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July 2 – Decolonizing the Garde: Avant-Garde Canadian Writing and the Indigenous Renaissance 🗓

July 2 – Decolonizing the Garde: Avant-Garde Canadian Writing and the Indigenous Renaissance 🗓

Gregory Betts (University College, Dublin/Brock University, Canada)

July 2, 2019
4-6 p.m., P 207 (Philosophicum)

Indigenous art has always been interconnected with the avant-garde, and it is increasingly fallacious to speak of the difference between Indigenous and avant-garde art. My talk will highlight some of the achievements and dynamics of avant-gardism in the contemporary Canadian context, including highlighting some of the implications of the Indigenous Renaissance on the category of avant-garde art and literature. The first part of my talk will elaborate on the idea of avant-gardism, especially in Canada, while the second half will focus on what happens to this category when we attend to Indigenous art and culture.

Gregory Betts is the current Craig Dobbin Professor of Canadian Studies at University College Dublin. While he is a poet, with six books to his name, he is primarily known for his research into the Canadian avant-garde. On that subject, Betts wrote the definitive study called Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations (University of Toronto Press) and recently, just this year, published an essential status-update of contemporary avant-garde writing called Avant Canada: Poets, Prophets, Revolutionaries (co-edited with Christian Bök, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press). He is the former Director of Canadian Studies at Brock University, where he is a Professor of Canadian Literature.

 

You can download the poster for the event here.

June 27 – Race and Anti-Imperialism in Merze Tate’s International Thought 🗓

June 27 – Race and Anti-Imperialism in Merze Tate’s International Thought 🗓

KEYNOTE:
Race and Anti-Imperialism in Merze Tate’s International Thought

Barbara Savage (University of Pennsylvania)

Thursday, June 27, 2019
6 p.m. (s.t.)

Helmholtz-Institut Mainz – Staudingerweg 18 Conference Ground Floor II – Room 1395-00-133

This keynote is part of the Workshop “The Black Diaspora and African American Intellectual History”.

Professor Merze Tate (1905-1996), an African American woman, pioneered in the fields of diplomatic history and international relations during her tenure at Howard University from 1942 to 1977. Trained at both Oxford and Harvard, Tate was one of the few black women academics of her generation. A prolific scholar with a wide-range of interests, her works covered the fields of disarmament, the diplomatic and political histories of the Pacific, and the role of railways and mineral extraction industries in the colonization of Africa.

Professor Barbara D. Savage is Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought in the Department of Africana Studies of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of the prize-winning books Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion (Harvard University Press, 2008) and Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 1938-1948 (University of North Carolina Press, 1999). She is currently at work on an intellectual biography of Professor Merze Tate.

You can download the poster for the event here.

June 18 – ‘Thinking against the Grain’: Challenging the (Emerging) Liberal Consensus 🗓

June 18 – ‘Thinking against the Grain’: Challenging the (Emerging) Liberal Consensus 🗓

‘Thinking against the Grain’: Challenging the (Emerging) Liberal Consensus

Richard King (University of Nottingham, UK)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
4-6 p.m.
P 207 – Philosophicum

After World War II, there was an emerging consensus on matters of race, including racial equality, which not only elicited opposition from conservatives and segregationists but also from legal realists and other liberals. In particular, two prominent intellectuals also expressed discomfort with the new consensus, novelist Zora Neal Hurston and political thinker Hannah Arendt. It is their thinking on these matters that I will explore in my talk.

Richard King is Emeritus Professor in American Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham.

You can download the poster for the talk here.

June 27 – Sehen, Blättern, Lesen, Zählen: Wie sich Zeitschriftenordnungen erschließen lassen 🗓

June 27 – Sehen, Blättern, Lesen, Zählen: Wie sich Zeitschriftenordnungen erschließen lassen 🗓

Madleen Podewski (FU Berlin)

June 27, 2019
6-8 p.m. (c.t.)
Room 02.102 (Philosophicum II)

Zeitschriften sind aus verschiedenen Text-, Bild- und graphischen Elementen aufgebaut. Abhängig von Formatgröße und Seitenumfang und abhängig vom jeweiligen Formattypus werden damit unterschiedliche Mischungsordnungen ausgebildet – aus mehr oder weniger, aus größeren oder kleineren distinkten Elementen, die auf eine bestimmte Weise auf Seiten und Doppelseiten und innerhalb des Heftes angeordnet sind. Der Vortrag wird anhand von mehreren Heften des 1885er Jahrgangs der populären illustrierten Familienzeitschrift „Die Gartenlaube“ (1853-1944) Vorschläge unterbreiten, wie sich solche periodisch modifizierten Mischungsordnungen, auch unter Berücksichtigung digitaler Verfahren, erschließen und dabei in ihrer historischen Funktionalität einschätzen lassen.

PD Dr. Madleen Podewski arbeitet im DFG-Forschungsprojekt „Literatur im Zeitalter der Illustrierten: Stationen komplexer Text-Bild-Beziehungen im 19. Jahrhundert“ (Modul „Eigene Stelle“). Im WiSe 2018/19 vertritt sie eine Professur an der Philipps-Universität Marburg.
 

You can download the poster for the event here.

June 27 – Early America through the Lens of Science Fiction 🗓

June 27 – Early America through the Lens of Science Fiction 🗓

Early America through the Lens of Science Fiction

Laura M. Stevens (University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)

Thursday, June 27, 2019
4 p.m.
P 15 – Philosophicum

This talk will consider some of the frameworks that science fiction has provided for depicting and understanding early America. Our focus will be on two main approaches: first, direct contemplation of early American history through the mechanism of time travel, and second, analogical treatments of Euro-American contact through episodes of alien contact with humans. We will also compare the perspectives offered by Native versus non-Native authors. In the first category, we will consider Orson Scott Card’s Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, “Custer on the Slipstream” by Gerald Vizenor, and Sherman Alexie’s Flight. In the second category we will consider Orson Wells’s, The War of the Worlds, Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow, Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, Celu Amberstone’s Refugees, and Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life. There will also be some brief consideration of Science Fiction films including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, Arrival, and District 9. Most of all, we will consider what science fiction or speculative fiction, through the mechanism of what Darko Survin famously termed “Cognitive Estrangement,” helps bring to the fore how shocking and difficult early encounters were between the peoples of Europe and the two continents that would come to be called the Americas. We will, in closing consider what potential science fiction offers for confronting the moral quandaries and horrors that early American history poses. Most of all, we will consider how we in the present day can bring our ethics to bear upon the cultural clashes, exploitations, and violence of the past. We will ask: How does science fiction serve to excuse or indict the sins of the past? Can imaginations of alien encounters or time travel help us understand the decisions that individual humans made over the preceding five centuries, as the peoples and cultures of lands previously separated by an ocean came into contact?

To visit Prof. Stevens website, please click here.

You can download the poster for the event here.

June 25 – Heinrich the Shoemaker and the S/Cistrunks that Followed: A Narrative of Black and White in the U.S. South 🗓

June 25 – Heinrich the Shoemaker and the S/Cistrunks that Followed: A Narrative of Black and White in the U.S. South 🗓

Elizabeth J. West
(Georgia State University)

June 25, 2019
4 p.m.-6 p.m., Philosophicum I, P207

From 1739–1748 the centuries long dispute between Britain and Spain over contested territories in present day Florida and Georgia heightened into the conflict that became known as The War of Jenkins’s Ear. This land based dispute spilled over into the high seas as both sides seized one another’s ships across the Atlantic. While the captors seized and claimed all goods and merchandise, what fate awaited the passengers of these unfortunate ambushes at sea? In the case of one Heinrich Süsstrunck (later Sistrunk), emigrating from his Swiss-German home in 1743, it meant a two year stopover in Cuba before he and the other captives would be rescued and delivered to South Carolina in 1746.

There is a glaring irony in the story of Heinrich. Captured at sea, taken to a foreign destination and held captive for two years, he arrived in Charleston a free man with an apprentice at his side. This point of arrival would begin a legacy of generations of white Sistrunks who would claim and enslave generations of blacks in the U.S. South. While Spanish adversaries may have held Heinrich captive in Cuba for two years, he left there indoctrinated into the new world plantation system and the reality that his whiteness was capital in this hemisphere. Though Spain and Britain were at odds over territories in the new world, Heinrich’s experience in Cuba and his acclimation by the time he arrived in Charleston speaks to the borderless trans-Atlantic world that was connected through slavery.

From the trajectory of Heinrich Sistrunk’s Cuban detainment and deliverance to South Carolina and the territorial expansion of his heirs, this lecture examines the borderlessness of the plantocracy of the Americas, and how this inter-colonial system laid pathways of contrasting generational fortunes for Heinrich’s heirs and the descendants of Shadrick and Francis, two of the many blacks recorded in nineteenth century Sistrunk slave ledgers.

Elizabeth J. West received her Ph.D. in English with a certificate in Women’s Studies from Emory University. Her teaching and scholarship focuses on spirituality and gender in early African American and Women’s Literature, and African Diasporic Literatures of the Atlantic World. She co-edits the Roman & Littlefield book series, Black Diasporic Worlds: Origins and Evolutions from New World Slaving. She is the author of African Spirituality in Black Women’s Fiction: (Lexington Books 2011), coeditor of Literary Expressions of African Spirituality (Lexington Books 2013). Her works can be found in critical anthologies and in journals such as MELUSAmerikastudienCLAJ, PALARA, JCCH, Womanist, Black Magnolias, and South Central Review. Her 2012 article, “From David Walker to President Obama: Tropes of the Founding Fathers in African American Discourses of Democracy, or the Legacy of Ishmael” was recognized among “Featured Articles” in American Studies Journals: A Directory of Worldwide Resources.

You can download the poster for the event here.