"New Approaches to Art in the German Democratic Republic"

The GCLR is proud to announce “New Approaches to Art in the German Democratic Republic", a new year-long series of lectures by national and international scholars presents cutting-edge research into experimental GDR art and visually oriented literature, with a special focus on exhibition history; the representation of women and ethnic minority populations in the GDR across a broad range of artistic forms; and innovative approaches to the medium of the artist’s book in GDR art and its intermedia poetry. The series begins in the Spring quarter 2022, and ends in Spring quarter, 2023, and will be presented in a hybrid format. The lecture series is organized by Sven Spieker (UCSB) and Matteo Bertelé (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice). 

 

Fall 2022 Schedule:

September 2022 - Matteo Bertelé, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

October 2022 - Candice Hamelin, Stiftung Reinbeckhallen, Berlin

November 2022 - Sven Spieker, University of California, Santa Barbara

December 2022 - Constanze Fritzsch, Independent Scholar

 

Winter 2023 Schedule: 

January 2023 - Isotta Poggi, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

February 2023 - Kathleen Reinhardt, Albertinum Dresden

March 2023 - Oliver Sukrow, Technische Universität Wien

What Graduate Students Are Reading

Daniel Martini is reading "Does Beauty Build Adapted Minds? Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Aesthetics, Fiction and the Arts" by John Tooby and Leda Cosmides (2001), which can be found in De Gruyter's Handbook of Empirical Literary Studies (2021).
 
This piece informs Daniel's dissertation on the affordances of literature, specifically the means by which texts communicate through non-semantic stylistic features like parallelisms. 

Naz Keynejad is reading Persian poet Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami's "Yusuf and Zulaikha" (15th century CE).

The story of Yusuf and Zulaikha appears in Jami’s Haft Awrang (Persian: هفت اورنگ‎, meaning "Seven Thrones"). According to the story, Yusuf’s arresting beauty captures the hearts of all of the women he encounters. Zulaikha, unable to quell her thoughts of Yusuf, attempts to seduce him, but he rejects her advances until they meet again and marry many years later. 

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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.

Rachel Feldman is reading Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest (Hebrew: פתאום בעומק היער: אגדה‎) by Amos Oz. 

A dark, yet gen­tle, "fable for all ages" about silence, tolerance, and the role of language, orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Hebrew in 2005. The narrative is based in a mysterious town without animals or birds. Legend tells that they have been spirited away by the Pied Piper figure of Nehi, the mountain demon. Two children set out into the forest to find out more. 

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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.

We have been fortunate to record some of our previous lectures, which you can now watch by clicking on them below. We will continue to update this section with as many of our upcoming lectures as possible. 

Sara Blaylock (Univeristy of Minnesota, Duluth) - "Making a Scene. Artists, Gay Life and German History in the Films of Gino Hahnemann."

GCLR Distinguished Visitng Scholar, Emily Apter (NYU) - "Interpreters in Court: Diplomacy, Justice, and Untranslatability in Katie Kitamura's Intimacies."

Elske Rosenfeld (Berlin) - "Gabriele Stotzer: The Collective as Liberation."

The GCLR is proud to announce “New Approaches to Art in the German Democratic Republic", a new year-long series of lectures by national and international scholars presents cutting-edge research into experimental GDR art and visually oriented literature, with a special focus on exhibition history; the representation of women and ethnic minority populations in the GDR across a broad range of artistic forms; and innovative approaches to the medium of the artist’s book in GDR art and its intermedia poetry. The series begins in the Spring quarter 2022, and ends in Spring quarter, 2023, and will be presented in a hybrid format. The lecture series is organized by Sven Spieker (UCSB) and Matteo Bertelé (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice). 

Reflecting on distinguished disability scholar Dr. Tanya Titchkosky's recent talk on representations of disability in university life and society as a whole, Amelia Faircloth of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts' article "The Need for a New Normal: Looking at Disability on Campus" shares more considerations about academic commitment to serving students with disabilities through inclusion initiatives, agreeing that public perception must shift before these intiatives can truly take hold, in order to bring them in from what Titchkosky calls the "edges of inclusion". 

We invite graduate students interested in exploring the cultural, cognitive, performative, representational, and technological facets of remembering and forgetting to join the Memory Studies Graduate Research Working Group (GRWG). A cross-disciplinary field, Memory Studies tackles the multifaceted relations between history and memory, past and present, testimony and witnessing, ethics and politics, and the role of visual, digital, and global media in enacting and performing memory work. If you are interested in joining, please write to Sven Spieker.  

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