July 11 – Surveying American Late Modernism: Partisan Review and the Cultural Politics of the Questionnaire 🗓

July 11 – Surveying American Late Modernism: Partisan Review and the Cultural Politics of the Questionnaire 🗓

Ian Afflerbach (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta)

July 11, 2017, 2-4 p.m.,  P 208

In 1939, Philip Rahv and William Phillips, editors of Partisan Review, attempted to map “The Situation in American Writing” by sending a questionnaire to some of the nation’s most accomplished authors and critics: from Wallace Stevens, Gertrude Stein, and John Dos Passos, to Lionel Trilling, Allen Tate, and R. P. Blackmur. By unpacking the eclectic archive of published (and unpublished) responses to this survey, my essay shows how the Partisan Review’s 1939 questionnaire illustrates the de ning concerns of an American late modernism emerging in the United States during the interwar period. I begin by relating how the questionnaire rose to prominence alongside modernism, through developments in mass print culture. I show how Partisan Review’s questionnaire performs a mode of cultural politics that I call “democratic dissensus,” a process of ironic negation, dispute, and re ection that was central to the magazine’s cultural project from the 1930s through the 1950s. Drawing upon periodical studies, material culture studies, and the emerging eld of late modernist studies, I position the democratic dispute engineered by Partisan Review as a signal moment not only in the magazine’s history, but in periodizing narratives about American modernism.

 

Ian Afflerbach will begin as Assistant Professor of American Literature at the University of North Georgia in Fall 2017.

 

June 29 – Retrieving the Extinguished: Poems from an Assimilated Jewish American Connecting to her Jewish German Past 🗓

June 29 – Retrieving the Extinguished: Poems from an Assimilated Jewish American Connecting to her Jewish German Past 🗓

Renée Ruderman (Metropolitan State University of Denver)

June 29, 2017, 6 p.m., Fakultätssaal (Philosophicum)

This reading will feature poems from my new collection, “Where She Was Going” as well as poems from my earlier books. These poems are based on sketches and fragments, found in photographs, art, and faint memories.
Renée Ruderman, an Associate Professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado, has two published books, Poems from the Rooms Below (Permanence Press, San Diego, CA, 1995) and Certain Losses, a chapbook (Main Street Rag, Charlotte, NC, 2004). She has won prizes for her poems, and some of them have appeared in The Bellingham Review, I-70 Review, Borderlands, and the Raleigh Review. Renée taught at Universität Siegen, Germany during a sabbatical in 2009, and she taught a poetry workshop at Palacky University (2013) in the Czech Republic.
June 26 – The Plantation Machine: Atlantic Capitalism in French Saint Domingue and British Jamaica, 1748-1788

June 26 – The Plantation Machine: Atlantic Capitalism in French Saint Domingue and British Jamaica, 1748-1788

Trevor Burnard (The University of Melbourne, Australia)

June 26, 2017, 6 p.m., Fakultätssaal (Philosophicum)

Jamaica and Saint Domingue were two wildly successful but socially monstrous slave societies. In the years between 1748 and 1788 these societies—based upon a plantation complex in which African labourers were brought to the Caribbean to produce luxury commodities originally developed in Asia for a European market—reached an apogee of sorts in the Greater Antilles. Jamaica and Saint Domingue came close to perfecting a form of economic organisation that operated on a global scale that provided the owners of capital (human and otherwise) with vast amounts of money and considerable geopolitical clout. These were regions that exempli ed the complex forces of early modern imperialism, forces that helped make colonialism a truly global phenomenon.

This talk explores these two socities at the height of their powers. It looks at how their plantation systems developed and at the social and cultural forms that the plantation complex in its most developed and modern form spawned. In particular, it looks at how these societies created new forms of belonging based on race and on shared values in their elites of “whiteness.” White colonial residents of Jamaica and Saint Domingue established individualistic behaviours that might be considered egalitarian if these societies had not been so dependent upon enslaved labourers for their wealth.

Trevor Burnard is Head of School and Professor of History at the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies (SHAPS) at The University of Melbourne, Australia.

June 26 – Planters and Slaves in the Greater Antilles

June 26 – Planters and Slaves in the Greater Antilles

Trevor Burnard (The University of Melbourne, Australia)

June 26, 2017, 2-4 p.m., P 13 (Philosophicum)

Professor Burnard will talk about slavery and abolition in general terms (examining the key words of interest) and then look at two case studies—the rst being why plantations in the West Indies were so slow in developing and what were their characteristics once developed, and then a case study of women in nineteenth century Berbice (now Guyana) and how they coped with slavery.

Trevor Burnard is Head of School and Professor of History at the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies (SHAPS) at The University of Melbourne, Australia.