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“Calcutta-London-Madrid: The Politics of Translation in Global Modernisms," Gayle Rogers, University of Pittsburgh

When Oct 20, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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This talk approaches a longstanding question in modernist studies through a different critical route: how are we to study global modernisms without replicating the Anglo-European criteria of what "counts" as modernist (formally, temporally, spatially), and at the same time, preserve some sense of what "modernism" means as a movement?  I aim to reorient our thinking on this question by leaving London at the center of a global literary phenomenon, but by demonstrating the ways in which its institutions--and the English language--were only a temporary way station for some more fruitful modernist exchanges.  I follow the translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s works from Bengali to English to Spanish: in English, his fame was short-lived and precarious, while in Spanish, thanks to the extensive and creative translations by Juan Ramón Jiménez, he remains an influential poetic figure.  The world republic of letters contained exchanges of modernist texts, styles, and critiques that went far beyond London, New York, Paris, or Berlin, of course, and one way to recover them, I argue, is to reconceive translation as a practice that decenters modernism and shows its lateral emergence across a range of disparate literary economies. 

Gayle Rogers is associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.  He is the author of Modernism and the New Spain: Britain, Cosmopolitan Europe, and Literary History (2012), and of publications in PMLAModernism/modernity, Comparative Literature, Journal of Modern Literature, James Joyce Quarterly, and other journals.  His current book projects are Modernism: Evolution of an Idea (co-written with Sean Latham forthcoming 2015) and Between Literary Empires: Translation and the Comparative Emergence of Modernism, a study of English/Spanish translation practices from the Spanish-American War of 1898 to the present. 

“Poetry and the Global Migration of Form,” Jahan Ramazani, University of Virginia

When Oct 13, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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One of the most pervasive models for “world” and “global” literature has been the formula foreign form and local content. New literature issues, we are told, from the introduction of a foreign form into a local environment. Although Franco Moretti and others have usually applied the paradigm to the novel, what happens when it is put to the test with other genres, such as poetry? What is the place of such ideas in understanding poetry in a global age? Critically reexamining the foreign form and local content model in relation to postcolonial and Western poems written in English, this paper seeks to develop alternative ways of conceptualizing poetry and other literary forms in their global dimensionality.

Jahan Ramazani is Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His books include A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the Harry Levin Prize, and Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent book is Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2013). An associate editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012), he has also co-edited several Norton anthologies.He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEH Fellowship, a Rhodes Scholarship, the William Riley Parker Prize, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the University of Virginia’s highest honor.

"Solidarity and Sacrifice: Poetry Translation and the Russian Radical Left," Brian Baer, Kent State University

When Oct 06, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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This paper explores the central role played by translation--and, in particular, by the translation of poetry--among members of Russia’s radical left in the nineteenth century. The paper will focus on the various functions of poetry translation in that historical context in order to outline a model for studying translation within the overall interpretive network that shapes both its production and reception.

Brian James Baer is Professor of Russian and Translation Studies at Kent State University. He is author of the monograph Other Russias: Homosexuality and the Crisis of Post-Soviet Identity (2009) and editor of the collected volumes Contexts, Subtexts and Pretexts: Literary Translation in Eastern Europe and Russia (2011) and Russian Writers on Translation. An Anthology (2013). He is founding editor of the journal Translation and Interpreting Studies, and his monograph Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature is forthcoming in the Bloomsbury series Literatures, Cultures, Translation.

"Same-Sex Intimacies in an Early Modern African Text about an Ethiopian Female Saint, Gadla Walatta Petros (1672)," Wendy Belcher, Princeton University

When Sep 29, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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The seventeenth-century Ethiopian book The Life and Struggles of Our Mother W&aumll&aumltt&auml Petros (Gadla Walatta Petros) features a life-long partnership between two women and the depiction of same-sex sexuality among nuns. The earliest known book-length biography about the life of an African woman, written in 1672 in the Ge'ez language, Gädlä Wällättä Petros is an extraordinary account of early modern African women's lives--full of vivid dialogue, heartbreak, and triumph. It features revered Ethiopian religious leader Wällättä PÌ£etros (1592-1642), who led a nonviolent movement against European proto-colonialism in Ethiopia in a successful fight to retain African Christian beliefs, for which she was elevated to sainthood in the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahedo Church. An important part of the text is her friendship with another nun, as they "lived together in mutual love, like soul and body" until death. Interpreting the women's relationships in this Ethiopian text requires care, but queer theory provides useful warnings, framing, and interpretive tools.

Wendy Laura Belcher is associate professor of African literature in Princeton University’s Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies. She has been studying African literature for over two decades and is now working to bring attention to early African literature through her research and translation. She also studies how African thought has informed a global traffic of invention, recently publishing Abyssinia’s Samuel Johnson: English Thought in the Making of an English Author (Oxford, 2012) and is finalizing the translation of The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Translation of a Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an African Woman with Michael Kleiner, which is perhaps the earliest biography of an African woman.

"Same-Sex Intimacies in an Early Modern African Text about an Ethiopian Female Saint, Gadla Walatta Petros (1672)," Wendy Belcher, Princeton University

When Sep 29, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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The seventeenth-century Ethiopian book The Life and Struggles of Our Mother W&aumll&aumltt&auml Petros (Gadla Walatta Petros) features a life-long partnership between two women and the depiction of same-sex sexuality among nuns. The earliest known book-length biography about the life of an African woman, written in 1672 in the Ge'ez language, Gädlä Wällättä Petros is an extraordinary account of early modern African women's lives--full of vivid dialogue, heartbreak, and triumph. It features revered Ethiopian religious leader Wällättä PÌ£etros (1592-1642), who led a nonviolent movement against European proto-colonialism in Ethiopia in a successful fight to retain African Christian beliefs, for which she was elevated to sainthood in the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahedo Church. An important part of the text is her friendship with another nun, as they "lived together in mutual love, like soul and body" until death. Interpreting the women's relationships in this Ethiopian text requires care, but queer theory provides useful warnings, framing, and interpretive tools.

Wendy Laura Belcher is associate professor of African literature in Princeton University’s Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies. She has been studying African literature for over two decades and is now working to bring attention to early African literature through her research and translation. She also studies how African thought has informed a global traffic of invention, recently publishing Abyssinia’s Samuel Johnson: English Thought in the Making of an English Author (Oxford, 2012) and is finalizing the translation of The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Translation of a Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an African Woman with Michael Kleiner, which is perhaps the earliest biography of an African woman.

"Dissent and Digital Transumption in an Age of Insecurity," Djelal Kadir, Penn State

When Sep 22, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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This is a diagnostic critique. Unlike a jeremiad, which is a cautionary admonition about what is bound to come, a critique is a diagnosis of what already is. By definition, a diagnosis aims at knowing two things-what is said and what is done-, and examines the discrepancies between the two. This is an essay on the cartography of dissent, which is to say, a critical interrogation of dissent’s possibilities in the present. The analysis probes the historical moment through the institutional discourse of two currently dominant ideologemes--the digital and the transnational. Any coincidence between the narrative of this analysis and your personal or institutional circumstances is purely fortuitous. The NSA has you covered, and your college or university has your back. And, as the agent says, “no need to worry, if you are not doing or saying anything you shouldn’t be.”

“‘We Can't Go There With You’: Trauma Rhetoric and its Abuses in Times of Sustained Threat," Rosemary Jolly, Penn State

When Sep 15, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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This talk addresses what trauma theory can and cannot offer in practical contexts of the sustained threats of HIV and gender-based violence. Professor Jolly discusses her field work experiences, embedded as they have been in intergenerational histories of systemic violence underwritten by colonialism, its attendant racisms, and their aftermath. She addresses the interests of those working in the applied fields of trauma and post-traumatic studies, HIV, racism, sexism and heterosexism, child abuse and the intergenerational effects of colonialism and violent conflict.

“‘We Can't Go There With You’: Trauma Rhetoric and its Abuses in Times of Sustained Threat," Rosemary Jolly, Penn State

When Sep 15, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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This talk addresses what trauma theory can and cannot offer in practical contexts of the sustained threats of HIV and gender-based violence. Professor Jolly discusses her field work experiences, embedded as they have been in intergenerational histories of systemic violence underwritten by colonialism, its attendant racisms, and their aftermath. She addresses the interests of those working in the applied fields of trauma and post-traumatic studies, HIV, racism, sexism and heterosexism, child abuse and the intergenerational effects of colonialism and violent conflict.

"Derrida the Workaholic," Jonathan Eburne, Penn State

When Apr 21, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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"Kant, Satire, and Sexual Difference," Surya Parekh, Penn State

When Apr 07, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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“Sandro Penna, Queer Intellettuale Impegnato,” John Champagne, Penn State, Erie

When Feb 24, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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Title and Speaker TBA

When Feb 10, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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Title and Speaker TBA

When Feb 03, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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Title and Speaker TBA

When Jan 27, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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"Latina/o Literature Unbound," Ralph Rodríguez, Brown University

When Dec 02, 2013
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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"World Theatre and the Common Ground of Global Modernity," Glenn Odom, Rowan University

When Nov 11, 2013
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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"Metalepsis in Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric," Rita Copeland, University of Pennsylvania

When Oct 21, 2013
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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