Tag Archives: London

Tamim Al-Barghouti: Book launch, Workshop, Public Event (SOAS)

 

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The Poet of Jerusalem is coming to SOAS. Tamim Al-Barghouti, one of the most important and popular Arab poets of his generation, is launching the first English translation of his poetry on. The poemsin In Jerusalem and Other Poems, lovingly translated by his late mother, Radwa Ashour, the prominent Egyptian academic and novelist, and Ahdaf Soueif, the Booker nominated author of The Map of Love, were written in Cairo, Ramallah, Amman, Washington, DC and Berlin between 1996 and 2016. In 2007, Al-Barghouti’s long poem “In Jerusalem,” which describes an aborted journey to the city, became something of a street poem. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. It speaks to the story of millions of homeless Palestinians who have been forced to live in exile since 1948. His father, the famous writer Mourid Barghouti, was expelled from Egypt, where Tamim was born, when he was only five months old. Tamim lived with his mother in Cairo, and for 18 years only saw his father in Budapest during winter and summer vacations. But his poetry is more than the sum total of the Palestinian experience. It is also the barometer of the political fortunes in the Arab world, from the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Arab Spring spreading like fire from Tunisia in 2010, and the 26 January 2011 Revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak and transformed an entire generation. Above all, it is testament to a resilient Arabic poetic tradition that, at the hands of a young talent, can continue to thrive, generate new energy and move hearts and souls.

Tamim returns to SOAS on Tuesday, 27 June 2017, to take part in the Chase-funded Arabic Poetry and Stories Translation Workshop (SOAS, S118, 2:30 to 5:30PM) and public event (SOAS, KLT, 6:30-8:00 PM), convened by Marina Warner (Birckbeck) and Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS), as part of ‘It was and it was not…’: Translation in Action Programme.

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Tamim Al-Barghouti is an acclaimed Palestinian poet, columnist and political scientist. His poetry readings are attended by thousands, sometimes packing stadiums and amphitheaters. Born in Cairo in 1977, Al-Barghouti published six poetry collections in both colloquial and classical Arabic including  Meejana (Ramallah 1999), Al-Manzar “The Scene” (Cairo 2000), Maqam Iraq (Cairo: 2005) and Fil Quds “In Jersualem” (2008), and two  academic books on Arab politics and history:  Benign Nationalism (Cairo: 2007) and The Umma and The Dawla: The Nation State and the Arab Middle East  (London: 2008). He is also the author of “War, Peace, Civil War: a Pattern?” in Palestine and the Palestinians in the 21st century (Bloomington: 2013) and “Cracking Cauldrons” in Shifting Sands: the Unraveling of the Old Order in the Middle East (London: 2015). He received his PhD in political science in 2004, and has since taught at Georgetown University, the Free University in Berlin, and the American University in Cairo. He was also a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced studies 2007-2008.  A columnist since 2003, writing in Egyptian and dailies, Al-Barghouti has been associated with the 2011 uprisings, where recordings of his poetry were broadcast on makeshift screens in Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the 18 days of demonstrations that ousted Hosny Mubarak.

Translating Eurydice (Uni. of East London)

Translating Eurydice, One-day Conference on Myth in the Twenty-First Century, Friday, 27 October 2017, University of East London (Stratford Campus)

We are pleased to announce a one-day conference to explore the fate of Eurydice translated into our divided, twenty-first century world. Translation is understood in the broad sense of the transference of mythic material across cultures and epochs; it includes, but is not limited to, the rewriting of texts. More specifically, the conference sets out to explore how one particular myth has been adapted to the challenges and traumas of linguistic and cultural displacement in an era of local and global dislocation. How has Eurydice fared in the contemporary world of domestic politics and mass migration? Is she perceived as powerless or has she become newly empowered, freed from the embrace of Orpheus?

The programme is organised as a series of plenary papers in the morning and performance sessions after lunch. Speakers will approach the myth of Eurydice from various perspectives, ranging from its literary and artistic reception to its application in the field of psychoanalysis. More information on the speakers will follow.

For further information, please visit The Centre for Myth Studies Wordpress page https://essexmyth.wordpress.com/conferences/translating-eurydice/ and our Twitter and Facebook accounts: https://twitter.com/mythstudies/ and https://www.facebook.com/mythstudiesessex/ 

Please email us if you have any queries about the conference:  mythic@essex.ac.uk

To book your place, please visit the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/translating-eurydice-one-day-conference-on-myth-in-the-twenty-first-century-tickets-35189404456

There is no charge for attendance, but, to avoid disappointment, those wishing to attend are strongly advised to register in advance, as space is limited. 

Best wishes,

On behalf of the Centre for Myth Studies Executive Committee

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/

Desire/Knowledge: Critical Perspectives

Desire/Knowledge: Critical Perspectives, Council Room, King’s College London, May 18-20, 2017

Keynote Speakers:

  1. Professor Anne Vila (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  2. Professor Vincent Descombes (EHESS)

Framed as part of a research collaboration between King’s College London, the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this conference will explore the conceptually paired notions of desire and knowledge across a series of interventions drawn by researchers working in multiple disciplines across the globe. Details and programme at http://desireknowledge.kcl.ac.uk/

Attendance is free but registration is required.To register, please click here.

‘Convulsion and Enlightenment’, KCL

The 2017 Society for French Studies Annual Lecture: ‘Convulsion and Enlightenment’, Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Building, King’s College London, 25th May 2017, 17:00.

Professor Anne Vila (University of Wisconsin – Madison), 2017 Visiting Fellow of the Society of French Studies.

The French Enlightenment is classically seen as an age of cool-headed, masterful reason.  So why were convulsions such a common theme not just in this period’s medical discourse, but also in its literature, aesthetic theories, and popular culture? How was convulsion, conceived as a natural propensity of the human body (P. Hequet, Le naturalisme des convulsions, 1733), connected to this period’s ideas about human nature, progress and perfectibility?  And who convulsed, and why? To answer those questions, this talk will survey the complex conceptual landscape that surrounded convulsions in eighteenth-century France, from the vibratory models popular in many fields (aesthetics, physiology, philosophy of mind, medical therapeutics), to the use of convulsions in sentimental literature and art theory, to curious phenomena like religious convulsionism, the vapors, and mesmerism.

Professor Anne Vila received her Ph.D. in French Literature from The Johns Hopkins University in 1990 and joined the faculty of the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that same year. She has also taught at Emory University and Stanford University. Her academic honours include a Phi Beta Kappa Dissertation Fellowship, an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, a University of Wisconsin Halverson-Bascom Professorship, and a UW Madison Pickard-Bascom Professorship. During her 27-year career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has served as Department Chair (Head of Department), Associate Chair for French, and Director of Graduate Studies for French MA/Ph.D. programmes. She has directed, co-directed, or served as second reader on 31 Ph.D. theses to date, for doctoral students in a wide range of fields (French, Italian, English, Slavic Languages and Literature, History, and History of Science).

Professor Vila’s publications include Enlightenment and Pathology: Sensibility in the Literature and Medicine of Eighteenth-Century France (1998), the co-edited volume Rethinking Cultural Studies 1: A State of the Question. EMF: Studies in Early Modern France, (2000), A Cultural History of the Senses in the Age of Enlightenment, 1650-1800, ed. (2014), three book translations, 32 articles or book chapters, 13 encyclopedia entries, and 13 book reviews. She has recently completed a book manuscript Suffering Scholars: Pathologies of the Intellectual in Enlightenment France (forthcoming in Spring 2018 at University of Pennsylvania Press) and, with Ronan Chalmin, a critical reedition of Tissot’s De la santé des gens de lettres (for Editions Garnier). She is also co-editing, with Florence Vatan, two essay volumes: ‘l’Esprit (dé)réglé: Literature, Science, and the Life of the Mind in France, 1700-1900’, a bilingual special issue of L’Esprit créateur (Winter 2016) and ‘Entre le corps et l’esprit: langages et savoirs concurrents,’ a special issue of Arts et savoirs ((http://aes.revues.org; forthcoming, Winter 2018). Her new book project is entitled ‘The Culture of Convulsions in France, 1730 to 1850.’

Free and open to the public, but attendance is required. To register click here.