The history of the commodification of Black bodies within a global context has been central to the Afro-diasporic experience. While in conversation with the Transatlantic Slave Trade and colonization; contemporary scholarship grapples with what it is to interrogate the consumption of Black bodies. Working from the perspective of Blackness and commodification in Black Looks: Race and Representation, bell hooks argues that the "contemporary commodification of Black culture by whites in no way challenges white supremacy when it takes the form of making Blackness the 'spice' that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture" (14).
Whether seen in signs and portents, or read in grimoires or magic books, the occult in the premodern world is both marveled at and feared. A significant amount of the description of occult and sorcerous activity, however, also functions as political commentary, whether as direct criticism of secular current events or as a voice or conceptual space for the spiritual "other" in medieval society.
Given the status of knowledge in the contemporary global economy, contestations over its production, dissemination, and ownership have intensified and expanded.
Aristotle in his Poetics outlines his theory of tragedy and gives readers a framework for assessing and understanding the genre; his treatise providing the equivalent analysis of comedy has sadly been lost, and as a result, it is difficult to find a unified theory of ancient comedy. Perhaps the closest we have is Democritus' statement that "Laughter is a complete conception of the world." Centuries later, Bakhtin would elaborate upon this sentiment by claiming that the carnivalesque comedy allows for dialogue between multiple genres and voices in order to create a world in which societal structures are upended.
In recent years, the web has seen an explosion of digital interpretations of nineteenth-century texts. The Lizzie Bennett Diaries web series translates Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, via video diary, into an out-of-work grad student living with her family; "Texts From Jane Eyre" imagines how Jane would interact with Rochester and St. John via text message; David Copperfield has his own Facebook page; and there are at least four video games based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This session combines interests in nineteenth century, digital media, and cultural studies to investigate how we understand our current world through the lens of nineteenth-century characters and stories.
Session ID: 15817
Session Format: Roundtable
Title: Moving Forward: New Perspectives on Italian Literature and Culture Courses
Panelists are invited to present a paper and any relevant materials that highlight innovative courses they have created and/or contributed to (including new methods of evaluation) that take Italian Studies in new directions. Panelists are also welcome to share their students' anecdotal accounts of their experience.
Other topics will include suggestions (recommendations) for further areas of study, how to increase student enrollment, bridging Italian Studies to other programs, fostering transferable skills (beyond the classroom).
"Foodies consider food to be an art, on a level with painting or drama" (The Official Foodie Handbook, Paul Levy, Ann Barr, 1984).
From the kitchen to the classroom, the preeminence of food has brought gastronomy to the forefront of mainstream culture as well as academic conversation. Devoid of the irony that may have once infused the Handbook statement, food is, and has always been, indeed 'an art, on a level with painting or drama.'
We invite abstracts from all academic disciplines that address the following themes or other related areas:
The Dickens Society is pleased to be able to offer
The Robert B. Partlow, Jr. Prize
Applications are invited for the Partlow Prize, named in honor of the original Secretary-Treasurer of the Dickens Society and one of its founding members. The prize may be in the form of EITHER one stipend of $500 OR two of $300 (if two recipients are chosen), and is intended to defray costs of attending the Dickens Symposium, in order to deliver a paper on any aspect of Dickens's life or work. The registration fee and cost of the Dickens Dinner will also be waived.
Dickens Society 21st Annual Symposium:
Iceland University, Reykjavik
11–13 July, 2016
Call for Papers
In 2015, the University of Edinburgh Press launched a multivolume series of scholarly, refereed anthologies entitled ReFocus. Edited by Robert Singer (CUNY Graduate Center, Liberal Studies) and Gary D. Rhodes (Queens University, Belfast), each book focuses on a critically overlooked American film director who worked in the studio system, independent cinema, experimental filmmaking, or documentary tradition. The volumes to be published this year focus on Preston Sturges, Amy Heckerling, Delmer Daves, Ida Lupino, and Budd Boetticher.