Posts from January 2016
Wednesday 20th January, 6pm (please note later start time)
Room 105, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW
Kafka’s Genealogy of the Official
Howard Caygill (Kingston), with a response by academic and novelist Michael Nath
Approaching Kafka’s work via the pivotal theme of the accident – understood both philosophically and in a broader cultural context, including the sociological basis of accident insurance and the concepts of chance and necessity – provides a radical new way of reading Kafka. Instead of a narration of domination, Kafka’s work is best read as a narration of defiance, one which affirms (often comically) the role of error and contingency in historical struggle. Stressing the role of contingency in his authorship and reception also challenges many of the assumptions, misguided presuppositions and even legends that have surrounded the legacy and reception of Franz Kafka’s work during the 20th century, including the view of Kafka’s work as ‘kafkaesque’.
All welcome and entrance free. Non-Westminster guests can sign in at reception.
A new series of Film Matters screenings organised by the Centre for Law, Society and Popular Culture at the University of Westminster has just been announced. This year the films chosen relate to the concept of ‘change’.
First up are two films, Ex Machina and A.I. , relating to recent developments in Artificial Intelligence, forming part of the Law and Artificial Intelligence Series, the first event of which took place in October 2015. This is followed by a screening of The Imitation Game, introduced by Writer in Residence at Westminster, Mike Garry, who is currently collaborating with composer Philip Glass on a project based on the life of Alan Turing. Finally, in support of National Stroke Awareness Month, there will be screening of The Possibilities are Endless which documents the impact of the stroke suffered by musician Edwyn Collins.
Download the Film Matters 2016 season poster (PDF format).
These events are free and everyone is welcome, please register online.
The four-volume series Decades of Contemporary British Fiction: The 1970s to 2000s, co-edited by our own Leigh Wilson with Nick Hubble and Philip Tew, is out now from Bloomsbury. 10% discount if you order all four here.
As well as editing co-editing three of the volumes, Leigh has also contributed an excellent essay to the 2000s collection on ‘the historical novel and the crisis of fictionality in the first decade of the twenty-first century’.
Wednesday 20th January 2016, 6.30-8.00 pm
Room UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London
Diana Yeh (City University, London)
From Peter Pan to Lady Precious Stream
An illustrated talk by Diana Yeh on a famous Chinese artistic couple who hit the London theatre stage in the 1930s with the play, Lady Precious Stream. A short film of this play will be shown. Organised by our colleagues in Modern Languages and Culture, in collaboration with the Meridian Society and the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at Westminster.
Shi-I Hsiung translated several English novels and plays into Chinese, including Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman and James Barrie’s Peter Pan. When he came to London, he adapted the Chinese Beijing opera Wang Baochuan into Lady Precious Stream, a modern Chinese drama in English which hit the London stage – the Little Theatre in the Adelphi – in November 1934. It was so successful and popular that it went on to be performed in other theatres nationwide and in other countries, including the USA, starting in Broadway, New York. Royalty and celebrities went to see the productions and the Hsiungs were feted as celebrities too. Diana Yeh tells the story of the Hsiungs and analyses their role as representatives of the new, modern Chinese cultural élite who brought Chinese culture to the West and introduced English culture to China during this period. She analyses their contribution and reception within the context of the contemporary images of China and the Chinese (‘John Chinaman’ and ‘Fu Manchu’) and the changing political and social circumstances leading up to World War II.
The event is free and open to the public. Non-University of Westminster attendees please register with Cangbai Wang by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture
University of Westminster Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies
32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW. United Kingdom.