Category Archives: Events of Interest

‘A Quest for Remembrance’ : The Descent into the Classical Underworld, Warwick

‘A Quest for Remembrance’ : The Descent into the Classical Underworld

A One-day Interdisciplinary Conference at the University of Warwick, Saturday 20th May 2017

Keynote speaker: Professor Edith Hall, King’s College London

“μνήσασθαι ἐμεῖο” [remember me]
Odyssey 11.71


Katabasis
, the descent into the underworld, is an often literary genre whose earliest examples go back to classical antiquity, including the epics of Mesopotamia, ancient Greece and Rome. Since Rachel Falconer’s influential Hell in Contemporary Literature (2007), examining katabatic themes has become a popular strand of research. However, particularly in the 20th century, the descent to the underworld has been engaged with in a number of different art forms, such as the epic of Derek Walcott, the poetry of Eavan Boland, and the paintings of Romare Bearden. This conference aims to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the potential uses of katabasis and its relationship to memory, encapsulating methodological approaches from departments as varied as Literature, Philosophy, History, Classics, and History of Art. Within recent years, more and more scholars have recognised the importance of memory for analysing the structures and themes in both ancient descent narratives and their adaptations. During the conference, the discussions will thus revolve around the various roles of memory in ancient katabatic tales and answer the question of how and why these roles are adapted in later re-tellings of those narratives. Therein, a pivotal aim is to re-evaluate Rachel Falconer’s claim that the descent narrative is an inherently ‘memorious’ genre. I am happy to say that Prof. Falconer herself will be in attendence at the conference.

As a further outcome of the conference, I will submit a book proposal for an edited volume on katabasis with articles that provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the overlapping concerns of classical reception and memory studies in the reception of ancient tropes. This publication will be one of the first to recognise this overlap in methodological concerns and to initiate a discussion from a variety of departments on the potential of considering classical themes and tropes for the analysis of memory, as well as the potential of memory studies for the analysis of classical reception.

Submission for this conference is now closed. Do feel free to register, however, and join in on the conversation. Registration for the conference closes on the 15th April 2017.

You can find the conference programme here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email catabasis.warwick2017@gmail.com

This conference is organised by Madeleine Scherer (Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies) and funded by the Humanities Research Centre, the RSSP, and the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies.

Marvellous Thieves, Book Launch, SOAS

 

Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of The Arabian Nights (Harvard UP) by Paulo Lemos Horta. 16th February, 6-8pm.

Drinks reception

Free entry

Room G3, Main Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Copies of the book will be available to buy at a discounted price.

“This fine book … cogently probes an influential period in the knotted and at times sordid history of the Arabian Nights, serving as a fine example to those unraveling this promiscuous and forever malleable set of stories.”— The Wall Street Journal

 

Landscapes of Realism, SOAS

Landscapes of Realism: Workshop 5. ICLA Project (supported by the Leverhulme Trust Network Fund), 17 and 18 February 2017, S209 (Senate House, North Block), SOAS, University of London

Topic 1: Institutions and Ideologies of Realism: mapping out realist conventions; readership and expectations; canonization; production and circulation.

Topic 2: Cultural Encounters: (a) comparative study of how realist texts portray the other, the foreigner, stereotypes; and (b) the overlap and divergence between truth and reality in theories of knowledge and representation in non-European philosophical and critical traditions. How is Realism to be understood within a worldview that sees reality as illusion and its transcendence or abandonment as homecoming? What if experienced reality contradicts directly received divine truths? What then is real and how is it known and theorized? What impact do such worldviews have on the representation of what can be seen, heard, sensed, and comprehended, and on the development of non-European aesthetics and relevant literary theories? More crucially, what happens to the non-European theories and modes of representation when they encounter European Realism in the C19 and C20? How may non- European responses to Realism be explained within the broader context of imperialism, colonialism, resistance and revolution? How does Realism serve as both framework and foil for non- European interrogation of both Eastern and Western traditions of critical thought on the true and the real?

Workshop 1: Friday 17 February 2017

Institutions and Ideologies of Realism

10:00-10:15 Arrival tea & coffee

10:15-10:30 Welcome Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS) and Simon James (Durham)

10:30-12:00

Chair: Simon James (Durham)

Newspapers and their Beginnings: Fiction, Journalism, Realism

Edmund Birch (Churchill College, Cambridge)

‘A space of stunted grass and dry rubbish’: realism and ‘equal ground’

Simon Grimble

Women, Work, and Periodical Literature

Margaret Higonnet (University of Connecticut)

12:00-13:00 Sandwich lunch

13:00-15:00

Chair: Simon James (Durham)

Melodrama, Theatricality and Realism

Jeremy Tambling

Global Capitalism and the Novel

Bashir Abu-Manneh (Kent)

Literature and Education in the 1930s: Arthur Calder-Marshall and Winifred Holtby on Schools

Matthew Taunton (UEA)

Experimentation and Innovation in the Twentieth Century, Social Realist Short Story

Anthony Patterson

15:00-15:30 Break tea & coffee

Workshop 2 (a): Friday 17 February 2017

Cultural Encounters

15:30 to 17:00

Chair: Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS)

The Fictitiousness of Reality: Ḥussein Barghoutī’s Conception of Realism

Haneen Omari (Leiden University)

Respondent: Bashir Abu-Manneh (Kent)

Displaced Realisms: Machado de Assis in the 19th and 20th century

Paulo Lemos Horta (New York University Abu Dhabi)

Respondent

The Transmedia and Transcultural Hyperrealism of Ai Weiwei’s Digital Communication

Daria Berg and Giorgio Strafella (University of St.Gallen, Switzerland)

Respondent: Steen Bille Jorgenson

18:30 Workshop dinner

Workshop 2 (b) Saturday 18 February 2017

Cultural Encounters

10:00-10:30 Arrival tea & coffee

10:30-12:30

Chair: Alena Rettrova (SOAS)

Time and Space: A First Sketch

Svend Erik Larsen and Rosa Mucignant

What if experienced realty contradicts directly received divine truths?

Stephen Hart (UCL)

Realism at the Peripheries

Ulka Anjaria (Brandeis University)

Realism and Other

Midori Atkins (Independent Scholar)

12:30 -13:30 Sandwich lunch

13:30-15:00

Chair: Stephen Hart (UCL)

Russian idleness, European business: work and commerce in 19th-century Russian realism (Andrea Zink, University of Innsbruck, Austria)

Cultural Determinism: The Emergence of the Statistical ‘Real’ in the 19th Century

Genie Babb (SUNY Plattsburgh)

The Colonial Gaze and its Critics in Nineteenth-Century German Realism

Dirk Göttsche (Nottingham)

Respondent: Alena Rettrova (SOAS)

End of Public Programme

15:00-15:30 Break tea & coffee

15:30 to 17:30 Business meeting (Network members only)

18:30 Workshop dinner

Abstracts can be found here.

Sean O’Brien Lectures, St Anne’s College, Oxford

‘For Dreams are Licensed as they Never Were’5.30pm in the Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford. All welcome.

Weidenfeld Visiting Professor in Comparative European Literature, Sean O’Brien. 

Tuesday 7 February 2017 ‘For dreams are licensed as they never were’. What becomes of the history poem?

Tuesday 14 February 2017 Displacement: Irish poetry and poets of Irish descent in Britain.

Tuesday 21 February 2017 ‘I only am escaped alone to tell thee’ or ‘The Faster We Go the Rounder We Get’.

Tuesday 28 February 2017 In Conversation with Patrick McGuinness.

Masterclass in Chinese to English Literary Translation

Masterclass in Chinese to English Literary Translation: Nicky Harman on Jia Pingwa, Wed 15 February 2017, 17:15 – 19:15. St Anne’s College, Oxford, Seminar Room 3.

The Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation research programme is delighted to host acclaimed literary translator Nicky Harman to give a masterclass on Chinese to English literary translation. During the course of the evening, we will focus on unpicking a single paragraph by author Jia Pingwa. Concentrating on the final paragraph of Jia’s 2007 novel Happy (《高兴》), we will look at the process of a working translator, with an eye to issues particular to Chinese-English translation. Through examining both the translator’s drafts and and her final version, we will discuss the practical problems of translation, starting with sentence structure, terminology and (nick)names. Nicky will then unpick the cultural references, both implicit and explicit, and finally consider the author’s intentions for this paragraph. The conversation with then open up for discussion, as the translator poses the question of whether her translation has succeeded in recreating the same effect in English.

All are welcome. No knowledge of Chinese is necessary. A few short preparatory readings will be circulated in advance to facilitate audience participation. Please register on eventbrite in order to receive the introductory readings. Please come prepared to ask questions!

Please contact Kate Costello with any questions about the event or registration.