Philosopher Jacques Rancière will deliver a paper in the School of Modern Language and Cultures on Monday 1st February 2021, 3.00-4.30pm, 'Politics of the Landscape'. The paper marks the launch of our new Warwick seminar for interdisciplinary French Studies. In this paper, drawn from his recently published Le Temps du paysage : aux origines de la révolution esthétique (La Fabrique, 2020), Jacques Rancière explores the interconnections between aesthetics and politics in conceptions of landscape, starting out from an extended commentary on three events of 1790: two publications (Kant’s Critique of Judgment and Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France) and one journey, Wordsworth’s travels through the political landscape of revolutionary France. The paper will be delivered in English and followed by a response from Oliver Davis. The seminar will take place on MS Teams. All are welcome but registration is required; please contact the convenor, Oliver Davis (O.Davis@warwick.ac.uk) to register.
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.
Congratulations to Helmut Schmitz and Peter Davies on their special edition of the EDINBURGH GERMAN YEARBOOK 11
Love, Eros, & Desire in Contemporary German-Language Literature & Culture
Edited by HELMUT SCHMITZ & PETER DAVIES