The Literature Program

Events+Lectures

The Literature Program

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2019

Monday, May 13, 2019
Experimental Humanities Share Event
Reem-Kayden Center  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

With EH Senior Project presentations by:

Lin Barnett
Anne Comer
Janine Rogers
Emma Washburn
Sponsored by: Experimental Humanities Program
Contact: 845-752-4454  ccape@bard.edu
Monday, May 13, 2019
Literature Program Senior Readings
Please join the graduating seniors of the Literature Program for a celebratory night of short readings from Senior Projects and Midway.
Kline, Faculty Dining Room  4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
SENIOR PROJECT PRESENTATION LINE-UP:
 4:45–5:05pmHELLI FANGADRIANA TAMPASISCHRISTINA DUNCANJULIAN DIMEJOSEPH FINNIE5:05–5:20pmSHAHONG BILLAUT-LEEKATIE BUONANNOABE ETKINALEXANDER ZONDERVAN5:20–5:35pmPRESTON FULKSAUSTIN GENTEVIN GUINANZELDA MAZOR-FREEDMAN5:35–5:50pmMICHAEL MONAGHANCOLLIN PRITCHARDANNA RUSSIANMELINA YOUNG
Sponsored by: Literature Program
Contact: Cole Heinowitz  845-758-7203  heinowit@bard.edu
Monday, April 29, 2019
"Modernism in Translation: Poetry and Politics in Beirut's Belle Époque"
Robyn Creswell (Yale University)
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
What was the fate of literary modernism beyond Europe? Robyn Creswell's talk will explore the work of the modernist poetry movement in Beirut during the decades following WWII. By translating the techniques and ideology of modernism into Arabic, the intellectuals of Shi'r magazine radically altered the very idea of poetry in that literary tradition. This lecture will focus on the Arab modernists' exchanges with French poets, American spies, and the classical past.
Sponsored by: Arabic Studies Program; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Translation and Translatability Initiative
Contact: Elizabeth Holt  holt@bard.edu
Friday, April 26, 2019
Translation and Human Rights Symposium
RKC 103  3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Laura Kunreuther (Bard College), “Interpreting Human Rights, Interpreting in ‘the Field’”

Ziad Dallal (Bard College), “Translating Right Into Arabic: A Lexical History”

Jesse Browner (United Nations), “The Role of Translation in the Establishment and Preservation of International Law”

Leigh Swigart (Brandeis University), “The International Criminal Court in Translation: From Local Languages to Global Justice”

Moderator: Tom Keenan (Bard College)
Sponsored by: Translation and Translatability Initiative
Contact: Olga Voronina  ovoronin@bard.edu
Friday, April 26, 2019
IWT Conference Plenary: “Why Write? Reimagining High School and College Essays”
Olin Humanities Building  11:15 am – 12:45 pm
The Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking extends an open invitation to all faculty to join us on Friday, April 26, at 11:15 a.m. in Olin Auditorium for the plenary session of our annual conference. The conference theme is “Why Write? Reimagining High School and College Essays,” and the plenary will be a panel discussion featuring Stephanie Dunson, director of writing programs at Williams College; Curt Nehring Bliss, professor of English at Finger Lakes Community College; and Gian Starr, assistant principal at Stissing Mountain Jr./Sr. High School in Pine Plains, N.Y. The panel will be moderated by our own Maria Sachiko Cecire, assistant professor of literature and founding director of the Bard College Center for Experimental Humanities.
Sponsored by: Institute for Writing and Thinking
Contact: Molly Livingston  845-752-4516  mlivingston@bard.edu
Thursday, April 25, 2019
The Eccentric Augustine
Catherine Conybeare, Professor of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College
Olin, Room 102  4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
The writings of Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) are fundamental to the Western European intellectual tradition. It is rarely taken into account, however, that he spent almost his entire life in North Africa. This talk will consider what the late Roman Empire looked like from the “eccentric” vantage points of Numidia and Africa Proconsularis—Algeria and Tunisia, in contemporary terms—and what effect that eccentricity may have had on Augustine’s thought.
Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; Classical Studies Program; Medieval Studies Program; Religion Program
Contact: David Ungvary  845-758-7600  ungvary@bard.edu
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
A Reading by Valeria Luiselli
2018 American Book Award–winning author Valeria Luiselli reads from her work
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
On Tuesday, April 23, at 6:00 p.m. in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center, Valeria Luiselli reads from her work. Presented by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series and the Written Arts Program, and introduced by MacArthur Fellow Dinaw Mengestu, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. Books by Valeria Luiselli will be available for sale, courtesy of Oblong Books & Music.

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and has lived in Costa Rica, South Korea, South Africa, India, Spain, France, and New York City. She is the author of a book of essays, Papeles falsos/Sidewalks (2012, 2014), and the internationally acclaimed novel Los ingravidos Faces in the Crowd (2013, 2014), which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. In 2014, she won the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 prize, an annual award honoring young and promising fiction writers. Her novel La historia de mis dientes The Story of My Teeth (2013, 2015) won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the Azul Prize in Canada; was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Best Translated Book Award, and the Impac Prize 2017; and was named one of the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of the Year. Her recent book Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions won the 2018 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.

Luiselli received her PhD in comparative literature from Columbia University. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages, and her writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, McSweeney’s, Harper’s, and the New Yorker. Her latest novel, Lost Children Archive (2019), which was written in English, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Luiselli was recently appointed as writer in residence in the Division of Languages and Literature at Bard College.
 PRAISE FOR VALERIA LUISELLI
“The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli’s hands—electric, elastic, alluring, new. . . . She is a superb chronicler.” —New York Times

“Riveting, lyrical, virtuosic. . . . Luiselli’s metaphors are wrought with devastating precision. . . . The brilliance of the writing stirs rage and pity. It humanizes us.” —New York Times Book Review

“Daring, wholly original, brilliant . . . fascinating. . . . Luiselli is an extraordinary writer [with] a freewheeling novelist’s imagination.” —NPR

“A comprehensive literary intelligence.” —James Wood, New Yorker

“A master. . . . Luiselli confronts big picture questions: What does it mean to be American? To what lengths should we go to bear witness? Will history ever stop repeating itself? All the while, her language is so transporting, it stops you time and again.” —Carmen Maria Machado, O Magazine

“One of the most fascinating and impassioned authors at work today.” —Literary Hub
Sponsored by: Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series and the Written Arts Program
Contact: Nicole Nyhan  845-758-7054  nnyhan@bard.edu
Monday, April 22, 2019
From 1924 to Trump: The Roots of America’s Immigration Debate
Jia Lynn Yang, Deputy National Editor, The New York Times
Olin, Room 102  4:45 pm – 6:30 pm
This talk will trace the current immigration debate back to the Supreme Court fight in 1922 over whether a Japanese-born man could naturalize, and the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, which established ethnic quotas favoring “Anglo-Saxons.” Because immigration debates have long been predicated on who counts as sufficiently “white,” the current system—in which there are far more Asian and Hispanic immigrants than European—challenges traditional notions of who counts as American. Yang will discuss how the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act set us on this current course, but left much unfinished work around race and national identity that we confront today during the Trump administration. The talk will also address media coverage of Trump’s immigration policies as well as how to infuse journalistic work with a sense of history.

Jia Lynn Yang is a deputy national editor at the New York Times, where she helps oversee coverage of the country. Previously, she was deputy national security editor at the Washington Post, where she was an editor on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2018 for its coverage of Trump and Russia. She is writing a book on the history of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, Un-American Elements, forthcoming from W. W. Norton in 2020.
Sponsored by: American Studies Program; Asian Studies Program; Global and International Studies Program; Historical Studies Program; Human Rights Project; Japanese Studies Program; Political Studies Program
Contact: Nathan Shockey  nshockey@bard.edu
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Poet & Translator:
A Bilingual Reading from Midnight in Spoleto 
by Paolo Valesio, with Translator Todd Portnowitz
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Italian poet and scholar Paolo Valesio and his translator Todd Portnowitz read from their recent publication, Midnight in Spoleto (Fomite, 2018), and discuss the intricacies of the translation process.

PAOLO VALESIO is the author, among several other works, of twenty books of poetry and is the Giuseppe Ungaretti Professor Emeritus in Italian Literature at Columbia University. He was the founder, and coordinator for ten years, of the “Yale Poetry Group” at Yale University, and the founder and director of the journal Yale Italian Poetry (YIP), whose successor is the Italian Poetry Review (IPR) a “plurilingual journal of creativity and criticism” based in New York and in Florence, Italy—of which Valesio is the editor in chief; he is also the President of the “Centro Studi Sara Valesio” in Bologna.

TODD PORTNOWITZ is the translator of Midnight in Spoleto by Paolo Valesio (Fomite, 2018) and of Long Live Latin by Nicola Gardini, forthcoming in October from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and is a recipient of the Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. An assistant editor with Alfred A. Knopf, he is a co-founder of the Italian poetry journal Formavera and of the Brooklyn-based reading series for writer-translators, Us&Them.    
Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program; Literature Program; Translation and Translatability Initiative
Contact: Joseph Luzzi  845-758-7150  jluzzi@bard.edu
Monday, April 1, 2019
A Reading by Joanna Scott
The Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Joanna Scott reads from her work, followed by a conversation with Dinaw Mengestu
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
On Monday, April 1, at 7:00 p.m. in the László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, Reem-Kayden Center (RKC), novelist Joanna Scott reads from her work. Presented by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series, introduced by novelist and Bard literature and writing professor Mary Caponegro, and followed by a conversation with Dinaw Mengestu, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. Books by Joanna Scott will be available for sale, courtesy of Oblong Books & Music.

Exploring subjects ranging from beauty and temptation to the motion of thought and the elusive potential of the imagination, Joanna Scott’s publications include Various Antidotes: Stories and the novel Arrogance, both PEN/Faulkner finalists; The Manikin, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and Follow Me, a New York Times Notable Book. Her most recent novels are Careers for Women (2017) and De Potter's Grand Tour (2014). Scott has written about modern and contemporary authors including Samuel Beckett, Virginia Woolf, W. G. Sebald, Maureen Howard, William Gass, and J.M. Coetzee. Her play, Speakeasy, was produced by the Todd Theater Troupe at La MaMa and toured fringe festivals around the world.

Scott founded and directs The Inspiration Project, a volunteer literacy program for adults with developmental disabilities. She is a founding board member of the literary press Open Letter, and she is a contributing editor of Bard’s literary journal, Conjunctions, which published her story “Infidels” in the Fall 2018 issue, Conjunctions:71, A Cabinet of Curiosity.

Scott received her master’s degree from Brown University and has taught creative writing at Brown, the University of Maryland, and Princeton University; she is currently the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English at the University of Rochester. Scott is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Ambassador Book Award from the English-Speaking Union, and the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
 PRAISE FOR JOANNA SCOTT
 “The wit, the magical prose and the daring devices of Scott’s writing create an enchantment . . . her soundings of the depth of our natures are as accurate and revealing as Thoreau’s measurements of Walden Pond.” ―Nation

“A greatly gifted and highly original artist.” —New York Times Book Review

“Scott writes with the crispest and most telling of sentences. Her grasp of the mysteries within us is profound.” —Newsday

“Scott’s prose is sensitive and beautifully crafted . . . Her characters are both eminently human and touched with magic and mystery.” —Washington Post Book World

“One of the finest writers of her generation: elegant, sublime, of the earthy earth.” —Paul West

“What most amazes me about Joanna Scott’s extraordinary narratives is the vastness of the world her imagination ranges through and the rich, Dickensian variety of voices and characters one encounters.” —Robert Coover
Sponsored by: Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series and the Program in Written Arts
Contact: Nicole Nyhan  845-758-7054  nnyhan@bard.edu
Friday, March 29, 2019
Snobbery, Class, and Exclusion in French Literature
Olin, Room 102  2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
2:00 p.m. 
Welcome. Éric Trudel (Associate Professor of French, Bard College), Moderator

2:15 p.m. 
Morgane Cadieu (Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, French Department, Yale University), “The Return of Rastignac-Télémaque in Contemporary French Prose and Politics.”

3:00 p.m.   
Caroline Weber (Professor of French, Barnard College), “The Three Faces of Proust’s Duchess.”

Coffee Break: 3:30–4:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. 
Maurice Samuels (Betty Jane Anlyan Professor of French, Yale University), “Dress Rehearsal for Dreyfus: Simon Deutz, the Duchesse de Berry, and Modern France’s First Antisemitic Affair.” 

4:30 p.m.
Concluding Remarks.  Marina van Zuylen (Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Bard College), “I Am a Snob, You Are a Snob: On the Inevitability of Social Shame.”

5:00 p.m.
Discussion with Students and Faculty
 
Sponsored by: French Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Marina van Zuylen  vanzuyle@bard.edu
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
The Words We Live By: Poetry and Philosophy in Conversation
The Sanctuary at Murray's, Tivoli  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Words We Live By: Poetry and Philosophy in Conversation

Sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, Literature Program, Written Arts Program, Africana Studies Program, and the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College

The Hannah Arendt Poetry and Philosophy Address invites a poet and a philosopher to engage in conversation about the place of poetry in a world increasingly defined by political and social strife, disorientation, and loneliness. Hannah Arendt has written that “the storehouse of memory is kept and watched over by the poets, whose business it is to find and make the words we live by.” For Arendt, poetry was what remained after the war, as a record of experience that could provide a sense of durability in the world, and as a form of thinking that could orient us away from the tyranny of ideology. Throughout her career the language of poetry remained at the heart of her political writing, and it is in this spirit that we invite a poet and a philosopher to talk together about the enduring and urgent significance of poetry in the world today. 
 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKERS

Fred Moten lives in New York and teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. His latest book is consent not to be a single being (Duke University Press, 2017, 2018).






Robert Gooding-Williams is the M. Moran Weston / Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. He is the author of Zarathustra's Dionysian Modernism (Stanford, 2001), Look, a Negro! Philosophical Essays on Race, Culture, and Politics (Routledge, 2005), and In the Shadow of Du Bois: Afro-Modern Political Thought in America (Harvard, 2009).




This event will be moderated by Ann Lauterbach
Poet Ann Lauterbach's work has been compared to the poetry of John Ashbery and Barbara Guest. She has published several volumes of poetry, including Many Times, but Then (1979), Before Recollection (1987), Clamor (1991), And for Example (1994), On a Stair (1997), If in Time (2001), Hum (2005) and Or to Begin Again (2009), which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Free & Open to the Public
Location: Murray’s Tivoli, The Sanctuary (2nd floor)
Date: March 26, 2019
Start Time: 6:00 pm
MAP


 
Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; Hannah Arendt Center; Literature Program; Written Arts Program
Contact: 845-758-7878 
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
“Cinemizing” Fiction: Nabokov’s Lolita, Kubrick’s Lolita
Julia Trubikhina (Hunter College)
RKC 103  5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
In her usual provocative manner, Julia Trubikhina (Hunter College)  discusses Nabokov’s involvement in 1959–60 in the “cinemizing” of his famous novel Lolita. The result of Nabokov's collaboration with the director Stanley Kubrick was Kubrick’s acclaimed motion picture Lolita (1962) based on Nabokov’s original screenplay, of which very little remained in the film. Using Nabokov’s “tug of war” for “authorship” of the future movie (the correspondence between Nabokov and Kubrick, before and while Nabokov was working on the screenplay) as a springboard, Dr. Trubikhina explores film adaptation as a process of translation between media. The familiar questions that lie at the heart of any discussion of translation apply here in equal measure: Is the translation (the film adaptation) faithful? If it is, then to what? What of the original is translatable /adaptable? What is not and why? The speaker also compares Kubrick’s Lolita to Adrian Lyne’s film adaptation of 1997 and talks of what has changed today, in the #METOO era, as we are looking at texts to which sexual abuse of a child is so central.
Sponsored by: Russian/Eurasian Studies Program
Contact: Olga Voronina  ovoronin@bard.edu
Monday, March 25, 2019
If Only I Were That Warrior 
 
Film screening and roundtable discussion
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
If Only I Were That Warrior (2015) is a feature documentary film focusing on the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1935. Following the recent construction of a monument dedicated to Fascist general Rodolfo Graziani, the film addresses the unpunished war crimes he and others committed in the name of Mussolini's imperial ambitions. The stories of three characters, filmed in present-day Ethiopia, Italy, and the United States, take the audience on a journey through the living memories and the tangible remains of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia—a journey that crosses generations and continents to today, where this often overlooked legacy still ties the fates of two nations and their people. 

The film screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, Valerio Ciriaci and Isaak Liptzin, and Bard faculty member Dinaw Mengestu.
Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; American Studies Program; Italian Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Karen Raizen  845-758-6822  kraizen@bard.edu
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Jewish Humor from
Tevye the Dairyman to Lenny Bruce
Ken Frieden, B. G. Rudolph Professor of Judaic Studies, Syracuse University
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
This talk follows Jewish humor from Sholem Aleichem’s monologues to American Jewish fiction and standup comedy. At the core of this story is an oral-style voice that began in Yiddish and moved to American writing in works by authors like Yezierska, Rosten, Paley, and Roth. Echoes of Yiddish continue as a prominent part of Jewish humor in performances by Lenny Bruce and in current television series. The evening will feature film clips and live performance.

Ken Frieden, the B. G. Rudolph Professor of Judaic Studies at Syracuse University, published Travels in Translation: Sea Tales at the Source of Jewish Fiction in 2016. Prior books include Classic Yiddish Fiction (1995) and anthologies of Yiddish literature in translation, such as Tales of Mendele the Book Peddler (1996) and Classic Yiddish Stories (2004). At Syracuse University Press, Frieden edits the series Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art.
Sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Cecile Kuznitz  845-758-7543  kuznitz@bard.edu
Monday, March 11, 2019
War of Words: Diplomatic Exchange and Court Literature in Early Medieval China
Lu Kou 寇陸, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese, Department of Asian Studies, Williams College
 

Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
In early medieval China, also known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420–589 CE), the territories once unified under the Han Empire (206 BCE–220 CE) were fragmented and in turmoil. Several dynastic states coexisted uneasily, competing not only militarily but also for cultural prestige and legitimacy. In diplomatic exchanges between rival courts, envoys and courtiers waged a kind of “cultural warfare,” employing a range of rhetorical strategies to assert the political authority and cultural superiority of their respective states.

Previous scholars have framed the Northern and Southern Dynasties as cultural dichotomous, with crude and simple non-Chinese in the North and culturally sophisticated “Han” Chinese in the South. This dichotomy is also couched in gendered terms, with northern culture presented as virile and masculine and its southern counterpart as sensual and feminine. My research finds this framework reductive and misleading and reveals a much more complicated dynamic between the northern and southern cultures. By examining diplomatic writings, letters, anecdotes, and other literary sources from both the North and the South, I show how court centers manipulated a shared cultural legacy to engage in diplomatic negotiation and how, based on this shared cultural repertoire, they also fashioned identities and strove to claim a mantle of political and cultural legitimacy through various forms of discursive practices.  
Sponsored by: Chinese Studies Program; Dean of the College; Division of Languages and Literature
Contact: Li-hua Ying  845-758-7545  ying@bard.edu
Monday, March 4, 2019
Technics of Space: Caricature and Empire on Hogan’s Alley
Joshua Kopin '12
PhD Candidate, The University of Texas at Austin

Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Part of a larger dissertation project, this talk makes a connection between the subjects of early comics, which often included immigrants and their children, like the Irish-American Yellow Kid; and political cartoons about immigration and American imperialism from the periods of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Spanish-American War. Drawing on his long-established connection to yellow journalism and noting that, while explicitly Irish, the Yellow Kid is drawn in the visual idiom of anti-Chinese caricature, this talk posits that caricature is a technology of empire and inclusion that, through ideas about immigrants and expansionism that were often clothed in metaphors of childhood, served to differentiate acceptable, if unruly, white citizen subjects from imperial others. 
Sponsored by: American Studies Program; Asian Studies Program; Historical Studies Program; Human Rights Program; Irish and Celtic Studies (ICS) Program; Literature Program; the Social Studies Division
Contact: Tabetha Ewing  845-758-7548  ewing@bard.edu
Thursday, February 28, 2019
The Novel Before the Nation-State: Robinson Crusoe and Early Global Fiction
 
Stephanie DeGooyer, Assistant Professor of English, Williamette University
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Between 1685 and 1710, over 60,000 migrants from France and Germany fled to England in search of settlement. This wave of migration produced some of the first legislation to grant national rights to foreigners in England. I argue that this migration was also crucial to the development of the novel. Early novelists were attentive to the rights of foreigners and developed new narrative techniques and generic conventions to offer more expansive—what I call “paranational”—conceptions of national community.

In this talk I tell a new and more transnational story about the novel as a genre, a story that makes the 18th century pivotal for debates about global fiction. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) is an important example because it has long been thought to be quintessentially English; to exemplify both the English novel and the English subject. Yet this reading contains crucial oversights. Defoe uses Crusoe’s uncertain status as the son of a foreigner to explore intercolonial migration among the English, Spanish, and Portuguese empires, thereby rendering England peripheral to larger and more global investments. Defoe, I argue, developed the novel as a way to explore structures of mobility and capitalism in an emergent global age.
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Literature Program
Contact: Cole Heinowitz  845-758-7203  heinowit@bard.edu
Monday, February 25, 2019
A Home at the End of Empire: Tropes of Lateness in James Joyce and V. S. Naipaul
Philip Tai-Hang Tsang, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Cincinnati
RKC 103  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The narrative of the “end of empire” has conditioned the ways we think about British imperialism and its legacy. But how did colonial subjects comprehend the demise of an empire that did not belong to them? In this talk, I contend that the British Empire has left behind not only an abundance of material relics but also an inventory of feelings and attachments that could not be easily relinquished. For many peripheral writers whose subjectivities were shaped by imperial cultures and institutions, empire deferred its proper ending even after British rule had officially ended. Their works exhibit what I call “lateness,” a nonchronological, retrogressive experience of time specific to the imperial periphery. Lateness arrests the linear progression from colonial to postcolonial, from empire to nation, and from subject to citizen. To illustrate lateness as a historical experience and an aesthetic form, I carry out a comparative reading of the “Ithaca” episode in James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) and V. S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas (1961). Published on the eve of decolonization, both novels look back to the imperial past as the site of a tense interplay of attachment and exclusion. By approaching the British Empire as a structure of desire that outlived its political lifespan, this talk gives greater precision to the temporal dimension of imperialism, and offers a new framework for the periodization of 20th-century anglophone literature.
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Literature Program
Contact: Cole Heinowitz  845-758-7203  heinowit@bard.edu
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Paraguay through the Lens of the Peace Corps
With Eric Benjamin Gordon
Olin, Room 203  6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Bard alumnus (Class of 2014) and current U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Eric Benjamin Gordon will speak about his current work and experiences in Paraguay. One of the lesser-known and poorer countries of South America, Paraguay also boasts the unique cultural and lingual distinction of having over 90 percent of its population speak an indigenous language. This talk will cover some important factors in the history, language, and culture of Paraguay, all of which contribute to its ranking as the “happiest country” in the world by the Gallup Poll and Peace Corps Worldwide. There will also be a Peace Corps recruiter present to provide materials and answer questions about the organization. 
Sponsored by: Division of Languages and Literature; LAIS Program; Spanish Studies
Contact: Melanie Nicholson  845-758-7382  nicholso@bard.edu
  Thursday, February 7, 2019
Experimental Thinking: Data, Reading, and Literature
A Talk by Andrew Piper
RKC 103  6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
As computational methods become more widespread in the arts and humanities today, thinking experimentally has an increasingly important role to play. In the social and natural sciences, to experiment means to control, isolate, and distance oneself from an observation. To experiment in this sense means putting our believes to the test. But there is an equally vibrant tradition in the arts where experimentation is seen as a form of play, creativity, and transformation. To experiment in this sense means distancing ourselves from the norms and status quo of the present, to break open the possible.

In my talk, I will explore these two traditions of experimental thinking and how they might be more productively brought together. How can computational methods allow us to think more experimentally about the literature of the past and present in the broadest possible sense? How can the testing, challenging, and rethinking of experimentation give us new views of literature’s future?

Andrew Piper is Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University. His work explores computational approaches to the study of literature and culture. He is the director of .txtLAB, a laboratory for cultural analytics at McGill, as well as author of Enumerations: Data and Literature Study (University of Chicago Press, 2018).
Sponsored by: Bard Reading Initiative; Dean of the College; Experimental Humanities Program
Contact: Corinna Cape  ccape@bard.edu
Download: piper.pdf
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Babel of the Atlantic: Language and Translatability in the Politics of Migration, Settler Colonialism, and Political Resistance
Dr. Bethany Wiggin, University of Pennsylvania
Olin, Room 102  4:45 pm – 6:00 pm
In dialogue with oceanic history and the “blue humanities,” this talk considers the role of language (languages) and translatability in the politics of migration, settler colonialism, and political resistance, drawing on archives and case studies from the colonial American mid-Atlantic region. The area was known as the “Babel of the Atlantic” in a variety of European languages, and the textual archives of the mid-Atlantic’s manuscript and print cultures continue to offer rich sites to explore the role of language and colonial as well as anti-colonial politics. Individual cultural brokers, including translators, have been the subject of rich recent historical scholarship while often subject to their contemporaries’ curiosity and sometimes their suspicion. How might we build on these accounts of individual translators to explore the multilingualism of the archives more broadly? What research methods and collaborations might we need to make their polyglot and heterodox voices audible today? And, how might a historically rich account of Atlantic multilingualism resound today under widespread pressure on humanistic ways of knowing? 
Sponsored by: Translation and Translatability Initiative
Contact: Olga Voronina  845-758-7600  ovoronin@bard.edu
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
The Literature of World Hunger:
Dambudzo Marechera’s Anti-Colonial Starving Artist
Dr. Alys Moody, Senior Lecturer in English, Macquarie University
RKC 103  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
In the 1960s and 1970s, “world hunger” emerged as one of the concepts governing the relationship between rich and poor countries. In the same years, the contemporary system of world literature began to take shape. This lecture suggests that it is profitable to read these two formations together, and that doing so can yield new understandings about how the “world” emerges as a contested category in the latter half of the 20th century. Taking as its primary example the prize-winning 1978 novella House of Hunger, by Zimbabwean enfant terrible Dambudzo Marechera, it argues that the insistence of Third World writers on their and their nation’s hunger shapes and disrupts circuits of world literary exchange.
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Literature Program
Contact: Cole Heinowitz  845-758-7203  heinowit@bard.edu
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Poetry and Classical Myth: A Reading and Discussion
by Poet/Translator A. E. Stallings
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
A. E. Stallings is an American poet who studied classics at the University of Georgia and Oxford. She has published three collections of poetry—Archaic Smile, Hapax, and Olives—and a verse translation (in rhyming fourteeners!) of Lucretius, The Nature of Things. She has received a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from United States Artists, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Stallings speaks and lectures widely on a variety of topics, and has been a regular faculty member at the West Chester Poetry Conference and the Sewanee Summer Writers’ Conference. Having studied in Athens, Georgia, she now lives in Athens, Greece, with her husband, the journalist John Psaropoulos, and their two argonauts, Jason and Atalanta.
Sponsored by: Classical Studies Program; Written Arts Program
Contact: James Romm  845-758-7283  romm@bard.edu
Monday, February 4, 2019
The Plague of Nations
Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Williams College

*Please Note: Lecture moved to Weis Cinema

Campus Center, Weis Cinema  4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Drawn from Kolb’s first book,Terror Epidemics: Islam, Insurgency, Colonialism, Disease, “The Plague of Nations” considers political consequences of naturalizing and organicizing discourses, particularly the figure of epidemic, through the “failed state” paradigm of a putatively postcolonial era. The author will discuss the case of Kashmir in Salman Rushdie’s post-9/11 terrorism novel, Shalimar the Clown, as well as the legacies of the postwar international order in both Rushdie’s novel and in the incomplete decolonization of the Indian subcontinent. 
Sponsored by: Dean of the College; Literature Program
Contact: Cole Heinowitz  845-758-7203  heinowit@bard.edu