Paper, Saturday 4.30 (M&T)
Figures of Displacement: language and memory in Amelia Rosselli’s multilingual poetry
Starting from Jacques Derrida’s idea that ‘language is never owned’ (Derrida, Sovereignties in Question) and the distinction between ‘native speaker’ and ‘mother tongue’ as theorised by linguists, this paper examines the poetic and linguistic strategies that the twentieth-century multilingual poet Amelia Rosselli deploys when switching from one language into another. Since the languages she adopts in her writings are English, Italian and French, the paper also reflects critically on the implications of such a configuration when it comes to understanding poetic language’s relationship to European cultural memory. While Rosselli’s multilingualism is rooted in her situation of geographical, personal, and biographical displacement (including gender determinations), ultimately her ‘linguistic disassociation’ becomes the occasion for a broader reflection on the conflict-ridden relationship of poetry to its own source in language as such. The fact that Rosselli grasps ab initio the poetic ‘I’ in its dislocated condition is symptomatic both of the mode of manipulation of ‘her’ language and of the condition in which she ‘finds’ language. As a woman poet, Rosselli cannot inhabit a language that aspires to expressing the singularity of her experience without encountering conflicts and resistances. In speaking the language of the Other as the other, she ‘translates’ her experience of displacement into a new cultural idiom and a new poetics. The argument developed in this paper is therefore twofold. On the one hand, the experience of distance between the lyric subject and her own sense of poetic self is constitutive of Rosselli’s ‘effort’ to appropriate a language that never spoke (of) female subjectivity. On the other hand, by dislocating words out of their linguistic and cultural context and by entertaining an ongoing dialogue with traditional poetic forms (such as the Petrarchan sonnet) and words’ tainted past, Rosselli’s multilingual poetry opens up ‘unknown zones’ of possibility. One of the outcomes of such an engagement is a reflection on the state of the language that is to be appropriated. Rosselli is aware that the infinite possibilities (‘fantastiche imprese’) of the poetic word grant her an unprecedented freedom, including the freedom to modify the gender of words and to switch from one linguistic code to another even within the boundaries of the same word. However, the ‘excessive malleability’ of language and its limited ability to resist ‘movements of appropriation’ compel her to deploy new strategies which clearly operate in direct conflict with the general openness that initially appears to open the way for the poetic endeavour. The enclosed structure of her poems literally and figurally defines the limits of the poetic experience and, to put it in Adorno’s words, reveals it as the ‘wound’, namely as the site where loss and exclusion are ‘sedimented’ at the level of form. Rosselli’s estranged intimacy with her public/private language(s) goes beyond the confines of a dislocated self, into a zone of latency, where the drama of the relentless ‘corrosion’ of language in a globalised world governed by commodification comes to surface. The paper finally suggests that Rosselli’s poetic language becomes the metaphor of an impossible quest for a nationally defined cultural identity. Her geographical and linguistic displacement can be seen as the emblem of marginalised subjectivities compelled to constantly negotiate the boundaries of their linguistic, social and cultural experience. Rosselli’s poetic word traces the chasm that exists at the core of language as well as within the languages and cultures woven into her poetic work. Her innovative language of memory creates a zone where the fissure itself becomes the only possibility for the poetic to exist and for some multilingual and fluid notion of displaced identity to emerge. In this respect, the enclosed and hypercodified structure of Rosselli’s mature verse becomes a form of necessary containment of the open wound, which brushes against the constant threat of the drift of language towards meaninglessness and of cultural and social difference/diversity towards isolation and incomprehension. Although theoretical in scope, the paper is rooted in textual analysis. The paper is conference-session length and is prepared so as to appeal to both post-graduates and senior academics.
Lucia Aiello is Deputy Director of the Languages for All programme, Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York (UK). She has taught Italian language, literature and culture, and comparative literature at universities in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and at Anglophone universities in Rome. Her current research focusses on multilingual writers, with particular emphasis on the poetic works of Amelia Rosselli. She is co-founder and assistant editor of the Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies. Her publications include: with Joy Charnley and Mariangela Palladino (eds), Displaced Women: Multilingual Narratives of Migration in Europe (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014) and the monograph After Reception Theory: Fedor Dostoevskii in Britain, 1869-1935 (Legenda, 2013).
Paper, Saturday 12 (M&T)
The Translator as Writer, The Writer as Translator: Vikram Seth’s Two Lives (2003) and The Rivered Earth (2011), transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism
This paper will examine two literary works in Vikram Seth’s corpus, analysing them as texts enabling us to reflect on issues around migration, translation, cosmopolitanism and transnationalism in unusual ways. These texts show us how the writer-creator and translator-creator can overlap. Vikram Seth is not technically a fully-fledged ‘migrant writer’: he lives largely in his family home India, though he has lived for years in countries such as the United States, and has another home in the UK (the latter fact is directly relevant for The Rivered Earth). Seth has written, inter alia, a novel in verse (with no Indian protagonists) on yuppies in San Francisco (The Golden Gate), a blockbuster novel about early post-Independence India (A Suitable Boy), and translations from Chinese poets such as Li Bai, Du Fu and Wang Wei (Three Chinese Poets). In my paper I shall examine Two Lives and The Rivered Earth, two relatively neglected works in Seth’s corpus. I shall begin with a discussion of the terms translation, migration, cosmopolitanism and transnationalism. Seth’s memoir-novella Two Lives is a cosmopolitan text about intercultural relationships, unusual patterns of migration, and is a creative reconstruction of history. I shall build on this work, and then focus on issues of translation and migration, always kept within a framework of the cosmopolitan and the transnational. Seth writes a story revolving round his great-uncle Shanti, and Shanti’s German-Jewish wife Henny, who met in early-1930s Berlin while Shanti was studying dentistry there; the two got married after World War II in England, where Henny had fled and where Shanti settled, after having fought in the war for the British army. Life for the protagonists in this work is about translating between languages and cultures all their lives, with various languages and cultures remaining spectral presences even when another language or culture is foregrounded. The main arena for such acts of translation and migration is Europe, with India hovering nonetheless as a horizon of reference. I then examine The Rivered Earth as another such creative translation, both cosmopolitan and transnational. The four librettos by Seth that together form The Rivered Earth (‘Songs in Time of War’, ‘Shared Ground’, ‘The Traveller’, and ‘Seven Elements’) were commissioned jointly by the Salisbury, Chelsea and Lichfield Festivals in the UK in 2006–09, and these librettos offer one dimension of a three-dimensional collaboration between Vikram Seth as writer, Alec Roth as composer and Philippe Honoré as violinist. I analyse in particular the works in ‘Shared Ground’ as partly translatory, always intertextual conversations between Herbert’s poetry and Seth’s. I argue that Two Lives and The Rivered Earth allow us to capture analytically key aspects of contemporary Europe’s evolving cultural literacy along axes of translation, migration, cosmopolitanism, and transnationalism.
Barnita Bagchi is Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She coordinates the Humanities Honours Programme for Languages, Literature and Communication at UU. The undergraduate courses she currently teaches include ‘Utopian Imagination’, ‘Postcolonialism and Cosmopolitanism’, and ‘Human Rights and Bildung.’ She studied at Jadavpur, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities, and has previously taught at the Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata, where she is now an Honorary Visiting Fellow. She has research interests in 18th-century British literature, South Asian (especially Bengali) colonial and postcolonial cultural texts, and the transnational history of culture and education. Her publications include a monograph, Pliable Pupils and Sufficient Self-Directors: Narratives of Female Education by Five British Women Writers, 1778–1814 (New Delhi: Tulika, 2004); a critical edition and part-translation of Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s Sultana’s Dream and Padmarag (Penguin, 2005); the edited volume The Politics of the (Im)possible: Utopia and Dystopia Reconsidered (Sage, 2012); and the coedited volume Connecting Histories of Education: Transnational and Cross-Cultural Exchanges in (Post)-colonial Education (Berghahn, 2014). Her articles have appeared in journals such as Paedagogica Historica, Women’s History Review, Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, and Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies.
Paper, Friday 11 (M&T)
Queer Italian-British diaspora: translating home
This paper aims to investigate some aspects of the Italian diasporas in the UK from both a gender/sexuality and a translation studies perspective. More specifically, it proposes to analyse the role of sexuality and the role of linguistic and cultural translation in the construction of Italianness and Britishness in second-generation Italian ‘assigned women at birth’ who identify as lesbians, bisexuals or gender queer or whose gender identification might fall outside the male/female gender divide (transgender or intersex). Although research on migration and gender has increased in recent years, there is still a scarcity of studies on non-heteronormative genders and sexualities in relation to the Italian diaspora in the UK, and it is only recently that translation has started being used as a metaphoric tool of investigation in diasporic settings. My paper falls within the overarching topic of cultural literacy as it aims to look at social and cultural issues through the lens of literary thinking. It will borrow, for example, findings from the study of literary translation, and it will concentrate on all those objects other than dramas, poems or literary works that make up ethnicity, gender and sexuality among Italian second generation migrants. The term diasporas to identify communities of former migrants in the UK is borrowed from Gabaccia (2000) – although the latter does not refer specifically to the UK – and is understood as communities dispersed from their homeland, and identifying with and establishing ties with that homeland (Brah 1996; Gabaccia 2000). I also draw on the theoretical framework of queer diasporas (Fortier 2003; Gopinath 2005) by focusing, as Fortier (2002: 183) puts it, ‘on the creation of queer spaces within ethnically defined diasporas’ and I use the concept of translation as implicated in the process of cultural formations, as expressed by the cultural and, more recent, sociological turn in translation studies (Baker 2006; Tymoczko 2007; Inghilleri 2005). My discussion will revolve around the analysis of excerpts of interviews which I am conducting at present with second-generation Italian-British ‘assigned women at birth’ in the UK. My research has identified that the concept of home is of fundamental importance in self-labelling. Given the powerful heteronormative discourse on la ‘famiglia’ in Italy, home can be a site of separation and conflict for the queer subject. However, according to Fortier (2001, 2003), this movement outside home, this coming out as moving out can also result in reclaiming home differently, a process which I argue (Baldo 2014), both familiarizes the queer subject and queers the family home. Thus, the concept of queer diaspora involves translation (from the Latin ‘moving across’), as it hints at constant movements backwards and forwards between homes (real or invented). This paper therefore explores cultural and linguistic negotiations and redefinitions of home in relation to what it means to be Italian and having a non-heteronormative gender or sexuality.
Dr Michela Baldo is a lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Leicester and a former Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing at the Institute of Modern Language Research (IMLR) at the University of London, where she worked on the translation of Italian-Canadian and Italian-American women writers in Italy. Another strand of research she is pursuing is the investigation of ‘queer’ diasporas, and the migration/translation of queer into the Italian cultural sphere. She is particularly interested in the role of written and audiovisual translation in those activist movements in Italy whose agenda can be defined as queer. She has published articles on the subject, including a coauthored/coedited book on drag kings in Italy, which came out with ETS in March 2014.
Paper, Saturday 12 (BB)
Fictionality and Textuality On the Road: driving the future
A major social and cultural challenge of 21st-century Europe is accepting the responsibility we now have to use our technological understanding to shape the future in culturally coherent ways. I assume the future will be technological so if LCS is to play a part it must be able to relate to technology. ‘Driving the future’ will explore what happens if we try to view engineering and its products as essentially readable. The talk will firstly analyse whether cultural literacy can be deployed in engineering and secondly whether doing so in turn enhances cultural literacy. This exploration will take the form of a little narrative about the life of the car – actually, about the hidden life of a mundane component of the car, the handbrake. Handbrake technology is going through a period of rapid change. The LCS concept of historicity will be applied to analyse this change as we compare traditional mechanical handbrake systems with modern electronic park brakes, and the EPB systems of different contemporary vehicles. In this process of technological change daily engineering decisions must be taken which have far-reaching implications for the role of the driver, the safety of road users and the cultural meanings of parts of the car. We will then take a turn to textuality and consider the ‘weave of meanings’ of handbrakes including ideas of transgression, the social need to control the actions of bodies and what happens to the bodies we encapsulate into our cyborg shell vehicles. This will begin to explicitly demonstrate how LCS concepts can contribute to the quality of design decisions. Looking forward we will use fictionality to consider the 21st-century challenge of preserving the environment. This motivates both the use of electric power for vehicles and reduced human control as our vehicles become more autonomous. Both developments create problems for the design of handbrake systems to which culturally acceptable engineering solutions have not yet been found. In conclusion, threads of mobility and translation, collaborative authoring and complexity will be pulled out to illustrate the essential readability of engineering as a cultural practice and of its artefacts. Finally we will return to the ethics of applying LCS techniques to engineering and the possible justifications for appropriating societal resources to technological literacy.
Heather G. Bradshaw-Martin researches ethical aspects of societies’ interactions with technologies, particularly how the technologies available to a society may affect the design of its ethical and moral systems. Her PhD is in bioethics (human enhancement and disability) and was completed at the University of Bristol. Her publications include If Nanotechnology Were a Magic Wand What Obligations Would it Bring? (2008) and A Transhumanist Fault Line Around Disability: Morphological Freedom and the Obligation to Enhance (2010). Her fiction has appeared in Nature and the anthologies Human Futures (2008) and Myth-Understandings (2008). She advised on the book Enhancing Me (2007) and also worked on Human Enhancement (2009). Heather has an undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree from the University of Oxford but she began her academic and working life as an engineer sponsored by the Ford Motor Company and a UK government High Fliers grant, at Loughborough University, after growing up on developing world construction sites. She maintains close links with the automotive and civil engineering industries.
Project presentation, Friday 1.30
How might changing the way we research literary authors open up academic debate to a wider community of users?
This talk presents the work and findings of the newly created, AHRC-funded interdisciplinary research hub, ‘Authors and the World’, based at Lancaster University (www.authorsandtheworld.com). The hub gathers together scholars working across a range of Humanities disciplines (English & Creative Writing, Modern Languages, Linguistics, Cultural Studies, Art History, Digital Humanities) with industry professionals (writers, translators, publishers, reviewers) and interested members of the public. Our core intellectual objectives are to understand: (i) how authors, as constructed or otherwise mediated cultural artefacts, carry wider social and political meaning in different cultural contexts around the globe, and (ii) how authors’ own awareness of these functions influences their manipulation of both the literary text and the wider social texts that develop around their literature (e.g. media profiling, public events and appearances). We believe that a systematic, multi-disciplinary analysis of how the literary author functions as both the creator of literary texts and as a culturally conditioned agent in wider society is imperative, as it is through the author that ‘literature’ gains a public face – and thus social significance – around the world. The presentation will consist of two parts:
- an introduction to the ‘co-design’ ethos and structure of the hub: how our work cuts across conventional disciplinary research, how it seeks to engage in sustained dialogue with non-academic partners, and how these dialogues in turn condition the very nature of the research we do;
- a presentation of the intellectual outcomes from our pilot strand on ‘literary celebrity’. By April 2015, three of our four planned events in this strand will have taken place. As can be seen from our website, the workshops probe ideas pertaining to authorship and fame from a multitude of different practical and theoretical angles. In particular, ideas of body/embodiment, text & image, and translation & adaptation as they affect experiences and perceptions of literary authorship run through all three sessions. I will set out how we have developed these ideas across the series and link them to the conference’s interest in memory, translation, and the body.
Using the case study of our collective interdisciplinary work on literary celebrity, I hope therefore to encourage discussion both on how literary authors matter to society and how we, as researchers, policymakers and industry professionals, might best be able to capture this in a manner that makes cultural literacy accessible to as broad a base of users as possible.
Rebecca Braun is a Senior Lecturer in German Studies at Lancaster University. She completed her doctorate in German Literature at New College Oxford in 2006, and the resulting monograph, Constructing Authorship in the Work of Günter Grass, was published with Oxford University Press in 2008. While continuing to develop her expertise in twentieth- and twenty-first-century German-language literature, Rebecca has also been developing wider conceptual models for understanding how cultural products carry meaning in society. In 2010, she published the coedited volume Cultural Impact in the German Context (Camden House), which drew on work carried out during a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Liverpool. In 2014 she was awarded a generous AHRC Leadership Fellowship that has allowed her to apply the research model underpinning her second monograph – Writing Life: The Making of the Author in Germany’s Media Age (forthcoming) – to the activities of a new interdisciplinary research hub, Authors and the World, at Lancaster University: www.authorsandtheworld.com. In all her work to date, Rebecca has explored how aesthetic textual strategies emerge from specific socially-grounded contexts, and how these contexts themselves are sometimes changed by literary texts. You can follow Rebecca and her work on twitter: @BraunBraun4; @AuthorsWorld, as well as visiting the facebook page ‘Authors and the World’.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (DT)
Imagining the disappearing of writing systems: the futures of alphabetic writing in literature
Alphabetic writing stands at the basis of cultural literacy in Europe. This paper addresses the so-called ‘alphabet effect’ in Western culture and critically traces the renewed interest in the origins and cultural impact of the alphabetic script in 20th-century history, philosophy and anthropology. How does Western culture allegedly ‘breathe’ alphabetic writing, yet how is this writing system also challenged in the 21st century? Does the emergence of code writing and a strong visual culture threaten alphabetic writing or are we instead evolving into a multimodal script? In this paper I show how 20th and 21st-century literary writing has imagined the transformation of alphabetic writing, and how media philosophers from Marshall McLuhan to Vilem Flusser and Carlo Sini have tried to work through the remains of alphabetic writing into a universe of technical images. How valid is especially Flusser’s point that writing is changing and that we are slowly entering a ‘new’, visual world? Contrasting Flusser’s mythology of the future to Maurizio Ferraris’ notion of documentality – a concept that precisely refers to the explosion of writing in the digital age – I will show that literacy in the 21st century precisely joins the linear demands of alphabetic writing with the multi-dimensional potentialities of the technical image. Instead of demonstrating a breach between writing and the technical image, I show how contemporary literature is working through writing as a multimodal system that is at once linear and circular, verbal and visual. How will this multimodal take on writing change our notion of cultural literacy? Primary texts/visual texts include work by Louise Paillé, Zachary Sifuentes, Heide Hatry and Erc Zboya.
Kiene Brillenburg Wurth is profile professor of Literature and Comparative Media at the University of Utrecht and project leader of the VIDI-project Back to the Book (2011-2016) funded by the Dutch Research Council. She has been Director of Graduate Studies since December 2013. Kiene is the author of Musically Sublime. Infinity, Indeterminacy, Irresolvability (Fordham UP, 2009), and (with Ann Rigney) Het leven van teksten. Een Inleiding in de literatuurwetenschap (Amsterdam UP, 2006, 2008) used throughout the Netherlands. She is editor of Between Page and Screen: Remaking Literature Through Cinema and Cyberspace (Fordham/Oxford UP 2012) and, with Sander van Maas, of Liminal Auralities (under contract with Fordham/Oxford UP). She is preparing a special issue on intermedial satire entitled The Masks of Satire. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and volumes on music, intermediality, aesthetics, digital textuality, and visual texts.
The Jetties project
The installation Haﺝar and the Anﺝel, based on the poetry of Algerian author Mohammed Dib (1920–2003), was a collaboration between writer Madeleine Campbell, sonic and visual artists Bethan Parkes and Birthe Jorgensen. Initially exhibited in a gallery environment (The Hunterian, Glasgow), facing a rare work by 18th-century Scottish painter John Runciman, the installation attracted mostly regular museum visitors, including students, academics and artists. The extension of the painting’s presence outside the museum through digital projection offered the opportunity for further interpretation in and by the wider community. Our objective now is to widen the potential impact of this installation by engaging with local communities to stage site-specific workshops and performances and promote cultural exchange in an increasingly diverse, transcultural Scotland.
The aim of the workshops is to broaden the installation’s vocabulary and reach by inviting participants to explore intercultural stories and experiences relevant to their own experience through the medium of gesture, sound and movement. This enables different types of sensory embodiment, spatial, vestibular, kinaesthetic, proprioceptive, and narrative, for example. The ‘lived’ environment of an installation like Haﺝar and the Anﺝel facilitates an ephemeral spatio-temporal experience of Other-ness that stands closer, perhaps, to Dib’s source text than a purely intrasemiotic translation. Several workshops have been held to date, notably for the Commonwealth Film and Theatre Festival, and in association with the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC) at Woodside Hall Community Centre in Glasgow. The experimental use of space and materials and the interaction between participants provided aesthetic opportunities to eventually develop a fascinating performance. In addition, a number of observations based on feedback from the participants caught our attention and this qualitative aspect merits to be recounted in some detail to render the experiential nature of the journey. These observations were collected in several ways: a camera and notebook were made available to participants and the workshop and plenary were recorded.
This presentation will explore the potential of such workshops to grow as a means of engaging with diasporic communities to express individual narratives through gesture, sound and movement in a safe but artistically challenging environment. Building on the theoretical basis for intersemiotic translation developed in my PhD thesis Translating Mohammed Dib: Deleuzean Rhizome or Sufi Errancy?, the broader Jetties project, of which Haﺝar and the Anﺝel forms an integral part, offers a platform for staging the ‘untranslatable’ in Dib’s poetics. At the same time, Jetties offers a creative environment through which to engage the academic sector with researchers and practitioners from written, oral and performing cultures in an innovative research paradigm. In the context of literary translation in the British Isles at just over 4% of annual publications, Jetties and comparable community translation initiatives contribute to the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s [AHRC] Translating Cultures Theme in the UK. In line with the Theme’s aim to ‘enhance awareness of the importance of the spaces, contexts, practices, materials, actors and technologies of translation,’ Jetties operates, both aesthetically and culturally, at ‘the sites, locations and zones within, across and between which translation occurs’.
Atavism in ‘minor’ literatures
Mohammed Dib’s textuality of the in-between offers new ways of moving beyond geo-cultural engagement with history, allowing singular narratives to emerge through experiential fictionality: according to Dib, ‘atavism speaks only through aphasia, wherefrom identity emerges.’
In Maghrebi literature the Western theoretical framework of the intertext is complicated by the indecipherable trace, or at’lâl, which is both the formal starting point of the pre-Islamic Odes (the Mu‘allaqāt) and a symbol of the ephemeral nature of the sign. In Dib’s novel Le Désert sans détour (Desert No Detour, 1992), at’lâl are vestiges of people or beings, so that these ciphers, though when viewed diachronically are historical signs of past lives, are first and foremost unwitting inscriptions of life itself.
Among Francophone poets from Mediterranean Africa, perhaps the most striking parallel with Algerian Dib’s treatment of the relationship between the sign and the page can be found in the works of Cairo-born Jewish writer Edmond Jabès. One cannot read Dib’s L’Arbre à dires (1998), for example, without noting a profound affinity between the two writers. The place of enunciation for Dib and Jabès, a liminal textual space that is at once blank and saturated, is located outside time, or in time immemorial: it is the place of silence and revelation, inscription and erasure. But whereas Jabès is, as underlined by his translator Rosemarie Waldrop, ‘a creator who resolutely takes up residence in the word, solidly within the tradition of the Jews,’ Dib is a conteur who resolutely severs the ties of filiation to take up the challenge of writing exile and migration in the transcultural. By drawing with equanimity on all monotheistic religions, Dib refuses to vest lineage with one divine authority.
Stripped of identifiable religion, Dib’s protagonists are also stripped of individual history, as in Le désert sans détour: ‘We didn’t know who we were, whose sons we were.’ The emergence of new identity in Dib’s narrative is not effected through Edward Saïd’s ‘affiliation,’ but rather through a transfiliative process of cultural articulation. Through acts of dis-location Dib’s rhetoric disrupts the ‘self-confirming operations of culture’ denounced by Saïd. By intervening directly in the originary process of cultural production, Dib invites the individual reader to strip back to, in Homi Bhabbha’s terms, ‘the subject and its limits,’ and from there to participate in the process of producing a singular culture, in a new kind of worlding that has shed its burden of history.
In the desert of a language where the written and the spoken are fully aligned, Dib’s works underline the futility of the writer’s pursuit of a sign sullied by history, while placing hope in a form of cultural translation that isn’t predicated on defining the other in contradistinction to the self. This ontological perspective affords aesthetic, cultural and pedagogical implications for participatory engagement in the development of cultural literacy in an increasingly diverse Europe and beyond. A concrete example of such engagement is The Jetties Project, also presented at this Conference, and further options for interdisciplinary engagement will be proposed.
Madeleine Campbell recently completed her PhD in which she explored the concept of translation as a performative rather than representational act. One example of her collaborative practice is the soundscape and visual installation Haجar and the Anﺝel at The Hunterian (Glasgow, May 2013), a creative immersive experience that draws on Algerian author Mohammed Dib’s poetry. Following on from this exhibition the Jetties Collective (www.jettiesproject.tumblr.com), of which she is a founding member, has held community workshops to engage with current themes of identity, exile and migration, notably for the Commonwealth Film and Theatre Festival (2014) in Glasgow. Her research interests include cultural literacy, Francophone (Maghrebi) and French literature, comparative literature, literary and intersemiotic translation. Her creative interests include found poetry and ekphrastic poetry. Her translations of writings by Dib and contemporaries from the Maghreb have been published in the Book of North African Literature by California University Press (edited by Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour, 2012) and in Scottish Poetry in Translation (SPIT, edited by Stewart Sanderson, 2013). She also coedited Quaich: An Anthology of Translation in Scotland Today (2014) with Georgina Collins and Anikó Szilágyi, featuring learned essays and translations into English, Scots and Gaelic.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
Without Shame. Removed memories and language in Luigi Di Ruscio’s novels
The work of Luigi Di Ruscio presents a good viewpoint on the politics of identity in late 20th-century Italian literature. In 1957 Di Ruscio emigrated to Norway, where he married a Norwegian woman and had four daughters; with them he always spoke Norwegian, reserving Italian only for his writing. In my talk I focus on three novels which define the dialectical linkage between the lost mother country and rediscovering the mother-tongue as the place of an exile that becomes the only positive self-definition for the emigrant. Palmiro (Palmiro), Cristi polverizzati (Smashed Christs) and Neve nera (Black Snow) tell the emigration history of Di Ruscio, but they also construct the relation between the author and the double segregation suffered by the author himself as an emigrant excluded from both his native and his adopted countries. The only place in which Di Ruscio can find a land of humanity is the language that he has brought from his native country, although this language too stops being the language of a cultural tradition and becomes the idiolect of someone excluded from any tradition. We can say that Di Ruscio really achieves a new grammar that gives him the possibility of making a parodic representation of his own bare life in order to take back into his own hands the self that had been annihilated by the social structure of power. Therefore Di Ruscio chooses to create little narratives as opposed to great ones and this fact helps to clarify why his work remains unknown in Italy. These novels powerfully deconstruct the myth of immigration as it has been described by a number of Italian historians and political writers: instead of presenting the nostalgic immigrant who feels an elegiac bond to his native country, Di Ruscio declares that country guilty, narrating a history of civil death, shame, degradation and exclusion, making clear that the Italian conservative social structure prefers to protect its own power rather than rethink social space in an inclusive sense. The Italian literary system cannot bear the ‘apocalyptical’ function of Di Ruscio’s prose because it is a political act against the social basis which governs the creation of literacy as the only permissible self-presentation of a country and its history. But Di Ruscio’s novels have the same ‘apocalyptical’ function in relation to Norwegian society too, for they reveal the trick involved in Scandinavian social-democracy, a system focused on a refined social management rather than the practical realization of a route to inclusion. In both systems, Italian and Norwegian, for emigrants/excluded people there is the same shame, a shame embodied in exclusion from the linguistic tradition, which thus can be deleted only by a linguistic act that saves the dignity of the person and the language from social and linguistic purism.
Marco Carmello is Professor at the Department of Italian Studies of Complutense University of Madrid. He studied classical philology, philosophy and linguistics at the State University of Milan, at the Humboldt University of Berlin and at the State University of Turin, where he got his PhD in Linguistics. His research fields are: stylistics and rhetoric, philosophy of language, Italian studies and general linguistics. He has written more than thirty articles in reviews and specialized publications and he is author of: Extragrammaticalità. Note linguistiche, critiche e filosofiche sull’ultimo Pizzuto (Turin, 2012), Lo spazio sospeso di Angelo Fiore. Per una lettura del ‘Supplente’ (Palermo, 2014) and Traiettorie sulla linguistica giuridica (Turin, 2014; with Manuel Barbera and Cristina Onesti).
Paper, Friday 11 (DT)
We describe how we went about designing visualization tools for exploratory access to collections of multiple translations of a literary work. Collections of this kind are relatively small. But big collections are collections of small collections. Visualizations should help us to explore on multiple scales, shifting smoothly between (say) metadata on millions of items to (say) investigating how ten or a few hundred closely similar items differ in detail. For example: a small set of differing translations and adaptations of a work in one language, from different times and places; or a set of these sets in different languages. Collections of translations and adaptations have great potential value in education, research, and creative practices. We are creating ways to explore such collections, prompting various kinds of ‘noticing’ both in them, and in the translated work. Playful and exploratory approaches need to be combined with linguistic analyses and expert understandings of the texts and their contexts.
Dr Tom Cheesman is a Reader in German at Swansea University. As a researcher he has worked variously on German street ballads from the 16th to the 19th centuries, hip hop, the films of Werner Herzog and contemporary German-Turkish literature. In 2012 he published an edited volume on the Turkish-born German writer Feridun Zaimoglu, whose work includes a controversial version of Othello, premiered in 2003. Work on Zaimoglu’s Othello led to an investigation of other texts of Othello in German (over 50 are extant, from 1766 to the present, and new ones appear almost yearly), and to work on creating digital tools for exploratory and analytic work on such collections. A pilot project from 2012, ‘Version Variation Visualization’, with software developers Kevin Flanagan and Stephan Thiel, is accessible at www.delightedbeauty.org/vvv.
Arianna Ciula’s background is on digital methods applied to research in the Humanities, in particular on the modelling and creation of digital resources dealing with primary sources. As Research Associate at the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (currently DDH), King’s College London, she worked on various digital humanities research projects. From 2009 to 2012, she worked as Science Officer at the European Science Foundation (Humanities) where her primary responsibilities included the supervision of instruments to fund collaborative research in the humanities and the coordination of strategic activities related to the works of the Standing Committee for the Humanities. In 2012 she relocated to Singapore for a year and a half where she continued working as consultant for the ESF on research evaluation missions. She is currently a researcher in digital humanities and also work as research facilitator for the Department of Humanities at the University of Roehampton. She has lectured and published extensively, in particular on digital palaeography and digital philology; she has organised conferences and workshops in digital humanities, and is an active member of its international community.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (BB)
Embodiments of the urban and the global
As a flurry of recent scholarship has revealed, the state of being in the body is a way of acting out discursive meanings and making sense of surrounding reality through perceptions and affects: signifying practices are embodied practices where corporeality translates abstract meanings into material signs and symbols. Recently the subject of my research has been the investigation of textual representations of the body as symbolic conduit of, or place of exchange with, outer space. In Spatial Politics in Contemporary London Literature, I have explored this theme, arguing that architectural and urban spaces are inhabited and mediated by bodies, which symbolize the external conditions of political and social struggle. This paper moves along the same line of enquiry but investigates how the body faces the challenge of a wider scenario, global as well as urban: more specifically, the challenge produced by contemporary worldwide crises. According to Philip Tew, post-millennial global traumas ‘have together brutally asserted the material origins of experience, of ideas and conceptions, and the limits of a linguistic determination of historicity’. In this assertion of the materiality of experience, so I argue here, the imaginary of corporeality plays a central role. The paper concentrates on the case study of Ian McEwan’s post-9/11 novel Saturday (2005), interrogating its representation of the body as a metaphor of outer space. The aim is to investigate how in this novel the body faces the challenge of symbolizing the scenario produced by the terrorist threat in a global city like London and the ethical conundrums implied by the impending Iraq war. Saturday engages – so I argue here – with catastrophic imaginaries and social anxieties by illuminating the intimate entanglement of the spaces of terror with the bodily and more specifically the neurological dimension (the protagonist’s work as a neurosurgeon is thematized at the beginning of the text). If genetics and neuroscience have spatialized our bodies in novel ways, this paper interrogates how the architecture, circuits and workings of the brain are made to relate to the larger networks of the city and how the city, in its turn, can become a magic lantern through which international maps and scenarios can be visualized. The interconnectedness of these spaces is reinforced by the theme of catastrophe whose key is struck at three different pitches: the genetic risk endangering individual bodies; the urban risk jeopardizing the family and community; and the global risk threatening the survival of civilization. The aim of the paper is to suggest that the illegibility of the post-traumatic space is mediated and resolved symbolically through the conduit of the somatic self. Indeed, corporeality frames the novel as a whole: the incipit echoes the innatist portrayal of body and mind predicated by neuroscience (the structural, primordial opening of consciousness onto the world); the end suggests our biological predisposition to human empathy (Rizzolatti) and implies that only a narrative of human interconnectedness (which is both scientific and humanist) can reconcile us with the world – however illegible and intractable it may be – and ourselves.
Laura Colombino is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Genova. She is the author of Ford Madox Ford: Vision Visuality and Writing (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2008) and Spatial Politics in Contemporary London Literature: Writing Architecture and the Body (London and New York: Routledge, 2013). She edited Ford Madox Ford and Visual Culture (Amsterdam and New York, 2009) and coedited with Max Saunders The Edwardian Ford Madox Ford (Amsterdam and New York, 2013). Her publications also include a number of articles and essays on Thomas Hardy, Ford Madox Ford, Robert Byron, Aldous Huxley, J. G. Ballard, A. S. Byatt, Michael Moorcock, Geoff Ryman and Iain Sinclair. She is currently coediting with Sara Haslam and Seamus O’Malley the Ashgate Research Companion to Ford Madox Ford. Since 2013 she has been a Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association and a member of the Editorial Board of the Ford Madox Ford: Complete Works – Oxford University Press (General Editor: Max Saunders).
Project presentation, Friday 1.30
European iconographies for cultural literacy
This presentation summarizes the framework for a project related to cultural literacy, European Iconographies: Routes of an Imaginary Museum (2006–2012), since extended to a second phase until 2016. It is a project on art, historical heritage and memory in pathways of creation that was carried in partnership with Fernando Ribeiro (researcher and photographer) at CIES / ISCTE-IUL University Institute of Lisbon. It involved a vast collection of images, some from the cyberspace, as well as pictures taken across several cultural routes and European sites in France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Spain, among other countries. The aim of this ‘touring research’ which departed from ‘imaginary museums’ was the confrontation between imagery and the real and, secondly, to explore the passage from visuality (as visual surface of artworks and historical sites) to visibility through readability which requires a specific cultural literacy. The presentation will show some illustrations. Like all forms of textuality, images are a weave of meanings; complex semiotic fields, thick signs that demand more than ‘sharing of the sensible’, to quote Jacques Rancière’s expression. Apart from sensory enjoyment, we need to share ‘the thinkable’ because the visual often hides a dense intertextuality (transtextuality and intermediality for some contemporary mixed forms) Moreover, having in mind the European heritage aside from other art forms, besides the general notion of visual literacy we need artistic and historical literacy as a competence for readability. How does it work among European citizens, mostly not a regular audiences in these domains, except in tourist visits? Yet they are exposed to countless images of art and historical heritage, be it in public spaces or pervading from the cultural semiosphere, e.g. media images and cyberspace. This semiosphere has become a crucial axis for the issue of literacy grounded in the contemporary environments of visuality, information and communication. Literacy is a tool that converts information into knowledge, the basis for a consistent relation with cultural artefacts. Better said, ‘knowledge in use’ (current definition in some literacy studies) that calls for experience (e.g. visits) and enough resources to decode textualities (e.g. references). So, literacy overcomes information (epidermal knowledge) and academic titles (formal knowledge). It is a cognitive and pragmatic notion that involves frames of action (contexts and uses) as well as skills (visual, sensory, emotional, intellectual and argumentative) to recognize, decipher, and produce opinion about cultural matters. In our conceptual framework literacy appears in the centre of a quadrilateral of movements: images vs. experiences, and perception vs. reception that also presupposes reflexivity. It is another crucial dimension as well as the mediations that may induce the individual’s cultural interest: family, school, biography and professional domains; relational and institutional frames; and media as well as further influences related to public sphere.
PhD in sociology of art and culture, professor in the School of Sociology and Public Policy of ISCTE-IUL (University Institute of Lisbon) and researcher at CIES – Center for Research and Studies. Lecturer on the ISCTE master’s degree course in Communication, Culture and Information Technology. Besides ISCTE-IUL, several training initiatives, e.g Creativity on Agenda in Europa, at the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal, Lisbon (two editions in 2012 and 2013). Cooperation in European projects, namely associated with ERICArts, the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research and OAC (Observatory for Cultural Activities). Author of a wide range of publications on art and culture as well as biographical approaches and iconographic studies. These include European Iconographies: Routes of an Imaginary Museum (2006-2012), coauthored with Fernando Ribeiro; Dialogue with Images: Art, Heritage and Narratives for Europe (2014-2016); Recognition in Art (2006-2013). Books in progress for translation and publication: Andy Warhol with Leonardo: From Mona Lisa to Christ (2013, in progress for translation); Leonardo’s Horse: History, Imaginary and Legacy (2013-2014, in progress for translation); Recognition and Reception: Relations with Art (2014, in Portuguese); Speaking of Life: Biography, History and Memory in Ourselves (2014, in Portuguese).
Project presentation, Friday 1.30
Underground Poetry and ‘Poems on the Underground’
This project, based on a paper presented at a research workshop at Lancaster University in 2013 on Poetry in Public Space and shortly to be published in the on-line journal Liminalities, considers the extent to which the exhibition of poetry on the London Underground, since its inception in the late Victorian period through to the present day, can legitimately be seen as the expression of a ‘counter culture’. As a trope, ‘The Underground’ has traditionally been invested with connotations of darkness, criminality and subversion if not as a place of refuge from the oppression of the world above. The term has given expression to the radical poetry of the late 1960s (Horovitz 1969)and to multiple quotation in novels and films from Victor Hugo through George Gissing to Carol Reed, Andrzej Wajda and Luc Besson. With reference to the hugely popular series ‘Poems on the Underground’ (Chernaik, Benson and Watson 1986–2012), the paper compares the poetic aesthetic of this collection which the editors represented as a palliative to the brashness of commercial advertising, with the more practical yet inventive uses of poetry used in the past by the Tube’s owners and designers to attract passengers. In neither case, could the use or content of the verses chosen be described as ‘radical’. Paradoxically, the opening up of the London Underground to carefully selected performance poets has lent the poetry of the Underground a much more edgy, critical tone. While this has been a direct outcome of Transport for London’s cultural policy, its impact has been largely neutralised by the humourless, expensive, digitally manicured images which currently dominate the wall space of the Tube, while collaborative websites offer a collective opportunity for more radical, immediate forms of poetic expression – a direct reflection of the wider metropolitan cultural environment. It seems that Underground Poetry, with its earlier connotations of ‘agitprop’ and cultural radicalism and notwithstanding the remarkable recent performances of poets such as Amy McAllister, has retreated to the virtual realm of the internet, abandoning its natural habitat to the militant depredations of consumerism. It remains to be seen how the example of the London Underground as an index of culture compares with those of metropolitan railways elsewhere in Europe.
Robert Crawshaw is a graduate of the Universities of Exeter, Paris and Cambridge. He is currently Senior Lecturer in French and European Studies and Head of the Department of European Languages and Cultures at Lancaster University, UK. His interest in comparative literature, culture and society goes back to his postgraduate studies in Paris in the mid-1970s. It has been reflected latterly in his work in the field of Intercultural Studies, both from a linguistic/pragmatic perspective and as mediated through literature. His recent publications include articles on Kadare, Sebald and Nora, a special issue of the journal Regional Studies and coauthorship of the book Postcolonial Manchester (2013), based on the project Moving Manchester (2006–2009) which catalogued and reviewed the impact of immigrant writers on the culture of the city.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
LUSOCOM and the Lusophone/Brazilian communication thought
The purpose of this study is to investigate the Cultural Literacy contribution – drawn from the content of research carried out in universities and disseminated in scientific meetings – to the structuring process of Lusophone/Brazilian communicational thought. Scientific production in Portuguese – especially from the transdisciplinary area of Applied Social Sciences: Communication Studies – has got more readers since the publication in digital format of the proceedings of congresses. The Federation of Communication Sciences of Lusophone Associations – LUSOCOM, the object of our investigation – has, since 1997, been disseminating the investigative studies of researchers from Brazil, Portugal, Spain and African Countries of Portuguese Official Language – PALOPs. We could consider Cultural Literacy as a pedagogical tool for higher education students in Portuguese-speaking countries, sharing knowledge through dissemination of intellectual capital produced in this area. Translated theories and concepts have become known in the Portuguese-speaking world, allowing the universities to undertake joint efforts and starting the implementation of intercontinental academic partnerships. Then Europe in the knowledge society rekindles the light of ancient culture through cultural memory revealed in scientific research: translated books, auteur movies subtitled and re-shown, old photos reprinted, literary journals and daily newspapers reinterpreted, artworks re-exhibited with details of the creative process, among others. The investigation seeks to reveal the scope of academic literature in Portuguese-speaking countries of Europe, through the translation of theories and concepts presented at meetings of scientific societies (Lusocom) from academic productions, broadening the debate inside and outside universities, and allowing the hegemonic culture to be reinterpreted from the point of view of the colonized, as an auto-ethnographic analysis.
Brazilian professional journalist; Master in Media Studies; Audio-Visual Communication Professor at Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil); and PhD candidate in Communication Studies: Technology, Culture and Society (FCT PhD Portuguese universities’ joint, in which CECS of University of Minho is the main institution and the partners are: Labcom (UBI), CIES (ISCTE-IUL), Cicant (ULHT-Cofac), CECL (UNL) and CIMJ. In 2012, she received the national award of the Creative Economy of Culture from the Ministry of Culture of Brazil for her scientific research about Popular Brazilian Culture and the independent production of auto-ethnographic videos. Her research is in Lusophone communication and cultural studies.
Co-author: Moisés de Lemos Martins
Moisés de Lemos Martins is Full Professor at the Department of Communication Sciences of the University of Minho (UM). He directs the Communication and Research Centre (CSRC), which he founded in 2001. He is director of the journal Comunicação e Sociedade, which he founded in 1999, and the Revista Lusófona de Estudos Culturais, which he created in 2013 with Maria Manuel Baptista. He was also the director of the Anuário Internacional de Comunicação Lusófona, 2007-2011. Currently, he is director of the doctoral program in Cultural Studies, established in 2010, consisting of a partnership between the University of Minho and the University of Aveiro. He also directs the Doctoral Program ‘Communication Studies: Technology, Culture and Society’ (FCT PhD), a joint PhD in which CECS is the main institution and its partners are: Labcom (UBI), CIES (ISCTE-IUL), Cicant (ULHT-Cofac), CECL (UNL) and CIMJ. He has been president of: SOPCOM – Associação Portuguesa de Ciências da Comunicação, since 2005; Lusocom – Federação Lusófona de Ciências da Comunicação, since 2011, and Confibercom – Confederação Ibero-Americana das Associações Científicas e Académicas, since 2012. From 1995 to 2000 and then from 2014 to 2010 he directed the Institute of Social Sciences. During this time he chaired the 3rd , 8th and 10th Congresses of Lusocom. Among other books, he has published Crisis in the Crise no Castelo da Cultura – Das Estrelas para os Ecrãs (Coimbra, Grácio Editor, 2011, and also a Brazilian edition: São Paulo, Annablume), A Linguagem, a Verdade e o Poder. Ensaio de Semiótica Social (Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian & Foundation for Science and Techonology, 2002), Para uma Inversa Navegação. O Discurso da Identidade (Porto, Afrontamento, 1996); O Olho de Deus no Discurso Salazarista (Porto, Afrontamento, 1990). Edited, with other authors, Comunicação e Lusofonia.Para uma análise crítica da cultura e dos media (Porto, Campo das Letras, 2006) and Comunicação e Cidadania’ Atas do V Congresso Português de Ciências da Comunicação, Braga, Communication and Society Research Centre, University of Minho, 2008).
Paper, Friday 11 (DT)
Memory narrative and digitext: Judenlager Semlin
The aim of this paper is to analyse the ways in which varieties of the digi-text work together in order to (re)construct an apocalyptic episode from the past symbolically represented in created cultural memory and official history narratives. The four digi-texts to be discussed in this paper determine the structure of cultural memory and history as well as related narratives of the Holocaust in Serbia (which appeared as the result of renewed research on the forgotten past). Finally I seek to explore the dialectical relation of the modes in which the differences in structure influence audience responses and readings and conversely how the input of narrative agencies – such as collective readers (Levy, 1997) as expanding community of knowledge, connective memory makers/authors, readers, witnesses (Hoskins, 2011) – transforms remembrance into public memory and history. I would like to map the growing, hybridising and diversifying memories and (hi)stories – of event/time/space/cultural circles/individuals – on the internet which allow one narrative (concentration camp Judenlager Semlin) to become part of transcultural/transnational Holocaust memory in European history. In other words, the paper deals with the transcultural memory and history narrative development according to XX Ernst`s notion that ‘so-called cyberspace is not primarily about memory as cultural record but rather about a performative form of memory as communication. […] Repositories are no longer final destinations but turn into frequently accessed sites. Archives become cybernetic systems’. The chosen case studies are four websites (http://www.forensic-architecture.org/project/; http://www.forensic-architecture.org/investigations/living-death-camps/; http://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/archaeology/projects/holocaust-landscapes/staro-sajmiste-serbia/more/; http://www.starosajmiste.info/en/; www.semlin.info/) of the Semlin Judenlager and the space of the Old Fairground using different perspectives of forensic architecture, forensic archaeology and the media archaeology. Various testimonies: of survivors, of their descendants during visits to the Holocaust sites, of artists who had their studios there, of urban planners etc. or as stories told as part of the debates, presentations, commemorations and documents (photos, graphics, maps, recorded oral testimonies…) are given through a plethora of semiotic resources of multimodal text. The work of densely intertwined multimodal texts/websites dynamises the presentational mode of static memories (like historic architecture, libraries, museums, archives) and official history. Presented memories and history as interactive processes brought by digital ontology have constantly to be refreshed and updated i.e. to contribute to the function of transfer processes (Ernst, 2012: 98). The transfer is across cultural borders, media platforms, chronotopes (most visible in Timeline of Staro Sajmište and narrative formats, making the forgotten story of Serbian past part of the European memory and history narratives.
Nevena Dakovič, PhD is professor of Film Theory/Film Studies at the Dept of Theory and History and the Chair of Interdisciplinary PhD Art and Media Studies at the University of Arts, Belgrade. She is the author of seven books (Balkan kao filmski zanr: slika, tekst, nacija, 2008; Melodrama nije zanr, 1995) – the latest being STUDIJE filma: Ogledi o filmskim tekstovima secanja/Film Studies: Essays in cinematic texts of memory and remembrance (2014) – and editor of many others. Nevena Dakovič publishes widely in the national and international framework (UK, USA Turkey, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, France), participates in conferences and is a member of international projects and research groups. She lectures at European and American universities.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (CM)
Embodied cultural memories of the Punjab: Giddha dance and song in migrant London spaces
This paper examines the folk dance of giddha, originally a women’s dance from rural Punjab in north-west India. Ethnographic fieldwork in the Punjabi-dominated environs of Southall, in west London, reveals a renewed interest in performance of this dance in women-only spaces. Collective cultural memory is produced, performed and sustained through these contemporary expressions of rural Punjab in migrant, diasporic groups through dance and song at the annual Teeyan da Mela festival in Southall. Here we encounter women’s cultural, social and religious embodied memories, both individual and collective, expressed through their dancing bodies and voices. The ridiculing of oppressive gender-role expectations, of the difficulties of marriages, of love, of social niceties is possible in the safe space of the Teeyan da Mela festival, providing a liminal and resistant arena where the compliancy and acceptance of the patriarchal system is challenged. Rhyming narrative couplets recited while performing dance movements tell stories of marital difficulties as well as presenting suggestive sexual innuendo in preparation for marriage. In the safe spaces where only women are present, giddha dance and the sung narrative texts, with gestures, allow a permissive area for women to unburden themselves of migrant city pressures and the social and cultural problems they experience. ‘Narratives are the vehicles for a distinct kind of social-communicative interaction; […] narratives provide a distinct kind of cognitive framework or format for remembering events’, notes Christopher Hoerl, writing on memory and narrative (2007: n.p.). The social or collective memory actively enacted here at the festival reveals the construction and maintenance of rural affiliations, coloured with a nostalgic discourse, despite relatively settled urban identities. Yet, this collective memory is at the same time mediated by the women, as they sing of the past whilst interweaving the narratives of their present-day lives; perhaps a form of Margaret Drewal’s (1992) ‘repetition with revision’? Their improvised, witty words speak of old village narratives learned from grandmothers in formative years, mixed with stories of current issues that press on migrant lives. Thus, as historian Wulf Kansteiner notes, social or collective memory ‘can take hold of historically and socially remote events but it often privileges the interests of the contemporary’ (2002:180). The paper raises questions about the role and place of cultural memory, especially in an embodied arena, questions that examine who might own cultural memory and how this may change in the current political and social climate. Additionally it examines how people’s embodied actions actively construct new forms and visions of the past, and asks how the development of LCS might provide ways to analyse such contemporary migrant processes of supposed cultural continuity.
Dr Ann R. David is Head of Department and Reader in Dance Studies at the University of Roehampton, London, specialising in dance anthropology and South Asian classical and popular dance. Trained in ballet and folk dance, as well as the Indian classical styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathak, she has been a Research Fellow on an international project on religious migrants funded by the Ford Foundation, USA. David is frequently invited to contribute papers on dance, ritual, migration and the performance of identity at international conferences and has published widely in dance and other interdisciplinary journals. Her publications include coediting and contributing to a book on dance ethnography, Dance Ethnography and Global Perspectives: Identity, Embodiment, and Culture (2013), as well as chapters in books on embodied ethnography, Performance and Ethnography: Dance, Drama, Music (2013) ritual, Summoning the Spirits: Possession and Invocation in Contemporary Religion (2010), and dance, Dance Matters: Performing India (2010). She is passionate about the need for the arts in education and dance’s unique role in matters of communication, and works closely with policymakers in the arts.
Paper, Saturday 12 (M&T)
Read all about it: Giovanni Grasso’s Sicilian dialect theatre in London
This paper critically investigates Cultural Literacy through the focal lens of newspapers, recently digitised by the British Library, as an informed commentary on interrogating how the Sicilian actor, Giovanni Grasso, generated the racialist perception of Sicily as the Africa of Italy during his first tour in London in 1908, where he performed a variety of plays including Giovanni Verga’s Cavalleria rusticana and Luigi Capuana’s Malìa. With no film footage of Grasso’s performances extant, this paper promises to reconstruct the actor’s interpretations through a close examination of the newly digitised theatre reviews. It is argued here that during his performances, Grasso did in fact exploit the racial stereotypes associating Sicily with Africa. In doing so, the actor and his Sicilian troupes were able to introduce a new form of realist theatre and to place Sicily on the theatrical world map. Interestingly, the Anglo-Italian cultural context at this time was especially striking, with Italian migration to Britain at its peak. This was also a time when the British Empire saw a major expansion of its imperial reach, and when the British reading public had access to the sixth edition of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1872), leading to what is now known as Social Darwinism. The notion that ‘races’ can be divided into different categories, in particular into the European-Aryan and the Oriental-African, to adopt the terms subsequently popularised by Edward Said, brought the position of southern Italy into special prominence, given its history of invasions over the centuries at the hands of the north Africans and the Arabs. Significantly, during this time Sicily was simultaneously being portrayed as an ‘Other’ in post-unification Italy. Indeed, this was a time when racialist studies began to emerge in Italy, such as Cesare Lombroso’s L’uomo delinquente (1876), which places Sicilians among the ‘savages’. Popular journals, such as the Illustrazione Italiana, were quick to ‘sell’ the emerging pairing of Sicily and Africa, particularly during the Mostra Etnografica Siciliana at the Esposizione Nazionale in Palermo from 1891 to 1892, which displayed various Sicilian cultural materials alongside a living exhibit of colonized Ethiopians residing in a fictional village called Villaggio Abissino. An analysis of the selection of newspapers will therefore enable a new set of questions to be answered on the construction of racial stereotypes, connecting migration, contemporary theatre stardom, newly launched archives with the European circulation and translation of culture, thus shedding new light on an important and frequently neglected dimension of wider cultural trends associated with national self-fashioning.
Enza De Francisci teaches in the Department of Italian (School of European Language, Culture and Society) at University College London (UCL), and is on the committee of the Society for Pirandello Studies as Secretary and Theatre Correspondent in the peer-reviewed journal, Pirandello Studies, editing the section ‘Recent Productions’. Following the completion of her PhD thesis, Women in Verga and Pirandello: From Page to Stage, during which she had occasion to conduct research at the Scuola Normale in Pisa, the Pirandellian Institute in Rome and the University of Bologna Discipline delle Arti della Musica e dello Spettacolo (DAMS), Enza organised the conference, The International Voice in Shakespeare, at the Rose Theatre Bankside, and contributed to the translation of the new staging of Liolà at the National Theatre by Tanya Ronder, directed by Richard Eyre – publishing in the programme and participating in the public lecture, Liolà in Context with Professor Emanuela Tandello (Oxford). Enza recently coordinated the UCL Italian departmental seminar series, Centre Stage, which provided a platform for both scholars and theatre practitioners, and is currently preparing her proposed post-doctoral research project on Italy’s grandi attori.
Paper, Saturday 12 (CM)
Schoolbooks in the 18th-century Romanian Provinces: Benjamin Martin’s Philosophical Grammar and its Romanian Version by Bishop Amfilohie of Hotin
In the 18th century, the Western European Enlightenment became particularly attractive for Romanian intellectuals who, after some centuries of almost exclusive religious writings, felt the need for modernisation and the formation of a scientific terminology. As no original research or writings were available, the only way of approaching the sciences or even the humanities was through translations, compiled and offered as manuals for the few Romanian schools functioning at that time. As these schools were often linked to the Church, many translations were carried out, disseminated or promoted in the ecclesiastic environment. An interesting case of a high clergyman attracted by the rationalism of the Enlightenment is represented by bishop Amfilohie of Hotin who, educated at the middle of the century, was a very good speaker of Italian. He therefore translated from Italian and published a geography book and a mathematics book. The case we intend to present is that of a manuscript of bishop Amfilohie, known as Gramatica fizicii, obvious translated from Italian but with no mention of its author. We have recently discovered that it is actually an abridged version of a well-known manual published in London in 1735 (first edition), namely The Philosophical Grammar by Benjamin Martin. The book became very popular in England, so that it had eight editions revised and completed by its author. Its second edition from 1738 was translated into French a year later and then from French into Italian. Published in Venice by Remondini, it was reprinted several times and one of these editions reached Moldavia and was translated into Romanian. Amfilohie’s text remained in manuscript probably because of the death of the bishop, and can be dated somewhere between 1780 and 1790. There are two manuscript copies preserved: ms. 1627 from the Romanian Academy Library in Bucharest (BAR), and another copy at the Academy Library in Kiev. Both copies are written, like all Romanian texts of the age, in Cyrillic. The Kiev manuscript is considerably reduced with respect to the Bucharest one and it has been edited in Chisinau by two philosophy researchers. We will base our analysis on the Bucharest manuscript which all the evidence suggests is more complete and precedes the Kiev one. As the Romanian language was under the influence of old models, represented, at the end of the century, especially by Greek, bishop Amfilohie struggled to introduce new terms or loan translations from Italian, as part of a process called by Romanian linguists ‘the reromanization’ of Romanian. Studies on this subject have been carried out without comparing the Romanian text with the Italian original, which had not been accounted for. Now we can analyse his source and rectify incorrect opinions or etymologies while providing a more appropriate prospective on the formation of the terminology by taking into account both Amfilohie’s linguistic abilities and the suggestions coming from the original he was working with.
Gabriela Eugenia Dima is an associate professor of Italian literature and civilization at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași (Romania). Her PhD research was on Greek and Latin Influences upon the Italian Tragic Theatre of the 18th Century and illustrates her interest in theatre, Italian literature and comparative analysis of texts, sources and influences. She has also participated in the elaboration of reference lexicological works such as an encyclopedic illustrated dictionary of proper names and an explanatory vocabulary of the Romanian language. Interest in the 18th and 19th centuries determined her to take part in research projects in a new research direction, that of the Italian influence in the Romanian principalities, influence that is best found in translations carried out during that period. She has presented several conference papers on this subject. One of the works translated into Romanian in the 18th century, Antonio Catiforo’s Vita di Pietro, was the subject of a coauthored monograph published in 2013, while other translations were the object of authored or coauthored book chapters in a recently published volume, on the influence of the Western European Enlightenment in the Romanian culture through some 18th century translations.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (BB)
The human body between texts, maps, and landscapes
Humans are embodied creatures moving through external landscapes. We are also semiotic animals living in environments of signs. In our interaction with texts, semiotics will often overshadow embodiment. There is a long tradition of research into how to excavate the body from such overshadowing, especially related to gender and sexuality. In this paper I will attempt such an excavation for expressions related to landscape, linked to my research into media differences between texts and maps. A reader of the novel Robinson Crusoe has an understanding of the island on which Crusoe was shipwrecked for many years. That understanding is not based on first-hand experience – that would be impossible as the island never existed as a physical place. Still, sitting in a chair with a book using hands, eyes, and other parts of the body in the reading process one can feel the heat, the humidity, and the sand. They are felt as bodily memories triggered by the text. The novel also feeds on bodily memories when it builds up the reader’s understanding of the descriptions and his or her desire for the plot. Without having experienced the island, one has other bodily experiences that make up important aspects of the understanding of the text. What if one makes a map of Crusoe’s island? In the bodily act of making the map one also uses experiences gained as an embodied creature moving through landscapes. If I were to make such a map I would also use my experience as a map surveyor and draughtsman. Yet, when I show the map to somebody else the bodily memory of heat, humidity, and sand is called to mind in a different way from what would happen with the novel. Heat and humidity may not be experienced at all, and sand will be less important than travel distances, sight lines and other spatial relationships between places. My previous research indicates strongly that these differences are systematic. External landscapes seem more concrete than experienced space; our location in space is fairly determinate. However, space is not as fixed as it may seem by looking at a map. In my research I have used computer-assisted conceptual modelling to investigate such differences in detail. What is the significance for personal and cultural memory of translation processes between digital textuality and digital cartography? In computer-assisted modelling the algorithmic structures of the computer is imposed on the complexity of human experience. The hard edges of a computer model are used to model the less determinate modes of human expressions. Through interaction between a detailed study of text/map differences and the relationship between such differences and human experiences of external landscapes I will discuss to what degree the bodily aspects of physical spatial engagement steer how we interact with literature, compared to our interaction with maps. A key question is whether different aspects of the bodily experience can be mapped to each of the media, as well as differences in how each medium can express bodily experiences.
Øyvind Eide holds a PhD in Digital Humanities from King’s College London (2013) which was funded by a grant from The Research Council of Norway. He was employed in various positions at the University of Oslo from 1995 to 2013, most recently as a Senior Analyst at the Unit for Digital Documentation. Since October 2013 he has been a Lecturer and research associate with the Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Passau. His research interests are focused on the modelling of cultural heritage information, especially as a tool for critical engagement with the relationships between texts and maps as media of communication. He is currently investigating the limitation of texts and maps as means of conveying geographical understanding, based on comparative studies of media modalities. Computer assisted conceptual modelling of texts is an important method in this research.
Paper, Saturday 12 (DT)
The impact of digital music platforms on music listening and experience
This paper examines whether material culture and design studies can help us to better understand digitally-mediated environments. Focusing specifically on the changes to the music industry since the 1990s, this paper fuses a historical and critical approach with ideas and methods taken from studies of narrative, music, material culture, consumer studies and design (in particular, Chapman’s Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences and Empathy, 2005) to critically assess the effect digital music platforms have had on our relationship to and understanding of music. Investigating the difference between digital playlists and cassette-based mixtapes, this paper focuses on how ideas of narrative, identity, emotional attachment, and sharing are articulated across the two different formats. Going against Bas Jensen’s recent assertion that mixtapes are simply ‘non-narrative artifacts’ (Sound Souvenirs, 2009), I argue that both mixtapes and digital playlists have the potential to communicate a narrative, but that their narrative potential is dependent upon and mediated by the structure, content, and context of the object or digital platform. The paper will discuss the work of Jones (iPod, Therefore I am, 2006), Bitner (Cassette from My Ex, 2009) and Bull (Sound Moves, iPod Culture and Urban Experience, 2007) and highlight a possible developmental rift in the music industry between advancements in digital media and a noticeable increasing nostalgia for analogue objects and analogue interactions (Reynolds, Retromania, 2013). To conclude, I will explore how digital music services have recently attempted to reintroduce and recapture the more social nature of the mixtape and show how understanding the relationship between material and digital cultures might inform the way we construct digitally-mediated environments.
Kieran is a Researcher Development Officer at Bath Spa University and is responsible for creating and delivering workshops and online training materials to support researchers at all different stages of their careers. He has developed workshops on: research strategy and funding, research design, methods and methodologies, creative practice as research, grant writing, impact, and approaches to interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Previously he worked as Research Officer at the University of Brighton (contributing to their 2014 REF submission in Art and Design) and as a Research and Knowledge Transfer Support Officer at the University of Bradford. His PhD was awarded in 2011 at King’s College London for a thesis entitled ‘The ‘Dramatic’ Overture and the Idea of Tragic Narrative’, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and supervised by Professor John Deathridge. His research is of a thoroughly interdisciplinary nature and combines ideas and methodologies taken from the arts, humanities, and social sciences. His research interests include: affective digital media, performance and the body, music as narrative in [Hindi] film, immersive experiences and singalong cinema, comic song and cabaret, and representations of gender and sexuality in Hip Hop music.
Paper, Friday 11 (BB)
Taxidermia by György Pálfi: a contemporary history of the body?
How do filmmakers enable viewers to analyse biopolitics in the present age? Taxidermia (2006), a film by György Pálfi, tells the lives of three generations of Hungarian men spanning from WWII and the Soviet period to the present day. The lives of the grandfather, father and son are told through the angle of their physical experiences and degree of social agency during three different political and economic regimes. The film dramatizes how individual bodies are disciplined and controlled by means of their integration into the productive economic chain and the hierarchy of existing powers. The film is divided into three periods that might be labelled as: predation, exploitation, and transcendence of the organic body. Pálfi’s aesthetics combine magic realism, surrealist collage and finely polished – although indisputably repulsive too – vivid images of the body in all its vital functions. Through the use of shock and burlesque exaggeration, the film constructs a suffering, alienated body, constantly brought to its limits. He also arranges an underlying network of echoing motifs inviting the viewer to make comparisons. The available literature on this film has emphasized the allegorical dimension of such a triptych in describing how the historical upheavals that shook Hungary from the 1940s onward failed to bring real freedom to the Hungarian people. Pálfi relied on two short stories by Hungarian writer Lajos Parti Nagy, for the first two chapters, but invented the third part and structured his film as a flashback, hence laying the stress on our contemporary age. This leads me to believe that this film is therefore not only relevent for reflecting on Hungary’s politics but also our Western European context since the cult of images favoured by the globalized, mediatic age he describes is also characteristic of our biopolitics. I would also like to underline that although these bodies are alienated, they try to emancipate themselves and invent strategies in order to thwart the mechanisms of oppression subjugating them. Such endeavours are only fantastical and made possible through fiction, and deciding whether the third character succeeds or fails to achieve absolute freedom is problematic, as we shall see. However, I will argue that the filmmaker’s œuvre relies on epic and caricature in order to contrast contemporary Apollonian standards of beauty with a living body whose needs and desires have been increasingly denied. The shocking body without organs created by György Pálfi fights violence with violence and denounces the biopolitical oppressive mechanisms of our time.
Alumna of the Ecole Normale Superieure, and doctor in Comparative Studies, Juliette Feyel is a Bye-fellow at Fitzwilliam College and the French Department of the University of Cambridge where she teaches French language and literature. Her research focuses on the representations of corporeal subjectivities in 20th- and 21st-century European cinema, literature and French thought. She is also the author of a monograph, Georges Bataille, Une quête érotique du sacré, Paris: Honoré Champion, 2013.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (BB)
The biopolitical dispositif of the neoliberal crisis
The concept of crisis draws on such heterogeneous disciplines as political sciences, philosophy, economics and psychoanalysis. I don’t consider its applications in all the various semantic fields, but I intend rather to focus on the dispositif that has allowed us to use the notion of crisis in an overarching, pervasive way. My intention is to identify and analyse the dispositif of crisis starting from the ancient Greece conception of ‘krisis’ in medical and political fields. This medical meaning of term ‘crisis’ was prevalent until modernity and it was also present in Marx and Engels’s theory of capitalist crises. On the strength of the biopolitical genealogy of crisis, I argue that the dissemination and pervasiveness of the term ‘crisis’ are not at all signs of semantic ‘vagueness’, as Koselleck affirms, but rather denote the highest effectiveness of its dispositif – the highest effectiveness that is apparent nowadays, when crisis has become the neoliberal art of government.
Dario Gentili has a PhD in Ethics and Political-Legal Philosophy from the University of Salerno. He did his postdoctoral research in Philosophy and the History of Ideas at the Sum (Italian Institute of Human Sciences), Florence, and received a DAAD post doctorate grant to work with the Walter Benjamin archives in Berlin. He became a Research Fellow at the Sum and in Autumn 2014 was Visiting Researcher at Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf. He currently has an Honorary Fellowship in Moral Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Roma Tre. His main publications include: Il tempo della storia. Le tesi ‘sul concetto di storia’ di Walter Benjamin, Guida, Napoli 2002; Topografie politiche. Spazio urbano, cittadinanza, confini in Walter Benjamin e Jacques Derrida, Quodlibet, Macerata 2009; Italian Theory. Dall’operaismo alla biopolitica, Il Mulino, Bologna 2012.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (DT)
Cultural Literacy for Istanbul: reading and writing the tekke
This project aims to trace the ways in which Istanbul tekkes – sufi places of worship, with their heterodoxical rituals – have been written into cultural memory, and how this writing has changed through time. It hopes to highlight not only how cultural literacy around tekkes has changed but also how cultural literacy is bound up with contingencies of state authority. The texts and rhetoric used to foster citizens’ competencies play a central role in the construction of memory in Turkey, as elsewhere in Europe. Different regimes encourage different modes of cultural literacy and cultural literacy pertaining to different periods is highlighted in national curricula according to the needs of the ruling elites. Periods of nationalization, secularization and Sovietization lead to the abandonment/banning of certain practices, and reduces, if not obliterates, the cultural literacy concerning a particular period, the people’s very capability of reading objects of memory around them. It is then left to individual educators and cultural practitioners to find a way to raise awareness about the genealogy of these places, objects and rituals. The protracted secularization process in Turkey, which started in the 1930s, contributed to this decrease of cultural literacy. Changing the alphabet from Arabic to Latin script rendered monuments with Ottoman inscriptions illegible, made historical texts that explained what went on in Ottoman institutions, such as schools and places of worship, inaccessible. Thus the literal illiteracy instigated by the regime went on to cause cultural illiteracy which the secularizing elites hoped would help the newly coined values of the republic to take root sooner. This was a period in which cultural literacy in western European cultural products was encouraged at the expense – to the extent of banning and prohibition – of Ottoman culture. Particularly targeted were the tekkes which, offering both spiritual and material nourishment, functioned as community centres during the Ottoman period. The paper will first discuss the traditional function of the tekkes as Foucauldian heterotopic spaces for Istanbul, and the symbolism contained within the physical space. It will explain how for both himself and the audience, the body of the whirling dervish itself becomes a liminal space, in his performance of the sema. As much as heterotopia, tekkes will be explored as expressing heterodoxy, often fed by the proximity of sacred spaces of other faiths, mostly Christianity. Having identified elements that make the tekke legible in its original conception, I will look at an intimate account of these spaces by a Danish writer, Carl Vett, at the very end of their existence in 1925, to get a better understanding of how these spaces countered the cultural literacy that the republican elites might have hoped for. I will then explore how the abandoned tekke has been/is narrativized in the early and late stages of secularization. I will look particularly to works of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar and Orhan Pamuk to see how tekkes are represented as an illegibility and absence. I want to pit this absence as recorded in literature against recent attempts by the municipal governments to redeploy Istanbul’s spiritual capital as embodied in the tekkes. I will look at municipal websites and publications to see how these restoration efforts are advertised to the public. Many of these tekkes are now converted into educational establishments that offer Ottoman and Arabic language classes along with classes on Sufism, Ottoman history and Islamic arts. So these physical spaces are now geared towards making the public literate once again in the banned and forgotten Ottoman cultural practices and rituals. Reading and writing the tekke thus proves to be a way of claiming and appropriating space according to the epistemology of changing ruling classes.
Nagihan Haliloğlu is an assistant professor in the department of civilization studies at Fatih Sultan Mehmet University. Her doctoral thesis on Jean Rhys, Narrating from the Margins, appeared with Rodopi in 2011. She has published articles on multiculturalism, modernism, travel writing and contemporary Turkish literature. She is currently working on a project on re-enchantment in British Literature. She writes regularly for the Turkish monthly Lacivert.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
Towards new forms of communitas. Novel modes of work organisation and choreographic strategies in Polish contemporary dance
Polish contemporary dance has recently been witnessing more and more collaborative communities formed by dance artists of the new generation. In my paper I will discuss the characteristics of these communities, exploring to what extend they meet the definition of communitas, as developed by Victor Turner – what type(s) of communitas they are, but also how they diverge from Turner’s original concept. I will show how their existence influences the subject-matter of dance pieces created and choreographing strategies employed by the artists involved. I will especially focus on analysing how the artists try and change established discourses pertaining to the human body, which are often affected by biopolitics as understood by Michel Foucault. I will also highlight how the spirit of communitas may undermine the position of the choreographer as a figure in authority and their vision of the dancing body as a dominant one. In my investigations, I will refer to the output of Ramona Nagabczyńska, Karol Tymiński, and Maria Stokłosa, labelled as representatives of ‘new dance’ in Poland, as well as projects developed at Centrum w Ruchu (Warsaw) and as part of the Old Brewery New Dance programme (Poznań).
Julia Hoczyk is a dance critic, dance theorist, and editor. She holds a degree in theatre studies from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Currently she is doing a PhD at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She has also studied gender studies as part of a postgraduate programme at the Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Warsaw. Currently she edits taniecPOLSKA.pl, a website of the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw aimed to inform about, promote, and document the art of dance in Poland. In her research she focuses on the body, corporeity, and gender in Polish and international contemporary dance. She teaches on contemporary dance and butoh as guest lecturer. Julia Hoczyk collaborates with the Academy of Dramatic Art, delivering classes on dance theatre and contemporary dance analysis. She works with the Institute of Music and Dance.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
Protest rhetoricity – between skirmishes and art
The theoretical background applied to the research of protest rhetoricity is the concept of deliberative democracy, as it is developed by Habermas, and the cultural character of democratic norms. Revising the democratic ideals of equal voice, openness and inclusion and the fact that they cannot be imposed but only originate organically within the society, the social events are interpreted considering Habermas’ concept that communication exerts inner pressure on political practice. The protest and civil unrest against the ruling socialist government in Bulgaria 2013–14 is viewed as a process of communication in its role of a normative pacemaker for public argumentation and the development of political culture, with the unquestionable role of the civil society. As its methodological tools, this presentation takes into account popular advertising aspects of promotion and transfers them into the field of succinct protest textuality, in an attempt to define the complex behaviour of peaceful civil unrest, the character of message and features of its content and recipients. The exploration of the longest political protest in the years of democratic changes seeks to analyse the trends within civil disobedience, how the contemporary political debate from the streets has a great potential of transformative communication. The presentation attempts to generalize two main models of communication – 1. producing narratives of social and political phenomena and 2. appealing slogans in a terse account. The article also considers the fact that first, they appeared in a performative structure as street-marching and street events but later, they were mediated at the highest degree through the ‘digestion’ of social media. They are exposed to an interpretation at the level of textuality and images having impact on political behaviour of the government and public expectations. Another model in the interpretation of political messages is Grice’s paradigm of cooperative communication (1975) and Martin’s 1986 concept of collective authorship and dynamics of textual and visual rhetoricity, leading to the meaning constituency, all of which permit us to conceptualize it as a crafted phenomenon. Analogically, the parallel is made with the political demands and messages generated in protests, the factors facilitating the communication and the particular performative act of message delivery, targeted at the recipient, who is not a trivial consumer but the institutional entity of ruling authority. Then the presentation argues the innate quality of the protest as an act of contradiction, from the grounds of semiotics, regarding the interaction and specific social interpretation of events in the form of narratives. The internal fictionalization of the flow of the protest is conceptualized by shifting into and out of the text, in political discourse. There are also some oppositions involved between the expression and content, some extrinsic and intrinsic values, which is a reasonable premise to build an analysis on so as to describe how the contemporary public sphere develops with intense forms of communication.
Education: National college of Ancient languages, cultures and rhetoric ‘St. Cyril the Philosopher’-Sofia, Bulgaria, specialized in high education in Latin, ancient Greek, ancient /church/ Bulgarian, contemporary European languages, extended approach to history, civilizations. Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication 1990–1995, SU ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’, Bulgaria, Masters thesis ‘Religious awareness, values and mass communication’; Professional bachelors in English language and literature, Faculty of Classical and Modern Philologies 2002–2004, SU ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’, Bulgaria. After graduation from university I had serial occupations as an Art Gallery Consultant, freelance translator and radio journalist. Then my professional employment was devoted to training foreign language skills at high school, university, as well as for adults, depending on their professional purposes. Now I am in my second year of PhD research in journalism at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski. The perspectives which draw my attention to Media Studies are – the emergence of Digital Media as an essential factor for public deliberation of political issues, expanding further than simple communication of a private or entertaining character. Political communication of lay people, outside the political elites, establishing counter opinions and seeking for personal and group identity, are processes strongly interfering with the mainstream media, not only during the protests and civil unrest, but as a constant background with an innate structure, which is worth interpretation and explanation. A wide scope of theoretical notions are available to facilitate possible research in the variety of communication models of political discourse, all of which is a tempting challenge to face.
Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman is a consultant for international research and higher education policy and management with focus on Humanities and Social Sciences. She is based in Warsaw. In the period November 2008 – December 2013 Nina was Head first of the Humanities Unit and later of the Humanities and Social Sciences Unit at the European Science Foundation (ESF), Strasbourg, France. She joined ESF in 2003 where initially her main areas of responsibility were quality assurance of the peer review and research funding processes. Before moving to ESF, since the beginning of the political transformation in Poland in 1990, she had been working with the Ministries of Education and of Research developing and managing EU and other international organisations assistance programmes for reforms in higher education and research sectors. Between 1997 and 2003 she was Director for University Advancement at Warsaw University. Nina studied Polish philology at Warsaw University (Poland), German philology at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and was awarded a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures at Columbia University (New York) in 1986. Her research interests covered different aspects of Polish literature of the 20th century including the Polish literary avant-garde movement of the interwar period in the European context as well as relations between literature and politics in the Communist Poland.
Paper, Friday 11 (BB)
Cultural Translation and Punk Fashion in the 1980s
The aim of the paper is to examine the translatability of the language of punk fashion from Britain to Poland. Focusing on the examples of two post punk female singers and punk fashion icons Siouxsie Sioux and Kora (Olga Jackowska, a vocalist of a post punk band Maanam) parallels are drawn between the meanings of punk aesthetics in Britain and in Poland. Many scholars (Hebdidge, McRobbie, Muggleton, Reddington) have emphasized the rebellious character of punk and its sartorial practices. In Britain the complete rejection of the established codes of dressing represented by punks signified rebellion against middle-class values and Thatcherism. In the Poland of the 1970s and 1980s the socio-political conditions were radically different from those in Britain. According to Polish fashion designer Barbara Hoff, any attempt at imitating Western European fashion was viewed by the communist authorities as an act of political subversion and provocation (2013). Therefore, when transplanted onto Polish ground, punk was ‘hijacked’ for the purpose of political warfare, while punk fashion became the most visible emblem in the battle against the oppressive communist regime. Through semiotic analysis of fashion, the paper seeks to demonstrate how public performances of Siouxsie Sioux and Kora contributed to the construction of the rebellious body. A detailed analysis of stage personae of the lead singers Kora and Siouxie Sioux in selected video clips from the 1980s tackles the problems of cultural translation in the period when cultural exchange between Poland and Western Europe was officially restricted and extremely difficult.
Katarzyna Kociołek is an assistant professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw. Her doctoral dissertation (2009) examined representation of ethnic identities in the British visual arts discourse of the 1980s and 1990s. Her current research interests include representation of identities and the visual culture: fashion, film and the visual arts. She teaches academic courses on British culture in the 20th century.
Daniela Koleva got her Diploma from the University of St. Petersburg and her PhD and Habilitation from the University of Sofia. She is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Theory of Culture, University of Sofia. Her research interests are in the field of oral history and anthropology of socialism and post-socialism, biographical and cultural memory, biographical methods and social constructivism. She has published a monograph on the ‘normal life course’ in socialist Bulgaria and a number of book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed international journals. Recently, she edited Negotiating Normality: Everyday Lives in Socialist Institutions (Transaction, 2012) and coedited 20 Years after the Collapse of Communism: Expectations, achievements and disillusions of 1989 (Peter Lang, 2011) and Ageing, Ritual and Social Change: Comparing the Secular and Religious in Eastern and Western Europe (Ashgate, 2013). She has held research fellowships at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales / Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris), the Wissenschaftskolleg (Berlin), the Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum für Ost- und Mitteleuropa (GWZO, Leipzig) and the European Centre for Archives in the Social Sciences (ECASS, Colchester). Currently, she is academic advisor at the Centre for Advanced Studies, Sofia, and a member of the International Editorial Advisory boards of the journals Oral History and L’Homme: Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft; she is also a member of COST Domain Committee Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health.
Paper, Friday 11 (DT)
Towards a new approach to cultural literacy
The massive cultural heritage digitization creates huge text archives that could facilitate the creation of a widespread cultural competence while supporting, at the same time, the evolution of professional text analysis and interpretation practices. We therefore propose a conceptual framework, incorporating methods and practices of digital interaction and cooperation already available and tested in the Digital Humanities community:
- extensive, high-quality archives of texts belonging to different linguistic traditions and cultures in not yet fully exploited, standard formats;
- methods and computational tools for distributed and cooperative annotation of digital resources;
- models and tools able to represent and process semantic levels of digital information, which allow knowledge transfer and sharing within digital environment (ontologies and linked data).
Although these technologies and methodologies are now widely used, there are highly relevant practices to highlight and to bring into the system:
- formal ontology has the capacity both to fix prior knowledge and simultaneously to promote the refinement of knowledge itself;
- multiple ontological models can be connected with the same passage of text, such as knowledge and cultural contents layers that overlap with the textual layer;
- such stratified texts can be re-used in different contexts of fruition, from that of professional scholars to that of culturally curious users who are attracted by potential text mash-ups.
- So: when a text passage is annotated and the ontology is populated, parts of the text are converted into structured data because they are organized in an ontology describing the relationships with others yet they maintain the connection with the point in the text to which they belong. As a result, it is possible to use these structured data for processing and activities such as: visual representations of the text content, text and map integration/interaction, re-use through devices (google glasses + GPS), re-use for services production (tourism, for example).
These structured data open up a space which ‘non-experts’ may also enter while well-known cultural objects such as maps, thematic maps, digital devices for interaction with the physical world, are cognitively enriched allowing the user to access the world they come from, by reading the source text. Thus, the text (partially) transformed into data discloses its wealth of information just as the data being re-used reveal the text’s interest. In this approach, the traditional experts’ literary, aesthetic, historical-critical reading/interpretation is no longer exclusive or dominant. Starting from an archive of structured XML/TEI texts the Geolat (Geography for Latin literature) project is conducting a first experiment on semantic place- and people-based representation. The annotation of the text passages, compliant with the Open Annotation standard, is conceived in a participatory dimension. Ontologies for the description of places and people portray the conceptual model of reference, but are instantiated by the data collection, thus including the basic domain’s semantics. Open data, collaborative annotation, ontologies, relations with the context, connection to other network resources are all concepts that contribute to defining the new ‘cultural literacy’.
Maurizio Lana is Assistant Professor at the University of Roma Tor Vergata where he teaches librarianship. He directs the ‘geolat – geography for Latin literature’ project (http://www.geolat.it) and – with Raffaella Tabacco – the project which is building ‘digilibLT – digital library of late-Latin texts’ (http://www.digiliblt.unipmn.it/). His research interest are focused on quantitative authorship attribution, building and using digital libraries and history of hypertext as knowledge management environment. He is a member of the Executive board of EADH (European Association of Digital Humanities) and AIUCD (Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e la Cultura Digitale), and chair of the Standing Committee for Multilingualism and Multiculturalism of ADHO (Alliance of Digital Humanites Organizations).
Co-author: Fabio Ciotti
Fabio Ciotti is Assistant Professor at the University of Roma Tor Vergata. He is President of the Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e la Cultura Digitale (AIUCD, the Italian digital humanities association); elected member in the TEI Consortium Technical Council and in the EADH (European Association of Digital Humanities) Executive Board. His scientific and research work covers various aspects and themes of Digital Humanities and Literary Studies, both from the theoretical and the practical point of view: the applications of computational methods to the analysis of narrative texts; digital text encoding and representation; applications of XML and TEI technologies to literary computing; modelling and creation of digital libraries. Recently his research interests concern the application of Semantic Web/Linked data principles and technologies to humanities and literary studies. Fabio Ciotti has been chair of the Local Organization Committee for TEI Conference and Members Meeting 2013. He has been scientific consultant in digital libraries and archives projects. The most relevant of them are Biblioteca Italiana and DigilibLT. He is currently involved in Geolat project – which aims to build an ontology for the geographical knowledge of ancient world – and in an Italian Ministry of University funded project for the thematic annotation of Latin and early Italian texts.
Co-author: Francesca Tomasi
Francesca Tomasi is assistant professor in ‘Systems of Information Elaboration’ at the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies at the University of Bologna. She took her degree in Preservation of Cultural Heritage (archives and libraries), a postgraduate in Archival Science (School of Palaeography, Diplomatic and Archival Science), a specialization in Computer Science and a PhD in Italian Studies. Her research is focused on digital humanities, with a special focus on controlled vocabularies and ontologies in the field of cultural heritage. She teaches archives and computer, multimedia production and digital humanities at the School of Italian Studies at the University of Bologna. She is a member of different scientific committees, among them the Italian Association on Digital Humanities (Associazione Italiana di Informatica Umanistica e Cultura Digitale – AIUCD); the PhD on Digital Humanities for Medieval Studies; the Center of Resources for Research on Multimedia (CRR-MM); the Unibo Web Portal. She is visiting researcher at the DDH (Department of Digital Humanities, King’s college, London). She is now President of the BDU (Biblioteca di Discipline Umanistiche), the library of the School of Humanities in the University of Bologna. She is editor of the digital edition: Vespasiano da Bisticci, Letters.
Paper, Saturday 12 (M&T)
Something to be hung about – the many faces of Richard Zimler’s Strawberry Fields Forever
Let me take you down ‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields This paper focuses on a novel with a convoluted publishing history: Richard Zimler’s Strawberry Fields Forever. As a narrative about the experience of migration, its publishing trajectory in itself constitutes a migration story. Content and form, as well as the novel’s circulation history, seem to showcase Stuart Hall’s assertion that migration may well be at the core of the postmodern experience, as ‘more and more people now recognize themselves in the narratives of displacement’ (1987). Some time in 2011, Richard Zimer, an American writer living in Portugal, planned to have a new book coming out. The novel was named Strawberry Fields Forever. In 2012, the book was paginated and ready to go to press. However, Arcadia Books, the publishing house, went bankrupt and the book has remained unpublished to this day. In English, that is. In 2011, José Lima translated the novel into European Portuguese. The translation bears the title Ilha Teresa [Teresa Island]. In a translator’s note at the end of the book, Lima discusses his translation as a form of ‘consented betrayal’, as he puts it. As the plot revolves around Teresa, a teenage girl whose parents emigrate to the US and her experience of a country and a language she is unfamiliar with, the translator has decided to ‘explore some of the phenomena of linguistic contamination’ between the language-pair Portuguese-English, which the English source could, of course, hardly reflect. In other words, the translator attempts to recreate in Portuguese the particular speech patterns of Portuguese and Brazilian emigrants in the US. Thus, the translated text creates a surplus of meaning(s) dependent on the target language and experience. Although hardly new, this surplus results, in this case, from a phenomenon I have elsewhere called ‘overtranslatability’ (Lopes, 2006), i.e. the process resulting from the translations of texts that narrate ‘the self as seen through the eyes (and language) of the other’. This publishing history is now further compounded by the fact that the translated text has been exported to Brazil – a rare occurrence in the publishing world, as most books translated into either European or Brazilian Portuguese remain firmly (and legally) within their respective geographic borders – apparently after being ‘translated’ into the more acceptable variant of Brazilian Portuguese. In its Brazilian attire, the novel returns to the original title. In this paper, I would like to address the different forms of migration that this one translation brings to the fore: (i) migration as story; (ii) migration as form – in different ways, the Portuguese text may be said to ring linguistically more ‘authentic’ than its source; (iii) translation as transit, not only from a foreign text but also from a different language variant; (iv) text migration as a challenge to traditional concepts – as the ‘original’ has never been published, the translations are, in a very meaningful way, the only extant texts.
Alexandra Lopes teaches Translation History and Theory, as well as Literary Translation at the Catholic University of Portugal. She holds an MA in German Studies and a PhD in Translation Studies. From 1998 to 2005, was a member of the research project Histories of Literature and Translations: Representations of the Other in Portuguese Culture. She is currently a member of two research projects: Culture and Conflict and Intercultural Literature in Portugal 1930-2000. Areas of interest: literary translation, translation history and theory, culture studies. She has published several papers mainly on translation studies in both Portuguese and international volumes, as well as a handful of translations of texts by authors such as Peter Handke, Hertha Müller, William Boyd and Salman Rushdie
Paper, Saturday 12 (DT)
Augmented Reality storytelling
Jay David Bolter defines Augmented Reality (AR) as a ‘term for a constellation of digital technologies that enable users to display and interact with digital information integrated into their immediate physical environment’. The development of portable devices is causing a surge in the development of mass-market AR technology; it is used in geolocation applications and is widely used in sports to measure precise distances. Augmented Reality is also often used in preparing modern museum displays. In the field of contemporary literature, AR books have a short tradition, and this approach to modelling books that interact with virtual reality is used only sporadically. Considered among the most important works written in this convention is Between Page and Screen, by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse, a collection of poetry that is a conversation between two characters, P and S, which takes place through a traditional book printed with QR codes. When scanned by a computer camera, they call up a text. With Borsuk and Bouse’s book we have a kind of interface exchange: the reader reads the text with a computer, and not simply with the traditional book. The project was so conceived that the book does not exist alone, without a computer (as the reader cannot read it), nor does it work with only the computer application, without the physical book. Although the content is a conversation stretched through time and space, and it can be seen as a kind of QR-technology digital story, the book remains poetry, firmly rooted in the search for linguistic roots to explain the story of printed media, and the new dictionaries used to describe digital media. Between Page and Screen is also a brilliant synopsis of how the publication and preparation of contemporary literary works function from a material angle, and the major role played by both the digital and material aspects of the publishing process. Most of the other AR books on the market are in the vein of illustrated (and digitally remediated) pop-up books, mainly for children. The publishers themselves call them ‘virtual interactive pop-up books’ or ‘virtual 3D pop-up books’. The body of the paper will be an analysis of how AR poetics are used to create a story that mixes media and is based on media. The aim of this paper is to present the storytelling capabilities of AR books, which are equally based on print and digital media, suspended between the physical book and the electronic library, as visual artist, filmmaker, and writer Wojciech Bruszewski conceived and executed in his Polish-language novel Big Dick. The author uses a ‘half-print, half-Internet’ construct to mix digital and print storytelling in this novel of the 20th century. The work’s protagonist, the stateless Richard von Hakenkreutz, is an amalgam of historical facts, sliding through history like an éminence grise, a supporting character, through the offices of the most important leaders and businessmen, participating in major historical events.
Piotr Marecki is Assistant Professor at the Department of Contemporary Culture at the Institute of Culture at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, lecturer at the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School (PWSFTviT) in Łódź. He studied at the Jagiellonian University (film studies, media studies, cultural studies) and Andrzej Wajda Master School of Directing in Warsaw (Creative Producing). He holds a PhD in cultural studies from the Jagiellonian University. He has been Visiting Fellow at universities and cultural centres in Europe and the United States, including MIT (USA), The University of Bucharest (Romania), Institute of Arts (Czech Republic). Since 1999 he has been the co-founder and editor-in-chief of ‘Ha!art’ magazine, website newspaper and the Publishing House and chairman of the board at Korporacja Ha!art Foundation. His interests include Polish literature after 1989, independent culture, new media literature, experimental writing, cultural margins, film adaptations and screenwriting.
Paper, Saturday 12 (DT)
Computer-Generated Typology of Weblog Subgenres? on integrated research in literary and cultural studies
This paper focuses on the application of digital methods to the genre analysis of CMC (Computer-Mediated-Communication) texts, which are rhetorical hybrids, based on both written and oral communication. This question is approached in the rhetorical perspective through the complex analysis of weblog subgenres, which employs such methods as literary interpretation, Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis, statistical analysis of linguistic features and metadata, as well as interviews. In the conclusion we call for ‘integrated research’ (Sudweeks and Simoff 1999) in the field on Literary and Cultural Studies, i.e. the application of a combination of different approaches and methodologies in the analysis of any given cultural phenomenon. Weblog, often called an ‘electronic journal’, is a simple website containing posts displayed in the reverse chronological order, which can usually be commented by other users (cf. McNeil 2003). Yet, it is not a straightforward recreation of a journal in the digital environment but rather a complex remediation of traditional genres (e.g. journal, diary, letter) under the influence of electronic discourse, which entails such phenomena as secondary orality and interaction with the user (cf. Davis and Brewer 1997). In this paper blog is understood as a format, i.e. as a technological platform for diverse genres. Blogs will thus be approached as textual or rhetorical hybrids (cf. Jamieson and Campbell 1982; Miller and Shepherd 2004). This approach shifts the research perspective from the investigation of genre features of a blog towards the analysis of genres the blog format may contain. Therefore instead of a topical approach, this study offers the analysis of aims and goals of the utterances, as well as the communication strategies of their authors. The analysis of 300 Polish blogs concentrated on the following aspects:
- blogs as multimedia writing (literary and visual analysis);
- meta-data (the analysis of various categories applied by bloggers);
- content analysis (tagging blog content with the use of software);
- linguistic analysis (language of blogs and its relationship to other written corpora);
- interviews with selected bloggers (analysis of actual writing strategies).
In the course of the study eight general blog subgenres were distinguished: diaries, reflection, criticism, information, filter, advice, modelling, fictionality. The main difference between those genres lies in speakers’ attitude towards the subject of utterance and in the projected role of the reader. We may also note different levels of reader participation. Those results will be discussed in the context of other forms of electronic writing, to point out some similarities and possible avenues for further research. This presentation summarises the methodological findings of the research project ‘Blog as a new form of electronic writing’ (2012–2014) funded by the National Science Center in Poland and conducted in the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Some parts of this work were conducted within the CLARIN-PL research infrastructure funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Maciej Maryl, PhD, assistant professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences; head of the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Literary scholar, sociologist, translator, fiction writer. He graduated from the University of Warsaw in Polish Philology and Applied Social Sciences. He completed the ‘Artes Liberales’ Academy program and attended doctoral studies at the Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR). He was awarded scholarships by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Foundation for Polish Science and the Fulbright Junior Advanced Research Grant. He has published articles and translations in Teksty Drugie, Pamiętnik Literacki, LiteRacje, Fragile. He is a member of Teksty Drugie Editorial Board. In 2013 he defended the PhD thesis dedicated to the literary life online. His research interests cover literary communication, multimedia writing, digital editorship, digital humanities and relationships between technology and culture. He recently completed a research project Blog as a new form of multimedia writing funded by the Polish National Science Centre.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (CM)
Recollections of the Austro-Hungarian past inscribed in the objectified cultural memory of the Australian writer Andrew Riemer
Andrew Riemer’s family inheritance is not an easy one; it is that of a persecuted Jewish family who, fleeing the totalitarian regime, decided to seek new life elsewhere, despite its organic connection with the Central European world, Budapest/Hungary and Vienna/Austria alike. An ‘insider-outsider’, the naturalized Australian writer Andrew Riemer returns in the early 1990s in his texts to the much-changed Vienna and Budapest after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, renegotiating his Jewish Austrian-Hungarian roots and his new Australian identity. The book The Habsburg Café (1993) is essentially a travelogue and partly a personal memoir recounting Riemer’s brief visit to the two countries of his family’s Austro-Hungarian past in Central Europe, Austria and Hungary. He avoids dealing with the grim aspects of the Central European past. Riemer published a sequel to The Habsburg Café, entitled A Family History of Smoking, in 2008. This (auto)biographical family memoir follows two European Jewish families during the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It represents a sweep of history from the foundation of the Habsburg Empire in the late 18th century, through two catastrophic world wars, and from Fertószentmiklós, a small train stop between Budapest and Vienna where his family lived, to contemporary Sydney, where Riemer now lives. In contrast to his other travelogues/memoirs in this new life-writing, Riemer captivatingly describes the perception(s) of Jewish identity at different times in Central European history and in various generations of the families until the mid-twentieth century. The leitmotif is that of the family experience(s) of smoking, the habit and its consequences for the author and his family, which is intrinsically linked with history, the smoke-filled cafés of the past in Hungary and Austria already described in The Habsburg Café. In A Family History of Smoking Riemer relies much on anecdotes, family myths and legends, in the painful absence of documented fact. Racism and xenophobia have been present in his life even in Australia. He agrees with his father’s frequent tongue-in-cheek remark that ‘it was nice to be living where people despised you not because they thought you were Jews but because you were undeniably foreign’ (211). Challenging the very boundaries of autobiography as well as trauma, his family story is, in the two analysed books, not told in a conventional way. Especially A Family History of Smoking shows how self-representation and the representation of trauma grow beyond simple causes and effects, exceed their duration in time, and connect to other forms of cultural memory, historical, familial and personal pain. In this process objects (e.g. a cigarette-box) and embodied memory (smoking) are central to the evocation of his and his family’s past. In its movement from an openly testimonial form to one drawing on socio-political as well as literary knowledge, such a text as his latter book can and does produce an alternative means of confronting kinship, violence and self-representation.
Igor Maver graduated in English and French languages and literatures. After his research at the University of Queensland in Australia, he received his PhD at the University of Ljubljana. He is Editor-in-chief of the journal Acta neophilologica, on the editorial board of the journals TransPostCross, and Journal of Language, Literature and Culture (Australasian Language and Literature Association journal). He is the author of three monographs in English (Bern 1997; University of Sydney; Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2014), coauthor of two books of essays, and editor of three books of critical essays (Frankfurt am Main 1996, Lanham, MD 2006; 2009). In 2006 he edited and coauthored a book Critics and Writers Speak: Revisioning Post-colonial Studies, published by Rowman and Littlefield, and in 2009 the book Diasporic Subjectivity and Cultural Brokering in Contemporary Post-colonial Literatures. Since 2001 he has been Professor of English and American literature in the Department of English at the Faculty of Arts. He is Head of the literature section in the Department of English and teaches Shakespeare’s drama, English mediaeval literature, Canadian and Australian literature, and Anglophone postcolonial novel. He is Head of the North-American Studies PhD Programme at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana.
Practice workshop, Friday 12
Cultural Difference: A Practical Exploration
The Practice Workshop is focused on cultural difference, and the ways in which such difference is recognised. The session will consist of a series of practical, embodied, activities that are designed to require of participants that they consider why they are different to others, rather than why others are different to them. This difference may appear subtle, but a self-reflexive approach in this area is of increasing significance in HE now, and will certainly be so in the future. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to move around in an open space.
Integrating Cultural Literacy in Transdisciplinary Contexts: an educational experiment
Embedding cultural literacy skills in the university education curriculum is one of the key challenges facing Higher Education institutions in the 21st century. While the skills associated with cultural readability underpin research and teaching in the disciplines of literary and cultural studies (LCS) these have not been readily translated into the curriculum of other discipline areas, nor have they been harnessed within LCS as skills with a broad relevance beyond those disciplines. In this paper we discuss how we have begun to address the question of the role of cultural literacy skills through the establishment of tailor-made teaching modules, specifically Global Connections: Understanding Cultural Literacy, which focus on developing an understanding of cultural literacy as the ability to read culture through the application of knowledge and skills associated with literary and cultural studies. Drawing on the findings of the ESF-COST Science Policy Briefing Cultural Literacy in Europe Today, we shape the content of the modules to reflect the broader social relevance of LCS and the application of discipline-based skills in transdisciplinary contexts in order for students to engage with some of the contemporary challenges facing Global Communities. Via this approach we view the acquisition of knowledge skill-sets specific to literary and cultural studies as forming a ‘threshold’ for students’ learning. In this sense we depart from Meyer and Land’s notion of ‘threshold concepts’ which ‘can be considered as akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something. […] As a consequence of comprehending a threshold concept there may thus be a transformational internal view of subject matter, subject landscape, or even world view’ (‘Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: epistemological considerations and a conceptual framework for teaching and learning’ Higher Education 49.3 (2005:374). We propose that, in getting students to approach a set of global challenges through the application of LCS skills in contexts that transgress disciplinary borders, this teaching model motivates students to adjust the ways in which they understand and view themselves in relation to the world around them.
Dr Sarah McDonald is the Director of the Bachelor of Global Studies at Monash University and is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning at Warwick. Her discipline area is Latin American Studies with a special focus on contemporary Latin American Cinema, in particular the development and representation of popular culture within film, specifically as it relates to representations of women and marginal social groups. Since 2012 Dr McDonald has been collaborating with Dr Nick Monk and other colleagues on a cross-institutional, interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching project between Monash and Warwick.
Paper, Friday 11 (M&T)
‘Esprit de corps’, past and present: studying the genealogy of a concept of togetherness, with ‘culturomics’, in order to reflect on the cultural identity of Europe
Today ‘esprit de corps’ is an expression of the English Lingua Franca, globally used in organisational discourse (corporations, institutions, sports, the military…). It designates the feeling of pride, fellowship, solidarity and common loyalty shared by the members of a group. I will present my findings in the conceptual history of esprit de corps – my archaeological tool is ‘culturomics’: the philological use of high throughput data collection (from digitized published texts since 1700), for the analysis of cultural discourse and the reconstruction of a conceptual history. The idiom ‘esprit de corps’ appears in written (and printed) French in 1732 to designate a disciplined and well-spirited army. From 1752 (in the Encyclopédie) to 1789, there is an exponential growth, throughout Europe (in French, English and other languages, but used talis qualis), of a wider and political meaning of ‘esprit de corps’, designating the particular interests of privileged groups with possible prejudice to the general will (viz. the supra-esprit de corps of a Nation, defended by Rousseau et al.). A century later, Durkheim, Toqueville and others would treat esprit de corps as a major notion to understand how an individualistic society, where belonging to meaningful intermediary groups is lost, generates desperate social atoms. Yet in the 20th century, the esprit de corps of communities often continued to be considered as an obstacle both to liberalism and state-centred regimes. Today, in Europe, communities are sometimes seen as a threat to a wider cultural identity. By using written archives to reconstruct the genealogy of the tension between social creation and esprit de corps, from pre-revolutionary France to the global economic discourse of the 21st century, I intend to defend the existence of communities of interest (and of practice) as progressive or counter-power forces rather than simple obstacles to political Unions. I also propose to speculate on the benefits of a European cultural general esprit de corps, still to be invented today. Esprit de corps might be a weapon against biopolitics and neoliberalism.
Luis de Miranda is currently writing a PhD on the conceptual history of ‘esprit de corps’ at the University of Edinburgh (School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), for which he received a 3-year Research Scholarship. There he is also tutoring in French literature and directing the Crag – The Creation of Reality Group (www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/crag). Previously Luis, born in Portugal, was living in Sweden and mostly France, where he authored 13 books, novels and essays, some of them translated into Arabic, English or Spanish. He also run two publishing start-ups, including Haute Culture Books, which had the mission of translating European masterpieces into English. He has also worked as a book critic and a cultural reporter, which allowed him to meet cultural actors all over Europe.
Dr Nicholas Monk is Associate Professor and Director of the University of Warwick’s IATL. He is also adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University, Warwick’s partner institution in Australia. He became an HEA National Teaching Fellow in 2013, and received Warwick’s Butterworth Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008/9. He is responsible for IATL’s suite of interdisciplinary modules, including ‘Forms of Identity,’ which he co-teaches with Monash and which will form the basis of an article to appear in the London Review of Education in July 2015. He is also Associate Director of Global Shakespeare – a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London and Warwick. Nicholas is lead author on Open-space Learning: a Transdisciplinary Pedagogy (Bloomsbury, 2011). His other research interests include contemporary American fiction, and he has just finished a monograph on Cormac McCarthy. He has taught ‘Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of His Time’ in the Department of English at Warwick, and he was co-convenor of ‘US Writing and Culture’ for 2013-14. Nicholas runs workshops across the University faculties, and for the Learning and Development Centre. He is supervising PhDs on both American literature and Shakespeare.
Paper, Saturday 12 (CM)
Australian Aboriginal dreaming narratives, ‘hard’ knowledge transmission and linguistic and cultural memory desuetude
Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s I lived for more than a decade at the remote Australian Aboriginal (Warlpiri) settlement of Lajamanu, in the Tanami Desert of Australia’s Northern Territory, working first as a linguist, then as school Principal. During that time I developed an enduring fascination with Warlpiri Jukurrpa (‘Dreaming’) narratives, and came to appreciate their basis in environmental, scientific and cultural truths. Dreaming narratives are deemed as being owned, via ancient forms of orally transmitted intellectual copyright, by certain individuals and groups, operating within the strictures of complex Aboriginal kinship systems. On the whole, only certain parts of Dreaming narratives are made available publicly to outsiders or children. There are ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ versions of these narratives, which may be in excess of 20,000 words in length. In pre-contact days mastery amounted to a huge feat in memory labour on the part of owners, whose prowess was/is acknowledged as a form of highly prized intellectual and cultural capital, given that prior to colonisation Aboriginal intergenerational knowledge transmission took place by word of mouth. In the presentation I will map out what I have gleaned over a period of more than three decades, specifically relating to the morphology, general purposes and didactic functions of Warlpiri Jukurrpa (‘Dreaming’) narratives. This will be followed by the close analysis of one narrative, with an emphasis on the role of cultural memory in their intergenerational transmission. The fact that many of these highly significant narratives have been lost as a result of processes of colonisation, whilst others are globally endangered, represents a challenge to policy-makers. This will also be canvassed in the presentation (see Nicholls 2013b). In relation to the above, brief reference will be made to others working in cognate fields, in light of populist claims that such narratives are ‘mythology’ and therefore untrustworthy as ‘hard’ information sources (see, for example, Simic 2000). As Reid, Nunn and Sharpe have written, ’Oral traditions, especially contrasted with written history, are typically portrayed as inaccurate’ (2014: 82). In that article the authors make a strong case that Indigenous language narratives of coastal Queensland recall coastal inundation that took place in that area at least 6,000–7,000 years ago, leading to present day high sea levels. All 18 stories that they collected detail coastal flooding that occurred in antiquity, now confirmed via modern scientific methods. As suggested, integral to the entire presentation will be a focus on the challenge that this represents for contemporary policy-makers. In terms of recognising these narratives as conveyors of ‘hard’ scientific and environmental knowledge, it is particularly pressing in the Australian context, given continuing Australian language death and the interconnected issues of climate change and the environment. On a global level, Australia therefore needs to be regarded as the ‘canary in the cage’.
Dr Christine Nicholls is a writer, curator and Senior Lecturer in Australian Studies at Flinders University, where she also coordinates Postgraduate Humanities students. Christine has been involved in education, in both the tertiary and schooling sectors, since launching her teaching career in Sydney in the 1970s. Beginning in the early 1980s, Christine Nicholls spent more than a decade living at Lajamanu, a remote Warlpiri Aboriginal settlement in the Tanami Desert of the Northern Territory, where first she worked as a linguist and then as Principal of the local bilingual school, also playing an instrumental role at the beginning of the visual art movement at Lajamanu. She later held the position of Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo, 2004–2005. Christine has published fourteen books for children and adults, all of which have won significant prizes. She is currently the Australian Editor of two high circulation visual arts magazines – Asian Art News and World Sculpture News – both based in Hong Kong. At present Christine is working on more books about aspects of Australian Indigenous art and languages. She has a well-established online presence and is sought after as both writer and speaker.
Paper, Saturday 12 (CM)
Talking Dissidence in fin-de-siècle Romania: literature’s business into political affairs
The present paper reflects on the relationship between political oratory and literature by taking into consideration the wider context of cultural modernisation that occurred in Romania during the second part of the 19th century. The case of Romania is particularly interesting for research because it illustrates one of the political exceptions from South-Eastern Europe. Despite being a small nation state, Romania secured its right of self-government and could afford to discuss on equal terms with the empires that disputed their interests in the region. After Serbia, the Kingdom of Romania becomes the second constitutional monarchy, which therefore reinforces not only a tradition of autonomy in foreign affairs, but also a tradition of free individual choice, free public speaking, and deliberative democracy. Extending theories launched by Jacques Rancière (2006), Fredric Jameson (1981, 2010), Slavoj Žižec (1989), and Leonidas Donskis (2005, 2008), I shall analyse the relationship between politics and literature by comparing a set of illustrative speeches delivered by Take Ionescu and P. P. Carp, who distinguished themselves as brilliant political orators at the turn of the century. They are also perfect examples – along with many others from the same era, of personalities who gave up literature in order to assume a political career. First, the research will follow the extension of the statesman’s literature into politics and the projection of the statesman’s politics onto the larger frame of aesthetics/ morals. The analysis will proceed by determining what rhetorical, ideological and imaginary transfers occurred in these two processes. Second, my aim is to determine how much of one’s appetite for aesthetic autonomy turns into mere appetite for political autonomy, and thus for dissent and dissidence. Nevertheless, the political speech of a former writer retains his original mind-habits and rests permeable to the surrounding aesthetic paradigm (in this case, Decadence or what Matthew Potolsky calls ‘perennial decay’, 1999). I am particularly interested in the relationship established between aestheticism and political oratory, both of them styling themselves throughout the tropes of evanescence. Hence, the man on the tribune does not appear as a preacher any more, but as a multifarious dandy, who courts the attention of the public. Both examples under scrutiny act as autonomous figures, as personalities-as-large-as-institutions, who are no longer able to stick to a political creed for long and eventually turn into real catalysts of dissidence. Developed from a tradition of ‘charismatic authority’ and hero-worship, these orators – writers and politicians at the same time – are definitely the guarantors of liberty values, sometimes brought close to anarchy. Given their mission in the public domain and perhaps their frustrated literary resources, the political speeches belonging to this period unveil themselves as cultural artefacts, reinforcing both the state’s authority and the orator’s personal reaction to it. This way, the speeches produced now by the Romanian masters of political oratory are not only webs of signifiers (rhetorical, ideological, imaginary, cultural), but also large basins where individual styles of political talk can be related to their pragmatic conditions.
Roxana Patraș is a full-time researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Research-Social and Human Sciences, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași. She is a member of the project ‘Dictionary of Eminescu’s Poetic Language’, coordinated by Professor Lăcrămioara Petrescu. In 2009, she coedited (with Antonio Patraș) a collection of critical and literary works by Garabet Ibrăileanu. In 2012, she defended her PhD dissertation entitled Swinburne on Swinburne: the writer in-between person and persona, which was awarded with Summa cum Laude honours. In the same year, she published the book Songs before Decadence: A. C. Swinburne and the Decline of the West, which introduces, for the first time in the Romanian academic world, the controversial figure of this English writer. In 2014, she translated «Luceafărul» de Mihai Eminescu: Portrait d’un dieu obscur by Gisèle Vanhese (Dijon, 2011), a comparative study on the importance of Mihai Eminescu’s work within a complex net of avant-textes and après-texts by Lamartine, Vigny, Hugo, Eliade, Celan, and Bachmann. Since May 2014, she has been a postdoctoral fellow in the project POSDRU/159/1.5/S/133675, and she is developing a research project on the relationship between political oratory and literature 1848–1900. In October 2014, she received ‘Iuventas Scientiae’ Diploma 2013, conferred by ‘Alexandru Ioan Cuza’ University of Iași.
Paper, Friday 11 (BB)
Literacy in Crisis: reading faces in 20th-century literature and the visual arts
No surface is expected to transmit more meaning than the human face. And no surface awakens more desire, excitement and expectation than does the face. This yearning for meaning is so powerful that we attempt to read fictional faces – both written and painted – as if they were the faces of real people. How do we read fictional faces? If the first condition of literacy is the knowledge of alphabet, what alphabets are available for writing and reading the face? Authors of 19th-century fiction deployed physiognomics (the art of reading character from facial features) and phrenology (reading disposition from the shape of the skull), to render facial features articulate. In such cases, ‘literate’ readers were expected to decode information about characters from their faces. This kind of ‘literacy’, founded on the surface-depth principle, did not only provide access to human ‘depth’ but was also recognised as a key to universal knowledge. Johann Caspar Lavater, the author of the voluminous Physiognomische Fragmente (1775-1778), insisted that physiognomics was one of the ‘self-evident truths’ and if it were ‘destroyed, neither truth nor knowledge would remain’. Yet, despite the evident danger, certain artists resisted the principles of physiognomic literacy. Lev Tolstoy and George Eliot bypassed Lavaterian physiognomics by inventing new accounts of faces. Nikolai Gogol and Edgar Allan Poe experimented with physiognomic codes and challenged their foundations. Poe’s ‘anti-portraits’ inspired progressive artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Charles Baudelaire. They, in turn, had an impact on the 20th-century artists who reacted against physiognomic ‘literacy’. For D. H. Lawrence faces contained no reliable information. He perceived the body as much more eloquent than faces. Likewise, when Proust described the face of Albertine as if seen through a camera lens, enlarged and multiplied, he rejected physiognomics as a method of description. For Polish author Witold Gombrowicz the face could not be viewed as a surface connected to ‘depth’ but as the effect of an individual’s adjustment to social pressures. According to him, all faces are masks, theatrical props, and it is pointless to read them. Painters also sought to escape the physiognomic binary of surface and depth. Vanessa Bell painted Woolf’s ‘faceless’ portraits in order to escape ‘physiognomic literacy’, while Picasso stressed that the face, like anything else, can be looked at from multiple perspectives. The French painter Jean Dubuffet declared that his portraits of elongated heads were anti-psychological and anti-individualistic, and that those who read them physiognomically ‘have understood nothing at all’. Overall, the 20th-century reconfigurations of the face which dominated much ‘modernist’ portraiture show how one tenacious type of literacy was gradually (although never fully) replaced by a new type. Eventually, the acts of altering and fracturing of the physiognomic ‘grid of intelligibility’ resulted in a radical reconceptualisation of the human figure and demanded a ‘new literacy’ from both artists and audiences.
Kamilla Pawlikowska received a BA in English Culture and Language, an MA and a PhD in Comparative Literature from University of Kent (UK). In her PhD thesis she examined representations of the human face in literary texts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is currently a British Academy/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellow at Seikei University, Tokyo.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
Memories from the post-Imperium narratives of post-Communist Europe
‘Two events mark the decade we have behind us: the fall of the Berlin wall and the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center of New York. They are two opposing and symmetrical collapses’: with these words Marco Belpoliti, Italian essayist and literary critic, opens Crolli, a ‘portable encyclopaedia of contemporaneity’. Among all the events of the ‘short century,’ the fall of the Berlin wall was undoubtedly the one that had one of the most deep impacts on the media and collective memory of contemporary Europe. From the reunification of the two halves of Berlin up to the 1991 coup in Russia – when Boris Yeltsin was photographed standing on a tank in front of the Duma – the images of those years have profoundly penetrated the culture of post-Cold war Europe. Without them, the European picture of the twentieth century would lose its spectacular conclusion. Seen from Moscow, however, or from the remote and unstable regions of the Caucasus, the fall of the Soviet empire had a very different significance, in comparison to the enthusiastic analyses that Garton Ash wrote about the knocking down of the Iron Curtain. To explore the fascinating complexity of the narratives of memory that have constructed the ‘story’ of 1989, this poster will begin with an analysis of two compelling literary testimonies, authored by European writers who witnessed the demise of Communism from the opposite perspective: looking at the west from the East. With national borders that had become suddenly fluid in 1989, Ryszard Kapuścińki embarked on an risky and precarious series of travels in what had been, and was on the point of ceasing to be, the Soviet empire. From the Russian-Polish border these wanderings led Kapuścińki progressively out of European Russia, touching remote places from Georgia up to the gulf of Kolyma; he later published the notes taken during these travels in Imperium. On the other hand, in 1991 Tiziano Terzani, one of the most significant figures of Italian journalism of the 20th century, was on the banks of the Amur river, at the extreme Eastern border of the Eurasian continent. At the announcement of the dissolution of the USSR, Terzani followed a specular itinerary, from East to West, described in his Buonanotte Signor Lenin (Good bye, Mr. Lenin). Finally, Emir Kusturica (Underground), Wolfgang Becker (Good Bye, Lenin!) and Marco Belpoliti’s travel’s diary La prova (2007) offer further suggestive sketches of these different and interlaced narratives of memory. Belpoliti in particular, having retraced the path followed by Primo Levi in The Truce, authored one of the most compelling travel narratives of the Eastern Europe of the post-Cold war period. Travelling among the landscapes of Auschwitz, Chernobyl, Belarus and abandoned industrial settlements, La prova constitutes a formidable test bench to verify what has remained of these diverse milieu de mémoire, in the light of the new era opened by the East enlargement of the European Union.
Tommaso Pepe graduated at the University of Pavia, Italy, in 2013, with a thesis on the work of the Holocaust survivor Primo Levi. In 2010 and 2011 he was Visiting Student at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge. In 2013–2014 he was language instructor at Florida State University. Currently he is a completing his European Voluntary Service in Deinz, Belgium. Tommaso has published articles on Primo Levi and Italian literature. His research interests are focusing increasingly on the study of Holocaust literature and travel writing in the former Soviet Union.
Dr Loredana Polezzi is Reader in Italian Studies at the University of Warwick, UK, and Academic Director of the Warwick Centre in Venice. Her main research interests are in translation studies, comparative literature and the history of travel writing. Her recent work focuses on how geographical and social mobilities are connected to the theories and practices of translation and self-translation. She is the author of Translating Travel: Contemporary Italian Travel Writing in English Translation (Aldershot & Brookfield: Ashgate, 2001) and co-editor of Borderlines: Migrazioni e identità nel Novecento (Isernia: Cosmo Iannone Editore, 2003) and In Corpore: Bodies in Post-Unification Italy (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson, 2007). She has guest-edited special issues of The Translator (‘Translation, Travel, Migration’, Autumn 2006), Studies in Travel Writing (‘Travel Writing and Italy’, June 2012, with Sharon Ouditt) and Textus (‘Travel Writing and the Shape of the World’, December 2012, with Elio Di Piazza). With Rita Wilson she edits The Translator, a leading international journal in Translation Studies.
Paper, Friday 11 (CM)
Literary and historical myths, cultural memory & nationalism
The Portuguese national literary and historical myth of the ‘Twelve of England’ was created in the 15th century and popularised after it was textualised by Luís de Camões in The Lusiads. The natioanl self-imagotype of the soldier-hero Milhões was created by the Portuguese media after World War One. Using these two legends as examples, this paper uses concepts and methods from Imagology to analyse the function(s) of national literary myths and the way they are (re)created, reinforced and maintained throughout the centuries as part of national and European cultural memories, and as stereotypical rhetorical and thematic strategies of cultural nationalism.
Rogerio Miguel Puga holds a PhD in Anglo-Portuguese Studies. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Macau (2007–2009), and is currently an invited Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon (Portugal). He is the author of publications such as The Portuguese Historical Novel (The Portuguese Mint, Lisbon, 2009), The British Presence in Macau, 1635-1793 (Royal Asiatic Society, London; Hong Kong University Press, 2013), and Imagology and National Myths (CETAPS, Lisbon, and University of Goa, India, 2014). He is subject editor of the academic journals Romance Studies (Maney Publishing, UK) and Anais de História de Além-Mar (CHAM, Portugal), and a researcher at the Centre for English, Translation, and Anglo-Portuguese Studies, Centre for Global History (CHAM), and Centre for Comparative Studies.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
The manipulation of simulacra to create a public image
This research aims at exploring the mechanism of the creation of the public image in Salman Rushdie’s novel Shame. The portrayal of Iskander Harappa and Raza Hyder reveals the process of employing the play of simulacra to create public images, which prove to be fictional rather than refer to the real self of the people presented. The public image which Iskander creates incorporates a multitude of signs referring to different spheres of life such as film and fashion. The public image of Iskander Harappa marginalises the features which represent the real self of the politician by eliminating them from the main discourse he (re)presents. The portrayal of Raza Hyder reveals the theme of violence underlying the concept of a simulacrum. The merger of the public and private domains in the construction of this simulacrum results in the suppression of difference to the advantage of the impact of the newly created image. As a result, the suppression causes the violence which is capable of revealing the void created and supplemented by the simulacrum.
Dr Jurate Radaviciute is currently working as a lecturer at the Department of Foreign Languages of Kaunas Faculty of Humanities, Vilnius University, Lithuania; teaching Introduction to Literary Theory among other subjects. In 2011, Dr Radaviciute successfully defended her doctoral dissertation ‘Postmodernism in Salman Rushdie’s Novels Midnight’s Children and Shame’ in the field of Humanities, Philology at Vilnius University. The research was carried out within the theoretical framework of postmodernism with the focus on works by Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco and Ihab Hassan. Since the defence of the dissertation, she has published a series of articles on Salman Rushdie’s novels, the most distinguished being a contribution to Critical Insights: Midnight’s Children ed. Prof Joel Kuortti, Grey House Publishing, 2014. Dr Jurate Radaviciute is engaged in research on the concept of metamorphosis in Salman Rushdie’s novel Satanic Verses.
Paper, Friday 11 (CM)
On the ‘Argentinization’ of Spanish Memory Debates, and their implications for the future
In a recent article for Hispanic Issues On Line, Sebastiaan Faber raises the spectre of the ‘Argentinization’ of Spanish memory debates, meaning the increasing recourse of the ‘memory movement’ in Spain to external parallels and precedents, in particular to a paradigm of memory that is highly inflected with the discourses and civic activism of human rights that have arisen in Argentina since the ‘dirty war’ of the 1970s. Faber is quite right to point to the ever more internationalized context of Spanish discussions about the country’s difficult 20th-century history – the history of a bloody and traumatic civil war, a brutal and lengthy dictatorship, and then a peaceful and, for a while, much-lauded transition to democracy. Scholars, however, have always drawn international parallels with the Spanish case; indeed, in some disciplines this has been the norm. Thus, for political scientists in the field of transitology, the Spanish transition is one of a series of examples of post-dictatorship democratization in the late 20th century. It has even been classed, alongside Portugal, as the start of a new ‘wave’ (Huntingdon, 1991) of pro-democratic political shifts in the final years of the last century. And the Spanish Civil War was of course regarded by contemporary activists and intellectuals, such as George Orwell, as part of a wider political threat from sinister forces on the right, turning the conflict into the mythical ‘last great crusade’ which Ken Loach dramatizes in Land and Freedom as late as 1995. Moving on from Faber’s article, but taking it as a starting point, I wish to explore here in particular two questions that relate more broadly to the emergence of an increasingly transnational perspective within memory studies: What assumptions that may lie behind the designation of particular views of the past as ‘Argentinizing’? And what implications may this bring if we let it obscure more subtle and valuable lessons from the Argentine case? I focus on two areas for possible answers: the significance of concentrating on victims and victimhood, which I argue has crystalized around the concept of desaparecidos; and the intersections between political discourse and human rights discourses that are characteristic of the Argentine experience, and yet are elided by the establishment of superficial transnational parallels between violence and atrocity. Ultimately, I explore the extent to which the recently posited idea of a ‘second transition’ in Spain is influenced not only by internal political developments, but also these external examples.
Alison Ribeiro de Menezes specializes in modern Spanish literature and culture, but also has interests in Portuguese and Latin American narrative. Alison has published widely on contemporary Spanish narrative, including the books Juan Goytisolo: The Author as Dissident (Tamesis, 2005), and A Companion to Carmen Martín Gaite, coauthored with Catherine O’Leary (Tamesis, 2008, paperback edition 2014). Her current research focuses on issues of cultural memory in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds, and she has coedited two volumes in this area: War and Memory in Contemporary Spain/Guerra y memoria en la España contemporánea with Roberta Quance and Anne Walsh (Verbum, 2009), and more recently Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Portugal and Spain, with Catherine O’Leary (Peter Lang, 2011). Alison’s latest monograph, Embodying Memory in Contemporary Spain, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in April 2014. Alison is currently researching transnational dimensions of cultural memory, and is also interested in Portuguese colonial war memory. She is coediting essays on The Future of Memory in Spain with Dr Stewart King of Monash University, to mark the tenth anniversary of Spain’s ‘Law of Historical Memory’ in 2017.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
Art and Science conveyed by agricultural and art of gardens treatises (1500-1800)
The circulation of agricultural and art-of-gardens treatises were a fundamental medium for spreading knowledge and culture in Europe between the 16th and the 18th centuries and remain an important legacy to understand cultural literacy in Europe, the cultural landscape heritage and the circulation of forms and ideas of art and science. In this poster I seek to give an overview of the main trends of the framework of this field of study, based on the case-study of the circulation of books of interest for art-of-gardens in Portugal in that period. Gardens are between art and science; thus art-of-gardens treatises and chapters included in agricultural treatises on this subject are a unique framework which presents the conceptual lines for landscape gardening and art of gardens visual culture and at the same time provide scientific knowledge on a broad spectrum of disciplines, such as agronomy, botany and hydraulic engineering. Furthermore, I will set out the role of languages and translations in the networks of knowledge exchange and the role of illustrated editions in the survival of forms that are re-appropriated in subsequent contexts and recast into new forms. Finally, I will present a movie based on the exhibition held at the National Library of Portugal which will show the circulation of these books in Portugal. The Portuguese case is particularly interesting to study this subject for six reasons:
- because more than a hundred copies have been found in Portuguese libraries (as a result of the Art Treatises in Portugal research project, 2010-2013, funded by FCT);
- because, since these copies were incorporated into Portuguese libraries from former convent libraries we know who owned these copies in 50% of the cases;
- because a large variety of authors, treatises, editions and translations circulated in Portugal;
- because the accumulated knowledge of medieval compendia alongside Islamic water management knowledge embodied by Spanish authors such as Alonso de Herrera’s Agricultural Treatise (1513) or Gregorio de los Rios’ Agricultura di Jardines (1592), or Olivier de Serres’ Thêatre d’Agriculture (1600), Giovanni Baptista Ferrari’s Hesperides (1646) and Garcia de Orta’s Colóquio dos Simples (1563) were all equally easily found in Portugal because our country stood at the crossroads between many different cultures;
- because it is an important field to study the role of translations as there are no treatises on agriculture or art of gardens by Portuguese authors;
- because it stands as an interesting case to reflect on the concepts of ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’ vs a transnational and European perspective. For example, the importance Hispano-Moorish Ibn Al-Awwam and Ibn Luyum’s treatises had in the Iberian universe beyond the medieval period and the fact that Alonso Herrera’s treatise from 1513 was only known in England in the 17th century when it was offered to John Evelyn, raises art of gardens’ cleavage between the Mediterranean basin and Northern Europe.
Ana Duarte Rodrigues is currently auxiliary researcher at the University of Lisbon/Faculty of Sciences, following an international contest. She is also an associated researcher of research units at the University of Évora and the New University of Lisbon. She is the editor of the journal Gardens & Landscapes of Portugal. She received her PhD (2009) in Art History of the Early Modern period from the New University of London and has been a PhD occasional student at the Warburg Institute/SAS/University of London. She received a Summer fellowship from Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard University (2013). She has published 12 books, 2 exhibition catalogues and more than 35 book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has given over fifty talks at national and international colloquia and has played many organizational roles. She was the curator of the exhibition held at the National Library of Portugal (2014) entitled ‘An history of gardens. Its art in treatises and literature’ on books of interest to the art of gardens during the Early Modern period in Portugal, which is the basis for the poster and movie presented at the Cultural Literacy in Europe International Colloquium.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (CM)
In Past We (Dis)Trust – the post-1989 transformation of cultural memory into mass memory
In Dorota Masłowska’s debut novel White and Red (2002) the characters struggle with identifying sources for any information they possess – they don’t know how they know what they know. The paper argues that in the temporary vacuum created by the change of political systems cultural memory mutates, transforming into mass memory. The term was first used by Masłowska to explain the trance-like internal monologue of the novel’s protagonist, Nails. I use the metaphor of mass memory, which in computing refers to the mass storage of large amount of data, to illustrate a radical transformation that occurs within the structures of memory with the collapse of sources. The notion of a source here designates a document, artefact or person which supplies information that is used to restore the past. Starting from the early formulations of the concept of collective memory, it was the ‘social frameworks’ (Halbwachs, 1952) that served as sources for communicative memory, whereas ‘fixed points’ (J. Assmann, 1995) informed and distinguished cultural memory. However, the literary world created by Masłowska depicts characters that operate without any points of reference to rely on. Any information about the past supplied by mass media, schools, politicians, family or friends is stored without being processed – it is neither accepted nor rejected, neither remembered nor forgotten. None of the ‘groups’ that provides a certain set of data can function as a ‘source’, since the protagonist does not identify with any of them, setting himself apart and questioning the accuracy of any information that he receives. In the paper I argue that cultural memory is strictly linked to the notion of trust in the medium that supplies information. The breakage of trust undermines the functionality of sources as all the data stored by a collective obtains equal relevance. The paper examines the historical and political relativity of the concept of cultural memory and thus challenges its applicability to a post-communist society.
Aleksandra Rychlicka received her MA in Comparative Literature from Research Institute for History and Culture, Utrecht University. She is currently completing her doctoral thesis entitled ‘Second-Hand Memory, Second World Literatures: Overcoming the Trauma of Collective Past in the Writing of Post-1989 Generation’ at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.’
Project presentation, Friday 1.30
Cultural literacy, local community and the global public sphere: the case of Sibiu International Theatre Festival
Sibiu International Festival is a cultural event centred around literature, theatre and performance. In terms of size, it is surpassed only by the similar and much older festivals of Avignon and Edinburgh, which were established in 1947, in France and the United Kingdom respectively, as means to restore faith in human creativity after the devastation of the Second World War. Sibiu Festival started in Romania, in a small community, soon after the end of the communist regime. Unlike Avignon or Edinburgh, it has a component that involves applied Cultural and Literary Studies: from its debut in 1993, the festival has produced a series of annual play-readings and it has edited numerous volumes of critical and creative writing. Through such an ambitious project, it has established a unique setting for critical thinking and dialogue between artists, writers and the general reader/spectator. Moreover, in its daily sessions, there is a constant exchange of ideas between two social and cultural categories that rarely engage directly with each other in usual circumstances: academics and non-academic audiences. There are obvious results of this enterprise: the city of Sibiu has more and more bookstores, its own Book Fair, and there is a dramatic increase in the number of enrolments at the Arts and Letters Faculty of its main university. Yet, beyond all such tangible effects, the most significant achievements of this programme are evident in the festival’s daily sessions: all the venues are full of participants of all ages, some of whom do not attend the performances in the programme, but are present solely for the analytical discussion of a play or for a talk given by an invited literature scholar. It is fair to say that the impact of this form of effective applied research has enhanced the cultural literacy of the Sibiu community and, further, of all the ‘imaginary communities’ (Anderson) and ‘interpretative communities’ (Fish) that have come into contact with the festival. Drawing on Fish’s definition of ‘interpretative communities’ and equally on Habermas’ notion of the ‘public sphere’, my presentation will aim to prove that applied literary studies can change societal and indeed social perceptions of literature. It can create a vital sense of cultural literacy, by inviting the general reader – to borrow Dr Johnson’s famous expression once more – to an open and active dialogue. Unlike the public readings organized within the confines of book fairs and radically different from the purely academic literary debates, the series of talks and panel sessions in this festival connect with the most varied categories of audiences, not all of whom are materially prepared to ponder theoretical ideas. I will therefore refer to a new meaning of cultural literacy, which shifts from the rigid classification offered by Hirsch in the eighties towards a complex contemporary definition. It is a definition that involves visual literacy (Elkins) and critical literacy, one that transcends the hierarchical set of canonical values imposed by tradition, and incorporates the hypermodern diversification of the present.
Octavian Saiu has taught theatre and dramatic literature as Associate Professor at the National University of Theatre and Cinematography (NUTC) in Bucharest and as Guest Lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of London and a Visiting Professor in Tokyo and Lisbon. He holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from NUTC, with a thesis on theatrical space, and one in Comparative Literature from the University of Otago, with a thesis on Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. He has been actively involved in several worldwide theatre events and academic conferences in North America, Australasia and Europe, including the Edinburgh International Festival. For three years, he was a presenter for Romanian National Television, coordinating TV shows about theatre, cinema and visual arts. Since 2004, he has been the Chair of the Conferences of Sibiu International Theatre Festival. He is currently the Vice-President of the Romanian Section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) and Director of ‘Eugene Ionesco – Samuel Beckett’ Research Centre. He has published seven books on theatre, and received the Critics’ Award in 2010 and the Award of the Association of Theatre Artists (UNITER) in 2013.
Poster session, Saturday 1.30
Searching the Western European Cultural Literacy on Czech and Slovak cultures through an online phrase-usage graphing tool
In this study we will employ the online phrase-usage graphing tool Ngram Viewer, originally developed by Google, in order to search Czech and Slovak cultural elements, such as historical and fictional characters, historical events, etc., in books written in four main Western European languages: English, French, German and Spanish. The Google Ngram Viewer charts the yearly count of selected letter combinations, words and phrases, that can be found in over 5.2 million books published between 1500 and 2008, that have been digitized by Google Inc. This way, we will be able to observe the first appearance of an item in a specific language/culture, as well as its peak moments, trying to see if there is a correlation between them and relevant historical events. Besides, we will establish comparisons between different items in order to show their level of popularity inside the same culture or in different Western European cultures. For example, in her undergraduate thesis (2013) presented at the Carroll College in Montana, Sarah Reehl, using Google Ngram Viewer made a comparison between two past popular words, ‘jitney’ and ‘groovy’, showing their respective rise and fall, and a contemporary trendy word: ‘zombie’. She found out an amazing similarity between the popular culture trends as attested by Google Ngram Viewer and the mathematical models that describe the spread of infectious diseases. In our study, we will analyse the evolution of adjectives eponyms derived from Czech and Slovak historical characters such as ‘Cyrillo-Methodian’, ‘Hussite’, ‘Comenian’, ‘Kafkian’/’Kafkaesque’ or ‘Dvorakian’ as well as from fictional characters, such as ‘Schweikian’/’Svejkian’, and their equivalents in other European languages. These eponyms show the different degree of penetration of such cultural realities in a foreign popular culture. Besides, we will take into account other literary figures belonging to the Gothic horror literature, such as ‘vampire’ and ‘Golem’, as well as to the science fiction literature, such as ‘robot’, and their derived adjectives when available (‘vampiric’, ‘robotic’).
Enrique Santos Marinas has a PhD on Slavic Philology from the Complutense University of Madrid (2004). He spent a two-year postdoctoral scholarship at the Leiden University funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education in order to conduct research on Medieval Eastern Slavic Hymnography under the direction of Professor Dr. Jos Schaeken (2005-2007). Besides, he was awarded by the same Spanish Ministry and by the Foundation ‘Caja Madrid’ with two other researching stays of four months each at the Centre d´études slaves in Paris under the direction of Professor Dr. Pierre Gonneau (2010, 2012). Since 2008 he has a permanent position as Associate Professor at the Philology Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid, where he is teaching papers for undergraduate students such as ‘Historical Keys of the Slavic World’ and ‘Russian Culture and its Artistic Achievements’, as well as ‘East and Mediterranean: Policies and Cultures during the Middle Ages’ for graduate students as part of the Master´s Degree on Medieval Studies. He published a book on the vocabulary of the material culture of the ancient Slavs, as well as more than then articles on different aspects of Slavic cultures and literatures.
Project presentation, Friday 1.30
‘TransStar Europa’ is a European project which places its focus on smaller Central Eastern and Southeastern languages, its literatures and cultures. Students and young professionals of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia and Ukraine are given the opportunity to become acquainted with literary translation and the basics of European cultural management in order to contribute to a new mental map of Europe. The dominant Western cultures often know very little about the smaller cultures in East Central and Southeastern Europe; TransStar Europa wants to change this. Translation is a major practice which can bring the dominant and the smaller cultures of Europe into contact with each other. The starting point for the project was the obeservation that with the eastward enlargement of the European Union many impulses have ensued for European neighbors to merge and coalesce. Despite multiple attempts there nonetheless remains an inequality in the integration of different European cultures. In an increasingly transcultural life world not only specialists with in-depth knowledge are needed, but also knowledge of European cultures will become an everyday requirement for each and every person. In order to enable broad access to cultures, an increased number of cultural mediators is required. The project pursues a multi-perspectival approach which aims at:
- training future cultural mediators in six European countries
- getting participating universities to add practice modules for literary translation to the curricula of study programs
- establishing a sustainable network between future cultural mediators
- sensitizing a general public audience for smaller languages and cultures
- promoting and increasing cultural exchange between Germany and the Central- and Southeastern European countries.
Activity 1: Translation Workshops
Participants work with professional translators on the translation of texts by contemporary European authors into six languages. The translation will take place both in the pairing of languages and in trans-linguistic analysis. In this way participants can profit from each other’s varying cultural backgrounds and together create cross-over spaces of European languages. Workshops take place in Tübingen, Freiburg, Krakau, Łódź, Ústí nad Labem, Kiev, Zagreb and Ljubljana.
Activity 2: Online Network
Within the framework for the project an online network is being established. This network will make it possible for participants to work together on their translations from different locations and exchange information and to work together after the project ends.
Activity 3: Cultural Events
In order to provide access to new authors and interesting developments in European literatures for a broad audience, public cultural events are organized around the workshops and network meetings in different European cities.
Activity 4: Network meetings
At network meetings future cultural mediators receive coaching on European cultural management. The countries and their regional cultural spaces are presented, including their artists, agencies, institutions and funding landscapes.
Activity 5: Module for Literary Translation at Institutes of Higher Education
Modules for literary translation will be integrated into study programs at participating institutes of higher education. Experiences gained from the work conducted in the pairing of languages and analysing cross-linguistic influences will flow into the development of modules.
Schamma Schahadat studied Russian and English in Cologne, Exeter and Moscow; she obtained her PhD and completed her habilitation at the University of Konstanz. Since 2004 she has been professor of Russian and Polish literature at the University of Tübingen, with an interest in translation studies, cultural and literary theory, gender studies, the interrelation of space and power and in film history. She is coordinating the EU project TransStar Europa (http://transstar-europa.com/en/project/) and, together with Thomas Lahusen from the University of Toronto, the project Post-Socialist Spaces; another project she is working on (with Michał Mrugalski and Danuta Ulicka from the University of Warsaw) is Literary Theory in Central and East Central Europa: An Intellectual Entangled History. Selected publications include: ed. with C. Misselhorn, I. Wutsdorff & Sabine A. Döring, Gut und schön? Die neue Moralismusdebatte am Beispiel Dostoevskijs (Paderborn 2014); ed. with Claudia Dathe & Renata Makarska: Zwischentexte. Literarisches Übersetzen in Theorie und Praxis (Berlin 2013); ed. with Konrad Klejsa & Margarete Wach: Der polnische Film von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart (Marburg 2012); ed. with D. Kimmich: Kulturen in Bewegung. Theorie und Praxis der Transkulturalität (Bielefeld 2012); Das Leben zur Kunst machen. Lebenskunst in Russland vom 16. bis ins 20. Jahrhundert (München 2004).
Professor Naomi Segal is Professorial Fellow in French and German studies at Birkbeck, University of London. From 2004 to 2011 she was founding Director of the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies; before that, at the University of Reading, she created and directed an interdisciplinary MA on The Body & Representation. She has served on numerous national and international committees including the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the ESF, HERA JRP selection panel, the British Academy Panel for Europe, the Institut Universitaire de France, and is currently Vice-Chair for Research of the UK University Council for Modern Languages and a member of the Committee of the British Comparative Literature Association; earlier she chaired the AHRB/C Modern Languages & Linguistics Panel and the Executive Committee of the AUPHF. She has published 81 articles and 15 books; among the more recent of the latter are Opera, Exoticism and Visual Culture (coed. 2015), From Literature to Cultural Literacy (coed. 2014), Vicissitudes: Histories and destinies of psychoanalysis (coed. 2013), Consensuality: Didier Anzieu, gender and the sense of touch (2009), Indeterminate Bodies (coed. 2003), Le Désir à l’Œuvre (ed. 2000) and André Gide: Pederasty & Pedagogy (1998). From 2010 to 2013 she ran a project on academic translation into English and she has just finished retranslating Anzieu’s Le Moi-peau. Two further monographs are at the planning stage. Naomi Segal is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des palmes académiques, an Academic Associate of the British Psychoanalytic Society and a Member of the Academia Europaea.
SEGAL HAMILTON Rachel
Rachel Segal Hamilton is a London-based arts writer and editor. Her work has been published by VICE, the Telegraph, British Journal of Photography, Time Out and The Independent, among others, and she is Commissioning Editor at IdeasTap. She also has experience in working with young people as an education project manager, workshop leader, guest speaker and youth mentor for organisations such as Envision, Future First, Encounters Film Festival and Photofusion. Rachel holds an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA in Modern Languages (French and Italian) from the University of Cambridge.
Paper, Saturday 12 (BB)
Surveillance medicine and the rhetoric of risks
That is to say, what I would like to show is not how an error […] or how an illusion could be born, but how a particular regime of truth, and therefore not an error, makes something that does not exist able to become something. It is not an illusion since it is precisely a set of practices, real practices, which established it and thus imperiously marks it out in reality. – Foucault, The birth of biopolitics, p. 19. The post-Second World War marks the transition from ‘hospital medicine’, localized in the hospital space and based on the distinction between the healthy and the ill body, to ‘surveillance medicine’: a medicine that has no special place (it’s everywhere), and is based on the concept of risk (something that may happen) and the necessity of preventing it through the appropriate lifestyle (Armstrong, 1995). According to this, ‘the general rhetoric of risks requires transforming every individual into a virtual victim, of others and/or of his or her own behaviour’ (Vaz & Bruno, 2003, p. 284). Since screenings, surveys and public health campaigns are the main techniques of the ‘surveillance medicine’ (Armstrong, 1995, p. 402), the media play a key role in this process, conveying the messages from global and national health authorities and medicine to the citizens. And even when the media are critical about those messages, they are putting the sources of those messages on the public agenda, spreading their discourses, normalizing their practices and rationality. All this process of persuading the individuals to adopt certain lifestyles and behaviours certainly represents a way of disciplining and controlling their bodies and souls. This is a form of power that is increasingly powerful because it is accepted as a ‘natural’ and ‘an irremediable’ one – through news media discourse. In fact, as Foucault argues, power is not a ‘substance’, or a ‘mysterious property’. Instead, ‘Power is only a certain type of relation between individuals. […] The characteristic feature of power is that some men can more or less entirely determine other men’s conduct – but never exhaustively or coercively. […] There is no power without potential refusal or revolt’ (Foucault, 1995, p. 253). So, a first question arises: what are the main characteristics of the rhetoric of risks in the news about health risks that aims to reinforce ‘surveillance medicine’? To answer this question we’ll analyse a sample of news items published in Portuguese, English and American newspapers. Our analysis will deal only with what Van Dijk (1988, p. 83) calls ‘the content aspect of rhetoric’, which materializes in explicit or implicit arguments, leaving aside the ‘form aspect of news rhetoric’ (p. 84). A second and even more important question is how we can resist this rhetoric of risks. About this question, we will discuss the possibility, in contemporary society, of a life based on the Stoic maxim ‘Carpe diem’, as well as its consequences for the economic and political system, driven by productivity and capital gains.
J. Paulo Serra has a first degree in Philosophy, and a Master’s and PhD in Communication Sciences. He is Professor at the Department of Communication Sciences of University of Beira Interior (Portugal), researcher in the Online Communication Lab (Labcom), and Director of the PhD in Communication Sciences. Among his books, he authored Information as Utopia (1998), Information and Sense (2003) and Communication Theory Handbook (2008), coauthored Information and Persuasion on the Web (2009), and coedited Online Journalism (2003), Online Lifeworld and Citizenship (2003), From the communication of Faith to the faith in Communication (2005), Communication Sciences in Congress at Covilhã (Proceedings, 2005), Rhetoric and Mediation: From Writing to the Internet (2008), Pragmatics: Advertising and Marketing (2011), Philosophies of Communication (2011), and Political participation and Web 2.0 (2014). He has also published several book chapters and articles in journals and collective works.
Paper, Saturday 12 (BB)
Human Enhancement and Social Justice – How to frame a problem?
Human enhancement is the improvement of the basic human capacities of cognition and emotion, along with other bodily capacities, as well as the lengthening of a healthy lifespan, by making use of new scientific-technological means. Currently, various enhancement technologies exist, including plastic surgery, mood-enhancing drugs, and germline genetic intervention. However, the potential of possible future technologies for human enhancement is much greater than that of current technologies. Several criticisms have been raised against human enhancement. The central dividing-line in the current debates on human enhancement is between pro-enhancement transhumanists (libertarian and techno-progressive) and anti-enhancement bioconservatives. The main focus of the debates has usually been whether there are any principled reasons to ban human enhancement. This question itself constrains what kinds of considerations are regarded as central to the enhancement debates. The spearheads of the anti-enhancements usually consist of human dignity, autonomy, human hubris, the gift/sacredness of life, etc. On the other side, liberal tolerance and the harm principle are the frames through which the pro-enhancements tackle the issues. The current enhancement debates have been framed in the vocabularies of the libertarian and individualistic language. Personal autonomy, the personal right to choose one’s life for oneself, has been regarded as the supreme value. Hence, human enhancement is regarded, more or less, as a matter of personal choice. I argue that libertarian language is not adequate to deal with problems of social justice. If we stress only the principle of personal freedom and its corollaries such as the personal right of choice, it will have adverse effects on the conditions of our moral practices, thus undermining social justice. I believe that the problem of social justice or inequality is one of the most important practical challenges we face with human enhancements. The concern about social justice or inequality is that, if enhancements are expensive and therefore available only to the rich, the poor will have very limited access to enhancement technologies and existing inequalities will worsen. To address this concern properly, I claim that we need to change the focus of the current enhancement debates. I propose that the central dividing line of human enhancement needs to be reconfigured between libertarian transhumanists and technoprogressives. After this reconfiguration, the more relevant question we should ask is how to regulate and control the developments and applications of enhancement technologies in a democratic way to promote social equality and human dignity, rather than whether we should pursue or ban enhancement technologies. I will try to develop a supplementary principle of justice, on a par with the principle of freedom, to control the process of development and diffusion of enhancement technologies. The guiding idea is that enhancement technologies should be used as means to promote the better lives or the betterment of human beings, hence to promote the dignity of human beings and the solidarity of human community.
Sangkyu Shin is Associate Professor at Ewha Institute for the Humanities, Ewha Womans University. He received his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003, with the thesis, Meaning and Normativity – A Study of Teleosemantics, which focuses on the problem of naturalizing intentionality. He is the author of Artificial Intelligence and the Future Condition of Human Being (in Korean). He has published articles (in Korean) on intentionality, phenomenal consciousness, the extended mind, and transhumanism. He recently published a book, The Future of Homo Sapiens – The Posthuman and Transhumanism (in Korean).
Paper, Friday 11 (M&T)
Forging a postcolonialist feminist identity through rewriting
In this paper, I am interested in two specific novels by the Algerian writer Assia Djebar – L’Amour, la fantasia and Vaste est la prison. With these two novels, Djebar delved into the relationship between literature and history, and she rewrote the history of her country from a post-colonial feminist perspective. Because of the painful history of the last centuries, Algerians tend to only value anti-colonial and anti-imperialist writings. Therefore, it would have seemed only natural for them to accuse Djebar as she did not seem to have paid any attention to reality. Besides, she wrote in French, the enemy’s language. Since then, Assia Djebar seems to have taken pains to satisfy a double demand: one from the Algerian intellectuals, who want her to contribute more to a nationalistic image of Algerian history, the other from her own desire for literary achievement. The issue of language was also one of the problems she had to face. However, with the publication of L’Amour, la fantasia, it seems that she freed herself from hostile remarks and from her internal conflicts. With this book, Djebar created a new literary field, while in Vaste est la prison, she engaged in a resolute examination of the relationship between literature and history. First I will consider the formal experiments of her novels. These novels take on the structure of cross-editing: she intersects chapters of the narrator’s life-story with chapters dealing with national history. This narrative form is a strategy to satisfy the double demand I mentioned above. I shall also examine the contents of these novels. In L’Amour, la fantasia, Djebar rewrites the history of the colonial period and the history of the War of Independence. For her work, she studied documents written by French officers, male conquerors, to rewrite the national history from her own perspective. In chapter III of the novel, Djebar listens to the testimonies of the women who participated in the War but who did not leave any documents because they were illiterate. Djebar transmits the voice of those women who are forgotten in spite of their sacrifice, and emphasizes the role of women in the War. In Vaste est la prison, Djebar is interested in the history of ancient Algeria, and she follows in the footsteps of archaeologists to trace their lost alphabets. Djebar searched for the traces of her ancestors who had been dominated by many countries for so many centuries, but who nonetheless created new and hybrid cultures time and again. The language of the conqueror, hence, were given to the vanquished as a heritage, and as a kind of unexpected gift. In intentionally adding Arabian words and poetic expressions to her French, Djebar, through her unique practice, indeed enriched the French language. In pursuing these historical traces, it seemed that Djebar overcame her internal conflict as a post-colonial author who writes in the conqueror’s language. She was finally able to forge a postcolonial feminist identity through rewriting history.
Ki Jeong Song is professor in the Department of French language and literature and Director of the Ewha Institute for the Humanities. She got her PhD at Université Paris-III and was a Visiting Scholar in Littérature Générale et Comparée there in 2007. She was President of the Korean Association for the French studies (2012). Her research area is French Literature, History and Literature, Gender Studies and Psychoanalysis, Comparative Literature, Literature and Media. Her books are: Madness, Is it a Nature or Devilishness : Madness in French and Korean Literature, Novels on the Screen, Mythological Imagination and Culture (coauthored) and Writings of History (coauthored). She has translated Balzac’s Louis Lambert and Colette’s La Naissance du jour into Korean. Recently published articles: ‘La Recherche de l’identité à travers l’écriture de l’histoire – A partir de l’Amour, la fantasia et Vaste est la prison d’Assia Djebar’ (2014), ‘Réécriture de l’histoire du point de vue des femmes –Etude sur Loin de Médine d’Assia Djebar (2013), ‘Le Libertinage comme explosion’ (2013), ‘Les Liaisons dangereuses de Laclos et trois films adaptés’ (2012), ‘Au delà de la frontière entre le fantastique et la réalité historique – Etude sur La Peau de chagrin de Balzac (2012) and ‘Le salon français du XVIIIe siècle et l’identité culturelle des salonnières’ (2011).
Paper, Friday 11 (CM)
Travelling Memories: transnational trajectories of Italians from North Africa
This paper addresses the concept of ‘Travelling Memory’ recently formulated by Astrid Erll to discuss a transcultural turn in Memory Studies (Erll, 2011). My work explores the potential of the concept of Travelling Memory for the development of new approaches to the study of Italian culture, identities and mobilities contributing in latest research in the field of Modern Languages (http://www.transnationalmodernlanguages.ac.uk).
The concept of travelling memory aims at stressing that “memory fundamentally means movement”; that “in the production of cultural memory people, media, mnemonic forms, contents and practices are in constant, unceasing motion”, and that such movements keep memory alive across and beyond cultures. Erll calls for investigation of how translocal and mnemonic forms and practices are translated and integrated into new repertoires; on how media technologies of memory become vernacularized; how contents of memory are continually hybridized and recombined (Erll, 2011).
To put it in Erll’s definition, my exploration of such movements of individual and collective memory begins by focusing on its carriers. These are Italian-speaking Jews of Tripoli and Benghazi, who left Libya between the Second World War and the early 70s, moving to Italy, Israel, Europe, and North America. Their trajectories intertwine with wider processes – and narratives – of displacement, decolonization, post-colonial migration and resettlement. My analysis in this paper targets forms of mediation and remediation of individual and collective memory performed in the life trajectories of two women. It considers how these subjects have navigated different stages of their lives taking different aspects of their Italian, Jewish, North African and Mediterranean heritage as professional and intellectual projects, personal challenges, feeling of a duty towards descents, or towards new communities of belonging.
The paper will present two examples of forms of cultural memory travelling across the Atlantic within global circuits. These are a documentary film on the Jews of Libya, and the website of a cultural association that promotes the Italian town of Pitigliano as a symbolic site of origin for both Italian and Libyan Jews, via the sharing of Sephardic culture and Jewish history across the Mediterranean, and more recently also across the Atlantic. Exploring the mainstream and vernacular technologies of memory manifested in these two projects, and by extension in the life trajectories of their authors, the paper will point out multiple ways in which ideas of Italian belonging are mobilized, reactualized and kept alive in these travelling memory processes, shaping individual and collective subjectivities.
Barbara Spadaro (University of Bristol) is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the AHRC Project Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures, and currently Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, IMLR. Her academic background is in History; she works on the cultural memories of transnational communities. Her research focuses on memories of subjects from the former Italian and French colonies of North Africa, studying transformation of ideas of subjectivity, citizenship and Italianness inside and outside Europe over the 19th and 20th centuries. Barbara is the author of articles on history of gender, Italian fascism and colonial relations, and of a monograph analysing ideas of whiteness in the representations and social practices of the Italian bourgeoisie in Italy and Libya (1910s-1930s), Una colonia Italiana. Incontri, memorie e rappresentazioni tra Italia e Libia (2013). Her latest publication, coauthored with Piera Rossetto is Across Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Exploring Jewish Memories from Libya, ‘Annali di Ca’ Foscari’ 50, no. 1 (42) (December 2014), doi:10.14277/ISSN/ID.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (M&T)
Cultural Memory and lacunary idioms in a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective
Language used in various contexts of communication is culture-bound in complex ways. For instance, many idioms tend to reflect the correlation between language and culture. Therefore, it can be assumed that in natural languages there are certain culture-specific idioms which function in the collective memory of language users. In a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspective, many of them belong to lacunary units, i.e. idioms having zero equivalents in the target language. They are fossilized expressions present in the form of idiomatic phrases only in the collective memory of source-language users. Two main kinds of gaps can be distinguished: linguistic lacunae and referential ones. The two notions are useful for analysing idioms in a contrastive perspective: linguistic lacunae are the idiomatic units of the source language expressing notions known to the target-language users, but not verbalized in the form of fixed phrases, while cultural gaps are the ones which express notions unknown to the target language users. Due to their linguo-cultural specificity, such units, especially of the latter kind, are important in a cross-linguistic perspective. The analyses of the phrases at issue contribute to the development of theoretical studies on phraseology. Many of them are deep-set in culture and they have significant connotative potential. Therefore, to decode them in some contexts, the language-user needs to be familiar not only with their meaning but also with their place and status in the cultural memory of a given community. In a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective, such units are valuable not only in terms of theoretical issues, but also because of practical implementation of the research results, e.g. in lexicography, translation and foreign language teaching. To present both aspects, a few case studies will be discussed, so that the issues addressed could be analysed on the basis of selected examples. The idioms chosen for the analysis are culture-bound expressions anchored in the collective memory of Poles. One of the analysed phenomena is blurred meaning and its culturally conditioned decoding in a given context. It will be illustrated with the analysis of the Polish unit polskie piekiełko. Another aspect to be discussed is cultural connotations evoked by a given unit, for instance, the phrases sprawa Polska a słoń and Mrożek by tego nie wymyślił. What should be emphasized is the role of culture-specific experience in collective memory in motivating some units, which can be illustrated by the expression gest Kozakiewicza. Cultural memory, as part of the collective domain, is very important also in terms of culture-specific evaluation, expressed by such units as Matka Polka or Polak potrafi. The intertextuality of idiomatic phrases is another issue worth analysing in terms of cultural memory and idiomacity. Certain units, for example the Polish idiom moherowe berety, appear in many texts of culture: cabaret performances, cartoons, songs, online games etc. The analyses of the above expressions will allow one to draw conclusions of more general character about lacunary idioms in the cultural memory discourse.
Joanna Szerszunowicz is a graduate in Polish philology and English philology with a doctorate in Contrastive Linguistics, currently employed as Adjunct Professor at the University of Bialystok, Poland. The focal issues of her research are: phraseology (culture-boundness of phraseological units, phraseological gaps in a contrastive perspective), linguo-cultural studies of lexis and phraseology, translation, mono- and bilingual phraseography. She has written a monograph on Polish, English and Italian faunal phraseology as well as chapters in books and papers on formulaic language published in Europe, North America, South America and Asia; her monograph on gaps in phraseology is in print. She is a member of the International Association of Paremiology (Vice-President of the General Assembly since 2012), Europhras (Advisory Council member since 2010), ASIALEX, Polish linguistic associations (PTN, Tertium), and a doctoral program expert at Shota Rustaveli University, Georgia. She is a board member of the linguistic journal ‘Białostockie Archiwum Językowe’ and has worked as a coeditor and reviewer in Poland and abroad. She is the author and coordinator of the project ‘Intercontinental Dialogue on Phraseology’, in cooperation with Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan (2009–2011; 2011–2013; 2013–2015) as well as the editor of the series ‘Intercontinental Dialogue on Phraseology’.
Information As Material art installation, 10–19 April
Information As Material was formally established in in 2002 by the English artist, Simon Morris, who was joined as coeditor by Craig Dworkin and Nick Thurston around 2006. The publishing collective runs an extensive imprint that publishes and self-publishes experimental writing by poets and artists. They also edit, curate, teach and regularly exhibit work around issues of literary history, conceptualism, intellectual property and new poetry. Exploring collaboration is one of their core shared interests and this exhibition presents evolving parts of Do or DIY, a project they have developed with the translators and literary historians, Riccardo Boglione, Kate Briggs, Annette Gilbert, and Carlos Soto Román.
Project presentation, Friday 1.30
Prison Reading Groups
Founded in 1999, Prison Reading Groups (PRG) arose out of research by Jenny Hartley and Sarah Turvey. Today PRG supports more than 40 reading groups in prisons across England and Northern Ireland, supported by a diverse network of volunteer facilitators and prison librarians. PRG’s watchword is choice: group members to decide what form the group will take and how often it will meet, and what they will read. There are groups for emergent readers, older prisoners and young offenders, and groups in prison mental health units. Evaluations testify to a range of benefits, including opportunities for informal education, the development of imaginative capital and a sense of connectedness to a wider culture outside. In the words of one group member, ‘For one hour a month I feel that my opinion is valid, that I am listened to, and that others care what I say’. PRG also supports Family Days, providing opportunities for prisoners to read with their children and strengthening the family bonds that have been shown to improve rehabilitation and reduce reoffending. In addition to providing support for reading groups PRG works with a range of partners to advocate for improved formal and informal educational opportunities for prisoners.
Sarah Turvey is Principal Lecturer at Roehampton University, specialising in nineteenth-century American literature, twentieth-century literature of the American South, and the short story.
Co-author: Dustin Frazier
Dustin Frazier has worked with Sarah Turvey and Jenny Hartley on a range of projects for Prison Reading Groups (PRG) since 2013. He works closely with PRG’s partner organizations and provides particular support for outreach and public engagement, and for Family Days, a PRG initiative that provides book bags, books and writing materials to children visiting parents in prisons. Dustin is a research facilitator in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton, and a researcher in the fields of early medieval and medievalism studies.
Paper, Saturday 4.30 (DT)
Transformations of Fiction
‘Fiction’ being a key term in the present discussion on cultural literacy, my presentation will probe into the notion of fiction beyond the traditional divide between ‘fictional claims’ and ‘factual reference.’ My starting point will be the increasing unease with which we situate ideas and concepts of fiction today. If on the one hand we stick to the habit of defining fiction as a discourse without a referent (or whose referent is non-existent), we nonetheless seem to pay more attention to the very real functions and repercussions of these discourses, for socialisation, for the formatting of our senses, for the construction of social imaginaries; we should not, as Bruno Latour recently put it, underestimate ‘that the beings of fiction, like those of law, indeed possess full and complete reality in their genre, with their own type of veridiction, transcendence, and being’ (An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, p. 239). And on the other hand, we tend to acknowledge that more utterances with allegedly real references eventually appear as fictitious; probably Colin Powell’s address to the UN Security Council in 2003 on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction – ‘these are facts…’ – marks a turning point in the contemporary understanding of this relation. Since then, we haven’t been less tempted to think of collateralized debt obligations, social contracts proposed by politicians, and media agendas in guise of information as other instances of fiction. But again, the consensus that these appear to us as fictions doesn’t mean that they don’t entail very significant consequences for our lives. In both instances, whether we consider fictions as something that produces real events in our lives, or we think of the powerful modes of agency that determine the fate of our world as based on fictions in the guise of trading options, political promises or affectively engineered information, we are dealing with an unrelenting disintegration of the inherited idea that fictions can be distinguished from facts by some neat ontological divide between what exists and what doesn’t. The recent upsurge of all kinds of meta- and para-fictional forms in literature and the veritable boom of the documentary genre attest to this situation no less conspicuously than the deployment of innovative financial products and communication strategies of the early 21st century. In my presentation, I will explore this paradox that seems to have increasing importance everywhere today. In addition to developing a set of contemporary examples of this, I will evoke the genealogical parallels between the advent of the different economies of speculation pertaining to literary fiction, paper money and biopolitical probability in the 18th century in order to delineate an epistemological modality that seems to enter into a new formation today. Hypothesizing that the social institutionalization and differentiation of these economies of speculation throughout the last centuries is presently undergoing rapid transformation, I will outline the changes that this brings about in our understanding of fiction and eventually, on this basis, discuss how this new room for manœuvre is exploited by contemporary artists and, not least, how we – as scholars of cultural literacy – can face this new social distribution of fiction making.
Frederik Tygstrup is the director of the Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies and a professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Copenhagen. His primary specialisation is in the history and theory of the European novel – Fictions of Experience. The European Novel 1615-1857 (1992), and In Search of the Real. Essays on the 20th Century Novel (2000), both in Danish. His present research interests include the intersections of artistic practices and other social practices, urban aesthetics, the history of representations and experiences of space, literature and medicine, literature and geography, literature and politics. Recent publications (in non-Scandinavian languages) include: Socioaesthetics ed., with Anders Michelsen (Sage Publishers, forthcoming 2015), ‘Reading Space: Cultural Analysis of Territoriality and Experience’, in eds. Nora Berning et al., Experiencing Space – Spacing Experience. Concepts, Practices, and Materialities (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier 2014); ‘Notes on Affect’, in eds. Sharma & Tygstrup, Structures of Feeling (de Gruyter 2014); ‘Life and Forms. On a Paradigmatic Negotiation in The Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze’, eds in Jürgen Bohm et al., Turn On, Turn Off. Über den Wandel von Paradigmen in den Künsten und Wissenschaften (De Gruyter 2014).
Project presentation, Friday 1.30
Approaching the baggy monster: cultural literacy concepts, network analysis and nineteenth-century novels
The Nation, Gender and Genre project seeks to gain a broader understanding of a body of 19th and early 20th-century literature from Britain and Ireland by utilising social network analysis and other digital humanities methodologies. This presentation aims to briefly describe the project’s goals, methodological development, and early-stage results, and will discuss how cultural literacy concepts have informed and driven the project’s development. Over the course of three years, the project’s goal is to examine a group of 200 British and Irish novels published between 1800 and 1922. This group is a cultural object; in the words of the European Science Foundation’s Science Policy Briefing on Cultural Literacy, it represents a ‘weave of meanings’. In considering these novels as a body of work developed over a delimited historical period in a specific – though permeable and contested – geographical space, the concept of textuality is highly relevant. These novels are understood as a corpus, not a canon; they have been deliberately assembled for the purpose of this specific project according to a number of criteria, including each work’s popularity and influence in its own time, as well as its literary and historical legacy. Historicity, then, is a major concern of this research; not only does the project seek to identify diachronic commonalities and differences between novels and genres, but its large scale allows for the examination of each work in its own cultural and generic context. As will be demonstrated, a number of structures impact upon the individual works and their cohort. Of particular interest to the project are differences and similarities between genres, and concepts of gendered, racial, and national identity; one of the project’s goals is to apply social network analysis to examining these structures and to assess what insights this method can provide. Different ‘slices’ through and across this body of work reveal details not necessarily apparent from surface reading: rates of interconnection between characters, identification of overt inter-reference between novel writers and their works, and the discovery of the need for different ‘window sizes’ in visualising networks, have all been revealed as areas of interest. Flexibility in the development of this project’s research design has been necessary, with methodologies being revised iteratively as new information becomes available. For example, as a case study will describe, early network analyses left out subordinate or background characters, whereas as the research progressed it became apparent that a highly inclusive approach was needed in order to gain an accurate picture of the novels’ landscape of characters, particularly with respect to social class. Although this project is still at a relatively early stage, its early results indicate that cultural literacy principles and an adaptable methodology provide an essential basis for understanding the ‘weave of meanings’ constituted by and within a large-scale corpus of novels.
Gerardine Meaney is Professor of Cultural Theory and Director of the UCD Humanities Institute. Her current research interests are in gender, ethnic and national identities in literature and culture and the application of new digital methodologies to humanities research. She is the author of Reading the Irish Woman: Cultural Encounter and Exchange, 1714-1960, with Bernadette Whelan and Mary O’Dowd (Liverpool University Press, 2013); Gender, Ireland and Cultural Change (Routledge, 2010); intro online; Nora, (Cork University Press, 2004); (Un)like Subjects: Women, Theory, Fiction (1993, 2012) and 26 articles and book chapters on topics from Joyce to The Wire. She was a coeditor of the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Women’s Writing and Traditions (Cork University Press, 2002). Her current major research project is ‘Nation, Genre and Gender: A Comparative Social Network Analysis of Irish and English Fiction, 1800-1922, funded by the Irish Research Council. Other digital projects include an iPad app of James Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead’.
Karen Wade is a postdoctoral research fellow on the Nation, Genre and Gender project. In early 2014, she completed her PhD at the UCD Humanities Institute, concerning Irish online social networks and Irish national culture, partly in conjunction with researchers from UCD’s Clique Research Cluster. Since the completion of her PhD thesis, her work has focused upon the integration of technological methodologies and more traditional cultural and literary studies. She has worked on the Humanities Institute’s Changing Empathies: Social Networks and the Novel, as well as being involved with the inception and design of the UCD English Department’s Digital Platform for Contemporary Irish Literature. Her research interests include digital humanities methodologies, new media, gender studies, 19th-century English literature and publishing cultures, and autobiography.