Category Archives: Lectures

Culture and Anarchy 150th Anniversary Panel (Sussex)

On the 22nd of June 2017, the University of Sussex is hosting a special edition of the BBC Radio 3 programme Free Thinking, which will mark the 150th anniversary of Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy with a panel discussion in front of a live audience.

Arnold argued that modern life was producing a society of ‘Philistines’ who only cared for material possessions and hedonistic pleasure. As a medicine for this moral and spiritual degradation, Arnold prescribed ‘culture’, which he defined as ‘the best which has been thought and said in the world’, stored in Europe’s great literature, philosophy and history. By engaging with this heritage, he argued, humans could develop towards a higher state of mental and moral ‘perfection’.

The discussion, hosted by the writer and broadcaster Matthew Sweet, will discuss the significance of Culture and Anarchy, and its legacy in ongoing arguments for the value of culture and the humanities.

The speakers on the panel will be:

Tiffany Jenkins (sociologist of heritage, author of Keeping Their Marbles: How the Treasures of the Past Ended up in Museums, and Why They Should Stay There).

 Simon Heffer (writer, author of High Minds: the Victorians and the Birth of Modern Britain).

Stella Duffy (writer and co-director of the Fun Palaces campaign).

Will Abberley (lecturer in Victorian literature at Sussex).

The discussion will be followed by an audience Q & A.

Everyone is welcome to join us for this unique event. Please book your free place here.

Encounter with Cristina Fernández Cubas, Nottingham

Encounter with Cristina Fernández Cubas, University of Nottingham, 2nd June 2017

Cristina Fernández Cubas is one of the most accomplished contemporary writers of the fantastic in Spain and winner of the Premio Nacional de Narrativa in 2016. Join us in this event to discuss her work and the recent English translation of La habitación de Nona.

Translation workshop with Margaret Jull Costa, 2pm-3pm, Location: Trent C40. Limited spaces. By invitation only.

Literary round table: La habitación de Nona (Nona’s Room),4pm – 5pm. Location: Hemsley B2. With Cristina Fernández Cubas (Premio Nacional de Narrativa, 2016) and translators Kathryn Phillips-Miles and Simon Deefholts. Discussion in Spanish and English followed by a wine reception. All welcome but please register on Eventbrite.

This event is part of the research project Gender and the Fantastic in Hispanic Studies supported by the British Academy. Other sponsors: Grupo de Estudios sobre lo Fantástico, Grupo de Estudios Multitextuales de lo Insólito y Perspectivas de Género, BETA: Asociación de Jóvenes Doctores en Hispanismo.

Invited translators:

Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for over 30 years and has translated works by novelists such as Eça de Queiroz, José Saramago, Javier Marías and Teolinda Gersão, as well as poets such as Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Ana Luísa Amaral. She has won various prizes, most recently the 2017 Best Translation Book Award for her co-translation with Robin Patterson of Lúcio Cardoso’s novel Chronicle of the Murdered House.. In 2013 she was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2014 was awarded an OBE for services to literature. In 2015 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Leeds.She is currently Honorary Professor in Translation Studies at the University of Nottingham.

Kathryn Phillips-Miles and Simon Deefholts both studied Romance Languages and Literature at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and later at Birkbeck College, University of London. They have enjoyed varied careers including teaching, translation, lexicography and finance, and have spent several years living and working in Spain. They have jointly translated a number of plays for the Spanish Theatre Festival of London as well as the three works comprising the Spanish Season in Peter Owen Publishers’ World Series of literature in translation: Nona’s Room by Cristina Fernández Cubas, Wolf Moon by by Julio Llamazares and Inventing Love by José Ovejero.

Ghost in the Tamarind reading; Censorship and Freedom of Speech (Shankar), SOAS

​​Ghost in the Ta​marind book ​reading by S. Shankar, ​​Wednesday 24th May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​​

Who can you love? What do you owe to love and what to the world at large? In his forthcoming novel Ghost in the Tamarind, S. Shankar explores these and other questions against the background of anti-caste movements in India. His reading from the novel highlights the challenges of writing in English about communities that do not primarily function in English. The reading will be followed by a Q&A.

​​Censorship and Freedom of Speech in a Comparative Context: The Case of Contemporary Tamil Literature​Wednesday 31st May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​

S. Shankar takes up the text and controversial context of Perumal Murugan’s novel Mathorubagan (English title One Part Woman). Late in 2014, Tamil writer Murugan was attacked for describing caste practices of ritual sex within a temple in his novel, driving him eventually to renounce writing. Shankar’s purpose is to uncover the vernacular conditions within which censorship becomes possible. Shankar sketches the challenges of contesting literary censorship using aesthetic terms fashioned within national and/or cosmopolitan contexts and considers ways in which such contestation might nevertheless be pursued within vernacular contexts. He ends by drawing conclusions relevant beyond the specific Tamil situation.

About S. Shankar

S. Shankar is a critic, novelist, and translator. His scholarly areas of interest are postcolonial literature (especially of Africa and South Asia), literature of immigration, film, and translation studies. He is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program. His most recent book is Flesh and Fish Blood: Postcolonialism, Translation, and the Vernacular (2012; U. of California P.; Orient Blackswan India).

S. Shankar has been invited to SOAS as a Visiting Fellow for ‘Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies‘ project. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 670876).

All events are free and open to all. No registration required.

OCCT: Oxford Translation Day, Trinity Events

Oxford Translation Day, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 3rd June 2017

OTD Poster

On June 3rd, St Anne’s College will be running Oxford Translation Day, a celebration of literary translation consisting of workshops and talks throughout the day at St Anne’s and around the city, culminating in the award of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Oxford Translation Day is a joint venture of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (the research programme housed in St Anne’s and the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities), in partnership with the Oxford German Network and Modern Poetry in Translation. All events are free and open to anyone, but registration is required. To register go to Eventbrite or see here: http://www.occt.ox.ac.uk

The programme can be found here.

***

Week 4 – Poetic Currency Symposium (Collaboration with Stanford University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) Poetry Reading and Keynote Address. Wed. 18 May, 5:00 -7:30pm; Seminar Room 10 in the New Library, St Anne’s College. Speakers: Adriana X. Jacobs (Oxford); Kristin Grogan (Oxford). Poets: Claire Trévien (UK); Tahel Frosh (Israel); Roy ‘Chicky’ Arad (Israel)

Week 4 – Poetic Currency SymposiumThurs. 19 May, 10:30 -16:30pm; Seminar Room 5, St Anne’s College. Speakers: Eleni Philippou (Oxford); Kasia Szymanska (Oxford); Idan Gillo (Stanford); Anat Weisman (BGU); Shira Stav (BGU); Roy Greenwald (BGU)

Week 5 – Fiction and Other Minds: Enacting Fictional SpaceWed. 24 May 2017, 5:15 -7:15pm; Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. Speaker: Merja Polvinen (Helsinki); Respondent: Terence Cave (Oxford)

The OCCT 2017 Trinity programme can be found here – a detailed description of each individual event, here.

OCCT is a Divisional research programme supported by TORCH and St Anne’s College. Our organising committee includes Prof Matthew Reynolds, Prof Adriana X. Jacobs, Prof Mohamed-Salah Omri, Dr Eleni Philippou, Dr Peter Hill, Ms Karolina Watroba, Ms Kate Costello, Ms Valeria Taddei, Dr Kasia Szymanska, Prof Ben Morgan, Prof Patrick McGuinness

Franco Moretti Public Lectures, KCL

Professor Franco Moretti (Stanford University) will be Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at King’s College London in June, 2017. As part of his visit he will give two public lectures. Details below. These events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Details can be found here.

Lecture 1:

June 7, 2017. 17:00. Anatomy Lecture Theatre, King’s Building, King’s College London.

Totentanz. Operationaliziong Aby Warburg’s Pathosformel

The object of this study is one of the most ambitious projects of twentieth-century art history: Aby Warburg’s Atlas Mnemosyne, conceived in the summer of 1926 – when the first mention of a Bilderatlas, or “atlas of images”, occurs in his journal – and truncated three years later, unfinished, by his sudden death in October 1929.  Mnemosyne consisted in a series of large black panels, on which were attached about 1,000 black-and-white photographs of paintings, sculptures, book pages, stamps, newspaper clippings, tarot cards, coins, and other types of images. For Warburg, these thousand images were connected by morphological similarity and historical continuity. But the texts that accompany Mnemosyne are few and short, and the logic of his gigantic montage remains unclear. Often compared to Benjamin’s Passagenwerk, Warburg’s work is, in truth, much more elusive. One thread to orient oneself in the maze is however offered by the concept of the Pathosformel, or formula for (the expression of) passion. Turning this concept into a series of quantitative measurements – “operationalising” Pathosformeln – throws a new light on Warburg’s project, and opens the possibility to further develop it.

Registration link: https://kcltotentanz.eventbrite.co.uk/

Lecture 2:

June 21, 2017. 18:00. Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s Building, King’s College London.

Day and Night. On the counterpoint of Western and film noir

A first image: Ford’s stagecoach is in the midst of its journey; we see the uneven terrain, the rocks of Monument Valley, the distant horizon, the clouds in the sky (Stagecoach, 1939). It’s the long shot that is typical of the Western: a landscape so vast, it dwarfs the human beings within it; the remote, “alien” space of the Frontier, “which had been in its time as uncanny a place for pioneers as a moonscape might be”. A second image: Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray are meeting to plan their next moves against the insurance company (Double Indemnity, 1944); the setting is a perfectly familiar supermarket interior; customers walk by, a woman buys some baby formula, a janitor pushes a cart; boxes, cans, shelves; a cramped space, made even more so by the close-up typical of the film noir. But closeness doesn’t bring clarity: Stanwyck’s sunglasses make her expression completely unreadable (and things don’t improve when she later takes them off). In the Western, the opposite state of affairs: distance makes it often difficult to see – all those characters knitting their brows, trying to make sense of the figures moving far away – but it never generates ambiguity; one either sees, or does not. Daylight dominates; High Noon; a genre without shadows, en plein air, whose aesthetic conventions were more than ready to embrace color, as soon as it became technically available. Not so the noir, whose affinity to darkness – NightfallGaslightThe Night of the HunterThe Dark CornerThey Live by Night … – was enhanced by the thousand gradations of black and white film. Outdoor, diurnal, and distant, then; indoor, nightly, and close. Concave to convex. The structural antithesis of these two great post-war genres, and its historical significance, will be the subject of this talk.

Registration link: https://kcldayandnight.eventbrite.co.uk/