May 15 – The Image of America in pre-revolutionary France (1763-1789): A New Look at Prize-Winning Contests in French Académies 🗓

May 15 – The Image of America in pre-revolutionary France (1763-1789): A New Look at Prize-Winning Contests in French Académies 🗓

Bertrand van Ruymbeke (Université Paris 8)

May 15, 2019
10 a.m.-12 noon, N3 (Muschel)

How did the image of the New World evolve in France from the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763 to the French Revolution in 1789? What was the intellectual and constitutional impact of the American revolution on pre-revolutionary French society? An original way to answer these two related questions is to look at prize-winning contests (concours) offered by the Académies. These contests were immensely popular in eighteenth-century France as several hundreds were organized, drawing thousands of memoirs over the course of the century. These essay contests bore on a wide range of topics in science, agriculture, history, law, medicine, commerce, gambling, fashion, and geography, as well as a myriad of regional issues, but also on the Atlantic World, slavery, the European «discovery» of the New World, the American revolution, colonization, and trade, particularly in the Académies of Pau, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, and Paris. Eloges competitions on major figures, historical or contemporaneous, related to New Worlds, such as Columbus, Franklin, Vergennes or Cook, were also held in the Académies of Marseille, Amiens, Cap François (on the island of Saint-Domingue), and Paris. Memoirs submitted to these contests, along with pamphlets, press articles, travel accounts, compilations of translated State Constitutions, and history books published on the American Revolution, offer a privileged view into a French—and to some extent European­—collective reflection on the colonization of the New World and the birth of the American republic.

Bertrand van Ruymbeke is Professeur de Civilisation et d’Histoire Américaines at the Département d’Études des Pays Anglophones at Université Paris 8.

You can download the poster for the event here.

Feb 8 – Pomo Feminist: Serious, Funny and Unhinged Performances by a Former Sacred Naked Nature Girl 🗓

Feb 8 – Pomo Feminist: Serious, Funny and Unhinged Performances by a Former Sacred Naked Nature Girl 🗓

Denise Uyehara (Performance Artist)

February 8, 2019
10 a.m.-12 noon, P 103 (Philosophicum)

 

Denise Uyehara was supposed to be a “good girl” from the suburbs, but instead she turned out “bad.” What went wrong — or right — depends on who you ask. In her talk, she describes work at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, exploring her Okinawan and Japanese heritage and U.S. military occupation, performance as 1/4 of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls, Shooting Columbus, and forthcoming adventures.

Denise Uyehara is an interdisciplinary performance artist, interested in telling a story by any means necessary.
www.deniseuyehara.com

You can download the poster for the event here.

 

Feb 7 – Radical Time Travel: Shooting Columbus and Other Works by Denise Uyehara 🗓

Feb 7 – Radical Time Travel: Shooting Columbus and Other Works by Denise Uyehara 🗓

Denise Uyehara (Performance Artist)

February 7, 2019
6-8 p.m., P 203 (Philosophicum)

 

This evening, Denise Uyehara discusses her work as part of the Fifth World Collective, a group of Indigenous and non-indigenous artists from the Southwest, U.S., as they developed Shooting Columbus. She will also describe previous projects in which she explored her Okinawan and Japanese heritage in the context of the U.S. military occupation of the Okinawan islands, solo endeavors, and her work as part of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls.

Denise Uyehara is an award-winning performance artist who investigates memory, body and intersections of identity.
www.deniseuyehara.com

You can download the poster for the event here.

 

Jan 31 – ‘Road Trippin:’ Twentieth-Century American Road Narratives and Petrocultures from On The Road to The Road 🗓

Jan 31 – ‘Road Trippin:’ Twentieth-Century American Road Narratives and Petrocultures from On The Road to The Road 🗓

Scott Obernesser (University of Mississippi)

January 31, 2019, 12-1 p.m., 02.102 (Philo II)

 

“‘Road Trippin:’ Twentieth-Century American Road Narratives and Petrocultures from On The Road to The Road” examines late-twentieth century U.S. road narratives in an effort to trace the development of American petrocultures geographically and culturally in the decades after World War II. The highway stories that gain popularity throughout the era trace not simply how Americans utilize oil, but how the postwar American oil ethos in literature, film, and music acts upon and shapes human interiority and vice versa. Roads and highways frame my critique because they are at once networks of commerce transportation and producers of a unique, romantic national mythos that impacts American literary and extra-literary textuality throughout the late-twentieth century. My methodology draws on literary, environmental, and material culture studies, but rather than dwell on the substance itself, the project traces oil’s presence in the aesthetic stuff of our lives: the novels, films, television shows, popular songs, and memoirs that structure conceptions of individualism, freedom, mobility, race, gender, and sexuality. In doing so, I rely heavily upon interdisciplinary lenses derived from literary, film, and affect theories. Petroaffect, or the ways in which oil and oil culture shape and reshape human interiority, reveals how people are in a sense manufactured by oil as psychological or even spiritual beings. Tracing petroculture’s trajectory throughout late-twentieth century road narratives—road novels, outlaw trucker movies, popular music, memoir, and apocalyptic fictions—demonstrates that oil’s material, ideological, and environmental effects and affects are vital to the formation of the petromodern American.

Scott Obernesser received his PhD in English Literature from the University of Mississippi, specializing in Environmental and Southern Literatures. Scott is currently a visiting lecturer at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at JGU Mainz.

You can download the poster for this talk here.

Jan 29 – Language and Domestic Space in  Mary Wilkins Freeman’s Short Fiction 🗓

Jan 29 – Language and Domestic Space in Mary Wilkins Freeman’s Short Fiction 🗓

Alfred Bendixen (Princeton University)

Tuesday, January 29, 2018; 6 p.m.–8 p.m. (c.t.) Philosophicum I, P15

Professor Alfred Bendixen of Princeton University explores the intersection of language and domestic space in establishing the feminist foundations of Mary Wilkins Freeman‘s strongest short fiction. Through the careful manipulation of dialogue and silence, Freeman investigates the struggle of women to achieve a meaningful voice. in her meticulous rendering of physical space, particularly the domestic spaces that women claim as their own, she defines the ways in which women can maintain or lose personal autonomy. The presentation focuses on three of Freeman‘s best stories: „The Revolt of ‚Mother,‘“ „A New England Nun,“ and „A Village Singer.“

Alfred Bendixen received his Ph.D in 1979 from the University of North Carolina and taught at Barnard College, California State University, Los Angeles, and Texas A&M University before joining the Princeton faculty in 2014. Much of his scholarship has been devoted to the recovery of 19th-century texts, particularly by women writers, and to the exploration of neglected genres, including the ghost story, detective fiction, science fiction, and travel writing. His teaching interests include the entire range of American literature as well as courses in science fiction, graphic narrative, and gender studies.

You can download a poster for the lecture here.

Jan 22 – Discovering Difference: A Narrative Medicine  Investigation of Lived Retrospective Diagnosis 🗓

Jan 22 – Discovering Difference: A Narrative Medicine Investigation of Lived Retrospective Diagnosis 🗓

Danielle Spencer (Columbia University)

January 22, 2019, 12-2 p.m. 02-709 Georg-Forster Gebäude

 

In this project I “diagnose” a phenomenon I term discovering difference: the experience of newly learning in adulthood that one has a longstanding cognitive or perceptual difference from the norm, particularly one that may be considered pathological. It can occur when the condition has remained undetected, such as becoming aware that one is colorblind, and/or when the diagnostic categories themselves have shifted, as with the emergence of autism spectrum disorders or ADHD. This phenomenon has received relatively scant attention, yet learning of an unknown condition is frequently a significant and bewildering revelation, subverting narrative expectations and customary categories. In addressing the topic I articulate and deploy an evolution of narrative medicine as a robust research methodology comprising interdisciplinarity, narrative attentiveness, and creating a writerly text. Beginning with my own experience of discovering difference, I explore the issues it raises—from communicability to narrative intelligibility to different ways of seeing. Next, I map the phenomenon’s distinctive narrative arc through the stages of recognition, subversion, and renegotiation, and finally discuss this trajectory in light of others’ experiences. I propose that interdisciplinary understanding as well as the figure of blindsight—drawn from my own experience—offers a productive model for negotiating such revelations and for holding different forms of knowledge in generative tension. Better understanding discovering difference will aid those directly affected; moreover, it serves as a bellwether for how we will all navigate advancing biomedical and genomic knowledge, and how we may integrate medico-scientific revelations with what we understand to be our identities.

Danielle Spencer is a faculty member of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. She is a co-author of The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2017) and her work appears in a range of outlets, from Ploughshares to The Lancet. Her research interests include the intersection between narrative, identity, and diagnosis; bioethics and speculative fiction, and healthcare professions pedagogy. Spencer worked as artist/musician David Byrne’s Art Director for many years, collaborating on and exhibiting a range of projects, as well as with photographer Nan Goldin. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. des. in American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

You can download the poster for this talk here.