Lecture by Daniel O’Gorman (Oxford Brookes)

‘None of the Guilty Will Be Spared’: Atmospheric terror in George Brant’s Grounded

Daniel O’Gorman (Oxford Brookes)

Thursday, Feb  06 6-8 pm | Room IG 4.201

George Brant’s play Grounded (2013) takes the form of a one-actress monologue in which a fighter pilot tells the story of her forced reskilling as a drone operator after giving birth. She recounts her story on an unadorned dark stage, but as the play progresses, it becomes clear that she is in a military prison cell, having refused orders to fire a missile because she has spotted a young girl of roughly the same age as her own running across her screen. Surveilled in her cell, the watcher has become the watched, her conscience costing her her liberty. This talk will show how Brant’s play maps an alarming new environment of technologized terror enabled by drones. It will argue that Grounded makes visible an atmospheric circumscription of liveable space that is most immediately obvious in the experience of those under the drones’ watch, but that is also, more surreptitiously, present in the Pilot’s domestic life, too: an acceleration in the surveillance of not only behaviour but also thought. If, as Ian Shaw has argued, drones enable capitalism to ‘enclose’ space in unprecedented new ways, then Brant’s play demands that its viewers pay close attention to this enclosure, laying out the urgent need to resist it.

Daniel O’Gorman is Vice Chancellor Research Fellow in English at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of Fictions of the War on Terror: Difference and the Transnational 9/11 Novel (Palgrave, 2015) and co-editor, with Robert Eaglestone, of The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century  Literary Fiction (Routledge, 2019).
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Lecture by Valentina Carbonara and Andrea Scibetta

Pluralistic approaches and translanguaging: A potential pathway within the Italian educational system

Thursday 30.01.20,  12- 14 hours,  SH 0.107

Valentina Carbonara and Andrea Scibetta (University of Siena) will present the talk: “Pluralistic approaches and translanguaging: A potential pathway within the Italian educational system” within the “Kolloquium für Examskandidaten und Promovierende (Romanistik)” on Wednesday 29.01 from 16 to 18 in IG 0.254, and the Seminar “Bilingualismus in der Familie und der Schule” on Thursday 30.01 from 12 to 14 in SH 0.107. You are very welcome to join!

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Gestrandet! Gespräch mit Autor Youssouf Amine Elalamy

23 Januar 2020, 14 – 16 Uhr

Seminarhaus 4.108, Campus Westend der Goethe-Universität

Im Rahmen eines Seminars zur Repräsentation von Transkulturalität in der frankophonen und anglophonen Gegenwartsliteratur unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Christine Ott und Prof. Dr. Astrid Erll spricht der marokkanische Schriftsteller Youssouf Amine Elalamy mit den Studierenden über seinen preisgekrönten Roman Les clandestins (2000) und das literarische Echo jener, deren Träume vom Ozean verschlungen wurden.

Das Gespräch findet in französischer, englischer und deutscher Sprache statt.



Entretien avec l’auteur Youssouf Amine Elalamy

23 janvier 2020, 14-16h

Seminarhaus 4.108, Campus

Dans le cadre d’un séminaire concernant la représentation de la transculturalité dans la littérature francophone et anglophone sous la direction de professeure Christine Ott et professeure Astrid Erll, l’écrivain marocain Youssouf Amine Elalamy parle de son roman primé Les clandestins (2000) et de l’écho littéraire de ceux dont les rêves ont été engloutis par l’océan.

L’entretien est en français, anglais et allemand.


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In Transition Lecture by Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy In Conversation with Pavan Malreddy & Reading from Satin Island

Wednesday, 29.01.2020, 18:00, Cas 1.802 (cheese and wine reception to follow)

Tom McCarthy is the author of four novels and two volumes of literary essays. He won the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction in 2013. His novels have been translated into more than twenty languages and have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize on two occasions (C, 2010; Satin Island, 2015). His first novel Remainder was adapted for the 2015 British-German drama film under the same name. His work has drawn comparisons with major avant-garde writers of our times, including Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett.

Poster Download

Tom McCarthy lives with his family in Berlin.

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In Transition Leture by Stephen Morton (Southampton)

 Allegories of the World System

Stephen Morton

Thursday, 12 December|6-8 pm |IG 411

This paper presents research from my current book project, Allegories of the World System. Against the histories of dispossession and extraction which have shaped the development of the modern world economy, the book considers how postcolonial art and literature variously draws on the resources of allegory to project a powerful dialectical image of a decolonising world. Extending Fredric Jameson’s claim that all allegories are utopian, the book traces the utopian expression of the global commons in the allegorical form of postcolonial literature and visual culture. Since utopian thought has always been concerned to counter the rule of property, it is particularly well placed to articulate the collective work of ‘commoning’, which Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval (2019) see as crucial to addressing the political, economic, and ecological crises of the twenty-first century. Moreover, the utopian impulse of postcolonial allegory has sought to imagine alternatives to the histories of colonial dispossession, extraction, ecological devastation, social reproduction, and labour exploitation, which have shaped and determined the development of the modern world–system. Through original comparative readings of a wide range of literary texts by Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Zakes Mda, Helon Habila, Tomson Highway, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Maryse Condé, and visual artworks by Sondra Perry, William Kentridge, Steve McQueen, Nadia Myre, and Brian Jungen, this book argues that the allegorical codes of postcolonial world literature and art engage readers in the collective work of reimagining the planet as commons.

Stephen Morton is a Professor of English at the University of Southampton. He recent books include  States of emergency: colonialism, literature and law (Liverpool University Press), co-edited collections, Terror and the postcolonial: a concise companion (Wiley-Blackwell) and Foucault in an age of terror: essays on biopolitics and the defence of society (Palgrave).

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Guest Lecture by Ananya Jahanara Kabir

“Activating the archive-repertoires of memory: movement between texts and bodies”

Thu 28 November | 6-8 pm | IG 1.414

Ananya Kabir (King’s College London) is a literary and cultural historian who works at the intersection of embodiment, memory, affect work, and post-trauma in the global South, so as to re-examine the regimes and pleasures of modernity. Through Modern Moves, she uses the resilience and global impact of Afrodiasporic music and dance, created through the dehumanising mechanisms of colonialism, empire and the slave trade, in order to excavate hidden relationships between modernity, pleasure, and the phantasm of ‘Africa’.

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Guest Lecture by Maryam Mirza

Resisting Activism: The Politics of Apathy and Disengagement in South Asian Women’s Fiction

Thursday, Nov 14, 6-8 pm | Room IG 4.201

My talk will draw on an ongoing book project which focuses on the theme of resistance in Anglophone fiction by South Asian women writers. Moving beyond a conceptualization of resistancedeveloped purely in response to colonialism and/or patriarchal oppression, my book calls attention to the emancipatory politics, contradictions and disturbing manifestations of resistance, as wellas its ambiguous affective implications. Through the lens of Manju Kapur’s novel Difficult Daughters (1998), and Kamila Shamsie’s Broken Verses (2005), my talk will grapple with the depiction of political apathy and disengagement in the context of two significant moments of female activism in contemporarySouth Asian history: the anti-colonial nationalist movement duringthe years leading up to the Partition of India in Kapur’s novel, and General Zia-ul-Haq’s military dictatorship and his Islamizationmovement in Shamsie’s. Deploying an interdisciplinaryframework, I will examine the ways in which political apathy in these texts is intimately bound up with the concepts of freedom, choice and agency and, more broadly, with fundamental questions of female identity.

Maryam Mirza is Assistant Professor in World Literatures in English at Durham University, UK. Her firstmonograph Intimate Class Acts (2016) was published by Oxford University Press, and her essays haveappeared in journals such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and the Journal of PostcolonialWriting, as well as in anthologies. She is currently working on her second monograph, whichis under contact with Manchester University Press and is provisionally entitled Resistance and ItsDiscontents in South Asian Women’s Fiction.

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Reading by Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah at Frankfurter Mousonturm

Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 8 -11 pm PM|Frankfurter Mousonturm

am 9. Oktober dürfen wir die simbabwische Autorin Petina Gappah bei uns im Frankfurter Mousonturm begrüßen. Sie wird ihren postkolonialen Roman Aus der Dunkelheit strahlendes Licht (engl. Out of Darkness, Shining Light) vorstellen und Rede und Antwort zu ihrem Schreiben stehen. Ich könnte vorstellen, dass diese Veranstaltung nicht nur für Studierende mit Schwerpunkt NELK interessant sein könnte, sondern auch für Sie und die Mitglieder Ihres Departments. Besteht vielleicht die Möglichkeit, über Ihre Verteiler auf diese Lesung aufmerksam zu machen? Wir wären Ihnen dafür zu großem Dank verpflichtet!

Hier die Links zur Veranstaltung:



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Guest Lecture by Elmar Schenkel

Interlopers: Mapping Creative and Destructive Encounters between Asia and the West

Thursday, July 11, 6-8 pm | Room IG 4.201

This talk aims to uncover a pattern of encounters East/West by looking at biographical and ideological lines that cross and fertilize each other in many ways. This may result in very creative and productive encounters,  which might change consciousness or lead to more reflectivity, but also in ideological abuse or simply misunderstanding. I shall be concerned with intellectuals and spiritual seekers like C.G. Jung,  Rabindranath Tagore, Mme Blavatsky, Sri Aurobindo, Mira Alfassi, Alexandra  David-Néel, Savitra Nevi, the Beatles, Lafcadio Hearn et al. Among them we shall find forgers, frauds and fortune-seekers, as well as mystics, impressionists and thinkers, or ideologists and fascists. The focus will be on encounters between the West and China, Tibet, Japan and India during the 19th and 20th centuries. Eventually the outlines of a map may appear that will show the extent to which the ‚East‘ and the ‚West‘ are parts of a great work of fiction.

Elmar Schenkel has been Chair of British Literature at the University of Leipzig until 2019. He is also a writer, translator and artist. His research interests focus on the relationship between science, religion and literature. Recent books include Keplers Dämon – Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Literatur, Traum und Wissenschaft (S. Fischer 2016), Transsilvanien Express (Hamouda 2017) and Anruf aus der Kreidezeit – Aphorismen und andere Alphornissen (Isele 2019).

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