Tag Archives: London

Faces of the Infinite (British Academy)

Faces of the Infinite: Neoplatonism and Poetics at the Confluence of Africa, Asia and Europe. A Three-Day Conference, Thursday 9 & Friday 10 November at the British Academy, Saturday 11 November at SOAS

What links Dante, Rumi, the Golden Age poetry of Spain, Ottoman panegyrics, Hebrew devotional verse and the musings of Muhammad Matar, one of the finest poets of modern Egypt? Very little, one would have thought. And yet these works carry the imprint of a common heritage which, through a range of intermediaries, can be traced back to Neoplatonism and its founding father Plotinus.

The Conference Faces of the Infinite represents a unique opportunity to get to know how the system of thought Plotinus devised merged with the literary traditions of Europe and the Middle East and came to be woven into texts which are acknowledged to this day as foundational and integral to their identities. Proceedings begin with a keynote address by Prof. Richard Taylor which explains the tenets of Neoplatonism and the decisive influence they have had on mysticism and the arts in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This is followed by some 20 papers given by international experts on classical and modern poetry in Arabic, Greek, English, Hebrew, Italian, Persian, Spanish and Turkish. Each paper introduces the authors and texts to be discussed for the benefit of a non-specialist audience.

In seeking to bring this great literary panorama together for the first time, the Conference aims to explore to what extent these very different traditions are interconnected by a shared spiritual legacy. What does it mean for us today? Does it continue to carry to a message for an age of migration in which different cultures intermingle and are called upon to co-exist in the face of increasing challenges? Taken together, the conference papers will provide ample scope for reflection and debate on this most crucial of issues.

More information, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.

In from the Cold: Northern Noir

Free, one-day event on Northern crime writing, crime fiction translation and criticism at Europe House, London Wednesday 18 October 2017.

Over the past decade there has been a boom in Northern European crime fiction – in books, film and on television. Characterised by dark, wintry settings and even darker themes, this ‘Northern Noir’ frequently addresses important questions about crime, social welfare, immigration, gender, family and marginalised, vulnerable citizens. This special symposium brings together some of Europe’s best crime writers, translators and critics to discuss the characteristics of northern crime fiction. How does crime fiction in Britain differ from Northern Europe? What are the cultural similarities and differences? Is it possible to define a recognisable ‘northern’ tradition of crime writing that crosses national borders? Our packed programme includes author interviews, readings and panels, academic talks, a translation slam and public workshops.

Entrance to this day of events is free but places are limited. You must reserve your place in advance and specify the ONE workshop you would like to attend. Stricter security measures are in place at Europe House so each ticket booked must indicate the actual name of the individual ticketholder.

You can reserve your ticket and view the full programme at the following website: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/in-from-the-cold-northern-noir-tickets-36860915992

Writing, the State, and the Rise of Neo-Nationalism (Boston Uni., London)

Writing, the State, and the Rise of Neo-Nationalism: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Concerns, 30th June 2018, Boston University’s London Campus

In January 1868, John William De Forest took to the pages of The Nation with a call that would resound over the next century and a half: the writing of the “Great American Novel.” In so doing, he asserted both the shaping force of the nation on the arts, and the importance of the arts for the national imaginary. On the sesquicentennial of De Forest’s essay, the College of General Studies at Boston University will host a conference to explore the broader intersection of writing and the nation. This conference will meet on Boston University’s campus in London, England, on June 30, 2018. The conference will feature a keynote address by Daniel Karlin, Winterstoke Professor of English at the University of Bristol.

The exigency of ongoing scholarly consideration of the relation between the nation and writing could not be more apparent. The rise of populist and pro-national politicians and events such as Brexit place new strains on the architecture of globalization. A disruptive force, neo-nationalism has provoked anxiety about sustaining existing international institutions and prompted introspection within nations about the abiding ties of community and place.

This conference seeks a diverse range of panels and papers from scholars in literary studies, rhetoric, the social sciences, and other disciplines. Interdisciplinary papers and panels, and papers and panels addressing transatlantic subjects, are especially encouraged. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

• The portrayal of the nation-state in works of literature.
• Representations of the relationships among the local, regional, and (or) global.
• Challenges to, problems with, and affirmations of national belonging.
• Reflections on De Forest’s original essay in light of the past 150 years.
• The impact of socioeconomic changes on the project of a national literature.
• The ways in which technological development can re-inscribe narratives of the political unit.
• International exchanges on the idea of a “great” national literature.
• Consideration of forces that help construct or challenge nation-oriented narratives of literature.
• Characteristics and implications of neo-national oratory.
• Rhetorical analyses of neo-national propaganda.
• The role of national iconography for literary and artistic expression.
• The ways that marginalized populations can preserve or introduce their voices in the context of changes in the global landscape during the neo-national era.
• Reactions to and presentations of neo-nationalism in the arts.

Paper proposals should be 250-300 words in length and should include a brief CV.

Panel proposals should be 300–500 words in length; indicate whether the panel will be traditional, seminar, or roundtable style; and include the names and CVs of participants and working titles of their papers.

Submit all proposals to Christopher K. Coffman (ccoffman@bu.edu) and Thomas Finan (etfinan@bu.edu) no later than November 30, 2017.

The Mark on the Wall (Tête à Tête)

The Mark On The Wall

Produced by Stepha Schweiger, Anna Clementi, Leo Chadburn, Ziv Frenkel, Silke Lange, Johannes Öllinger & European Music Project

1:00pm – 2:30pm | Sunday 13 August 2017, RADA Studios Theatre, 16 Chenies Street, London, WC1E 7EX

Advance Online: £7.50 | Door/Phone: £9.50

100 years of “The Mark on the Wall” – Virginia Woolf’s groundbreaking story inspired Stepha Schweiger to compose a musical theatre to be premiered in Bloomsbury. Split into 3 roles – singer, dancer and speaker – the protagonist embarks on a phantasmal journey between imagination and reality.

More information can be found here: websitetrailer.

 

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.