Guest Lecture by Jessica Conrad (University of Delaware) on 3 May 2017: “Polluted Luxuries: Consumer Resistance, the Senses of Horror, and Abolitionist Boycott Literature”

Guest Lecture by Jessica Conrad (University of Delaware) on 3 May 2017: “Polluted Luxuries: Consumer Resistance, the Senses of Horror, and Abolitionist Boycott Literature”

„Polluted Luxuries: Consumer Resistance, the Senses of Horror, and Abolitionist Boycott Literature“

Jessica Conrad – PhD Candidate

University of Delaware

 

Away! ‘tis loathsome! bear me hence!
I cannot feed on human sighs
Or feast with sweets my palate’s sense,
While blood is ‘neath the fair disguise.
No, never let me taste again
Of aught beside the coarsest fare,
Far rather, than my conscience stain,
With the polluted luxuries there.
_”Oh Press Me Not to Taste Again,”

Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, Poetical Works (1836)

 

Polluted luxuries, stained consciences, shuddering senses – these were compelling reasons to abstain from the products of slave labor which, in 1836, at the time of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler’s writing, already proliferated in an expanding American market. Writers such as Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and John Greenleaf Whittier imagined a world of goods haunted by the touch of enslaved laborers – goods which in turn haunted consumers. By parsing out the language of abolitionist boycott literature alongside its historical and material cultural moment, this talk will examine the ways in which abolitionist literature posits a very literal and as yet unaccounted for version of material relations. Those material relations, it seems, collapse the boundaries between consumer and producer, self and other, in ways that have horrific, haunting implications for market society, then and now.

 

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017 – 4 c.t. p.m.

Philosophicum, P 110

Lecture with Dr. Patrick Erben on 06/15/16: Migration, Exile, Imperialism: The Non-English Literatures of Early America Reconsidered

Lecture with

Dr. Patrick Erben

(University of West Georgia)

Migration, Exile, Imperialism: The Non-English Literatures of Early America Reconsidered

June 15, 2016; 10 am (10 Uhr c.t.)
S 1, Hörsaal des Sportinstituts

Since the early 2000s, American literary studies have witnessed a surge in textual and critical scholarship on the non-English literatures of early America and the Atlantic world. Yet, few non-English texts and authors enjoy true staying power in the pantheon of American literature courses and scholarship, with instructors clinging to the English-only canon.

The reluctance to teach and study the non-English literatures of early America goes beyond the lacking familiarity of U.S. based instructors with other languages. The field has not squarely faced a troubling question: what do Spanish, French, Dutch, German, and other early American writings have to offer beyond the familiar tropes of imperial conquest, and settler colonialism already dominating English-language texts? This lecture posits that reading the non-English literatures of early America as both diasporic and imperialist allows us to acknowledge that writers, texts, and communities may carry the guilt of conquest while espousing genuine sentiments of displacement, alienation, and loss of community.

Download the poster here.

 

Dates for info sessions on exchange programs announced

Dates for info sessions on exchange programs announced

The information sessions on the institute’s exchange opportunities will be held in HS 7 (Forum) on the following days:

  • General info session on all exchange programs: Thursday, Oct. 29, 6-8pm
  • Info session on the department direct exchange: Thursday, Nov. 5, 6-8pm
  • Info session on the ERASMUS exchange: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 6-8pm

All students interested in studying in the United States, in Canada or at an European university should not miss these information sessions.

Guest Lecture Eric J. Sandeen

Guest Lecture Eric J. Sandeen

Thursday, 04.12.2014, 12.15-13.45, Room 00 161, Audi Max “The Heart Mountain Relocation Center.”

Between 1942 and 1945 more than 10,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were confined in the Heart Montain Relocation Center in north central Wyoming, the result of Executive Order 9066, authorizing the establishment of military zones along the west coast from which citizens could be excluded for any reason. This Order was applied only to those who wore the face of the Asian enemy; more than 11,000 people, two-thirds of them American citizens, were thus relocated in one of the most egregious (but, at that time, legal) abrogations of civil liberties in U.S. history. Their Wyoming settlement, the third largest town in the state, consisted of more than 450 barracks which, at the end of the war, became the building blocks for homesteading schemes in the area. Barrack fragments still dot this transformed landscape: homes, at different times, to two very different populations of settlers. This talk looks at the history of Heart Mountain, traces the barracks as they become part of a familiar, Western landscape, and discusses the importance of these structures in the interpretation of this nationally significant site.

Flyer (PDF)