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Comp Lit Luncheon Archive

"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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"Theorizing Literature from Japan, 1907," Michael Bourdaghs, University of Chicago

When Sep 16, 2013
from 12:15 PM to 01:25 PM
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