On Janurary 26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Distinguished Visiting Scholar, David Damrosch, will teach a seminar titled "Comparative Literature Between the Nation and the World."

Our discipline has always sought to transcend national borders, and the emigres who set the tone for comparative studies in midcentury America were generally happy to look back to Europe (and, less frequently, to Asia), with little attention to the culture of their adoptive country. Today we find ourselves in a country racked at once by rising ethnonationalism and by a global pandemic, forces that are both more local and more global than our traditional scope of comparison of two or three national literatures. In this session, Damrosch discusses some current responses to these crises, and his responses in turn, in scholarship, teaching, and outreach to general readers. 

One of the texts addressed will be a book by Damrosch oriented toward general readers, Around the World in 80 Books (preliminary online version). There will also be readings circulated when you email for the Zoom link. 

Please email Christene d'Anca (christene_danca@ucsb.edu) for the Zoom link... (Read More)

 

 

What Graduate Students Are Reading

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Iman Salty is reading Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness by Nicole R. Fleetwood. 

Troubling Vision examines the constructed visual narratives of Black culture as it has been created and perpetuated by American media. Using critical race theory, media studies, feminist theory, and performance theory, this book exposes how the production and circulation of Black visualities have resulted in troubling conceptions of coded and performative methods for visualizing Black subjects in the public sphere.

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Surojit Kayal is reading The Marvelous Clouds by John Durham Peters.

In The Marvelous Clouds, the author argues that though we often think of media as environments, the reverse is just as true—environments are media. Drawing from ideas implicit in media philosophy, Peters argues that media are more than carriers of messages: they are the very infrastructures combining nature and culture that allow human life to thrive.  

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Mary Okin is reading Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory, and the Avant-Garde by Esther Leslie.

With ruminations on drawing, colour and caricature, on the political meaning of fairy-tales, talking animals and human beings as machines, the book brings to light the links between animation, avant-garde art and modernist criticism, and Leslie reveals how the animation of commodities can be studied as a journey into modernity in cinema. 

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Richard Nedjat-Haiem is reading Broadcasting Change: Arabic Media as a Catalyst for Liberalism by Joseph Baude.

Amid civil war, failing states, and terrorism, Arab liberals are growing in numbers and influence. Advocating a culture of equity, tolerance, good governance, and the rule of law, they work through some of the region’s largest media outlets to spread their ideals within the culture. This book analyzes this trend by portraying the intersection of media and politics in two Arab countries with seismic impact on the region and beyond. 

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James Nichols is reading Exorcismos de la memoria: Políticas y poéticas de la melancolía en la España de la transición by Alberto Medina Dominguez. 

Through an interdisciplinary approach in which the analysis of philosophical, filmic, literary and political texts coexist, the book deals with a reading hypothesis of the period in which the lines of demarcation between the aesthetic and the political are blurred.

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Wendy Sun is reading Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison.

Morrison shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires. Her discussions of the "Africanist" presence in the fiction of various authors leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. 

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Ursula Friedman is reading The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China, edited by Wilt L. Idema and Beata Grant.

Because of the burgeoning interest in the study of both premodern and modern women in China, this anthology offers a glimpse of women's writings not only in poetry but in other genres as well, including essays and letters, drama, religious writing, and narrative fiction.

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Rachel Feldman is reading The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God by Etgar Keret (in Hebrew).

Brief, intense, painfully funny, and shockingly honest, Keret's stories are snapshots that illuminate with intelligence and wit the hidden truths of life. As with the best comic authors, hilarity and anguish are the twin pillars of his work.

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Christene d'Anca is reading Marie of France: Countess of Champagne, 1145-1198, by Theodore Evergates. 

Countess Marie of Champagne is primarily known today as the daughter of Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine and as a literary patron of Chrétien de Troyes. In this engaging biography, Theodore Evergates offers a more rounded view of Marie as a successful ruler of one of the wealthiest and most vibrant principalities in medieval France.

  • writing

On Friday, February 19th at 5 p.m. via Zoom Claudia Grego March, Mohammadreza Mirzaei, and Iman Salty will be presenting future conference papers at the Winter quarter GCLR Roundtable. Email Christene d'Anca (christene_danca@ucsb.edu) for the Zoom link.

At UCSB, disability studies is only just beginning to grow. As these conversations begin, the GCLR hopes to foster engagement with the aim of bridging discussions about both disability scholarship and disability activism on campus. We kick off the events with a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, March 2, followed by Roundtable on Disability Studies in Spring Quarter, and a Distinguished Lecture in Winter. This series is curated by Shanna Killeen.  

  • David Damrosch

David Damrosch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, will teach a seminar titled "Comparative Literature Between the Nation and the World" on January 26, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Read more...

  • man holding books and laptop

Join our group of friendly grad students and faculty to hone your writing skills! The group meets twice a year (currently online) to discuss one student's writing process. Whether you are just embarking on your prospectus or have been writing your dissertation for a year, this GCLR workshop will answer many of your questions and show you that you are not alone with your problems! If you are not ready to share your work yet, you can attend to hear how others are discussing theirs, adn provide your input to help them along. The first workshop in 2020/2021 will be on February 4, at 6:00 p.m. where Ghassan Aburqayeq will present his work. Please write to us to join the mailing list!

  • newsletter

Twice a year the GLCR puts out a newsletter with highlights from past events, and information about upcoming ones. If you don't want to miss any GCLR information, click in the orange box below and input your email address to receive our newsletter. 

We would like to congratulate and welcome this year's recruitment fellows Richard Nedjat-Haiem (Comparative Literature) and Emma Roalsvig (Classics)! For Richard and Emma's bios, read more...

  • Laptop and paper
The 2021-2022 Colloquium Series of the Iranian Studies Initiative will be held this next year in collaboration with the UCSB Graduate Center for Literary Research (GCLR).
 
  • IWL

The Harvard Institute for World Literature (IWL) has been created to explore the study of literature in a globalizing world where our understanding of "world literature" has expanded beyond the clssic canon of European masterpieces. GCLR affiliated students have a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting opportunity. This year's HIWL will be held in Mainz, Germany. Read more...

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