OSL Seed Money Call 2023

OSL Seed Money Call 2023

Groningen, 28 February 2023

The OSL seed money grant aims to foster collaboration within and beyond the OSL community. The OSL Board will make € 1000,- available as seed money for the most promising initiative, including for instance:

  • Planning of symposia, workshops and conferences in 2024 or 2025
  • Publications (e.g. contribution to publishing fees, editing services, etc.)
  • Assistance for joint funding applications
  • Organization of OSL budgeted academic events (in this case, the seed money will be added as an extra to the budget already made available by OSL).

Applications (short description of the initiative and its ‘seed’ nature + estimation of expenses, approx. 500 words) should be sent to osl@rug.nl by 28 April 2023, end of day. The OSL Board will notify the recipients by the end of May 2023.

Automatic metaphor identification: state-of-the-art, trends and future applications for narrative studies

Automatic metaphor identification: state-of-the-art, trends and future applications for narrative studies

(Identificación automática de metáforas: estado de la cuestión, tendencias y aplicaciones para
los estudios de narrativas)

by PhD Candidate M.Eng. María Isabel Marín Morales and Prof. dr. Pablo Valdivia
(this talk will be in Spanish with simultaneous automatic translation to any language, followed by a Q&A in English/Spanish)

Date: 17th March 2023
Venue: University of Groningen 1315.0036 / Hybrid: Link Here / UFRO Núcleo TV
Time: 15:00 to 17:00 Groningen Time (GMT+1) / 11:00-13:00 Santiago Time (GMT-4) / 09:00-11:00 Bogotá Time (GMT-5)


Lakoff and Johnson, and scholars that followed their line of inquiry, have explained why and how metaphor is not just a rhetoric embellishment but a ubiquitous cognitive device present in
everyday language, affecting how we think and act. Thus, metaphor is one of the most complex
abstract cognitive devices with which the human mind is equipped and which weaves not only
discourses and narratives but also power relations, world-views, behaviors, and affects. In
recent years, artificial intelligence has largely surpassed its limits and has enriched and
optimized various promising models for language processing, including language models such
as ChatGPT. These new computational possibilities expand our knowledge of the internal
workings of human cognition and the understanding of some of its most challenging and
powerful mechanisms. Under this over-arching scenario, our current research inquiries whether
an AI-enabled system could help us understand how cultural narratives are shaped and how
they drive social mobilization by modeling and processing the metaphors used in public
discourse. In our talk, we will offer a systemic review of the state of the art regarding current
models available, their pros and cons concerning automatic metaphor detection and prediction,
and we will provide a comprehensive overview of the potential applications for studying
metaphoricity and complex information and representation narrative systems.

(Lakoff y Johnson, y los académicos que siguieron su línea de investigación, han explicado por
qué y cómo la metáfora no es solo un adorno retórico, sino un dispositivo cognitivo ubicuo
presente en el lenguaje cotidiano, que afecta la forma en que pensamos y actuamos. Por tanto,
la metáfora es uno de los dispositivos cognitivos abstractos más complejos con los que está
equipada la mente humana y que teje no sólo discursos y narrativas, sino también relaciones
de poder, visiones del mundo, comportamientos y emociones. En los últimos años, la
inteligencia artificial ha superado ampliamente sus límites y ha enriquecido y optimizado varios
modelos prometedores para el procesamiento del lenguaje, incluidos modelos de lenguaje
como ChatGPT. Estas nuevas posibilidades computacionales amplían nuestro conocimiento del
funcionamiento interno de la cognición humana y la comprensión de algunos de sus
mecanismos más desafiantes y poderosos. Bajo este escenario general, nuestra investigación
actual explora si un sistema de IA podría ayudarnos a comprender cómo se forman las
narrativas culturales y cómo impulsan la movilización social al modelar y procesar las metáforas
utilizadas en el discurso público. En nuestra charla, ofreceremos una revisión sistémica del
estado de la cuestión con respecto a los modelos actuales disponibles, sus pros y contras con
respecto a la detección y predicción automática de metáforas, y proporcionaremos una visión
general completa de las posibles aplicaciones para el estudio de la metaforicidad y los sistemas
narrativos complejos de información y representación)


María Isabel Marín Morales is PhD Candidate of European Culture and Literature (University of Groningen). PhD Researcher in the Research Theme Group Data Science, Culture & Social Change at Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics. Also, currently, she collaborates as a researcher at the Sociolinguistic Studies Group of the Faculty of Communications and Philology and as a co-investigator at the Research Incubator Corpus Ex Machina, both at the University of Antioquia. Before starting doctoral studies at University of Groningen in 2022, she worked in Colombia at La Comisión para el Esclarecimiento de la Verdad, la Convivencia y la No repetición (CEV), Tecnológico de Antioquia and the Universidad Eafit. She is a Systems and Computer Engineer from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and M.Eng. from the same university. For more information, click here.

Pablo Valdivia is Chair-Full Professor of European Culture and Literature (University of Groningen), Accreditated Full Professor [Catedrático Universidad] of Arts and Humanities (ANECA, Spain), Associate in Applied Physics at Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Harvard University), Academic Director of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL), Scientific Advisor of the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities and the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (NIAS-KNAW), “Pablo Valdivia” Chair in Communication, Humanities and Technology (UACH-UFRO), Coordinator Research Theme Group Data Science, Culture & Social Change at Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics (DemCP, RUG), Co-Editor of the Routledge Companions to Hispanic and Latin American Studies and Research Fellow “Corpus Ex Machina” Research Group Incubator (UdeA). His research deals primarily with the “Humanities”, “Social Sciences”, “Communication”, “Computational Literary Studies”, “Cultural Analytics” and “Technology”, and the notions of “Culture, Literature and Crisis” from a multidisciplinary transnational perspective. He is an expert on “Cultural Narratives” and “Conceptual Metaphors”. He carries out multidisciplinary research with particular emphasis on Digital Humanities, Artificial Intelligence, University Innovation, Data Science, Applied Physics, Social Sciences and Cognitive Sciences. For more information, click here.

OSL Awards 2022: Congratulations to the Winners!

OSL Awards 2022: Congratulations to the Winners!

26 January 2023

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 OSL Awards! The Awards are intended to acknowledge original and innovative contributions to the field of literary studies and to highlight the work of talented OSL students and scholars. Please find the full list below:

ReMA Thesis

First Prize: Pascale Feldkamp Moreira, ‘Writing with the left hand: Reading(s) of Bilingual Authors Style(s)’, Utrecht University

Runner-up: Sadie Hale, ‘Anthropocene sharks: temporalities of an epoch and encounters never known’, VU Amsterdam


PhD Thesis

First Prize: Andrés Ibarra Cordero, ‘No Progress: Queer Chronotopes in Late Twentieth Century Fiction’, University of Amsterdam

Runner-up: Judith Jansma, ‘From Submission to Soumission: Populist Perspectives on Culture’, University of Groningen

Peer-reviewed article


First Prize: Duygu Erbil (Utrecht University), ‘The Making of a Young Martyr: Discursive Legacies of the Turkish “Youth Myth” in the Afterlife of Deniz Gezmiş’. In Youth and Memory in Europe: Defining the Past, Shaping the Future, edited by Félix Krawatzek and Nina Friess, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2022, pp. 113-126. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110733501-008

Runner-up: Sasha Richman (University of Groningen), “La déception photographique et la réalité insaisissable dans La chambre noire de Damoclès de Willem Frederik Hermans,” Deshima. Revue d’histoire globale des Pays du Nord 15 (2021): Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, pp. 251-268.


Our warmest congratulations to the winners, and to all those who submitted their work! This year’s jury consisted of Prof. Michael Boyden (Radboud University), Dr. Andrew Bricker (Ghent University), Prof. Karina van Dalen-Oskam (University of Amsterdam), Dr. Alberto Godioli (University of Groningen), Prof. Odile Heynders (Tilburg University), Dr. Marleen Rensen (University of Amsterdam), Dr. Jeanette den Toonder (University of Groningen) and Prof. Pablo Valdivia (University of Groningen).

OSL Skills Course: Computational Literary Studies

Onsite (Amsterdam) and online | 17 April, 24 April, 8 May and 15 May 2023, 12:00-15:00 (onsite, see below); 22 May and 5 June 2023, 12:00-15:00 (online)

Organizer: Prof. Dr. Karina van Dalen-Oskam (University of Amsterdam)
Venue: Exact locations, see below
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Credits: 3-6ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

NB: Members of the Huizinga research school should sign up via the Huizinga website

THE COURSE IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail with your with your name, affiliation, status (ReMA, PhD, other) and research school membership to osl@rug.nl. 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 we evaluate the results of the new methods and techniques? Each class, a new tool will be introduced and the students will learn the basics of their use hands-on.

The second part of the course is optional and more practical. In two workshop-like hands-on 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
  • 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
  • Students learn to reflect on the relation of research questions and digital methods in literary studies.

More details on the programme will follow soon.


17 April | 12:00-15:00 PCH 5.02 – PC Hoofthuis, Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam

24 April | 12:00-15:00 OMHP C 3.17 – Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam

8 May | 12:00-15:00 OMHP C 0.23 – Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam

15 May 2023 | 12:00-15:00 OMHP C 0.23 – Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam

22 May and 5 June 2023, 12:00-15:00 (online)

OSL Seminar: Contemporary Debates in Life Writing

Amsterdam | Dates: 4, 11 and 18 April + 2 and 9 May 2023 | Time: 10:00-13:00 | Venue: VU University (exact rooms, see below)

Organizers: Dr. Marleen Rensen (UvA) and Dr. Babs Boter (VU)
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Credits: 5ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

THE COURSE IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail with your with your name, affiliation, status (ReMA, PhD, other) and research school membership to osl@rug.nl. We will put you on our waiting list.

This course focuses on contemporary debates in life writing as a newly emerging field across disciplines. Life writing is an umbrella term for a wide range of writings about one’s own or someone else’s life, such as biography, autobiography, memoir, diary, bio-fiction and travel writing. In the course we will explore various life stories of men and women in the 20th and 21st centuries, who each had their own unique set of life experiences, beliefs and perceptions. This will help gain a richer understanding of how individuals move through, interact with, and are affected by the major events of their time — and how their lives are narrated, either by themselves or by others.

The full programme will be published soon.


4 April: HG-08A37
11 April, 18 April and 2 May: HG-12A37
9 May: HG-14A20

HG=VU Main building
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam

More information about the locations at the VU, see this link.

OSL Symposium ‘Lifting the Veil: Science, Superstition, and the Supernatural’

Amsterdam | 2 February 2023, 9:30 – 17:00 | Oudemanhuispoort 4-6 (OMHP), room A1.18C

Organizers: Bart Mulderij and Marijke Valk (University of Groningen)

Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.

Credits: 2ECs can be obtained by presenting a paper or submitting the final assignment (please see below for more details). NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration will open on 28 November 2022. NB: Should you encounter problems with the registration form, please try emptying your cache and/or signing up via a different browser. If the problem persists, you can register by emailing osl@rug.nl with your name, affiliation, status (ReMA, PhD, other) and research school membership.


‘Lifting the Veil: Science, Superstition, and the Supernatural’ is a one-day symposium on Gothic interpretations of science and the supernatural, taking place in Amsterdam on 2 February 2023. The symposium will feature lectures by two keynote speakers, namely Dr Eleanor Dobson (University of Birmingham), author of Victorian Alchemy: Science, Magic and Ancient Egypt (2022); and Dr Evert Jan van Leeuwen (Leiden University), co-editor of Haunted Europe: Continental Connections in English-Language Gothic Writing, Film and New Media (with M.S. Newton, 2019). In addition, there will be two panels with presentations by students and early career scholars.

An increasing amount of scholarly attention is being paid to the interplay between science and the supernatural within fiction, predominantly concerning the emergence of occultism during the Victorian period as a reconciliation between the incomprehensible natural sciences and the familiar religious framework, and the tension between the Victorians’ desire to learn more about the world and being terrified of what they learned. Recent influential works on the topic include Ferguson’s article (2017) on the connection and overlap between the natural and occult sides of the scientific spectrum in Victorian occult fiction; Corcoran’s (2021) contextualization of the rise of spiritualism as a result of the technological advances that occurred during the nineteenth century and its influence on Gothic literature; and Kirland’s book (2021) on the influence of the horror within Gothic literature on modern video games. This growing body of scholarship also highlights promising avenues for future research, including interdisciplinary approaches – as shown by Kirkland’s literature/video games analysis – as well as Gothic and Victorian echoes in contemporary representations of science and the supernatural.

This symposium re-examines the role of occult elements in Victorian occult fiction novels as part of the cultural fear of the supernatural and spiritual. To this end, it intends to provide a new angle on (Victorian) Gothic and occult studies, by using canonical and non-canonical literary works to approach the Victorians’ fear of the natural sciences in a manner that emphasises the Victorians’ desire to control the unknown.



9:30 – 9:45 Welcome and Introduction

9:45-11:00 Keynote lecture 1

  • Dr Eleanor Dobson: ‘Between Science and Magic: The Ancient Egyptian Occult in Fin-de-Siècle Fiction’

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-13:00 Panel 1 

  • Yuqi Khoo: ‘Neo-Victorian Reading of the Stereotypical Scientist in Riot’
  • Karen D. van Minnen: ‘The Haunted Cocoon: Angst, Ghosts and Conspiracies’ 
  • Marijke Valk: ‘“The Chimera of Magical Fascination”: The Representation of Alchemy in Victorian Occult Fiction’

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Panel 2

  • Shiyi Zhu: ‘“Do you think I am a hypocrite?”: Unveiling, Dramatizing and
    Reconciling Identity Anxiety in MazM: Jekyll and Hyde’
  • David Slot: ‘“You Bewilder Me” — Appropriation and Disavowal of the Grotesque
    Body in George MacDonald’s Lilith and H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor
  • Bart Mulderij: “‘Fear the Old Blood’: Victorian Anxieties in Bloodborne”

15:30-15:45 Coffee break

15:45-17:00 Keynote lecture 2 

  • Dr Evert Jan van Leeuwen: ‘Sociological Satan: Gaskell’s “Lois the Witch” (1859) and Victorian Class-Consciousness’ 

17:00 Wrap-up

17:15 Drinks


Dr Eleanor Dobson Between Science and Magic: The Ancient Egyptian Occult in Fin-de-Siècle Fiction’  Dr Eleanor Dobson is a senior lecturer in nineteenth-century literature at the University of Birmingham, whose current work focuses on the reception of ancient Egypt in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This includes notions of the supernatural and the occult, particularly how these ideas operate at the edges of a range of scientific discourses, as well as Gothic genre, the natural world, gender and sexuality. Her most recent work, Victorian Alchemy: Science, Magic and Ancient Egypt (2022), focuses on science of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, specifically when it is seen to intersect with contemporary ideas about the supernatural or occult, charting these tropes forward into modern media, spotlighting particular nineteenth-century legacies.

Dr Evert Jan van Leeuwen – ‘Sociological Satan: Gaskell’s “Lois the Witch” (1859) and Victorian Class-Consciousness’  Evert Jan van Leeuwen is a University Lecturer in English-language literature at Leiden University. His research focuses on fantastic fiction and counter cultures from the eighteenth century to the present, which encompasses the Gothic aesthetic, Horror, and Science Fiction. One of his recent major works includes his work as a co-editor of Haunted Europe: Continental Connections in English-Language Gothic Writing, Film and New Media, which offers a comprehensive account of the British and Irish fascination with a Gothic vision of continental Europe, tracing its effect on British intellectual life from the birth of the Gothic novel, to the eve of Brexit, and the symbolic recalibration of the UK’s relationship to mainland Europe. Currently, he is focussing his research on the relation between social issues and fantastic fiction.



Students can obtain 2ECs by presenting a paper (see guidelines above), or by submitting a critical reflection (1400-1600 words, excl. bibliography) to osl@rug.nl before 28 February 2023, 23:59. In their reflections, students should discuss one of the panels and/or keynote lectures in light of relevant secondary sources (at least five); they are also welcome to elaborate on how the panels relate to their own research interests. Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

OSL Schrijfcursus voor geesteswetenschappers: Framen, schrappen en herschrijven

CoördinatorProf. dr. Geert Buelens (Universiteit Utrecht)
Data: 27 & 28 maart, 3 & 4 april 2023 (gewijzigde data – zie hieronder)
Credits: 3 EC, NB credits kunnen alleen worden toegekend aan ReMA studenten en Promovendi, verbonden aan Nederlandse universiteiten
Locatie: Universiteit Utrecht
Bestemd voor: Promovendi en RMa Studenten, OSL leden hebben voorrang bij inschrijving

Deze cursus is vol. Indien je op de wachtlijst wilt worden geplaatst, stuur dan een email naar osl[at]rug.nl met je naam, universiteit en van welke landelijke onderzoekschool je lid bent.


Valorisatie wordt in de wetenschap steeds belangrijker. En dan gaat het er niet alleen over dat je onderzoek aansluiting vindt bij maatschappelijke thema’s, maar ook dat je aan het brede publiek duidelijk kunt maken waar het over gaat en wat er interessant aan is. In deze korte, intensieve schrijfcursus leer je in verschillende tekstgenres je onderzoek te presenteren. Hoe kun je in een opiniërende column de aansluiting zoeken bij de actualiteit? Welke offers moet je (niet) brengen wanneer je in de media komt of een boek schrijft voor een publieksuitgeverij? Hoe kun je je onderzoek ‘framen’? De cursus bestaat uit schrijfoefeningen en discussies.

Docent: Geert Buelens, hoogleraar Moderne Nederlandse Letterkunde Universiteit Utrecht en meermaals bekroond en vertaald essayist, columnist en schrijver van literaire non-fictie.


27 maart 14.00-17.00 (introductie) – Drift 23 – 020
28 maart 10.00-17.00 – Drift 23 – 212
3 april 14.15-17.00 – Drift 23 – 104
4 april 10.00-17.00 – Drift 23 – 113


Drift 23
3512 BR Utrecht
(ingang via Drift 27)

Ravenstein Winter School ‘New Perspectives on the Novel: Histories, Forms, Representations’

Utrecht, 18-20 January 2023

Organizers: Dr Lucas van der Deijl (University of Groningen), Dr Roel Smeets (Radboud University) and Dr Inge van de Ven (Tilburg University)

Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access

Credits: 5-6 ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration will open in 28 November 2022 (deadline for registration: 4 January 2023). NB: Should you encounter problems with the registration form, please try emptying your cache and/or signing up via a different browser. If the problem persists, you can register by emailing osl@rug.nl with your name, affiliation, status (ReMA, PhD, other) and research school membership.

The Ravenstein Seminar 2023 offers an exciting program of both Dutch and international scholars specializing in the study of the novel, including confirmed keynotes Richard Jean So (McGill University), Karin Kukkonen (University of Oslo) and Caroline Levine (Cornell University). Besides plenary lectures and panel sessions on the history, form, and politics of novels from various language fields and cultural contexts, the program contains hands-on workshops about research methods tailored for the study of both individual cases and large collections of novels. Particular attention will be paid to digital humanities approaches to close and distant reading.

The full program is now available here: Ravenstein 2023_Program

Call for Proposals: OSL Research Incubator

About OSL Research Incubator

At OSL, we know that traditional funding schemes do not always meet the current needs of researchers. In this regard, we have decided to create a new blue-sky science annual call that will foster and promote research that is not oriented toward immediate output nor driven toward creating a monetary return. The best example that illustrates why blue-sky science is important is found in the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, which was conceived as a project with no clear goal but established under the principles of free scientific inquiry. Likewise, scaled to our OSL community, we aim to provide a similar open space for exploration and experimentation within the boundaries of our institutional mission and actual capacities. 


What does the OSL Research Incubator include?

  • 5000 euros budget to spend on expert meetings and joint blue-sky science activities (i.e., travel and accommodation expenses, research support, etc.)
  • OSL support for logistics / organization
  • OSL promotion of the Research Incubator events, meetings and projects


Who can apply?

Groups between 5 minimum to 10 maximum OSL members (staff and students) are eligible. Proposals should comprise a good balance between staff and student members; inter-faculty and internationally oriented groups will be prioritized. The Research Incubator will have a life-span of 12 months maximum. The group will have to produce a research incubator log memo (free form) which must be submitted to osl@rug.nl upon completion of the life-span, reflecting the activities and work-in-progress developed at the Research Incubator.


How to apply?

If you are interested in applying for this scheme, please submit your application comprising the following information:


  • Research Incubator Title
  • 5 Keywords
  • OSL Students and Staff Members Participating (affiliation and email)
  • 400-word max letter of motivation and rationale for applying to the Research Incubator scheme


Deadline for submission

30 January 2023 at 14:00 via osl@rug.nl

Forms of Postcolonial and Postsocialist Time: Eternal Presents and Resurfacing Futures

Location: University of Amsterdam
Dates:22 February + 8 and 22 March + 5 and 19 April 2023, 10:00-13:00
Rooms: Oudemanhuispoort A0.09 (8 February, 8 and 22 March, 5 April); University Library, Belle van Zuylenzaal (22 February); Oudemanhuispoort C 2.23 19 April)
Organizers: Dr Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen), Dr Sanjukta Sunderason (University of Amsterdam) and Dr Hanneke Stuit (University of Amsterdam)
Contact: osl@rug.nl.
Credits: 5 ECTS

Registration will open on 28 November 2022 (deadline for registration: 4 January 2023). NB: Should you encounter problems with the registration form, please try emptying your cache and/or signing up via a different browser. If the problem persists, you can register by emailing osl@rug.nl with your name, affiliation, status (ReMA, PhD, other) and research school membership.


This course addresses the ways in which literature and art, in their generic capacity for multi-perspective representation, reimagine place and agency within the eternal present inaugurated by the end of the Cold War at the turn of the 1990s. This global discourse of contemporaneity was meant to deconstruct the linear progressive time of modernity that dominated the 20th century. However, arrested within such perceptions of new spatio-temporal fluidities of “the contemporary” were the heterogeneous temporalities of decolonization and democratization in societies that had been negotiating the impacts and afterlives of empire and ideological conflicts of the Cold War across the long 20th century.

Today, we observe a certain “return of history” in calls for decolonization that have come to define militant imperialisms and nationalisms across the globe, as well as activist resistance to nation-statist hegemonies. The war in Ukraine, and continuing conflicts over postcolonial sovereignty across former colonial sites like Hong Kong, Kashmir, or Palestine reveal such circularities of eternal presents and resurfacing futures. These temporalities, while appealing to new calls for liberation, are nonetheless often dominated by nation-state driven essentialist past-orientedness and the wish to preserve the existing hegemony.

Our course will foreground the proposition that postcolonial and postsocialist societies of the past three decades can be approached as repositories of braided temporalities of struggle, affirmation, memorialization, and utopian horizons. We can encounter here new and alternate versions of contemporaneity that materialize the spectre of emancipatory history via aesthetic form and develop ways of engaging with the past that “resurface” futurity.

Full description available here: Eternal Presents_Course description