Past Events

Information regarding past events can be found below.

CSLC Annual Symposium “(In)Visible Histories: Counterhistory, Race, and Visuality”

The CSLC annual symposium is an interdisciplinary exploration of the pressing issues of our times. The 2021 symposium undertakes to examine and elucidate the ways in which counter-hegemonic practices may negotiate, disrupt, or underpin constructions of race and racial hierarchies. All are welcome. 


Keynote 1

Friday, February 19, 2021, at 3 PM

Professor John Jennings will deliver the CSLC annual symposium’s first keynote address, “Becoming the Data Thief: Notes on a Black Speculative Mythopoetic.”

A response by Lydie Moudileno, Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French and Professor of French and American Studies and Ethnicity, will follow. 

Registration link here.


Keynote 2

Friday, February 26, 2021, at 3 PM.

Professor Qiana Whitted will deliver the CSLC annual symposium’s second keynote address, “All-Negro Comics and Counter-Histories of Race in the Golden Age.”

A response by Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Assistant Professor of English, will follow. 

Registration link here. 


In Conversation: John Jennings and Qiana Whitted

Friday, March 5, 2021, at 3 PM.

The conclusion of the 2021 CSLC symposium, this event will engage Professor John Jennings and Professor Qiana Whitted in conversation to reflect upon the themes of their keynotes and the work presented during the symposium. The conversation will be moderated by Natalie Belisle, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature. 

Registration link here. 

The End(s) of Translation | Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture Annual Symposium 2020

Join us on March 5-6, 2020 for the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture Annual Graduate Student Symposium, “The End(s) of Translation.”  This year’s symposium aims to consider the intersections of translation and politics, as well as to question the ways in which thinking between and across linguistic, mediatic, and disciplinary boundaries complicates and resists concepts such as citizenship, migration, and border spaces.

The keynote speaker for this year's symposium is Dr. Emily Apter, Silver Professor of French and Comparative Literature at New York University.  Dr. Apter’s work on translation theory and praxis, philosophizing in languages, and political theory will serve as a starting point for the symposium’s larger aim of investigating translation in its numerous facets, including its ends, means, purposes, limits, and conclusions.  

Generously co-sponsored by the Departments of American Studies & Ethnicity, Cinmea and Meida Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, French & Italian, Latin American & Iberian Cultures, and Slavic Languages & Literatures, as well as the Francophone Research and Resource Center, Graduate Student Government, the Levan Institute for Humanities, the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, the Visual Studies Research Institute, and the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture Doctoral Program.

Transmedial Latin America: IV Annual Meeting of SoCrit: Southern California Working Group "Hispanism/Critical Thought"

February 20- 21, 2020

Transmedial Latin America brings together scholars of Latin American literature, media, and culture whose work has a strong theoretical inflection in order to evaluate, collectively, the role of theory and thought in Latin American media studies. Particularly, examining transmediality:  the dynamic of cultural expression and conceptual labor that takes place across what might seem like distinct media—film, music, photography, digital media, etc.—but are shown, through these “crossings” (translations, adaptations, distortions) to be interrelated and inseparable. 

Speakers include Pablo Oyarzún (U Chile), Iván Aguirre-Darancou (UC Riverside), Julia Ariza (Dartmouth), Mayra Bottaro ( U of Oregon), Natalia Brizuela (UC Berkeley),  Vincent D. Cervantes (U of Illinois), Tarek Elhaik (UC Davis), Paul North.

Trans-lating Islands: A Reading and Conversation on Translation with Raquel Salas Rivera, Nicole C. Delgado, and Carina del Valle Schorske

November 25, 2019

Derrida’s lapidary phrase “There is no world, there are only islands” engages a thinking of translation as the very movement of insular formations. Translation is necessary precisely because “there is no world” already given that would ensure the passage from island to island. But what if islands were already translational in their supposed insularity? How to translate what is already in itself a translation? The Department of Comparative Literature invites you to a reading and conversation with Puerto Rican poets and critics Raquel Salas Rivera, Nicole Cecilia Delgado, and Carina del Valle Schorske, three vital voices in ongoing conversations in Puerto Rico and the US about the politics of poetry and the ethics of translation across languages, genres, and genders.

On the Chilean Crisis Today by Mia Dragnic, Inger Flem, Carolina Herrera, and Cesar Perez

November 4, 2019

During this panel discussion, respondants will be discussing the current civil unrest taking place in Chilean, the government's response, and, in turn, how it is effecting Chileans.  Paneliest include Mia Dragnic (University de Chile and UC  San Diego), Inger Flem (USC CSLC), Carolina Herrera (UC Riverside), and Cesar Perez (USC CSLC).  Video by Andres Eyzaguirre will be presented. 

Fall Ice Cream Social

October 30, 2019

Undergraduate ice cream social with the faculty and staff of the Comparative Literature Department!

Latin American Trans*/Travesti Theory by Marlene Wayar

September 25, 2019

Marlene Wayar is an Argentine social psychologist, transgender rights activist, and author. She is the general coordinator of Futuro Trangenerico–an organization with which she was part of the National Front for the Gender Identity Law–and co-founder of the Silvia Rivera Trans Network of Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2018 she published her first book, Travesti: una teoría lo suficientemente Buena (Cross-dressing: A Good Enough Theory).

The Image in the Age of its General Exchangeability by Professor Peter Szendy

March 25, 2019

Our world is increasingly saturated with images. Their number is growing so exponentially-- on social networks and screens of all kinds-- that the space in which we live is literally overflowing with images (we are approaching the limit which Walter Benjamin described as "a one hundred percent image space"). The question of storing or circulating them, their weight, the fluidity or viscosity of their exchanges, the fluctuations in their values-- in short, the whole business of the image economy-- is more pertinent than ever. In the light of these new iconomics of our times, we will try to rewrite Benjamin's essay on "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility."

The Idea of Philology: Or, What Auerbach Learned from Vico by Professor Jane O. Newman

April 9, 2019

The famed German-Jewish philologist, Erich Auerbach (1892-1957) is sometimes referred to as the “father of Comparative Literature” in the United States because of the foundational role that his book Mimesis (German, 1946; English 1953) played in the development of the field; more recently, his essay, “The Philology of World Literature” (1952) has taken over that foundational role as Comparative Literature seeks to untangle itself from the European tradition at the core of Mimesis. This talk will address Auerbach’s work not from the point of view of which canon he may or may not have favored, but, rather, in terms of the work he thought that a “philosophical philology” could do in unearthing the darker sides of humanity’s shared histories and common fate. Auerbach was, as it turns out, less a student of a particular tradition of literary realism than a theorist of the impact that the perverse realities of human finitude impose upon each and every one of us and across all civilizations. This insight into what Auerbach himself called the “human condition” was one he learned from the work of the Italian philosopher and theorist of history, Giambattista Vico (1668-1744), about whom Auerbach wrote some fifteen times between 1921 and 1957. In this context, it’s thus not surprising to learn that, as he wrote more than once, Auerbach had his “idea of philology” from Vico as well. This talk will explore Auerbach’s life-long engagement with Vico’s work and the relation of Vico’s philology to Auerbach’s own.

Proto-Chicanas, Poetics, and Poetisas of California's Spanish-Language Press, 1865-1877 by Vanessa Ovalle Perez

January 23, 2019

This talk will examine the social poetic practices of Mexican-American women, the self-described poetisas, of the Spanish-language press in nineteenth-century California. Expressed in this poetry is a burgeoning feminist sensibility that explores intersectional questions of language, ethnicity, culture, and political subjectivity.

The Mediacy of the Media: A Psychoanalytic Approach by Professor Samuel Weber

March 18, 2019

The well-known infl uence of “the media” today is accompanied by an enormous vagueness as to just what the word designates: is it singular or plural? Digital or electronic? New or Old? A means of information or of disinformation? — or both of these alternatives at once? In its relation to “the media,” psychoanalysis has long participated in this uncertainty: it has helped “the media” develop ever more sophisticated means of manipulation; but it can also provide conceptual instruments that offer insight into the process by which that manipulation
functions. This talk seeks to explore some of these ambiguities and ambivalences, as well as to interpret some of their consequences.

States of Cogitation by Tarek Elhaik

November 27, 2018

In this talk, Elhaik meditates on his recent fieldwork encounters with conceptual artists whose image-work, ethical demands, and aesthetic struggles straddle the wild borders between anthropology, art history, and philosophy. Through the imagework and writings of Adrian Piper, Anna Maria Maiolino, Mathias Goeritz, and Mounir Fatmi, Elhaik locates and problematizes what he calls ‘states of cogitation’: states of mind, of the soul, meditative moods and thought processes that reconfigure the modernist problem of abstraction. “Cogitation” is a term Elhaik reanimates from the 12th century Andalusian rationalist philosopher Averroes to challenge anthropology’s self-designation as the science of the concrete.

Unthinking Mastery by Julietta Singh

November 15, 2018

In this talk, Julietta Singh (Associate Professor of English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Richmond) engages the central questions and concepts of her new book, Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements (Duke UP, 2018). Looking back to the anti-colonial discourse of the last century through figures such as Mohandas Gandhi and Frantz Fanon, and looking forward to contemporary postcolonial literary texts, Singh asks us to consider our abiding attachments to mastery at levels personal, professional, and political. In doing so, she traces some of the key concepts of this work, including “dehumanism” and “vulnerable reading.”

Inaugural Roundtable on Literary Translation by Sergio Chejfec and Heather Cleary

October 23, 2018

Sergio Chejfec is a fiction writer and essayist born in Argentina. Among his most recent books are El visitante (2017), Modo linterna (2013), La experiencia dramática (2012), Sobre Giannuzzi (2010), Mis dos mundos (2008), and Baroni, un viaje (2007). He writes about memory, the idea of experience and urban perambulation. He has been translated into English,  French,  German, Turkish and Hebrew, and has been the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a Resident of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. He currently lives in New York City and is Distinguished Writer in Residence in the MFA Creative Writing program in Spanish at NYU.

Heather Cleary is a translator and literary critic. Her book-length translations include Sergio Chejfec’s The Planets (finalist, Best Translated Book Award 2013) and The Dark (nominee, ALTA’s National Translation Award 2014), as well as Poems to Read on a Streetcar, a selection of Girondo’s poetry published by New Directions (recipient, PEN and Programa SUR translation grants). She holds an MA in Comparative Literature from NYU and a PhD in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University, and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. She has served on the jury of the Best Translated Book Award (2016) and the PEN Translation Award (2015), and helped organize the annual conference of the Barnard Center for Translation Studies (2015).

"David Tudor's Esoteric Spectacle-Town Hall, 1958" by Professor Michael Gallope

May 7, 2018

On the evening of May 15, 1958, pianist David Tudor gave the premiere of John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra at the composer’s famously raucous 25-Year Retrospective concert at New York’s Town Hall. Drawing on a new score reconstruction of Tudor’s “realization” of Cage’s work, a range of Tudor’s sketches and notes, the commercially released recording of the performance, and an array of published sources, the talk shows how Tudor’s realization exploited the age-old phenomenon of music’s ineffability, though not in any sense associated with German Romanticism or absolute music. Rather, Tudor’s interest in the ineffable stemmed from an avant-garde mysticism influenced by Antonin Artaud, Carl Jung, theosophy, and Cage’s own orientalist metaphysics. These influences, I argue, point to a philosophical crux of Tudor’s practice at mid-century: that notwithstanding the formidable formalisms and calculations that structured his collaborations with Cage, Tudor’s performance operated with equal power as an opaque sensory spectacle.

Poetry Reading with Zeina Hashem Beck

March 27, 2018

Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet with a BA and an MA in English Literature from the American University of Beirut. She won the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize for her second full-length collection, Louder than Hearts (April 2017), about which Naomi Shihab Nye wrote, “Everything Arabic we treasure comes alive in these poems. Readers will feel restored to so many homes, revived, amazed. Zeina Hashem Beck writes with a brilliant, absolutely essential voice.” Zeina is also the author of two 2016 chapbooks: 3arabi Song, selected from 1720 manuscripts as winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and There Was and How Much There Was, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy, who praised her “remarkable gift for storytelling” in this pamphlet rich with women’s voices. Zeina's first book, To Live in Autumn, centered on Beirut, won the 2013 Backwaters Prize and was a runner-up for the 2014 Julie Suk Award. Zeina’s poem, "Maqam," won Poetry Magazine's 2017 Frederick Bock Prize. Her work has won Best of the Net, has been selected for Bettering American Poetry 2016, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Forward Prize. Her poetry has been featured on The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day, Poetry Daily and Inpress Books’ Poem of the Week, and has appeared widely in literary magazines, among which are Ploughshares, Poetry, The Rialto, Poetry London,World Literature Today, River Styx, Boulevard, Ambit, and Poetry Northwest.

The Cut of the Shibboleth: Language, Borders, and the Fascination of Fascism by Professor Marc Redfield

November 13, 2017

Marc Redfield is the Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Brown University. He studies British, American, French, and German literature and literary theory of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on romanticism and on the history, philosophy, and politics of post-romantic aesthetics. He has written on the Bildungroman; on intersections of nationalism, media, and technics; on terrorism and war; and on the history and practice of literary theory, particularly deconstruction. He is the author of Phantom Formations: Aesthetic Ideology and the Bildungsroman (1996); The Politics of Aesthetics: Nationalism, Gender, Romanticism (2003); The Rhetoric of Terror: Reflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror (2009); and Theory at Yale: The Strange Case of Deconstruction in America (2016). He has co-edited High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (2002), edited Legacies of Paul de Man (2007), co-edited Points of Departure: Samuel Weber between Spectrality and Reading (2016), and guest-edited special issues of the journals Diacritics, Romantic Praxis, and The Wordsworth Circle.

Gendering Kitsch by Lucia Re

October 30, 2017

In this talk, Lucia Re discusses influential Italian theories of kitsch, postmodernism and avant-garde art by Gillo Dorfles and Umberto Eco from a feminist persepctive. She argues that the terminology developed and used by these theroists and critics incorporates a skewed gendered vision that makes understanding and accounting for the achievements of Italian women artists such as visual poet Lucia Marcucci (1933-) tenous and problematic, thus contributing to their marginalization within and by the institutions of art.

The Figure of Moses: Spinoza’s Political Theology and the Baroque

October 23, 2017

Dimitris Vardoulakis is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Western Sydney University in Australia. He is the author of The Doppelganger: Literature's Philosophy (Fordham UP, 2010), Sovereignty and its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (Fordham UP, 2013), Freedom from the Free Will: On Kafka's Laughter (SUNY Press, 2016), and Stasis Before the State: Nine Theses on Agnostic Democracy (Fordham UP, 2017). He has also edited or co-edited numerous books, including Spinoza Now (U of Minnesota Press, 2011) and Sparks Will Fly: Benjamin and Heidegger (SUNY Press, 2015). He is the director of "Thinking Out Loud: The Sydney Lectures in Philosophy and Society."

Man of Cinema Wajda for the Twenty-First Century

October 19-20, 2017

The Slavic Languages and Literatures presents a conference on the topic of film auteur Andrzej Wajda. The event will feature academic talks, film screenings, musical performances, and a reception with Polish food.

10.00 am Breakfast

10.30 am academic panel

12.30 lunch

1.30 academic panel

4.00 Screening of Miro Kepinski's "Night Shift" accompanied by live music by Miro Kepinski and students from Thornton School of Music

5.00 Conversation with composer Miro Kepinski

5.30 Reception with food catered by Polka Polish Restaurant

Screening of "Cuatreros" with Director Albertina Carri

October 16, 2017

Director, screenwriter and producer Albertina Carri (Buenos Aires, 1973) is one of the leading figures of New Argentine Cinema, and currently serves as artistic director of Asterisco, an International LGBTIQ Film Festival. Carri is characterized by her versatility and constant research in different genres. She has explored both cinema noir and documentary (at the limit of fiction), pornographic melodrama, and family drama. She goes after the footsteps of Isidro Velázquez, the last gaucho raised from Argentina and, realize the search for lost time is always erratic in her movie "Cuaatreros." Q&A moderated by Chair Erin Graff Zivin.

The Accent Complex by Alison Rice

October 12, 2017

This talk argues that Francophone women writers in Paris are enhancing the French-language literary landscape because, paradoxically, they have been singled out-- and often ostracized-- for their accents. Theier literary writings are participating in a reversal of this complex by placing an accent on other often ignored experiences in the French capital, on the plight of immigrants who suffer from xenophobic attitudes because their speech varies from what is expected.

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