Bicentenary of the death of Napoleon: online afternoon of papers on Les masques de l’Empereur: Napoléon en spectacle (1796-1821) Thursday 23rd April 2021
Ahead of the anniversary of the death of Napoleon, SMLC colleagues Kate Astbury and Paola Perazzolo will be hosting an afternoon of papers exploring theatrical representations of Napoleon via YouTube.
13h00: Accueil et introduction (Katherine Astbury, University of Warwick)
13h15-14h30 – Session 1, Président Katherine Astbury (University of Warwick)
13h15-13h35 : Clare Siviter (University of Bristol), « Bonaparte et la censure du Directoire »
13h35-13h55: Paola Perazzolo (University of Warwick, Università di Verona), « Les « Journée(s) de Saint-Cloud » : les pièces de circonstance autour du 18 Brumaire »
13h55-14h15: Vincenzo De Santis (Università di Salerno) et Pierre Frantz (Université Paris-Sorbonne), « Les ombres de l’Empereur »
14h15-14h30 : Discussion
14h30-14h50 : Pause
14h50-15h45 – Session 2, président Pierre Frantz (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
14h50-15h10 : Maurizio Melai (Docteur des Universités de Pisa et Paris-Sorbonne) « "Otez à Sylla la mèche de Napoléon, et la pièce n'allait pas jusqu'à la fin" : sur un "succès de perruque" de Talma en 1821 »
15h10-15h30 : Laura O'Brien (University of Northumbria), « L’émergence de l’acteur "napoléonien" au XIXe siècle »
15h30-15h45 : Discussion
15h45-16h00 : Pause
16h00-17h00 – Session 3 Président Clare Siviter (University of Bristol)
16h00-16h20: Nicole Cochrane (University of Exeter), « La mise en scène de la défaite : expositions napoléoniennes et culture matérielle de la victoire à Londres au XIXe siècle »
16h20-16h40: Katherine Astbury (University of Warwick) : « Napoléon Harlequin »
16h40-17h00: Discussion et conclusion
Oliver Davis and David Lees appointed as Editors of Modern & Contemporary France
The Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France announced today the appointment of its new Editorial Team to lead the future development of the journal Modern & Contemporary France, now in its fifth decade, two of whom are based in French Studies here in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures:
- Executive Editor: Professor Oliver Davis
- Co-Editor: Dr David Lees
Modern & Contemporary France is an internationally prominent peer-reviewed journal, offering a scholarly view of France from 1789 to the present day. It is a multi-disciplinary journal, drawing particularly on the work of scholars in history and in cultural, literary and post-colonial studies, in film and media studies and in the political and social sciences.
Oliver and David are looking forward to taking over from the current team in September.
new article on philosopher Peter Sloterdijk by Oliver Davis
Oliver Davis has published a new article on the work of philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, as part of a special issue of Angelaki on Sloterdijk, edited by Patrick Roney and Andrea Rossi. 'Anthropotechnical Practising in the Foam-World' can be accessed here. Abstract: I begin by acknowledging the profusion of Peter Sloterdijk’s published work, the suggestion by Bruno Latour that it may be on the side of design, and Sloterdijk’s pugnacious aversion to professorial critique. I focus on what I consider to be the crucial and vexed relationship between the general immunology of the Spheres trilogy [1998–2004] and the general ascetology of You Must Change Your Life . I present an analytical reconstruction of Sloterdijk’s account of originary spheric being-with in the trilogy, focused on its culmination in the foam-world; I suggest this account is too ambiguous on key matters of basic ontological structure and I question whether the foam metaphor is adequate as a description of intersubjectivity today. Against the backdrop of this discussion I consider whether the general ascetology of Sloterdijk’s second anthropotechnics involves practising in, or practising on, the shells of symbolic immunity and conclude the latter. Setting this alongside the trilogy’s insistence that cells in the foam are “co-fragile,” I argue that anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world is suffused with a violence which Sloterdijk is reluctant to theorize. Registering one significant undeclared context of his discussion of self-enhancement, in postmodern management theory, I suggest that successful anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world requires the capacity to ignore other people and their interests. I note that Sloterdijk’s one-eyed embrace of competitive self-enhancement in You Must Change Your Life has since been qualified in brief remarks in What Happened in the 20th Century?  but not substantively reconsidered. In conclusion, I pay tribute to the anthropotechnical lesson of Sloterdijk’s theoretical project, notwithstanding its design flaws and continuity errors.
Lecture by Dr Rosemarie Peña (Black German Heritage & Research Association) on Thursday 5 November 2020, 17:30-19:00
As part of the Women in German Studies conference, Warwick is honoured to be hosting an online keynote lecture by Dr Rosemarie H. Peña, which will be open to all who register via the booking form (deadline: 3rd November).
Rosemarie H. Peña holds a PhD in Childhood Studies from Rutgers University-Camden where she also earned her MA in Childhood Studies and BAs in German and Psychology. She identifies as a dual heritage Black (Senegalese) German American transnational adoptee and is the founder and president of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA).
Rosemarie has published in several academic journals, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies (2020), and is a contributing author in five edited volumes. Her most recent essay, “Stories Matter: Contextualizing the Black German American Adoptee Experience(s)” is included in Marion Kraft’s edited volume Children of the Liberation: Transatlantic Experiences of Black Germans of the Postwar Generation (2019).
"Scholarly Activism: The Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) and Black German Studies in the United States"
Black Germans were among the first children whose natural lives would be forever altered by postwar “child-saving” initiatives that inspired the institutionalization of transnational adoption in the United States. The adoptees are thereby among the experiential pioneers of the juristic process effectuating multicultural families by awarding guardianship of children born to mothers in one country and culture to genetically unrelated persons living in another. For nearly three decades, Black Germans born in the wake of the World War II who grew up in Germany, Denmark, and the United States have been searching for their original families and sharing their life experiences.
As this postwar cohort re-emerges as a topic of academic interest, the adoptees and their non-adopted peers who grew up in Germany without their fathers are reconnecting with their biological kin. The U.S. adoptees are, therefore, concomitantly reuniting in discourse and actuality with other Black Germans having disparate backgrounds, cultural roots, and connections to Germany. Many of the adoptees, whose ages now range from the early sixties to mid-seventies, are learning about their German ancestral roots in dialogue with journalists, academics, and filmmakers who are eager to hear their stories, write about them, and portray their adoption experiences in documentary films.
In her keynote, Rosemarie Peña will discuss the role of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) with respect to Black German family and community reunification, and the expansion of Black German Studies in the U.S. as an interdisciplinary field of academic research.
Please register for the keynote lecture using this booking form by Tuesday 3rd November. Once registration has closed, you will be sent a link to join the virtual keynote.
Dr James Hodkinson and Dr Silke Horstkotte publish a special edition of 'Poetics Today' on 'Postsecularisms.'
"In extending the discussion about postsecularities to hitherto neglected media, the increasingly self-reflexive nature of what we are calling postsecular art becomes apparent—and this is of particular interest to us in this volume. Working in the early twenty-first century, the writers, jazz musicians, TV directors, producers, and performance artists whose work we discuss appear to be thinking quite explicitly about not only how religion has returned to inflect and complicate their artistic visions but also how their art can comment upon and shape renewed perceptions of religion and religious experience. They show how aesthetic practice itself can constitute a postsecular stance, thus inviting a corresponding stance on the part of researchers."
The edition also carries an article by Reader in French at Warwick, Dr Douglas Morrey.
Raquel Navas wins the ASELE 2020 Research Prize
Raquel Navas, Teaching Fellow in Hispanic Studies, has been awarded with the 𝗔𝗦𝗘𝗟𝗘 (Asociación para la enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera) 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗠𝗔 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘀 for her work on Linguist Landscapes as a tool to promote connections with the target language and culture. This award recognizes the best dissertation of the year and will publish Raquel's work in 2021.
For more information: Asele research prizes
Dr James Hodkinson publishes a major volume surveying the position of German language culture in academia and beyond.
Over several years, working with Dr Benedict Schofield (KCL) James Hodkinson has curated an important volume of essays that asses the state of German Studies in education, but also in the worlds beyond it. Published by Camden House (Boydell & Brewer), James has written a blog reflecting on the book and its relevance. Read the entry here!
new free-to-view article by Oliver Davis: 'Neoliberal capitalism's bureaucracies of "governance"'
The account of bureaucracy under neoliberal capitalism which I present in this article, under the innocuous heading it prefers to use to describe itself (‘governance’), draws together recent critical work by the late David Graeber, Wendy Brown, William Davies and Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, which it repositions in relation to Jacques Rancière’s conception of the ‘police order’. I suggest that the massive production of insecurity by proliferating bureaucracies which structure neoliberalism’s project of competitive hierarchisation creates the ideal conditions for a vicious circle of securitarian inflation. To read the full article click here
New article: Kate Astbury and Diane Tisdall, ‘Sonorising « La Forteresse du Danube » : Functions of music in Parisian and provincial melodrama of the early nineteenth century’
The combination of spectacle and elaborate scenery, orchestra and obligatory dance number made early nineteenth-century French melodrama expensive to produce and, consequently, the genre is strongly associated with the Parisian boulevard theatres. Provincial performances required creative solutions, not least because the music composed for – and central to – the Paris performances remained in manuscript form and was not, therefore, distributed automatically to regional theatres, whereas the play text was printed and widely available. This means that different scores existed for the same play, opening up the possibility that provincial audiences were presented with a different concept of melodrama to Parisians. Using as a case study La Forteresse du Danube (1805) by self-proclaimed leading exponent of the genre, Guilbert de Pixerécourt, this article will explore how comparing scores through performance-led research can further our understanding of the changes needed to make a Paris hit performable in the provinces.
For more, see Studi francesi, 191 (autumn 2020), pp. 248-360.
The Ends of Autonomy I: July Colloquium
Oliver Davis and Chris Watkin co-hosted a major virtual colloquium in July on 'The Ends of Autonomy'. The conference had over 100 registered participants from all continents of the world. Recordings of some of the papers can be accessed here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/modernlanguages/research/french/currentprojects/beyondautonomy/warwick. Oliver and Chris will host a second Monash colloquium on the same theme on December 15 and 16 2020.
New publication - Philippe Le Goff, Auguste Blanqui and the Politics of Popular Empowerment, Bloomsbury, 2020
Philippe Le Goff has just published with Bloomsbury a major new book on the nineteenth-century French political activist and leader Auguste Blanqui.
Few individuals made such an impact on nineteenth-century French politics as Louis-Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881). Political organiser, leader, propagandist and prisoner, Blanqui was arguably the foremost proponent of popular power to emerge after the French Revolution. Practical engagement in all the major uprisings that spanned the course of his life - 1830, 1848, 1870-71 - was accompanied by theoretical reflections on a broad range of issues, from free will and fatalism to public education and individual development. Since his death, however, Blanqui has not been simply overlooked or neglected; his name has widely become synonymous with theoretical misconception and practical misadventure. Auguste Blanqui and the Politics of Popular Empowerment offers a major re-evaluation of one the most controversial figures in the history of revolutionary politics. The book draws extensively on Blanqui's manuscripts and published works, as well as writings only recently translated into English for the first time. Through a detailed reconstruction and critical analysis of Blanqui's political thought, it challenges the prevailing image of an unthinking insurrectionist and rediscovers a forceful and compelling theory of collective political action and radical social change. It suggests that some of Blanqui's fundamental assumptions - from the insistence on the primacy of subjective determination to the rejection of historical necessity - are still relevant to politics today.
Professor Jim Shields discussed Macron’s government reshuffle and presidential reset in the France 24 Debate and News; he gave interviews to the Colombian daily Portafolio and online news site The Local (here and here) and had columns published in the Spanish daily La Razón on France’s municipal elections, rounds one and two.
Watch Hartmut Rosa's lecture from Friday 21st February 2020
Listen to Warwick Undergraduate student podcasts ahead of the visit to Warwick by our writer in residence 2018 Olga Grjasnowa!
James Hodkinson has won a further £38 K towards his collaborative arts project, which connects his research into Islam in Germany with the lives and experiences of local Muslim communities in the Midlands.