Discussion of Kevin Young’s Ardency (4-29-15) & Amistad Screening (4-27-15)

Please join the English Graduate Program on Wednesday, April 29 for a collective reading and discussion of Kevin Young’s provocative poetic sequence, Ardency:  A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (2011). We’ll gather in Murray 302 at 1:10 PM, and begin with short presentations by Doug Jones, Meredith McGill, Evie Shockley, and Ivy Wilson.  We’ll then open up the floor for general conversation. Because the historical events on which the poem is based may not be familiar to all,we’ll also be screening Steven Spielberg’s (tendentious) film Amistad, which dramatizes the mutiny and subsequent trial, on Monday, April 27 at 5:00 PM in Murray 302.  (I’ll bring popcorn).  The film is both beautiful and disturbing.  But I think it will help us think in precise ways about the very different kinds of things that Young is aiming for in Ardency.

Wednesday’s discussion will range widely across the book-length sequence.  As you’ll see, it’s broken up into sections, including a “libretto” with choral accompaniment.  It didn’t seem advisable to ask you to focus on one particular part at the expense of the others.  But we have chosen a number of poems we’d like to use to launch discussion of the whole.  And so, please pay particular attention to the following:

“Cut-up” (10)
“Experiment” (16)
“Blackmarket” (18)
“Broadway” (24)
“New England Primer” (31)
“Petition” (67-69)
“Chantey” (77-78)
“Doxology” (79-82)
“Offering” (87-89)
“Spelling B.” (94-95)
“Kite” (96-97)
“Spiritual” (111-112)
“Eclectic First Reader” (121-123)
“Catechism” (124-125)
“Lexicon (Last Lesson)” (153-157)
“Second Eclectic Reader” (165-168)
“Third Eclectic Reader” (177-188)
“Afterword” (entire) (235-244)

Refreshments will be served at the main event on Wednesday.

Copies of the book may be ordered from your local bookstore and the usual online retailers;  here’s a link to one:  http://tinyurl.com/m6yoxcd; and to another:  http://tinyurl.com/o6j5dml

Don’t hesitate to write if you have questions.  I look forward to discussing this remarkable book with you on Weds. April 29.

All the best,
Meredith McGill

Screening of Spielberg’s Amistad
Monday, April 27, 2015
5:00 PM
Murray Hall, Room 302, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

Discussion of Kevin Young’s Ardency
Wednesday, April 29
1:10 PM

Murray Hall, Room 302, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

Alex Mazzaferro Article Workshop with Jared Hickman (4/30/15)

Please join us for an article workshop for Alex Mazzaferro on Thursday, April 30 in Murray 107 from 3:00-4:30 pm. For this event series, Americanist faculty invite a specialist from outside Rutgers to lead a graduate student workshop. Jared Hickman (Johns Hopkins University) will join us to discuss Alex’s article, “Murmuring, Mutiny, and Empirical Political Science in William Strachey’s ‘True Reportory.'”

The article centers on Strachey’s “True Reportory” (c. 1611), a text that is familiar to scholars of early modern literature as a presumed source for Shakespeare’s The Tempest but is infrequently studied on its own terms. Alex resituates Strachey’s narrative within an early modern political scientific discourse that borrowed empirical techniques from natural science in order to predict, narrate, and thwart colonial rebellion. The article will be available on the Americanist Group Sakai site on April 17. Please RSVP to Chris Iannini (cpiannini [AT] gmail) if you plan to attend. We hope to see you there.

Article Workshop: Alex Mazzaferro, with Jared Hickman (Johns Hopkins)
Thursday, April 30, 2015
3:00 – 4:30 PM
Murray Hall, Room 107, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

CFP: “Family / Law” at Rutgers, October 1-2, 2015

The Rutgers Nineteenth-Century Workshop invites submissions on the topic “Family / Law” for its annual two-day conference (October 1-2, 2015). Papers can be on any aspect of the relationship between family and law, as well as on the “/” that unites and divides these terms.

Recent work in legal history and criticism designates the nineteenth century as a pivotal moment in the consolidation of “family law” as a distinct juridical domain in the West. Ubiquitous as a legal category, family law was also highly particularized because it was assumed to be culturally and nationally distinct. It was cast as different from market law, which was assumed to operate everywhere in the same way. Family law thus presumed cultural/national/religious/racial difference as a contrast and complement to the universality of market logics and laws. And yet the historical and cultural processes that contributed to this bifurcated development—colonial expansion and national consolidation; migration and missionary work; the abolition of slavery and the alienation of labor; advances in transportation and communication technologies—brought family laws into regular conflict with each other and with the presumptive universality of the market. The foundations and meanings of “family” and “law” were hence as much sites of contestation as of political, economic, and cultural legitimation.

Papers are welcome on any aspect of nineteenth-century histories of “the family” and of “law,” whether in one or several geographical locations; on “the family” as a legal entity and as the limit of legality; and on “the law” as rooted in conceptions of family and as the limit of these conceptions.

Possible topics include: Hegel on the family in the Rechtsphilosophie. Comparative histories of family law, north/south and east/west. Incest and its representations, e.g., Beatrice Cenci in image and word from Guido Reni to Antonin Artaud. The notion of Mother Right from Bachofen to Durkheim. Legal fictions by Balzac, Dickens, Sand, Jacobs, Twain, Galdos, Rizal. Captivity, slavery, and family. Marriage, property, and religion.

Essays will be circulated in advance to all participants; the workshop format will permit the focused discussion of these essays across two days of convivial conversation. Workshop participants will include nineteenth-century scholars from various fields—history, anthropology, law, the history of philosophy, the literary and graphic arts, among others—at Rutgers and in the greater NY/NJ area. The workshop will cover most of the expenses of those chosen to present their work.

Applications should be sent to Andrew Parker (acparker [AT] rci [DOT] rutgers [DOT] edu) by the Friday, April 17 deadline; they will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary group of scholars. Applications should include a description of the proposed paper (1-2 pages) and a brief cv (no more than 3 pages).

Applicants will be notified by May 15 if they will be included in the program.

Clarel Discussion Group Meeting #5 (4/2/15)

The Americanist Colloquium invites you to join us for the final Clarel Discussion Group meeting of the semester tomorrow, Thursday, April 2. We’ll resume our discussion of Melville’s understudied epic poem about the Holy Land from 10:00-11:30 am in Murray 107. Our discussion will be of particular interest to those working on (nineteenth-century) American Literature, poetics, religious history, and secularization, but all are welcome. Readings are available on Sakai.

Clarel Reading Group Meeting #5
Thursday, April 2, 2015
10:00-11:30 AM
Murray Hall, Room 107, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

“Out of Bounds” Symposium 4/3/15

Please join us Friday, April 3, from 2:00 – 6:00 pm in Murray Hall Room 302, for a symposium entitled “Out of Bonds: The Slave Past and Contemporary Poetry.” Co-sponsored by the African American and African Diaspora Interest Group, the Department of English, the Center for Cultural Analysis, and the Poetry and Poetics Interest Group, the event will feature a symposium-wide discussion of Stephen Best’s 2012 MLQ article, “On Failing to Make the Past Present,” a series of discussions between contemporary scholars of the literary and cultural history of slavery and contemporary poets, and a keynote reading by Tyehimba Jess.

Out of Bonds

 

“Out of Bounds” Symposium
Friday, April 3, 2015
2:00 – 6:00 PM
Murray Hall, Room 302, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

Lauren Kimball Article Workshop with Hester Blum (3/27/15)

Please join us on Friday, March 27 2015, from 10:30-noon, when we will workshop graduate student Lauren Kimball’s dissertation chapter, “Poetry, Sociality, and Labor in Melville’s White Jacket” with an eye toward turning it into a publishable article. As part of our ongoing Americanist workshop series, Penn State’s Hester Blum will lead the workshop.

Lauren Kimball Article Workshop with Hester Blum (Penn State)
Friday, March 27 2015
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Murray Hall, Room 302, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

Book Party for Michelle Stephens and Carter Mathes (4/1/15)

Please join the African American and Diaspora Interest Group on Wednesday, April 1, at 6:30 PM for a celebration of two recent faculty publications: Michelle Stephens’ Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis, and the Black Male Performer and Carter Mathes’ Imagine the Sound: Experimental African American Literature After Civil Rights. The event will be held at the home of Cheryl Wall. Please RSVP to tasia [DOT] milton [AT] rutgers [DOT] edu if you wish to attend.

Book Party for Michelle Stephens and Carter Mathes
Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015
6:30 PM
Cheryl Wall’s home (RSVP required)

Book Talk: Sarah Cervenak (3/10/15)

Please join the African American and Diaspora Interest Group in welcoming back Rutgers alum Dr. Sarah Cervenak (University of North Carolina Greensboro). Cervenak, who earned her B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers in 1998, will discuss her book Wandering: Philosophical Performances of Racial and Sexual Freedom on Tuesday, March 10 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. in Murray Hall, Room 107 on the College Avenue campus.

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to tasia [DOT] milton [AT] rutgers [DOT] edu by March 3.

More information about Wandering can be found here.

Book Talk: Sarah Cervenak (UNCG)
Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2015
11:30 AM – 12:50 PM

Murray Hall, Room 107, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

Clarel Discussion Group Meeting #4 (2/12/15)

The Americanist Colloquium and the Poetry and Poetics group invite you to join us for the first Clarel Discussion Group meeting of the spring semester. The meeting will take place on Thursday, February 12, from 2:30 – 4:00 pm in Murray 107, and we’ll be tackling Book I, Cantos 28-37 (available on the Poetry and Poetics Sakai site).Last semester, we worked through the first 27 cantos of Clarel, Herman Melville’s understudied epic poem about the Holy Land. Even if you haven’t yet made it to a meeting, we encourage you to attend. Catching up shouldn’t be difficult, since we only cover about 40 pages per meeting and meet 3-4 times per semester. Our discussion will be of particular interest to students working on (nineteenth-century) American Literature, poetics, religious history, and secularization, but all are welcome.

Clarel Reading Group Meeting #4
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015
2:30-4:00 PM
Murray Hall, Room 107, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

Clarel Reading Group Meeting #3 (12/11/14)

Please join us for the Clarel Discussion Group’s final meeting of the semester, Thursday, December 11 at 3:00 pm in Murray Hall, Room 107. We’ll pick up where we left off (around Canto 17, “Nathan”) and add five new cantos (23-27) to our discussion. As always, there will be snacks!

Clarel Reading Group Meeting #3
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2014
3:00 PM
Murray Hall, Room 107, Rutgers University
510 George St. (New Brunswick, NJ)

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