Faculty Brown Bag Lunch Series

Brown Bag Lunch: April 27, 2016

Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel and Sarah Tobias
Comparative Literature
Rutgers University
195 College Avenue
12:00 - 1:30pm

Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities

From Caitlyn Jenner to Laverne Cox, transgender people have rapidly gained public visibility, contesting many basic assumptions about what gender and embodiment mean. The vibrant discipline of Trans Studies explores such challenges in depth, building on the insights of queer and feminist theory to raise provocative questions about the relationships among gender, sexuality, and accepted social norms.

Join Yolanda Martínez San-Miguel and Sarah Tobias for a brown bag discussion of their new edited volume, Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities. The book is an interdisciplinary essay collection that originates from an intensive year of programming at the Institute for Research on Women (IRW) during the 2012-13 academic year. It brings together leading experts in this burgeoning field and offering insights about how transgender activism and scholarship might transform scholarship and public policy. Taking an intersectional approach, the book bridges the gaps between activism and academia by offering examples of cutting-edge activism, research, and pedagogy.

YOLANDA MARTÍNEZ-SAN MIGUEL is a professor of Latino studies and comparative literature at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is the author of several books including From Lack to Excess: ‘Minor’ Readings of Colonial Latin American Literature and Coloniality of Diasporas: Rethinking Intra-Colonial Migrations in a Pan-Caribbean Context.

SARAH TOBIAS is the associate director of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University, where she serves as affiliate faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Brown Bag Lunch: April 20, 2016

Jeffrey Shandler
Comparative Literature
Rutgers University
195 College Avenue
12:00-1:30PM

Masking and Unmasking Jewishness on the Contemporary American Stage

Two recent stage productions—Clifford Odets’s Awake and Sing, performed by the National Asian American Theater Company and New Yiddish Rep’s presentation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in Yiddish translation—employ provocative performance interventions to problematize notions of the Jewishness of these plays’ characters and narratives. I’m exploring the implications of these two performance strategies in relation to one another and vis-à-vis larger concerns about the performance of racial and ethnic identity on the contemporary American stage. In addition, I’m examining the role of Yiddish in both plays’ history of composition and production, especially how the language figures in both masking and unmasking Jewishness.

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Brown Bag Lunch: December 14, 2015

Caroline Godart
Comparative Literature
Rutgers University
195 College Avenue
12:00 - 1:30pm

Caroline Godart will be discussing new book: The Dimensions of Difference Space, Time and Bodies in Women’s Cinema and Continental Philosophy.  Caroline Godart is a Scientific Collaborator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

The Dimensions of Difference departs from traditional takes on feminist film criticism, and in particular from the psychoanalytical focus on the gaze, to examine the question of sexual difference through three axes: space, time, and bodies. These are some of the most fundamental elements of cinema, which deploys the bodies of actors through space and time, for instance, through camerawork and editing.While this approach may not at first sight seem to be related to questions of gender and sexuality, Caroline Godart demonstrates its relevance to feminist film studies by weaving together careful analyses of space, time, and bodies in women’s cinema with close readings of the same concepts in the works of three philosophers: Luce Irigaray, Henri Bergson, and Gilles Deleuze. The book investigates how certain films generate a cinematic experience of sexual difference, and frames this analysis within a careful philosophical inquiry into the notion of alterity itself. These tools provide fruitful resources for feminist inquiry, giving insights into sexual difference as it operates within film aesthetics and, beyond cinema, in the world at large. The result is a compelling reflection on feminism, film form, and continental philosophy.

 

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Brown Bag Lunch: November 17, 2015

Professor Evelyn Annuss, Theater and Media at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich
Comparative Literature
Rutgers University
195 College Avenue
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

"Chorus and Ornament: On Nazi Crowd Control,"

Often perceived as static and monolithic, what is determined as “fascist aesthetics” changes fundamentally in the mid-1930s. The collective figure of the populace is transposed into an ornamental allegorization of Nazi power. This implies a paradigm shift in propaganda politics from sound to spectacle. It can not only be discussed in light of a re-accentuation of media dispositifs, due to the establishment of the sound film, which evokes new perspectives on the ornament of the masses and its propagandist utilization. It also evokes the emergence of new modes of subject formation and the question of their current afterlife in the totalization of perspective.

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Brown Bag Lunch: November 18, 2014

Alidou September 23, 2014 Brown Bag LuncheonProfessor Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel
Comparative Literature, Rutgers University
195 College Avenue
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.