Posts from September 2019

Contested Identities in Costa Rica: Book launch and screening of “We the Stones”, October 5th

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Saturday 5th October, 1.00 – 4.00 pm
Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London

Contested Identities in Costa Rica: Book launch and screening

Our colleague Liz Harvey-Kattou will be in conversation at Birkbeck, University of London, about her new book Contested Identities in Costa Rica: Constructions of the ‘tico’ in Literature and Film (Liverpool University Press, 2019), followed by a screening of Alvaro Torres Crespo’s recent film Nosotros las piedras / We the Stones (2018), shown for the first time in the UK.

Contested Identities in Costa Rica: Constructions of the Tico in Literature and Film explores the small Central American nation, famed for its ecological credentials and its reputation as “the happiest country in the world”. A rare and urgent inquiry into Costa Rican literature and film, this book looks at protest literature from the 1970s by Quince Duncan, Carmen Naranjo, and Alfonso Chase, who defied the normative discourse from their Afro-Costa Rican, feminist, and queer perspectives, and at the contemporary cinema that is redrawing the map of filmmaking in the region, including films by Esteban Ramírez, Paz Fábrega, Jurgen Ureña, and Patricia Velásquez. The author will be in conversation with Fernando Chaves Espinach, from the MA Film Programming and Curating at Birkbeck, University of London.

We the Stones / Nosotros las Piedras (2018, 74’, digital) follows a group of gold panners who live deep in Costa Rica’s jungle, in a protected area from which the government has repeatedly tried to expel them. Several years in the making, this piercing, tender portrait of men in the margins of society questions how nature and its conservation are discussed in one of the key sites for climate change and environmental protection. Intimate and with rich cinematography by Caleb B. Kuntz, the film admiringly contemplates how masculinity and political identities are shaped in the shadow of one of the densest jungles in Central America.

Booking via eventbrite here.

The programme is curated by Fernando Chaves Espinach from the MA Film Programming and Curating at Birkbeck, presented by the Embassy of Costa Rica in the UK and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) with support from the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAVS).

One Hundred Years of Night and Day conference, Saturday 26th October

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Saturday 26 October, 9.30 – 5.30
School of Humanities, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

One Hundred Years of Night and Day

In her diary in 1920, Virginia Woolf wrote: ‘I don’t suppose I’ve ever enjoyed any writing so much as I did the last half of N. & D.’ Her happiness with the novel was characteristically short-lived. In 1932 she wrote that ‘N. & D. is dead.’ Likewise with critics, the novel has moved in and out of favour. Coming as it did after the often surreal subversion of the Bildungsroman that is The Voyage Out, it has been sometimes read by Woolf’s contemporaries and more recent critics alike as a step back towards realist fiction. Famously described by Katherine Mansfield in 1920 as ‘Jane Austen up to date,’ and by critic Randy Malamud in 1989 as ‘a stillborn modernist artefact,’ the question of where this novel exists on the spectrum between realist and modern is one that persists in Woolf criticism, right up to present day. But as well as considerations of its position in the broad narrative of Woolf’s relationship to realism and modernism, Night and Day has provided fertile ground for critics to explore a wide range of ideas presented by its content. Its engagement with Shakespeare, with women’s suffrage, with mathematics, with class; its portrait of London; its silence on the First World War – all have led critics to new and exciting enquiries.

One hundred years after its initial publication, this one-day symposium in the heart of London seeks to encourage work that considers Night and Day and its innovations, breaking away from readings of the text as a mis-step to consider the rich, unusual, and sometimes difficult ideas that the novel offers.

Keynote address by Dr. Suzana Zink, Université de Neuchâtel.

Full programme and booking via eventbrite here.

Eric Fassin on French Politics, Thursday 26 September

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Thursday 26 September 2019, 5.30 – 7.00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’
Éric Fassin (University Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis/LEGS)

Éric Fassin is Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris 8 St-Denis. His research focuses on contemporary sexual and racial politics in France and the United States and their intersections (in particular, concerning immigration issues) and on the politics of populism. He is author of L’inversion de la question homosexuelle (2005), Droit conjugal et unions de même sexe: mariage, partenariat et concubinage dans neuf pays européens (with Kees Waaldijk, 2008) and Le sexe politique. Genre et sexualité au miroir transatlantique (2009). His recent interview in the journal Radical Philosophy can be read here.

Chaired by David Cunningham (IMCC)

Part of the series French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’, co-organised by the IMCC in collaboration with our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

Free to attend, but booking via eventbrite is essential.

Bond Girls: Body, Fashion and Gender book launch, Sunday 27 October

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Sunday 27 October 2019
Regent Street Cinema

Bond Girls: Body, Fashion and Gender book launch

We are delighted to announce the launch of our colleague Monica Germana’s forthcoming new book: Bond Girls: Body, Fashion and Gender (Bloomsbury). The event includes a special screening of Goldfinger (3-5), followed by a Q&A (5-6), and the book launch itself (6pm) in the cinema bar.

Please reserve tickets via the Regent Street Cinema site:
https://www.regentstreetcinema.com/programme/goldfinger-book-launch/

Call for Papers: Remapping the cultural and linguistic landscape of the Chinese in Britain

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Saturday 15 February 2020, University of Westminster

Call for Papers: Remapping the Cultural and Linguistic landscape of the Chinese in Britain

Confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Caroline Knowles (Goldsmiths, University of London)

 The Chinese in Britain is a small but one of the fastest growing communities. According to Office for National Statistics, the number of Chinese in Britain has increased from 247,000 in 1991 to 400,000 in 2011, and it is estimated the total number of Chinese has reached 500,000 by 2015. Approximately two-thirds of Chinese in Britain were born outside UK, with the majority coming from Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia. The past two decades has witnessed a steady rise in the number of people from mainland China, including professionals, skilled workers, investors and young people who come to study in UK’s schools and universities. The existing literature on the Chinese in Britain has predominately focused on the Cantonese-speaking communities from Hong Kong and to a lesser extent Southeast Asian countries. There is an urgent need to document and conceptualize this important demographic and cultural shift, not only for a better understanding of the new development of Chinese communities in the UK but also for the benefit of Britain whose future is increasingly built upon its understanding of and relations with the rest of the world including China.

This conference is aimed at addressing this gap by bringing together researchers, Chinese language teachers, community leaders and policy makers to identify and examine the changing linguistic and cultural landscape of the Chinese in Britain. It seeks to (1) unveil the ways in which the Chinese in Britain have changed into an unprecedentedly diverse and dynamic society in the dual contexts of China’s global rise and multicultural Britain; (2) explore new features and dis/continuity in the transformation of the British Chinese communities, mediated by (sub) ethnicity, linguistic identity, class, gender and generation; (3) discuss the extent to which this demographic and cultural change is shaped by and shaping the relationship between global China and post-Brexit Britain.

We welcome papers that engage with these three interrelated areas of discussion from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Suggested themes include:

Language and languaging
New mobilities and transnational connections
Everyday negotiation of borders, identities and belongings
Diasporic heritage and heritagisation
Representation, articulation and integration
Community building

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief bio to Dr. Cangbai Wang (c.wang6@westminster.ac.uk) by 30 September 2019. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified before the end of October 2019. Draft papers will be expected by mid-January 2020. Selected articles will be published as an edited volume or a Special Issue on peer-reviewed journal.

This conference is organised by HOMELandS in collaboration with the Contemporary China Centre of University of Westminster and funded by Language Acts and World Making Small Grant Scheme, AHRC Open World Research Initiative (OWRI).

French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’ seminar series 2019-20

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The IMCC is delighted to announce a series of public lectures to be held at the University of Westminster in collaboration with our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

Lectures will take place monthly, normally on a Thursday evening from 5.30 – 7.00 pm, and are free to attend, but booking is essential.

Thursday 26th September – Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street
Eric Fassin (University Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis/LEGS): Introduction

Thursday 10th October – Room UG05, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street
Sophie Wahnich (CNRS/TRAM): “Democracy Taken in Vice: Understanding the ‘Yellow Vests’ Event”

Thursday 14th October – Room UG05
Ninon Grangé (University Paris 8/LLCP): on the state of exception

Wednesday 4th December – Room UG05
Fabien Jobard (CNRS/CESDIP): “Liberal, Authoritarian, or Police State? Defining the French State According to its Police”

Thursday 30th January – Fyvie Hall
Syliane Larcher (CNRS/IRIS): on Afrofeminism and French universalism

Thursday 13th February – Fyvie Hall
Sébastien Chauvin (University of Lausanne/CEG): on LGBTQI struggles and French universalism

March 2020 (TBC)
Norman Ajari (University Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès/ERRAPHIS): on the racialised man produced as a threat in France

April 2020 (TBC)
Elsa Dorlin (University Paris 8): on violence entailed by the denial of France as postcolonial

Thursday 11th June
Nacira Guénif-Souilamas (University Paris 8/CEFEG): on subjectivities who already live as postcolonial

The events are free and open to all, but please do not forget to book on Eventbrite.