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.

On Tuesday, May 10, 3PM-4PM, Todd Presner (UCLA) will give a GCLR-sponsored online talk entitled “Digitizing, Remediating, Remixing, and Reinterpreting Holocaust Memory.” Presner's lecture, which will happen on Zoom, focuses on the Holocaust as a “digital memory culture” stewarded by various digital archives, information systems, algorithms, and forms of computational mediation. Presner's lecture will be moderated by Prof. Fabian Offert (GSS). 

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). The first talk by artist and independent scholar Elske Rosenfeld is entitled "Gabriele Stötzer: The Collective as Liberation" and will take place on April 22, 2022 from 10-11 am PST on Zoom. This event is free and open to all. RSVP to Rachel Feldman
 
  • Emily Apter
The GCLR is pleased to announce our 2021/2022 Distinguished Visitor will be Professor Emily Apter, the Silver Professor of French and Comparative Literature at NYU, who will join us May 23-24, 2022. For more information about Apter's GCLR guest lecture and her public seminar, click here
 

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