About

—it bothered him that the dog at three fourteen (seen from the side)
should have the same name as the dog at three fifteen (seen from the front).
Jorge Luis Borges 

Not unlike the eponymous character in Borges’s “Funes the Memorious,” whose perplexity over names and naming appears in the epigraph above,[1] the “center” in our name desires a sharper, more contemporary understanding, since the word can easily imply a “sovereign center,” a privileged mode of inquiry, a set of approved models.[2]  And, as anyone familiar with Haverford today or in decades past surely knows, a single point of authority, with the rest relegated to the periphery, is un-Haverfordian!  Instead, what engages our faculty and students is “the creation of new objects for a new kind of knowledge,” one that is deeply informed by historical experience. A narrow definition of a center does not correspond to the de-centering of the disciplines as we experience them not just at Haverford, but in the wider scholarly world. This blog documents seminars, displays, and performances sponsored by the Hurford Center that, to paraphrase Edward Said, rather than seeking uniformity or common unity within a disciplinary formation or single vantage point, bring together diverse audiences across divisional and generational boundaries and establish “common grounds of assembly” (Said 25).

[1] Jorge Luis Borges, “Funes the Memorious,” trans. James E. Irby, Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings. Ed. Donald A. Yates & J. E. Irby (New Directions, 1962).
[2] Edward W. Said. “Orientalism Reconsidered,” Europe and its Others.  Essex Conference on the Sociology of Literature. Ed. Francis Baker et al. (U of Essex, 1984): 14-27.