever to cholera, from medical practitioners to Indigenous writers to ordinary citizens, these case studies spanning 150 years provoke thoughtful insights into how Americans have responded to disease, past, and present. More than 200 people attended the event via Zoom. The presentation and discussion can be viewed on the AAS youtube channel.