Promotie – Jeroen Dera (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)

Sprekend kritiek: literatuurprogramma’s in de vroege jaren van de Nederlandse radio en televisie

Datum: woensdag 14 juni 2017, 16:30
Locatie: Academiezaal Aula, Comeniuslaan 2, Nijmegen
Promotor: prof. dr. J.H.T. Joosten
Copromotor: dr. M.J.P. Sanders

Het is tegenwoordig gebruikelijk dat schrijvers op radio of televisie vertellen over hun nieuwste boek. Maar hoe ontstond die traditie? Jeroen Dera deed onderzoek naar vroege literatuurprogramma’s op de Nederlandse radio (1923-1940) en televisie (1951-1975) en plaatst deze programma’s in hun cultuurhistorische context. Waarom werd literatuur zo snel een aandachtspunt in nieuwe media? Wie waren, naast bekende boekbesprekers als P.H. Ritter jr. en Hans Gomperts, bij dit soort programma’s betrokken? En hoe komt het dat we zo lang geen zicht hadden op het radiowerk van de invloedrijke literator Anton van Duinkerken of het televisieprogramma Literair kijkschrift? Dera’s proefschrift laat zien dat het op radio en televisie lang niet alleen om voorlichting voor een massapubliek ging. De destijd nieuwe literatuurprogramma’s werden, zo blijkt uit dit onderzoek, evengoed gebruikt om stelling te nemen in literaire debatten.

Biografie
Jeroen Dera (Uden, 1986) studeerde Nederlands en Literatuurwetenschap aan de Radboud Universiteit. Hij publiceerde zowel nationaal (o.a. Spiegel der Letteren, Nederlandse Letterkunde) als internationaal (o.a. The Communication Review, The International Journal of the Book) over literatuurbeschouwing op radio en televisie. Momenteel werkt hij als docent Moderne Nederlandse Letterkunde aan de Radboud Universiteit en de Universiteit Utrecht, en is hij vakdidacticus Nederlands aan de Radboud Docenten Academie.
Meer informatie

SMART Lecture – Marco Caracciolo (Ghent): Narrative Beyond Anthropocentrism: Embodying the Nonhuman

Date: 12 May 2017, 16:00-17:30
Location: University of Amsterdam, Oudemanhuispoort F 0.01

Narrative Beyond Anthropocentrism: Embodying the Nonhuman

Narrative is a practice geared toward what psychologist James J. Gibson called the “intermediate world”—that is, the human-scale world of everyday perception. One of the upshots of this idea is that storytelling has, in Monika Fludernik’s (1996, 13) term, an “anthropomorphic bias.” It is not just that narrative understanding is embodied, as psychologists and psycholinguists have persuasively shown; at a very fundamental level, narrative implies human forms of embodiment.

This talk engages with stories that resist this bias, putting the reader in touch with a wide array of nonhuman realities—including the experience of nonhuman animals, the “deep” temporality of evolution, and a cosmic perspective on human affairs. To explore these narratives, I will draw on work on the embodied basis of narrative comprehension in fields such as psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics. My central claim is that, when approached creatively, embodiment becomes an opportunity for this kind of narrative: through a process of what I call “bodily defamiliarization,” readers’ imagination may be elevated—temporarily, of course, and tentatively—beyond the human. In this way, the talk demonstrates how cognitive literary studies is not just a productive framework in itself, but one that can make a significant contribution to other areas of discussion, particularly the environmental humanities and human-animal studies.

Bionote

Marco Caracciolo is a postdoctoral researcher at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany. In February 2017 he will move to Ghent University in Belgium, where he will coordinate the ERC Starting Grant project “Narrating the Mesh” (NARMESH). Marco’s work explores the phenomenology of narrative, or the structure of the experiences afforded by literary fiction and other narrative media. He is also interested in the dynamics of interpretation and in engaging with characters, especially characters whom readers perceive as “strange” or deviant (narrating animals, serial killers, cyborgs). He is the author of three books: The Experientiality of Narrative: An Enactivist Approach (De Gruyter, 2014; honorable mention for the Perkins Prize of the International Society for the Study of Narrative); Strange Narrators in Contemporary Fiction: Explorations in Readers’ Engagement with Characters (University of Nebraska Press, 2016); and A Passion for Specificity: Confronting Inner Experience in Literature and Science (co-authored with psychologist Russell Hurlburt; Ohio State University Press, 2016).

Promotie – Marieke Winkler (Radboud Universiteit)

Geleerd of niet. Literatuurkritiek en literatuurwetenschap in Nederland sinds 1876

Datum: Maandag 15 mei om 12.30 stipt
Locatie: Academiezaal Aula – Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

De taakverdeling tussen de literaire criticus en de literatuurwetenschapper lijkt helder: de criticus beoordeelt het literaire werk op basis van persoonlijke en subjectieve maatstaven, de wetenschapper streeft juist een algemeen geldende analyse na en plaatst het werk in de cultuurhistorische context. Kijken we echter naar de praktijk van criticus en wetenschapper dan blijkt het onderscheid moeilijk houdbaar. Veel wetenschappers opereren als criticus, en hoe zit het met critici die een objectief oordeel nastreven?

In haar proefschrift traceert Marieke Winkler de wortels van het onderscheid tussen literatuurkritiek en literatuurwetenschap in Nederland. Zij stelt de literatuurbeschouwelijke praktijk centraal en brengt de conjunctuur van de begrippen ‘kritiek’ en ‘wetenschap’ als afwisselend ‘subjectief’ en ‘objectief’ in kaart vanaf het moment dat de literatuurstudie een zelfstandige academische discipline werd in 1876. Het onderzoek biedt inzicht in de ontwikkeling van de academische literatuurstudie in Nederland, het toont de verschuivende opvattingen rond de verhouding kritiek en wetenschap en hoe de didactische dimensie steeds meespeelt in het debat tussen critici en wetenschappers. Tot slot laat Marieke Winkler zien hoe er binnen én buiten de muren van de universiteit werd gedacht over de rol en de plaats van de academische literatuurstudie in de maatschappij en stelt zij de vraag hoe wij zouden willen dat een kritische literatuurwetenschap er in de toekomst uit moet zien.

Zie ook http://www.ru.nl/nieuws-agenda/agenda/promoties-oraties/@1077274/geleerd-literatuurkritiek-literatuurwetenschap/

 

ACLA pre-conference Masterclasses on Memory, New Materialism, Human Rights and Decolonized Humanism

In the run-up to the 2017 annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association (to take place in Utrecht July 6-9), there will be four masterclasses for Research Master students and PhD candidates.

Students registered with the following research schools are eligible: OSL, NOG, ASCA, NICA.

The masterclasses are limited to 20 participants.

In order to receive credit (1 EC), students are required to take two of these masterclasses (you can pick any combination, but you must register by 18 June 2017.
Registration: Please Note: When registering, please fill in at remarks which two masterclasses you would like to attend.

Each masterclass will take two hours and require the preparation of 2-3 articles or book chapters. The required readings will be made available to registered participants ahead of time. Please prepare the readings carefully and be ready to discuss the texts and ask productive discussion questions.

Masterclass 1: Prof. Max Silverman (Modern French Studies  – University of Leeds)

Tuesday, July 4
17.00 – 19.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University

Palimpsestic Memory and the Art of the Invisible

Recent developments in cultural memory studies have moved away from ideas of memory as simply being linked to the shared past of a social, ethnic or national community to explore the ways in which memory ‘travels’ across communities, nations and generations, especially in the contemporary age of global communication flows. An accompanying development suggests that memory is not a fixed monument to the past but is, instead, a dynamic, productive and imaginative process which is performed in the present. In my own contribution to these debates, I have used the figure of the palimpsest and the notion of ‘noeuds de mémoire’ (knots of memory) to highlight the unstable and hybrid nature of memory as traces of different voices, times and places are interwoven, overlaid and transformed through their interaction. In this workshop we will consider the following dimensions of this more fluid and polyphonic concept of memory: temporality, ethics, narrative, politics, the affective and the performative.

Bio:

Max Silverman is Professor of Modern French Studies at the University of Leeds. He works on post-Holocaust culture, postcolonial theory and cultures, and questions of memory, race and violence. His most recent monograph, entitled Palimpsestic Memory: the Holocaust and Colonialism in French and Francophone Fiction and Film (Berghahn, 2013), considered the connections between the Holocaust and colonialism in the French and Francophone cultural imaginary. He has recently published three co-edited books with Griselda Pollock on the theme of the ‘concentrationary’: Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics as Political Resistance in Alain Resnais’s ‘Night and Fog’ (Berghahn, 2011), Concentrationary Memories: Totalitarian Terror and Cultural Resistance (I. B. Tauris, 2014) and Concentrationary Imaginaries: Tracing Totalitarian Violence in Popular Culture (I. B. Tauris, 2015). He is currently working on the fourth and final volume in this series entitled Concentrationary Art and his next monograph entitled The Art of the Invisible.

Masterclass 2: Prof. Stathis Gourgouris (Comparative Literature – Columbia University)

Wednesday, July 5
11.00 – 13.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University

Humanism from the Standpoint of Decolonization

While radical European thought in the second half of the 20th century turned into an explicitly anti-humanist theory in order to battle the collusion of humanist ideas with colonial power, the exact reverse happened in the historical juncture of decolonization. Radical intellectuals in the non-European tradition (from M.N. Roy to Césaire, Senghor, and Fanon, and all the way to Sylvia Wynter and Edward Said) proposed an alternative humanism — a “non-humanist humanism” in Said’s phrase — that spearheaded the battlefront against the dehumanization of the colonial experience. This decolonized humanism may be again precisely the source of resistance to posthumanist globalization.

In addition to establishing a historical trajectory, in the class we will address key texts from the negritude debates (especially Césaire and Fanon) as well as Said’s Humanism and Democratic Criticism.

Bio: Stathis Gourgouris is Professor of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, and author of Dream Nation (1996), Does Literature Think? (2003), and Lessons in Secular Criticism (2013). He writes and teaches on a variety of subjects that ultimately come together around questions of the poetics and politics of modernity and democracy.

Masterclass 3: Prof. Vicki Kirby (Sociology in the School of Social Sciences – UNSW Sydney)

Wednesday, July 5
15.00 – 17.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University

New Materialism: a Problem Resolved or Displaced?

The interventionary importance of new materialist strategies is often explained as a corrective to the over-reach of the linguistic turn and an acknowledgement of the failures of constructionist arguments. A consequence of this freeing up has been a more robust engagement with the sciences, with plants, animals, climate change, geology and even physics. Not surprisingly, the critique of human exceptionalism is an inevitable corollary of this turning outward and away from what now appears as human solipsism. Does this more generous and inclusive vision, with its liberation of analytical methodologies and research “objects,” effectively trump the insights and complexities of the linguistic turn in ways that exceed mere assertion? Where is the reference point that will anchor our evaluation?  And should we care if we can’t find one?

Bio:

Vicki Kirby is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney.  She is a prominent figure in feminist and new materialist debates and in recent attempts to review the work of Jacques Derrida in vitalist terms.  More recent books include (ed.) What If Culture Was Nature All Along? (Edinburgh University Press) and Quantum Anthropologies: Life at Large (Duke).  She has articles forthcoming in PhiloSophiaJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour and a chapter in David Woods et al. eds., Eco-Deconstruction (Fordham UP)

Readings:

  • (2017) Kirby, Vicki, “Matter out of Place: ‘New Materialism’ in review” in Vicki Kirby (ed.), What if Culture was really Nature all along? Edinburgh University Press. pp. 1-25.
  • (2015) Kirby, Vicki “Transgression: normativity’s self-inversion” differences: a journal of feminist cultural studies Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 96-116.
  • (2006) Kirby, Vicki, “Language, Power, Performativity – Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’” in Vicki Kirby, Judith Butler: Live Theory Continuum. pp. 65-85.

Masterclass 4: Prof. Joseph Slaughter (English and Comparative Literature – Columbia University)

Thursday, July 6
11.00 – 13.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University

Literature, Human Rights, and Neoliberalism; or, What’s Wrong with Empathy?

Most literature and many legal scholars seem to agree that “the historic mission of ‘contemporary’ human rights is to give voice to human suffering, to make it visible, and to ameliorate it,” as Upendra Baxi has written. In the face of a general consensus that human rights are about storytelling, we should consider the role played by the so-called narrative turn in narrowing ideas of human rights to the suffering of individuals and in promoting personal sympathy as the proper response to it. The “narrative turn” in human rights can be tracked to the 1970s, when personal stories and appeals to empathy became (the) primary tools in much Western human rights work—best emblematized, perhaps, in the efforts of groups such as Amnesty International that encouraged individuals to enter into imaginary empathetic relationships with the injuries of distant others. This seminar will consider some of the costs of this narrative turn: what are the consequences for human rights? what has this done to literature? are we defending literary studies (and the humanities more generally) in terms that promote the neoliberalization of a moral economy?

Bio:

Joseph Slaughter is currently President of the American Comparative Literature Association. He teaches postcolonial literature and theory, human rights, and third-world approaches to international law in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He has published numerous articles on African and Latin American literature, human rights, and intellectual property. His book Human Rights, Inc: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law, which excavates the shared logic underpinning human rights law and the form and ideology of the Bildungsroman, won the 2008 René Wellek Prize for Comparative Literature and Cultural Theory. He is finishing two books: New Word Orders, on intellectual property and world literature, and Pathetic Fallacies, a collection of essays on human rights and the humanities.

 

 

Workshop: Literary Representations of Violence

Date: 9 June 2017
Time: 10.30-17.00
Venue: University of Amsterdam, University Library – Potgieterzaal, Singel 425, Amsterdam
Open to: Staff members, PhD Candidates, RMA students
Organisers: Marileen La Haije & Christina Lammer

Registration

This workshop brings together postgraduates and literary scholars who are specialized in configurations of literature and violence. The aim is to study literary representations of different forms of violence (e.g. trauma, ‘slow violence’, domestic abuse or state terrorism). We will discuss both theoretical and conceptual approaches to violence in relation to literary texts in which violence plays a significant role. Key questions of the workshop will be: In which ways are various forms of violence represented in different literary cultures and contexts? Which literary devices are used that can be related to violence? And what are the central topics in current debates on the nexus of literature and violence?

The invited (and confirmed) speakers are:

  • Dr Verónica Abrego, JGU Mainz
  • Dr Ben de Bruyn, Maastricht University
  • Dr Emy Koopman, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Preliminary Programme:

10.30 – Introduction
10.45 – Verónica Abrego, “Violence, Memory and Intersectionality”
11:15 – Discussion
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Ben de Bruyn, “Nature after war: Slow violence and planetary memory in recent literature”
13:30 – Discussion
14:15 – Coffee break
14:30 – Emy Koopman, “Entering ‘the dark chamber’: Ethical issues when reading or writing about rape”
15:00 – Discussion
15.45 – Round-up
16:15 – Drinks

Dr Verónica Abrego

In Memory and Intersectionality: Women as Victims of Argentine State Repression“ (1975-1983) – german original: Erinnerung und Intersektionalität: Frauen als Opfer der argentinischen Staatsrepression (1975-1983) – Verónica Abrego reflects on social and cultural memory of persecuted women during Argentine’s State Repression and she examines the figurations of female victims in the factual and fictional narrations of contemporary Argentine female authors.

The Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983) left the social enigma of 30,000 abducted and disappeared persons, whose identities and whereabouts are still being reconstructed step-by-step by means of traces, mostly by family members and ONGs, since 2004 also by state courts. Under the guise of the struggle against subversion, state repression broke cultural taboos: the systematic and gender-specific torture was carried out in secret camps, and the brutal and misogynic interrogatories of estimated 10,000 missing women did not even stop in front of pregnancy. Only a few hundreds have returned from those torture and death camps. Their children were often abducted with them, and the identity of their newborns was often exchanged, so that the search for the stolen children of those Desaparecidas is continuing in the present.

For the disentangling of the discourse fields and discourse transformations in which the persecution was embedded and in which their memory is now constituted, this reflection applies cultural-scientific theories to intersectionality, memory, decoloniality, and critical discourse analysis. Past and present discourses and practices beget today a writing against multiple stereotypes, obsolete and one-dimensional women’s journeys. In their work, Argentinean writers rebel not only against the systematic asymmetry of the persecution, but also against the participation of society and the individual in repression and forgetting.

In her talk at the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL) Abrego will refer to the theory frame of her work and show how it may contribute to the reading of literary works.

Dr Verónica Abrego is a graduate translator for Spanish, Portuguese, German and English and owns a Dr. phil. in romance cultural studies. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, she studied at the Argentine Universidad of Buenos Aires and at the German University of Mainz. Between 1998 and 2011, she worked as an expert translator of scientific texts. Since 2009 she teaches at the University of Mainz and briefly at the University of Saarbrucken, both in Germany. Current research interests: Memory in Latin America, Transculturalism and Cultural Translation in the context of migrations in the Spanish and Portuguese linguistic spaces.

—-

Dr Ben de Bruyn

Nature after war. Slow violence and planetary memory in recent literature

This paper develops Rob Nixon’s influential notion of ‘slow violence’ (2011) by combining insights from environmental history with recent literary works about climate war. In line with Nixon’s call for more attention to the unspectacular, attritional violence of pollution and radiation, Jacob Hamblin (2013) and Robert Marzec (2015) have highlighted the structural ecological impact of the modern military, whose ‘environmentality’ and ‘catastrophic environmentalism’ play a crucial role in the anthropocene – leading Jean-Baptiste Fressoz and Christophe Bonneuil (2016) to speak of the ‘thanatocene’ instead. After explaining these ideas and the structural link between ecological degradation and military force projection, I will explore the ways in which recent novels represent this particular form of slow violence and highlight a multiscalar ‘planetary memory’ (Bond, De Bruyn and Rapson 2017). This account will pay special attention to Berit Ellingsen’s Not Dark Yet (2015), Warren Ellis’s Normal (2016) and Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer (2015).

Ben De Bruyn is associate professor of comparative literature at Maastricht University. He is the author of Wolfgang Iser. A Companion (De Gruyter, 2012) and co-editor of Literature Now. Key Terms and Methods for Literary History (Edinburgh UP, 2016). In addition, he has published on literature and the environment in journals including Critique, Studies in the Novel and Oxford Literary Review.

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Dr Emy Koopman, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Entering “the dark chamber” – Ethical issues when reading or writing about rape

Authors trying to represent rape run the risk that readers’ reactions to their imagined rape scenes will not be limited to horror, but will rather involve lust, reinforcing the cultural script of rape as sexual fantasy. Some authors choose to elide the act of rape altogether, which is a way to avoid prurient reactions, but also obscures the victim’s pain. Others aestheticize the rape scene, or show it graphically – in both cases, voyeurism and sadism are lurking in the shadows. As the acclaimed South-African novelist J.M. Coetzee has posed in his essay “Into the Dark Chamber” (1992), both ignoring suffering and producing obscene imaginative representations of that suffering make the author complicit in the continuation of violence. According to Coetzee, authors need to avoid the trap of “lyrical inflation.” Equally acclaimed Afro-American novelist Toni Morrison, on the other hand, has indicated that smoothing and beautifying the language may help readers look at horrific scenes they would otherwise have avoided. We can recognize these authors’ diverging opinions in the way they portray rape in respectively Disgrace and The Bluest Eye.

Are there more and less ethical ways of representing rape? And what is the role of the reader in all this? In this presentation I provide some preliminary answers to these questions, by drawing upon Laura Tanner’s analysis of rape representations as “acts of imaginative violation” and upon Dominick LaCapra’s concept of “empathic unsettlement.” In addition, I present findings of a reader response study into literary rape representations.

Emy Koopman (1985) completed a research master in Literary Studies (2010) and a master in Clinical Psychology (2011), both at the University of Utrecht. Afterwards, she received a NWO-grant to study when and how literary works about suffering affect empathy and reflection. Her PhD-thesis Reading Suffering was defended at Erasmus University Rotterdam in September 2016 (cum laude). In the same month, Emy published her debut novel, Orewoet, which was praised by, a.o., NRC Handelsblad, and was nominated for the Fintro (longlist), one of the main three literary prizes in the Dutch language area. Currently, Emy is an independent researcher and author.

 

Daan Rutten and Emy Koopman receive OSL Award 2016

The OSL Award winners of 2016 are Daan Rutten and Emy Koopman. Both received their prize during the annual OSL Research Day on April 7, 2017.

The OSL Award is intended to acknowledge original and innovative contributions to Literary Studies by OSL members who have obtained their doctorate no longer than four years ago. This was the first edition of the contest and the jury was very pleased with the high quality of the contributions. Picking a winner wasn’t easy – as a matter of fact, the jury decided to award the price to two contributions, an article (by Emy Koopman) and a monograph (by Daan Rutten). But the members of the jury would also like thank explicitly all the  participants and authors of priceworthy contributions who have made this a particularly strong and impressive competition.

Congratulations, Daan and Emy, on behalf of the jury and OSL Board!

Report of the Jury

Daan Rutten

Daan Rutten will receive the OSL Award for the published version of his dissertation on the work of renowned Dutch writer W. F. Hermans, which he defended in December 2016 at Utrecht University. The book is entitled De ernst van het spel (The Gravity of the Game). Willem Frederik Hermans en de ethiek van de persoonlijke mythologie.

In his study, Rutten proposes a new view of Hermans, who has long been seen as typical example of a disengaged modernist author, characterized by an autonomous poetics and a ‘cynical’ or even nihilist attitude towards society. Rutten’s fascinating revision of this ‘standard view’ does not simply consist in arguing that Hermans, in fact, was much more ‘engaged’ with society than previous critics thought, but in taking the notion of game seriously: Yes, Rutten argues, Hermans regarded existence as a form of ‘play’, but in the serious sense of language games (as seen by Ludwig Wittgenstein) and the games of signification we cannot escape once we enter the symbolic order (as described by Jacques Lacan).

To be an engaged writer, then, means to be engaged with the ongoing construction and deconstruction of these symbolic games; it means to be a ‘speler’ rather than a ‘spelbreker’ (spoilsport), as which Hermans has been typically seen. And it opens up new perspectives for the interpretation of Hermans’s works and his approaches to the serious ‘games’ of politics and science.

The jury was very much impressed with Rutten’s original and compelling re-interpretation of Herman’s allegedly disengaged modernist poetics as well as with the vibrant and accessible style of his study. It also admired the convincing combination of an aesthetic perspective and careful close readings with a cultural studies sensibility for the discursive entanglements of literature and a clear theoretical framing of the analysis.

Emy Koopman

Our second laureate is dr. Emy Koopman, who defended her dissertation Reading Suffering at the Erasmus University cum laude last year

Emy Koopman is granted the OSL Award for her article ‘Effects of “Literariness” on Emotions and on Empathy and Reflection after Reading’, which appeared in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts in 2016 (and her first novel Orewoet also appeared in 2016, so it was a very prolific year indeed for Emy).

Koopman’s study tackles one of the perennial questions in Literary Studies, namely whether reading literary texts can make people more empathic. Koopman approach this issue in an experiment in which 142 participants who were asked to read different versions of an excerpt from a novel about the loss of a child.  The versions differed with regard to their foregrounding of semantic, phonetic and grammatical features of the text (in one version of the text imagery/metaphors were edited out, in another version all elements of ‘literariness’ were removed).

Koopman’s quantitative and qualitative analysis showed that foregrounding had “a significant and robust effect on empathic understanding”, on the basis of the measures that Koopman used. The results also provided evidence that foreground, somewhat surprisingly, did not significantly affect reflection (which has been claimed before by several researchers, without sufficient empirical evidence).

The jury was impressed by the clear focus and careful set-up of Koopman’s experiment and her analysis. It noticed that she refrains from sweeping statements and freewheeling speculation and is very precise in what her research demonstrates and what it does not. Koopman has drawn her own methodological conclusions from what she sees as shortcomings in previous research in the field (for instance studies by Kidd & Castano) and opens up perspectives for the integration of philosophical, hermeneutic and empirical research. Last but not least, her work provides tentative but solid evidence for the claim that, under certain conditions, literary language can indeed enhance empathy.

Masterclass with Mieke Bal – KNIR Rome

Travelling Cultures: Movement, Conflict and Performance

 20-30 September 2017
KNIR Rome
Deadline for applications: 15 May 2017
Flyer Travelling Cultures

Many of the foundational myths informing “Western Civilization” are narrations of the often violent conflicts performed in a situation where cultures on the move meet. The Rape of the Sabine Women is just one of such tales that illustrate how Rome and its history offer a privileged perspective on the pivotal role of violence in establishing civilization, as well as on the strong cultural memory they produce through the works of art inspired by these myths. In the current global political situation, it is worth revisiting those myths to explore, with the tools of cultural theory, how the movement of cultures, which was once the standard of human cohabitation, has become seen as problematic in the present. In an anachronistic (“pre-posterous”) perspective, participants will bring analytical concepts with relevance for the present in its connection to the past, to bear on their own research projects. Close attention to cultural objects in view of the themes hinted at by the title, with the help of theoretical concepts will be the goal of the seminar.

Course information
The Masterclass is organised by and hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR), in conjunction with the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Huizinga Institute. Research Institute and Graduate School for Cultural History, and the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL). The Masterclass comprises a series of excursions to locations in and close to Rome that have relevance to the seminar’s topic.

Staff: KNIR-fellow prof.dr. Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam), in conjunction with prof.dr. Harald Hendrix (KNIR).
Guest lecturers: prof.dr. Ernst van Alphen (Leiden University), Kaspar Thormod MA (EUI Florence), various KNIR staff members.
Credits: 6 ects, assigned upon completion of the final essay.
Languages used in the Masterclass: English.
Assessment: preparation of a position paper prior to the seminar in Rome, on-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions, and a final essay to be submitted after the stay in Rome.

More information

MiekeBLuzernRoberto Conciatori Web

Masterclass ‘Testimony’ – Prof. Rosanne Kennedy (Australian National University)

Date: Tuesday 13 June, 13:30-15:30
Location: Utrecht University, Drift 25, room 003
Credits: 1 EC
To register for the masterclass, please email dr Anna Poletti (a.l.poletti[at]uu.nl) and (osl-fgw[at]uva.nl)

Testimony, a concept that has an ancient heritage, has in the past thirty years become a cultural keyword as well as an important practice in literary, legal and human rights contexts. This masterclass will introduce students to range of approaches to testimony, including literary, psychoanalytic, postcolonial, feminist, anthropological and legal. We will consider a number of sites, including memoir, literature, law courts and transitional justice, in which testimony is produced, framed and judged. We will consider key issues such as the framing of testimony and questions of truth, authenticity, interpretation, and evidence. If time permits, we will consider issues raised by the production and circulation of testimony, for instance, in digital archives and film.

Contemporary Case Studies:

  • Didier Fassin, “The Humanitarian Politics of Testimony: Subjectification through Trauma in the Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict,” Cultural Anthropology 23.3 (2008): read 531-535.
  • Gilmore, Leigh. “Introduction.” Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say about Their Lives. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.
  • Kennedy, Rosanne. 2014, ‘Moving Testimony: Human Rights, Palestinian Memory, and the Transnational Public Sphere’, in Chiara De Cesari and Ann Rigney (ed.), Transnational Memory Circulation, Articulation, Scales, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and Boston, pp. 51-78.
  • Whitlock, Gillian. “The Ends of Testimony.” Postcolonial Life Narratives: Testimonial Transactions, Oxford University Press, pp. 168-199.
  • Suggested viewing: Joshua Oppenheimer, The Act of Killing

Background Reading:

  • Giorgio Agamben, The Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive. New York: Zone Books, 1999. pp. TBC
  • John Beverley, Testimonio: On the Politics of Truth (2004). pp. TBC
  • Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub, Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History (New York: Routledge, 1992), pp. TBC
  • Dori Laub, “Bearing Witness of the Vicissitudes of Listening, in Testimony” in Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History.
  • Peters, Julie Stone (2005) “”Literature,” the “Rights of Man,” and Narratives of Atrocity: Historical Backgrounds to the Culture of Testimony,” Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, 17(2).
  • Annette Wieviorka, The Era of the Witness, trans. Jared Stark (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2006). pp. TBC

Dr. Rosanne Kennedy is Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Culture at the Australian National University. Professor Kennedy’s research focuses on trauma, memory, and witnessing in Australia and transnational contexts; life-writing studies; biography; and human rights and justice issues. Her recent work includes “Moving Testimony: Human Rights, Palestinian Memory, and the Transnational Public Sphere” (in Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales; de Gruyter, 2014) and “Memory, History and the Law: Testimony and Collective Memory in Holocaust and Stolen Generations Trials” (in Memory and History: Understanding Memory as Source and Subject; Routledge, 2013)

This masterclass, in conjunction with attendance at the Mediated Testimony Sympoisum at Utrecht University on 12 June (https://www.uu.nl/en/events/mediated-testimony-symposium), will contribute 1 EC to RMA training offered by the OSL. To register for the masterclass, please email dr Anna Poletti (a.l.poletti[at]uu.nl) and (osl-fgw[at]uva.nl)
PDFs of the readings will be made available to registered masterclass participants.

Course – Computational Literary Studies

Dates: April 3, 10 and 24, May 1, 8, and 15, 2017
Time: 15.00-18.00 hrs.
Venue: University of Amsterdam, OMHP C 2.23, Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam (NOTE: Changed Venue)
Open to: PhD Candidates and RMa Students, OSL members will have first access
Organiser: prof. Karina van Dalen-Oskam (UvA)
ECTS: 3-6
Registration

THE SEMINAR IS FULLY BOOKED, please send us an e-mail with your name, university and research school. We will put you on our waiting list.

Scholars working in computational literary studies make use of computer software that helps them to analyze digital textual data. Software can support the exploration of a much larger amount of data in systematic ways than was possible before. In this course, students will get introduced to the most important current approaches in computational literary studies, ranging from the analysis of style and methods for the verification and attribution of authorship to various forms of ‘distant reading’ and discourse analysis.

The first part of the course explores the new horizons and possibilities as well as the limitations of computational approaches in literary studies. Several computational tools will be demonstrated such as concordance software that can be used for discourse analytical approaches and specialized R-scripts for authorship attribution and stylistic analysis. The questions to be addressed in the first four sessions of the seminar include: How can different authors be distinguished from each other using computational tools? In which ways do their writing styles exactly differ? What are the options for computer-assisted discourse analysis? What kinds of reasoning and logic play a role when computational tools are applied and what are their epistemological implications? How can be evaluate the results of the new methods and techniques?

The second part of the course is optional and more practical. In two workshop-like meetings students will conduct small research projects of their own. In this way, they will learn to use the computational tools themselves and gain practical experience with their possibilities and limitations. The research projects can be devoted to the cases presented in the first part of the course but also be proposed by the students themselves.

Course objectives:

  • Students learn to employ empirical and computational methods in literary studies, including the selection of tools and the reflection on their possibilities and limitations.
  • Students get an overview of international discussions in the fields of computational literary studies and digital humanities and learn to relate their research to these debates.
  • Students learn to reflect on the relation of research questions and digital methods in literary studies.

Programme

  • April 3: Introduction
  • April 10: Authorship attribution, verification, and profiling
  • April 24: Computational analysis of literary style
  • May 1: From style to discourse analysis
  • May 8 and 15: Workshop tools (bring your own laptop)

Credits

Students receive 3 EC for active participation (readings and small assignments) in the first four meetings and an additional 3 EC for participation in the workshops and the preparation of a final assignment (= paper of 3000 words).

For more information please contact dr Stephan Besser (s.besser@uva.nl)

 

Masterclass with Joep Leerssen and Ann Rigney on Interscalar Memories: Urbi et Orbi

Royal Netherlands Institute Rome
1 – 12 June, 2017

deadline for applications: 1 April 2017

Format and objectives In the early development of cultural memory studies, the national framework seemed the ‘natural’ one for studying the production of shared memory, and its relation to collective identity. Recently this methodological nationalism has been challenged on a number of grounds, not least of them being its inability to capture the entanglements of today’s globalised society. The national framework is still a very important one for memory and identity, not least because of the role of nation-based heritage institutions; but it has long ceased to have the privileged place it once enjoyed. A multiscalar analysis is needed, which would account for the production and circulation of memory at scales smaller than that of nations (families, cities) but also at scales that transcend national boundaries (regional, European, diasporic).

The aim of this masterclass is to explore theoretically, historically, and empirically what is to be gained from such a multi-scalar approach and to reflect critically on how we could use it to get a better grasp both of the multiplicity of narratives at work in society and of the frictions between them. A key aspect of our exploration will be the interplay between the memory materialized in localities and the role of the media in circulating cultural representations which carry that memory to people elsewhere. The palimpsestic city of Rome will offer an ideal observation point for studying the interplay between the local and the global, the city and the world, over a longer period.

The masterclass combines lectures, seminar sessions and site visits. In the lectures and seminars we will discuss key theoretical and methodological issues, and survey particular frameworks of memory, each tethered to a particular “remembrance Rome”. These include: the Imperial city (Napoleon to Mussolini and Hollywood epics); the papacy’s religious capital (after the restoration of Pius VII); the national capital (after 1871); the Holocaust and World War II; the hub of activism, exiles and migrants. Cinematographic thematizations of Rome as an imperial, metropolitan, national or global city, and as a mnemonic space will also be included.

The site visits will be to landmarks that can be “read” as lieux de mémoire across multiscalar frames (e.g. the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument and the Ardeatine Caves ). At the same time, the question will be confronted how these multiscalar memories coexist, competing for bandwidth in the limited, over-memorized space of a single (unique) city.

Course information

The Masterclass is organised by and hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR), in conjunction with the Huizinga Institute. Research Institute and Graduate School for Cultural History, and the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL).

Staff: KNIR-fellow prof.dr. Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam), Knir-fellow prof.dr. Ann Rigney (Utrecht University), in conjunction with prof. dr Harald Hendrix (KNIR).

This masterclass is Leerssen/Rigney’s second collaborative research project after their Commemorating writers in 19th-century Europe: Nation-Building and Centenary Fever (Palgrave, 2014).

Credits: 6 ects, assigned upon completion of the final essay.
Languages used in the Masterclass: English.
Assessment: on-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions, assignments and a final essay to be submitted after the stay in Rome.

Admission The Masterclass is open to a maximum of 10 selected students at (R)MA or PhD-level, as well as to early career researchers in the humanities and beyond.

Fees

Tuition is free for selected participants. Dutch participants may be eligible for KNIR bursaries covering all expenses (see below). Other participants are required to cover their stay in the KNIR at their own expenses.

Bursaries for Dutch participants

Selected participants from KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) are eligible for KNIR bursaries, comprising all expenses related to the Masterclass (tuition, lodging in Rome, conference fees, etc.). Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Students receive a € 100 reimbursement of their expenses for travelling to Rome after submission of their final essay.

Applications

Applications are welcome until 1 April 2017. Notice on acceptance will follow before 15 April 2017. This will include information on the selection for KNIR bursaries. Applicants need to submit an application letter containing information on their motivation, their C.V. and on the marks obtained in their current programme. Candidates can apply by filling out the application form and sending it, together with the application letter and their research statement, to: secretary@knir.it. Download the application form at .

Facilities in Rome

All participants will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical centre of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.

Contact information Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome Via Omero 10-12 00197 ROMA
E-mail: secretary@knir.it
Phone: (0039)063269621