Posts by David Cunningham

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

12 September 2019

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).

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

12 September 2019

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.

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Eric Fassin on French Politics, Thursday 26 September

9 September 2019

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.

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

9 September 2019

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/

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

9 September 2019

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).

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

4 September 2019

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.

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Deaths at Sea: Migration and Art symposium, Weds 10th July 2019

10 July 2019

Wednesday 10th July 2019, 6-9 pm
P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD

Death at Sea: Migration and Art

Accompanying the exhibition Sink Without Trace, co-curated by our colleague Federica Mazzara and the artists Maya Ramsay.

Speakers include:

Iain Chambers, Oriental University, Naples
Almir Koldzic, Co-Director, Counterpoints Arts
Federica Mazzara, Co-Curator of Sink Without Trace
Maya Ramsay, Co-Curator of Sink Without Trace
Valentina Zagaria, London School of Economics
Artists from the Sink Without Trace exhibition

Book a place here.

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One Hundred Years of Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day, October 26 2019

13 May 2019

Saturday 26 October
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.

Funding is available to contribute towards speaker travel costs. Lunch will be provided.

Please send abstracts of 150-250 words for 20 minute papers to rosie.reynolds@my.westminster.ac.uk by 31stJuly 2019.

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Now online: recordings of CRMEP/IMCC Public Lectures on Philosophy, Politics and Culture 2019

1 May 2019

Delighted to say that podcast recordings of the IMCC Public Lectures and Exchanges on Philosophy, Politics and Culture, held in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, held at Westminster between January and March 2019 are now available online.

17 January 2019 – Lecture No 1:
Professor Catherine Malabou (CRMEP, Kingston) –  Is Science the Subject of Philosophy? Miller, Badiou and Derrida

24 January 2019 – Lecture No 2:
Dr Lucy Bond (IMCC, Westminster)/Professor Howard Caygill (CRMEP, Kingston) – Is Memory the Basis of History (After Trump)?

7 February 2019 – Lecture No 3:
Professor Stella Sandford (CRMEP, Kingston) – Reason in Reverse – Kant and Freud on Faults 

28 February 2019 – Lecture No 4:
Dr Radha D’Souza (Westminster Law School)/Professor Peter Hallward (CRMEP, Kingston) – What’s Wrong with Human Rights?

14 March 2019 – Lecture No 5:
Professor Étienne Balibar (CRMEP, Kingston) – Towards a Socialist Cosmopolitanism

28 March 2019 – Lecture No 6:
Dr David Cunningham (IMCC, Westminster)/Professor Peter Osborne (CRMEP, Kingston) – The Poetics of Contemporary Art

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Contested Identitities in Costa Rica seminar, May 2nd 2019

26 April 2019

Thursday 2nd May 2019, 1.00 – 2.00 pm
Room 201, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

Contested Identities in Costa Rica
Liz Harvey-Kattou (School of Humanities, University of Westminster)

Costa Rica is a country known internationally for its eco-credentials, dazzling coastlines, and reputation as one of the happiest and most peaceful nations on earth. Beneath this façade, however, lies an exclusionary rhetoric of nationalism bound up in the concept of the tico, as many Costa Ricans refer to themselves. This paper, based on the monograph of the same name, will begin by considering the idea of national identity, what this constitutes, and the idealised nature of the tico identity. It will argue that the tico encompasses a Eurocentric, patriarchal, heteronormative stance based on colonial ideals. It will go on to outline two key periods in Costa Rican history where the normative construct of who or what counts as tico has been challenged – the ‘sociological revolution’ of the 1970s and the ‘digital revolution’ of the 2010s. It will discuss the creation of radical literature and film in these two time periods, analysing the ways in which Costa Rican authors and filmmakers have used the soft power of creative production to question social norms and weave Afro-Costa Rican, feminist, youth, and LGBT+ cultures and identities into the fabric of the nation.

Organised by our friends in the Latin American Studies at Westminster group.

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Sink Without Trace, June 13 – July 13 2019

26 April 2019

Thursday 13th June 2019, 6.00 pm
P21 Gallery, 21- 27 Chalton St, Kings Cross, London, NW1 1JD

Sink Without Trace: Exhibition on Migrant Deaths at Sea

Our friend and colleague Federica Mazzara will be launching her book  Reframing Migration: Lampedusa, Border Spectacle and Aesthetics of Subversion, on June 13th at the P21 Gallery in London at 6pm in the context of the exhibition Sink Without Trace, on migrant death at sea, that she has co-curated with artist Maya Ramsay. The book launch is part of a series of events related to the exhibition, including a final symposium with guest speakers including Iain Chambers and Valentina Zagaria. Full details and registration here.

Full details about the exhibition and venue here.

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MPhil/PhD Scholarships in the Institute

15 April 2019

The School of Humanities at the University of Westminster, in which the IMCC is based, is offering two studentships – including a fee waiver of home/EU fees* and stipend of £16,777 per annum for three years full-time study – to commence in either September 2019 or January 2020.

The School of Humanities, based in the University’s historic Regent Street building, offers a vibrant, multidisciplinary research environment. There is a well-established PhD programme and you can study in, or across, a wide range of disciplines, including Contemporary Chinese Studies, English Language, English Literature, French and Francophone Studies, History, Linguistics, Museums and Heritage, Translation Studies, Visual Culture and Cultural Studies.

We welcome applications for doctoral projects which span two or more areas of expertise.

To discuss informally where your research idea might fit within our specialisms, or for queries about any aspect of the application process, please contact Dr Helen Glew h.glew@westminster.ac.uk in the first instance.

For details on how to apply, please visit our How to apply page. Please follow these links to apply for the programme most appropriate to your research. Note that the programme appears as MPhil on UCAS, however there is an option on the form to request PhD via MPhil, which is the standard route:

The Studentship title is Humanities studentship. The closing date for applications is 5pm on 17th May. Interviews will be held during the week beginning 17th June.

*Please note that while overseas fee paying students may apply, the fee waiver would be at the home/EU rate and successful applicants will need to pay the difference in the tuition fee if assessed as overseas.

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Revolution and Resentment in Gissing and James seminar, Weds 3rd April 2019

29 March 2019

Wednesday 3 April 2019, 5.00 pm
Room UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B

 

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Race, Occidentalism/Orientalism and Sino-centrism in Wang Chong’s adaptation of Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine

29 March 2019

Thursday 4th April 2019, 5.00-6.30 pm
UG05 Lecture Theatre, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street

Race, Occidentalism/Orientalism and Sino-centrism in Wang Chong’s adaptation of Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine (2009) and his multi-lingual show Revolutionary Model Play 2.0 (2015)
Mary Mazzilli (University of Essex)

Dr Mary Mazzilli is Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at Essex. Prior to that, she worked at Goldsmiths, University of London in the Theatre and Performance Department (2015-2016) and in 2012-2014, was a post-doctoral fellow at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her monograph Gao Xingjian’s Post-Exile Plays: Transnationalism and Postdramatic Theatre is published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Organised by our friends in HOMELandS, the Contemporary China Centre and Language Acts and Worldmaking.

Register via Eventbrite page here.

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Poetics of Contemporary Art, March 28th

29 March 2019

Thursday 28th March, 6.00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B

Poetics of Contemporary Art
Peter Osborne (CRMEP) and David Cunningham (IMCC)

The final in our series of six public lectures and exchanges on philosophy, politics and culture is a discussion of the Poetics of Contemporary Art with Peter Osborne, Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston, and David Cunningham, Deputy Director of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture.

All the events have been recorded. We will be posting links soon!

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Multisensory engagement and the transcultural object seminar, March 20th

18 March 2019

Wednesday 20 March 2019, 5.00 pm
Room UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B

 

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Etienne Balibar on Socialist Cosmopolitanism,Thurs 14th March

13 March 2019

Thursday 14 March 2019, 18:00 – 20:00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B

Towards a Socialist Cosmopolitanism
Etienne Balibar (CRMEP, Kingston University)

The fifth in a series of six Public Lectures on Philosophy, Politics and Culture, co-organised by the IMCC with the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy.

Etienne Balibar is Anniversary Chair Professor in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University and a Visiting Professor at the Department of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University. A contributor to Louis Althusser’s seminal Reading Capital (1965), he is author of Spinoza and Politics (1985), The Philosophy of Marx (1993), Violence and Civility (2010), Citizen Subject (2011) and Equaliberty (2014), among many other works. His most recent book, Secularism and Cosmopolitanism: Critical Hypotheses on Religion and Politics, was published in English translation by Columbia University Press in 2018.

Chaired by Elinor Taylor (IMCC).

The event is free, but booking via eventbrite is essential. You can book here.

Details on the rest of the series can be found here.

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Reassessing the writings of Patrick Brontë: ‘Liberal Toryism’, post-war politics, and the question of literary value, March 6th 2019

5 March 2019

Wednesday 6th March 2019, 5:00 pm
Room UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

 

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Cultural Representations of the Female Telephone Operator seminar, February 20th

18 February 2019

Wednesday 20th February 2019, 5:00 pm
Room UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

 

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The Socrates of Prague, film showing, March 11th, Regent Street Cinema

12 February 2019

Monday 11 March 2019, 18:30 pm
Regent Street Cinema, 307 Regent Street, London W1B

The Socrates of Prague

In 1977, in Prague, a city at the heart of Europe, the philosopher Jan Patočka became the unlikely spokesperson for Charta 77 — a proclamation signed by a number of dissidents and issued to the communist authorities that pointed out the flagrant disregard of the norms of freedom and legality by the Communist authorities in the then Czechoslovakia. As a result of this principled action Patočka famously suffered the same fate as his hero Socrates, collapsing and dying after a lengthy interrogation by the secret police, at the age of 69. It is largely to Patočka that we owe Vaclav Havel’s famous call for ‘Living in Truth’ and the need for both civility and civil society. As a philosopher Patočka therefore played an important part in laying the foundations for the non-violent overthrow of Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989, the so-called ‘Velvet Revolution’.

The Socrates of Prague film explores the life and thought of this extraordinary man with several students and friends who in the 1960s and 70s witnessed Patočka’s intellectual and political efforts, and shared with him the intense desire for a social and political renewal after the dramatic end of the Prague Spring in 1968. The main film is in English and is 17 minutes long. It will be shown along with another short film about Jan Patočka made by the Patočka Archive in Prague (and shown with English subtitles). The event will also feature short talks by Franceso Tava, Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England in Bristol; Nicolas de Warren Nicolas, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University; and Graham Henderson, who is leading on the publication of a selected edition of Patočka’s work in English translation, due to be published by Bloomsbury in 2020.

Hosted by the Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation, it is being held in partnership with, and supported by, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Westminster. It is also being supported by the Czech Centre in London and by the Patočka Archives in Prague.

This event is free of charge but please RSVP in advance to info@rimbaudverlaine.org to reserve a place. These will be allocated on a strictly first come, first served basis. Please reserve your place now to avoid disappointment!

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