An Interdisciplinary Symposium on
Civil Liberties through the Prism
The Zelazo Center
2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.
UWM March 29 , 2008
8:30 am- 12 noon
Free of Charge
Mask & Puppet Theatre
Senator Feingold will be introduced by Rita Cheng, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"Why Kafka Hesitates"
though The Trial tells a story of persecution, it is clear that Kafka did not
write his novel in the same spirit as, say, George Orwell’s 1984.
The narrative remains insistently ambivalent about the relationship
between the individual and institutions of authority. An important part of
its literary value depends on a subtlety of language that constantly
preserves a degree of uncertainty about Joseph K.’s
guilt and innocence. The form in which Kafka raises this question has nothing
to do with any overt act for which K. could be held accountable. It
asks us to consider his competence – and that of any modern individual – to
judge his own situation correctly, and his right to speak and act in the way
he chooses. This has produced an ongoing controversy among his critics
and interpreters between those who see him as an essentially
and the Political
Logic of Contamination
the early 1950s, some twenty-five years after Kafka’s The Trial was
written, progressive writers, producers, and actors (particularly women, Jews,
and people of color) working in the broadcast industry in the United States
began to find themselves submitted to a process that was as mystifying as it
was destructive of lives and careers. Some were given no reason for their
inability to work in the broadcast industry, while others were told simply by
networks and studio executives that they might “embarrass” their employers by
causing “protests and probably trouble” (Erik Barnouw,
1970: 19). This presentation will look at the logic of contamination employed
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the blacklisting organizations
that fronted for the FBI’s anti-communist crusades, especially American
Business Consultants, an organization founded and run by three former FBI
agents, who had themselves been trained as part of the Red Squad that
The Paradox of Genocidal Rape
Aimed at Enforced Pregnancy
It is widely recognized that mass rape policies can be genocidal, whether the women raped are killed or not. One such policy in the former Yugoslavia, which aimed at enforced pregnancy, poses a logical puzzle: how can rape, enforced pregnancy, and resulting births annihilate a people, or even be intended to? To that the puzzle I propose a solution, drawing on journalist Beverly Allen's insight that such use of sperm is biological warfare but not relying on her idea that the rapists mistakenly thought they were producing little Serbs.
Rachel Ida Buff (symposium organizer) teaches History and Ethnic Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is the editor of the forthcoming Immigrant Rights in the Shadows of U.S. Citizenship (New York University Press, 2008). She also works with Voces de la Frontera, a workers' center and immigrant rights advocacy group in Milwaukee.
Marcus Bullock (panalist) recently retired from the English Department of UWM, where he previously held appointments in Comparative Literature and German. His scholarship has covered a number of essays on Kafka's writing, on problems in translating him, and the response to him in the German-speaking world. His publications also include: Romanticism and Marxism, and The Violent Eye: Ernst Jünger's Visions and Revisions on the European Right; he was co-editor of the Harvard edition of Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings 1913-26."
Carol Stabile (panalist) teaches media studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of Feminism and the Technological Fix (1994) and White Victims, Black Villains: Gender, Race, and Crime Stories in US Culture (2006). She is currently writing a book on women writers and the blacklist in television
The Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre: In recent years the company has collaborated with Theatre X, (Loss of Breath: The Unfinished Life and Death of Edgar Allan Poe, and The Apollo of Bellac), with First Stage Children's Theatre, (Einstein: Hero of the Mind , Stones of Wisdom, and Smoldering Fires) with the Milwaukee Public Theater (The Dream Carnival), and with the Milwaukee Dance Theatre (Fair and Balanced) Over the last decade they have toured extensively in the Milwaukee area. Their shows are eclectic featuring many styles of puppets including hand puppets, small 12 inch to enormous 18 foot rod puppets, 10 to 15 foot tall backpack mounted puppets, marionettes, and tabletop bunraku and full sized bunraku puppets and varied masks.
Max Samson (puppet director) joined the Bread and Puppet Theatre of New York in 1969. In 1972-73 he built puppet shows while living in Israel where he founded the Heavy Bulky Puppet Company and performed throughout Israel and toured Europe performing The Epic Saga of Captain Classic. He returned to Milwaukee in 1973 and was a founding partner of Century Hall where he did theater with Paul Sills and puppetry with the Carnicus festival. He retired from a career in the business sector to devote himself to playing with dolls and for the past 15 years he has been Artistic Director of Milwaukee Mask & Puppet Theatre.
Rob Goodman (director) founded First Stage Children’s Theater, Wisconsin’s premiere professional theater for young people and families in 1987 as the Producing Director. Before starting First Stage, he directed at a number of theaters around the country including Playmakers Repertory Theatre in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for two years and eight years at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Rob’s directing work at the Milwaukee Rep focused on new play development in their Court Street Theater. He has continued the development of new plays at First Stage by commissioning over 25 new plays and working with playwrights James DeVita, Kermit Frazier, Stephen Dietz, Kevin Kling and Y York directing her play, River Rat and Cat at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City. Rob received an MFA in directing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served as Vice President of ASSITEJ-USA, the national organization of professional theatres for young audiences, and is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
John Schneider (writer) is a founding member of Theatre X, the experimental theatre which closed at the end of 2004 after 35 years of internationally acclaimed productions. He was the company’s artistic leader, resident playwright, and frequent director. He is the founder and director of Project Non-Violence, in which he guides inner city teenagers to create original plays for their peers on subjects of consequence to their lives. Since 1999, he has been a part-time faculty member of the Theatre Program of Marquette University, teaching advanced scene study, playwriting, play analysis, theatre history, and disciplines of movement. He directs, acts, and writes for Marquette. Since 2000, he has received an Artist in Communities grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, an Edward D. Simmons grant and a Dean’s Award from Marquette, a President’s Award from St. Norbert College, and an Outstanding Crime Prevention Award from the Milwaukee Exchange Club for Project Non-Violence.
To Reserve Your Seat for the Symposium: RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 for 1 Tickets to the Saturday, March 29th, 4PM Matinee will be available to Symposium Attendees.