Trauma and the Early Modern (1)

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 24th, 2010

Event Date: Tuesday 24 November 2010 5.00 pm
Royal Holloway, IN 032

 

 

Trauma and the Early Modern (1)

TRAUMA, FICTION, HISTORY seminar series

School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Speakers:

Professor John O’Brien, (Royal Holloway), Beginnings and Trauma

Dr Timothy Chesters, (Royal Holloway), Divine Trauma

On the face of things, there seems something ineradicably modern about trauma as a concept. Born, as ‘traumatic neurosis’, alongside modern psychoanalysis at the end of the nineteenth century, and revitalised within deconstruction at the close of the twentieth, trauma theory has also been shaped by a series of – it is sometimes supposed – uniquely modern catastrophes: World War I, the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Vietnam. So what if anything can trauma theory reveal of other historical periods? Is to speak of trauma in the early modern period, for example, merely to indulge in futile anachronism? Or can trauma theory still teach us something about early modern violence and the mental scars it left behind? More provocatively, perhaps, can early modern texts tell us anything of trauma theory itself: its assumptions, its blind spots, its own unspoken past? In the first of a two-part mini-series on ‘Trauma and the Early Modern’, Timothy Chesters and John O’Brien test the applicability of trauma theory in a number of texts arising out of the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598).

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Introduction by Colin Davis .

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John O’Brien Beginnings and Trauma:

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Timothy Chesters Divine Trauma :

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Martin Stokes – Popular Song and Modern Turkish History

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 23rd, 2010

Event date: 23 November 2010
McCrea 201
17:30 – 19:00

 

 

Royal Holloway Department of History

Research Seminars 2010/2011

Martin Stokes (Oxford University) – Popular Song and Modern Turkish History

Chair: Evrim Binbas

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Ruth Davidson – Dreams of Utopia: Female Engagement within Civil Society and the Infant Welfare Movement in Croydon and East Surrey 1914-1939

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 16th, 2010

Event date: 16 November 2010
McCrea 201
17:30 – 19:00

 

 

Royal Holloway Department of History

Research Seminars 2010/2011

Ruth Davidson (Royal Holloway) – Dreams of Utopia:  Female Engagement within Civil Society and the Infant Welfare Movement in Croydon and East Surrey 1914-1939

Chair: Alex Windscheffel

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Slavoj Zizek – Violence Revisited

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 12th, 2010

Event Date: 12 November 2010
Room B01, Clore Management Centre
Birkbeck College



Slavoj ZizekViolence Revisited

Public lecture



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Trauma Narratives and ‘Herstory’ With a special emphasis on the work of Eva Figes

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 12th, 2010



Event date: November 12– 13 2010
School of The Arts
The University of Northampton

Trauma Narratives and ‘Herstory’

With a special emphasis on the work of Eva Figes

School of The Arts, The University of Northampton (in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza, Spain)

I am a grandmother now and, like all grandmothers, I have a head full of stories about the past. But my stories are not like other people’s, which makes them more fascinating for my descendants, if not always easy to talk about. All of them are strange, in one way or another, but so were the times. (Figes, 2008: 1)

These words inaugurate Journey to Nowhere, the last work published by the British writer Eva Figes, and they seem to acknowledge the impulse of telling ‘herstory’ about the past, an impulse which has guided her throughout most of her literary career.

Following the ‘ethical turn’ in criticism of the 1980s, trauma studies emerged in the United States in the 1990s as an important critical trend; according to Roger Luckhurst, this was the period ‘when various lines of inquiry converged to make trauma a privileged critical category’ (2006: 497). Psychiatrists and psychologists started to study the psychological aspect of trauma in communities that had been affected by the Holocaust, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. Then, study was extended to all communities that had suffered some kind of systematic abuse. The importance of trauma theory in literary studies has increased year on year with literary works seen as a site for the expression and working through of trauma. In this context, a plethora of trauma narratives by representatives of previously neglected social groups have come to the fore. According to the trauma critic Laurie Vickroy, recent literary studies have focused on women’s writing as well as Jewish writing (2002: 20).

Foremost among contemporary practitioners who represent trauma in their work is the British writer, Eva Figes. Having lost part of her family during the Holocaust, Figes emigrated from Germany to Great Britain as a child at the outbreak of the Second World War. Over 5 decades, Figes’ writing has consistently explored the themes of trauma, history and identity. Her work also reflects the ‘double’ marginalisation of the woman expatriate in patriarchal culture, which constitutes another form of traumatic exile. It portrays characters that are deeply traumatised, by the devastating effects of the Holocaust and/or by the patriarchal rules that society has traditionally imposed upon women.

In 2009 the British Library decided to acquire the rights to her personal archives. Yet, despite being an established writer and the recipient of literary prizes, Figes’ work has received relatively limited critical attention. For these reasons, we are giving Eva Figes pride of place in an international conference on the topic of trauma and ‘herstory’, at which we will have the pleasure of interviewing her. Papers are therefore invited on any aspect of trauma and ‘herstory’ in contemporary writing, and particularly in their treatment in Figes’ own work. We also welcome papers on the relationships that can be established between Figes and other contemporary writers who have contributed to the gendering of trauma narratives such as Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Audre Lorde, Kate Millett, Anais Nin, Janet Frame, Sylvia Fraser, Anita Brookner, Elaine Feinstein, Bernice Rubens or Anne Karpf.

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Keynote Address:

David Brauner, University of Reading (UK): 
Jewish Mothers and Jewish Memory in the Work of Jenny Diski, Eva Figes and Linda Grant

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Cindy Chavez , St Louis University, Madrid Campus:
Stealing the Pen-is: Remembering the literal and literary female body in Theresa Cha’s ‘Dictee’.


Olga Glebova, Jan Dlugosz University of Czestochowa (Poland):
Trauma, female identity and the trope of splitness in Figes, Lessing, Tennant and Weldon


Corina Crisu, University of Bucharest (Romania):
An Interstice of Silence: Narrating Rape in Oates`s “The Girl with the Blackened Eye” and Sebold`s The Lovely Bones


Sorcha Gunne, Warwick University (UK):
‘Walking on Broken Glass’: narratives of trauma and tortured bodies in Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor and David’s Story by Zoё Wicomb


Carmen Melchor Iñiguez , Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid, (Spain):
Aurora de Albornoz, Autobiography, Trauma and the Spanish Civil War


Sue Ryan-Fazilleau, Universite La Rochelle (France):
Samson and Delilah: Herstory, Trauma and Survival


Malgosia Godlewska, Ateneum, University of Gdansk (Poland):
History and Fiction in the Process of Recovery of Lost Identity in Tales of Innocence and Experience by Eva Figes


Daniela Babilon, University of Paderborn (Germany):
Unreal Realities: Trauma Narratives, Rewriting History, and Magic(al) Realism

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Antonia Birnbaum – Between Sharing and Antagonism: The Invention of Communism in Marx’s 1844 Manuscripts

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 11th, 2010



Event date: 11 November 2010
Swedenborg Hall
20-21 Bloomsbury Way
London, WC1A 2TH


Antonia Birnbaum (Department of Philosophy, University of Paris ) -
Between Sharing and Antagonism: The Invention of Communism in Marx’s 1844 Manuscripts



CRMEP

The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) is the leading centre for postgraduate level study and doctoral research in Continental Philosophy in the London area. Since its inception in 1994 it has developed a national and international reputation for teaching, research and publication in the field of post-Kantian European philosophy, characterised by a strong emphasis on broad cultural and intellectual contexts and a distinctive sense of social and political engagement. The CRMEP moved to Kingston University from Middlesex University in the summer of 2010. It is located across the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and Art, Design and Architecture (FADA).

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Jennifer Howes – Colin MacKenzie’s Adventures in India (1784-1821)

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 11th, 2010

Event date: 11 November 2010 18:00
14 Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD



Dr Jennifer Howes (British Library) – Colin MacKenzie’s Adventures in India (1784-1821)

Between 1784 and 1821, Colin Mackenzie, India’s first Surveyor General, collected a notoriously complex archive of manuscripts and drawings. Gathered by both European and Indian draftsmen, the drawings give a fascinating account of India’s monuments, people and landscapes during the Early Colonial Period.

Jennifer Howes, Illustrating India (OUP, 2010)

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David Feldman – Equality, Race and the Jewish Problem

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 10th, 2010

Event Date: 10 November 2010
University of London
William Beveridge Hall
Senate House Malet St.
WC1E 7HU


 

PEARS INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF ANTISEMITISM
Birkbeck, University of London

Inaugural lecture:

Equality, Race and the Jewish Problem

Speaker: Prof. David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism

Professor David Feldman launches the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism with his inaugural lecture, Equality, Race and the Jewish Problem.

The lecture considers the changing debate on the Jewish presence in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, asking whether hostility towards Jews was marginal or central to British society.

“In 1753, just months after it passed into law, the Whig government repealed an Act of Parliament that allowed foreign-born Jews to naturalise as British subjects.” comments Professor Feldman. “Yet just over 100 years later Lionel de Rothschild became the first professing Jew to sit in Parliament. In the intervening century attitudes to Jews had changed radically. This legal transformation was underpinned by the new belief that despite superficial differences, Christians and Jews were essentially similar.”

Professor Feldman continues, “These notions of similarity were challenged over the coming decades both by the developing idea of racial difference and also by the persistence of the Jews’ distinctiveness. In this way, the historic debates on the Jews force us to consider how to reconcile equality and difference – a dilemma which remains as powerful in the present as in the past.”

The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism is funded by the Pears Foundation. Professor Feldman was appointed its first director in April 2010. The Institute is founded on the principle that the study of antisemitism is vital to understanding all forms of racism, prejudice and xenophobia. It is committed to the interdisciplinary study of antisemitism, from political sciences to psychosocial studies and from history to law.

The Institute will carry out and disseminate high quality research, provide a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and offer an independent source of public policy advice. It will also work closely with the Wiener library, the world’s oldest institution for the study of antisemitism and the crimes of Nazi Germany, which is relocating to the Birkbeck campus in 2011.

For more information visit: www.bbk.ac.uk/antisemitism

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Welcome by Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck .

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Vote of Thanks by Professor Gareth Stedman Jones .

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Peter Burke – Loss and Gain: the social history of knowledge, 1750-2000

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 9th, 2010


Event Date: Tuesday 9 November 2010
Room B34  Birkbeck Main Building


Loss and Gain: the social history of knowledge 1750-2000

Public lecture given by Professor Peter Burke (BIH Visting Fellow)


Peter Burke - Loss and Gain: the social history of knowledge, 1750-2000
This lecture summarizes a chapter in a book I am currently writing on the social history of knowledge from the Encyclopédie to Wikipedia, a sequel to an earlier volume on knowledge from Gutenberg to Diderot.  In writing about the history of knowledge, it is all too easy to adopt a triumphalistic tone. There were indeed many triumphs in the story, but the negative side should not be forgotten.  Hence this lecture will emphasize the processes of hiding knowledge, destroying knowledge and especially that of discarding knowledge.  It might indeed have been entitled ‘A social history of (intellectual) rubbish’.

Peter Burke was Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, until his retirement, and remains a Fellow of Emmanuel College.  His twenty-odd books include A Social History of Knowledge from Gutenberg to Diderot (2000).



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Introduction by Dr Filippo De Vito .

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Florian Schui – Inglorious Prussians: Conflicts over Taxation in 18th Century Prussia and Grand Narratives of German History

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 9th, 2010

Event date: 9 November 2010
McCrea 201
17:30 – 18:00

 

 

Royal Holloway Department of History

Research Seminars 2010/2011


Florian Schui (Royal Holloway) – Inglorious Prussians: Conflicts over
Taxation in 18th Century Prussia and Grand Narratives of German History



Chair: Rudolf Muhs

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