(POSTPONED due to snow) Feb 7: VizCult presents Giovanna Montenegro

Join us Wednesday, February 7 at 5pm New date/time forthcoming! in Fine Arts room 218 for Dr. Giovanna Montenegro’s talk, “The German Conquest of Venezuela and Cultural Memory: Maps, Genealogy and Monuments,” as part of VizCult, the Dean’s Speaker Series in Visual Culture.

Abstract: The Welsers, along with the Fuggers, were powerful bankers in the Free Imperial City of Augsburg in the sixteenth century. Both became involved in early trade and commerce projects in the East and West Indies.They both helped Charles I of Spain become Holy Roman Emperor (Charles V) and would extend extensive credit to him and the Spanish royal coffers. In 1528, however, it was Welser agents that signed a contract with the Spanish crown for the Welsers to govern the Province of Venezuela on the northern coast of South America. The short-lived German governance lasted only until 1556 and was plagued by strife between Spaniards and Germans; often Spanish administrators suspected their German governors to be followers of Martin Luther’s Reformation. In this talk, I look at how the short period of governance was remembered in early-modern European visual culture. From manuscript atlases and printed maps, to hand-colored printed genealogical trees of the Welsers, the Venezuela possession became part of the Welser family legacy and of Germany’s cultural memory of colonization.

Giovanna Montenegro is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish.

The VizCult series is organized by the Department of Art History. More information about their series can be found on their department blog.

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Jan 31: IASH Fellows’ Speaker Series presents Jeroen Gerrits

Join us Wednesday January 31 from 12-1:30pm in the IASH room (LN 1106, next to the LT elevators) for Dr. Jeroen Gerrits’ talk “Docufiction in Werner Herzog’s Recent Films”

werner Herzog grizzly man
Werner Herzog on a promotional image for his docufiction Grizzly Man (2005)

Abstract: Werner Herzog is a legendary filmmaker whose earlier work associated with the New German Cinema connects to his more recent films through a shared focus on characters whose actions, usually undertaken in hostile environments in the most remote corners of the world, are informed by ideas that test the boundaries between creative imagination and grandiose illusion. In this presentation I look specifically at Herzog’s recent “docufictions”—a particularly challenging blend of fiction and documentary film—which, I claim, invoke intriguing reflections on the digital turn in cinema. These reflections fit into a larger context of cinematic skepticism, that is: the idea that film tends to question the nature of our relation to the world.

Nov. 10-11: Directions of the Decolonial Turn with Walter Mignolo and Nelson Maldonado-Torres

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture (CPIC) at Binghamton University is officially closing its doors this year. As a formal closure, we invite you to join our public event on Nov. 10th and 11th for a convivial and passionate discussion. The event is called “Directions of the Decolonial Turn”. We invite two influential thinkers in the field of decolonial studies to give a public talk and a seminar – Prof. Walter Mignolo from Duke University and Prof. Nelson Maldonado-Torres from Rutgers University. Along with the two speakers and Prof. Maria Lugones, the director of CPIC, we look forward to exchanging the different understandings, experiences, and future outlooks with all the participants. Your thought is of crucial importance to us. We see this event as an opportunity to build our coalitional politics and exercise our decolonial love.

At a time of diversity and dispersion of uses of the term “decolonial”, what are the direction(s) and pragmatics of coloniality/(de)coloniality as a non-unified intellectual political movement that calls for an epistemological turn away from the dehumanization of people of color by those whom Maldonado Torres calls “normal subjects”? Where does the decolonial politics go? What are the “yes” and “no” of the decolonial? How is the epistemic decolonial turn opening the way for the rise of epistemologies from the Global South, and bringing in new interpretations of the human experiences? How do we dwell into the central concepts that express this epistemic politics, such as “the communal”? These are some questions we would like to think together.

[Public Talk and Discussion]
Date: Friday, Nov. 10th
Time: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Room: Binghamton University Art Museum (Fine Arts Building, FA 213)

[Seminar]
Date: Saturday, Nov. 11th
Time: 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Room: English Conference Room (Library Tower, LT 2401)

April 26: 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 […]

Join us Wednesday April 26th at noon 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.

(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.