Lectures and Conferences

PUNSTER PNIN and the YELLOW-BLUE VASS: The Multilingual Characters of Nabokov's American Novels

 Wednesday November 16, 2011
195 College Avenue
6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

This talk explores Vladimir Nabokov’s famous “Conradical” switch from writing in Russian to writing exclusively in English. Maria will analyze the way in which Nabokov develops characters, arguing that their linguistic complexities would have been unthinkable had Nabokov not experienced a language switch himself. That is, Nabokov’s linguistic background determines the creation of his fictional characters, and this distinguishes him profoundly from monolingual authors.

The colloquium is preceded by our annual THANKSGIVING POTLUCK DINNER, led by Marilyn Tankiewicz, who will be sending us a menu on Monday morning--but do email her if you already know what you want to bring. Main dishes will be native (more or less). Side dishes from everyone's home cuisine!

DINNER STARTS AT 6:00 p.m. followed by Maria's paper at 7:00 p.m.

Per usual, Jorge and Elin will bring beverages.

Roundtable “Beyond Creolization and Créolité: New Directions in Critical Caribbean Studies”

 Monday November 14, 2011
Pane Room, Alexander Library
3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Anny Dominique Curtius (French & Italian, University of Iowa)
Aisha Khan (Anthropology, New York University)
Moderators: Yarimar Bonilla (Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies and Anthropology, Rutgers) and Yolanda Martínez San Miguel (Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies and Comparative Literature, Rutgers)

Sponsored by:
The Office of the Dean of the School of Art and Sciences, the Program in Comparative Literature, the Department of Africana Studies, the Department of English, the Center for Latino Arts and Cultures, the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies.

Program in Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference

Survival Logics: Narrative and the Margins

call for papers flyerKeynote address: Professor Michael Rothberg (Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Friday, March 25 2011

The graduate students of the Program in Comparative Literature announce our upcoming conference Survival Logics: Narrative and the Margins.  The conference will be Friday, March 25, 2011 and will include Professor Michael Rothberg of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the keynote speaker. 

We invite graduate student paper proposals that deal with survival narratives of any media or form and from any time period.  We are especially interested in proposals that address multiple narratives and the ways in which different narratives encounter each another in linguistic, social, cultural, political and/or geographic spaces.  We welcome submissions from all disciplines.  The aim of this conference will be to explore and develop critical and creative narrative practices that move us away from patterns of exclusion, competition and dispute for territory. One of our guiding questions is: how can we think about the relatedness of literary traditions, cultural memories, histories and futures without eliding or overlooking key differences and the particular (dis)location and temporality of those positions?   

Deadline for abstract submissions is December 20, 2010.

For our Full Call for Papers

Read more…

Program in Comparative Literature Conference

Cross-Cultural Ecocriticism(s): Waves and Undertows

 Keynote speakers:  Rob Nixon, U of Wisconsin; Catriona Sandilands, York U; Timothy Morton, UC-Davis; Ursula Heise, Stanford U.
February 25, 2011 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open to the public.

Do current environmental crises, politics, and studies compel literary and cultural studies to revisit their usual perspectives on the study of nature? Ecocriticism names the emergence of interdisciplinary approaches to humans’ interactions with natural environments and non-human species in literature and other media. This conference will focus on leading research in ecocriticism addressing national, ethnic, class, gender, and disciplinary boundaries still permeating this field.

                How do we talk about the representation of human/non-human identities and relationships, in literature, film, and other media? Although the relationship of nature to society or the individual has been always present in literatures across the world, and criticism has always indeed focused on it, do we need now a critical vocabulary that engages with new developments in fields such as environmental history, environmental anthropology, political ecology, environmental philosophy, environmental psychology, cognitive sciences, neurobiology, evolutionary/adaptationist theories, etc.? Have past and current world literatures addressed environmental crises or conflicts, and even thought positions that can illuminate our debates on ecology, environmentalism and post-humanism? Can we re-think the relationship between “texts” and the social/natural networks in which they are inserted?

                Only since the early 1990s, mainstream literary and cultural studies have engaged with these questions. However, originally developed within the American and English academies, ecocriticism has been accused of exhibiting a pronounced tendency towards solipsism and at times, ethnocentrism, in its primary focus on English and American national literary traditions and ecologies.
The Conference “Cross-Cultural Ecocriticism(s): Waves and Undertows” will reflect on the gains and shortcomings of the so-called “third wave ecocriticism,” or the current rise of approaches attempting to go over pervasive national, ethnic, class, gender, and disciplinary constraints. Four distinguished scholars who in recent times have opened or advanced new directions in these areas have agreed to join us for the conference and shared their research related to the rise of postcolonial ecocriticism, the impact of new varieties of ecofeminisms and popular environmentalisms; the contributions and challenges posed by another emergent field: critical animal studies; and the rethinking of environmental aesthetics and ecological thought in/for the Humanities.

View Schedule

Distinguished Lectures in Caribbean Studies at Rutgers

Distinguished Lectures in Caribbean Studies at Rutgers

"The Cul t of True Oomanhood: Caribbean Women Sex the Bildungsroman”
Rosamond S. King, (English, Brooklyn College)
Monday, December 6 at 4:30 - 6:30 pm
Alexander Library Teleconference Center, New Brunswick, NJ

This is the fourth and final lecture series showcasing current debates and innovative scholarship on Caribbean studies.