Bounds & Boundaries (2015)

Bonds & Boundaries
UCL Society for Comparative Cultural Inquiry
Postgraduate Conference
18th – 19th June, 2015

T. Renner, “Motherwell Red #6,” 2010

Keynote Speakers:
Dr Katherine Ibbett
Reader in Early Modern Studies (French, UCL)

Dr Andrew van der Vlies
Senior Lecturer (English, Queen Mary)

The negotiation of traditional disciplinary boundaries is central to interdisciplinary study in the Arts and Humanities. In making new connections between disciplines we transgress boundaries and break down barriers, but in doing so, we forge new bonds and new relations between concepts, disciplines, and practices that previously did not exist. To be interdisciplinary, then, is to be involved in the making and re-making of boundaries and bonds, and to consider these processes and their results.

Bonds and boundaries provide the interdisciplinary scholar with a rich conceptual network with which to explore, not merely the dynamics that these entail within their own work, but how their work operates within a larger and constantly shifting academic landscape.

The fourth annual Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference, University College London’s Society for Comparative Cultural Inquiry will present papers relating to the connected theme(s) of ‘Bonds and Boundaries’ from scholars across a wide spectrum of disciplines in the Arts and Humanities. Speakers will deal with past as well as contemporary sources from Europe and beyond, from multiple disciplinary or transdisciplinary perspectives.

The panels are as follow: 

  •  Holocaust and Nazism: Family Bonds, Gender Trauma & Linguistic Boundaries
  •  Exploring Literary Boundaries: Genres, Forms and Bonds
  •  Crossing the Boundaries of Hegemonic Discourse: Globalization and Colonialism
  •  Cultural Bonds and Alterity in Literary Representations
  •  Bonds and Boundaries in Public Discourse: Debate and Protest 
  •  Disciplinary Boundaries and Theoretical Bonds

The complete programme is available here.

Conference is free, but registration is essential. To register on Eventbrite, follow this link.

The conference will be held at Pearson Building Lecture Theatre, UCL, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT London. To learch how to reach us, please click here.

For live updates, follow us on twitter @CultureInqUCL or use #BondsandBoundaries

A selection of contributions to the conference will be considered for publication in the Society’s journal, Tropos.

This conference is organised by:

The Society for Comparative Cultural Inquiry,

University College London.

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Bonds & Boundaries – Programme

Thursday 18th June
09.30 – 10.00 Registration and coffee
10.00 –  11.00 Keynote Address 1:
Dr Katherine Ibbett – The Compassionate Bond (Chair: Prof Timothy Mathews)
11.00 – 11.30 Break with refreshments
11.30 – 13.00 Holocaust and Nazism: Family Bonds, Gender Trauma & Linguistic Boundaries (Chair:
Prof Michael Berkowitz)
Tiia Sahrakorpi (UCL) – Family Consent to Nazi Ideology: A Generational Perspective
Giovanni Miglianti (University of Cambridge) – Women Towards Auschwitz: Displacement and Shame in the Writings of Female Holocaust Survivors in Italy
Rhian Collings (Erasmus Mundus) – Primo Levi’s Embracing of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity: A Precursor to Current European Language Policies
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 16.00 Exploring Literary Boundaries: Genres, Forms and Bonds (Chair: Stefano Rossoni)
Barbara Pycinska-Taylor  (UCL) – Negotiating the Boundaries Between Word and Image in Edoardo Sanguineti’s Mauritshuis
Saba Ahmed (Goldsmiths Alumna) – ‘Here, at this distance from it’: Navigating the Textual Space of the Short Story?
Flavia Palma (University of Verona) – Love and Silence in the Renaissance: from the Italian Novella Tradition to its English legacy.
Yaxin Lin (UCL) – Off With Their Lonely Heads: Family and Romantic Bonds as Ways Out of the Bluebeard’s Castle
16.00 – 16.30 Break with refreshments
16.30 – 18.00 Crossing the Boundaries of Hegemonic Discourse: Globalization and Colonialism (Chair: Marco Benoit Carbone)
Ulrike Chouguley (City University London) – World Cities, Global Cultural Networks and Informality – In Search of an Analytical Framework
Beatriz Salamanca (UCL) – Controversies of Mobility in the Early Modern Hispanic World: Francisco de Vitoria and the Spanish´ Right to Travel to the New World
Valentina Abbatelli (University of Warwick) – African American Slave or Subject of the Italian Colonial Empire? – The Trajectory of Uncle Tom in Italy during the Fascist Ventennio
18.30 onwards Conference dinner – At the nearby Italian restaurant Olivelli
Friday 19th June
09.30 – 10.00 Registration and coffee
10.00 –  11.30 Cultural Bonds and Alterity in Literary Representations (Chair: Alexandra Lee)
Letizia Fusini (SOAS) – Between Cohesion And Division: Osmotic Processes and Riven Subjectivities in Gao Xingjian’s Tragic Play The Man who questions Death
Elisabeth Bolorinos Allard (University of Oxford) – Between Europe and North Africa: Representations of Spain and Morocco in the Literature of the Spanish Colonial Campaigns in the Rif (1909-1927)
Naomi Charlotte Fukuzawa (UCL) – Literature and the Other: Rethinking Japan’s Opening through the Literary Gaze of Lafcadio Hearn and Pierre Loti
11.30 – 12.00 Break with refreshments
12.00 – 13.30 Bonds and Boundaries in Public Discourse: Debate and Protest (Chair: Aysun Kiran)
Jack Kiely (UCL) – Frigide Barjot; homophile malgré tout?
Jon Eilenberg (City University London) – Delimiting Deviance: Visual and Verbal Representations of Scandal on British TV News
Raya Raeva (Sofia University) – #Occupy a New Language: How a Protest Can Be Seen as a Conversational Platform?
13.30 – 14.30 Lunch
14.30 – 16.00 Disciplinary Boundaries and Theoretical Bonds (Chair: Dr Maureen Ellis)
Marie Chabbert (University of Cambridge) – Re-thinking Human Sacrifice: Transgression, Community and Human Experience in the Work of Georges Bataille and René Girard
Alex Woodcock (UCL) – IR Theory: Ideology Without Boundaries
Yara Rodrigues Fowler (UCL) – Rethinking Translation: How Multilingualism/Bilingualism Can (Re)Shape Theory
16.00 – 16.30 Break with refreshments
16.30 – 17.30 Keynote Address 2:
Dr Andrew van der Vlies – Boundaries, Bonds(wo)men, and Literary Cyborgs: Adoption and the Politics of Translation in a Contemporary South African Novel (Chair: Prof Andrew Leak)
17.30 onwards Wine reception

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Dr Katherine Ibbett (UCL) – The Compassionate Bond

ABSTRACT What sort of a bond is compassion? Often imagined as an immediate reaction to suffering, sometimes solicited as the affective grounds for community, compassion can also function more like a judgment than an emotional response, more like an affiliation than an affect. In this talk I’ll consider the limits of compassion’s bond: where does compassion draw the line, and what do its exclusions tell us? If compassion is often flawed, as thinkers from Plato to Lauren Berlant have argued, is there anything redeeming in its nonbinding operations? I’ll draw on examples from the sixteenth century to today to consider what compassion looks like from its boundaries, and what a bound compassion might tell us about reading.

Dr Andrew van der Vlies (Queen Mary) – Boundaries, Bonds(wo)men, and Literary Cyborgs: Adoption and the Politics of Translation in a Contemporary South African Novel.

ABSTRACT The 2004 Afrikaans-language novel Agaat (English translation 2006), by one of this year’s Man Booker International Prize shortlistees, Marlene van Niekerk, is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of postapartheid South African literature. A novel about bonds between people (inter alia between farmer and labourer, mistress and bondswoman, mother and adopted daughter) and about the boundaries imposed by legal and ideological constructions of race, class, and gender, it is also a tour-de-force examination of the bonds and boundaries involved in the context-specific use of language, especially in a context like South Africa (with its history of the strict policing of cultural and racial boundaries). Acts of adoption and translation, in which bonds and boundaries are self-evidently crucial, are central to the novel—and centrally at issue when we consider the novel’s performance in translation, which is to say when it crosses boundaries, from local to global linguistic community and affectscape(s). What bonds are forged, what broken… and with what implications for interdisciplinary and comparative analysis in literary and cultural studies?

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The CFP is now closed

Bonds & Boundaries
UCL Society for Comparative Cultural Inquiry
Postgraduate Conference
18th – 19th June, 2015

T. Renner, “Motherwell Red #6,” 2010

Keynote Speakers:
Dr Katherine Ibbett (UCL)
[Second keynote speaker to be announced]

The negotiation of traditional disciplinary boundaries is central to interdisciplinary study in the Arts and Humanities. In making new connections between disciplines we transgress boundaries and break down barriers, but in doing so, we forge new bonds and new relations between concepts, disciplines, and practices that previously did not exist. To be interdisciplinary, then, is to be involved in the making and re-making of boundaries and bonds, and to consider these processes and their results.

Bonds and boundaries provide the interdisciplinary scholar with a rich conceptual network with which to explore, not merely the dynamics that these entail within their own work, but how their work operates within a larger and constantly shifting academic landscape.

For the fourth annual Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference, University College London’s Society for Comparative Cultural Inquiry invites proposals for papers relating to the connected theme(s) of ‘Bonds and Boundaries’ from scholars across a wide spectrum of disciplines in the Arts and Humanities. We welcome papers dealing with past as well as contemporary sources from Europe and beyond, from any disciplinary or transdisciplinary perspective. We especially welcome proposal from researchers focusing on interdisciplinary subjects that look outside the traditional remit of the Humanities. Proposals for panel discussions, performances, artistic installations and workshops are also welcome.

The aim of this conference is to interrogate and explore the dynamics of bonding and boundaries in the Arts and Humanities from perspectives which might encompass the following. Other interpretations will be gladly received:

  • Human bonding and boundaries: affection, intimacy, friendship, separation, intersubjectivity
  • Linguistic bonds and boundaries: translation, hybrid languages, dead languages
  • Historical and temporal divisions
  • Geography; spatial and political boundaries
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Bonding and boundaries in literary and poetic works, intermediality
  • Representation of bonds and boundaries in visual arts, plastic arts and cinema
  • Bonds and boundaries in art: hybrid art forms, emergent practices, technological possibilities
  • Bonds and boundaries in practice and theory.

We invite submissions from all cultural disciplines, including but not limited to:

Literary criticism and theory; Film studies and photography; Politics and political theory; History; Modern Languages; Philosophy; Art; Psychology/Psychoanalysis; Cultural Studies; Translation Studies; Gender studies

Please send an abstract (250 words), 5 keywords and a brief biographical statement (50 words) to culturalinquiry.ucl@gmail.com. Deadline for submissions is 17th April 2015.

A selection of contributions to the conference will be considered for publication in the Society’s journal, Tropos.

This conference is organised by:

The Society for Comparative Cultural Inquiry,

University College London.