(POSTPONED due to snow): IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series presents Anastasiya Lyubas (Comp Lit)

Join us Wednesday March 15 at 12pm New date/time forthcoming! in the IASH Conference Room (LN 1106, next to the LT elevators) for Anastasiya Lyubas’ talk, “Language, Plasticity and Modernism in Debora Vogel’s Poetics.”

Abstract: This paper examines the poetics of Debora Vogel, a Yiddish Modernist writer, philosopher, art critic and translator. Vogel’s singular style finds itself at the intersection of philosophy, literature, visual and plastic arts. Vogel utilizes the strict economy and iterability of linguistic signs to foreground the materiality of language. She deploys what she calls “white/grey words” that express monotony, banality and stasis, as well as other stylistic devices to create a “plastic” idiom. This idiom gives and receives form, and presents the creative work not only as a result but also as a process.


March 1: IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series presents Giovanna Montenegro (Comp Lit and Romance Languages)

Join us Wednesday March 1 at 12pm in the IASH Conference Room (LN 1106, next to the LT elevators) for Dr. Giovanna Montenegro’s talk “German Bankers and the Conquest of Venezuela: Cultural Memory of ‘Heretic’ Capital and Colonization.”

Abstract: I seek to decipher fictional and historical texts that recreate the sixteenth-century German conquest of Venezuela by the Welsers, bankers from Augsburg. In particular, I analyze the cultural memory of the Welser period from a German perspective.  In the German Imperial era and the early twentieth-century we see a proliferation of publications that manifest desire for lost colony (ies). “Venezuela” became a symbol for Germany’s enduring colonial desires, though this time the colonial utopia would take place in Africa. In the twentieth century, historians and novelists writing within Nationalist Socialism in Germany from 1938 to 1944 interpret the Welser period in a manner that further builds the image of the Aryan conquistador planting the seed of German nationhood on the American continent. The main subject is not the failure of the Welser colony; rather it is the honor of the German people and the myth of the grandness of the German nation that prevails.

Feb 28: Dean’s Speaker Series in New Directions in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies presents Timothy Murray

Join us Tuesday February 28 12-1pm in LN2200 (Dean’s Conference Room)

Sponsored by the Dean’s Speaker Series and the Comparative Literature department


(Re)Reading: Navigating space|time|frontiers the Ninth Graduate Conference in Literature, Politics, and Aesthetics

Still accepting applications through Feb. 20!
Conference to be held March 31-April 1 at the UDC
Abstracts accepted for conference presentation will also be considered for publication in the inaugural issue of an academic journal established by comparative literature graduate students and faculty at Binghamton University.

Keynote Speaker: Cecilia Konchar Farr, Chair of English, Carondelet Scholar, and professor of English and Women’s Studies at St. Catherine University. She is the author of Reading Oprah (SUNY Press, 2005) & The Ulysses Delusion: Rethinking Standards of Literary Merit (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

The question and experience of reading becomes more and more urgent as we rethink modes and practices of reading.  How do our current practices dissolve, shift, or reinforce master narratives of disciplinary reading? How does the text resist imposition of borders, methods, and normalization?

The ninth Graduate Conference in Literature, Politics, and Aesthetics at Binghamton University invites proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables regarding reading practices and the fixing of texts into categories.  This conference seeks to interrogate different notions, methods, theories, and practices of reading.  How does the text prompt us to revise our methods?  How do authors and texts resist simple or neat classification, and what, if anything, do we do about it?  Methods such as close reading [New Criticism], detached reading [David Damrosch], and distant reading [Franco Moretti] propose ways of approaching texts — yet what do these look like in practice?  What is the state of reading (in) academic disciplines [Gayatri Spivak]?  Possible proposals are welcome from all disciplines that rely and reflect on reading as a critical exercise; proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Practices and modes of reading [detached, distant reading; explication de texte]
  • Discipline-specific reading/reading the discipline
  • Questioning world literature
  • Reading (through/in) translation; translation as a product of reading
  • Pre-, post-, neo-, colonial reading
  • Recovering and rereading lost stories/storytelling [e.g., Walter Benjamin]
  • Reading the oral/aural text
  • Political construction of bodies and narratives [collective or communal]
  • Reading the visual [including maps, emoji, memes/gifs]