Prochain séminaire de l’axe « Territoires, identités, mutations » le mardi 21 mai à 18h en salle 126.
Under the auspices of the Fulbright Program and EMMA, EA741:
Prof. June Howard (University of Michigan, USA) : « Connecting the Cosmopolitan with the Local in US Regional Writing »
This talk will weave a discussion of the literary history of regional writing in the United States together with several theoretical projects–understanding the nature of place, probing the current fascination with the phrase “the local and the global,” and imagining a rooted cosmopolitanism. The texts engaged were both popular and critically admired in the late 19th century, but are now often obscure or forgotten. They open up new ways of talking about different kinds of knowledge, our practice as scholars and teachers, and the public role of the university.
It will draw from little-known works and best-sellers, among which Edward Eggleston’s novel The Hoosier Schoolmaster, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s « Uncle Lot », W E B DuBois’, Souls of Black Folk, Charles Chesnutt’s Mandy Oxendine, published long after his death, Katherine Marshall’s Christy, a best-seller made into a TV series, and Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying.
June Howard is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of English, American Culture and Women’s Studies; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
June Howard earned her B.A. at Antioch College and her Ph.D. at the University of California at San Diego, joining the University of Michigan faculty in 1979. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the United States, and also addresses broad questions about the social life of reading in the modern world and, more generally, the production of knowledge. Her 1985 book Form and History in American Literary Naturalism remains widely read and is now available again, through a digital edition. Subsequently, she edited a volume of essays on Sarah Orne Jewett (1994) that contributed to changing the terms of discussion in feminist scholarship on American literature. Her Publishing the Family (2001) is a microhistorical study of an unusual episode in literary history: the serial publication in Harper’s Bazar (as the magazine’s name was then spelled) of a collaborative novel by twelve authors including Henry James and Mary Wilkins Freeman. It has been praised as « an extraordinary achievement, dense with meticulous, carefully analyzed research and buoyed by Howard’s own substantial gifts as a story-teller and wordsmith…. a defining, foundational work in American interdisciplinary scholarship » (American Literature, 2003). Howard’s recent essays include studies of the Chinese-Canadian author Sui Sin Far/Edith Eaton, and a reassessment of naturalism as part of the generic system of American literature. She is currently engaged on a book-length study of American regionalism as a literary movement and cultural force, which has the working title « The Center of the World: Regional Writing and the Paradoxes of Place ».
At the University of Michigan, Howard holds an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship in recognition of her contributions to undergraduate education. She has been active in administrative work in many capacities—serving for example as Director of the American Culture Program; on the elected Executive Committee of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts; as Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Initiatives in the Graduate School; and chairing faculty self-study committees during both the 2000 and the 2010 University Reaccreditation process. She is a past Chair of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities. Howard has a longstanding interest in the history of disciplines and the project of interdisciplinarity, in the relationship between everyday and expert knowledge, and in understanding the place of higher education in the region, the nation, and the world. She received the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in Fall 2004.
During Winter-Spring 2013 June Howard is in residence as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense. She will Chair the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan as of January 2014.
Prochain séminaire de l’axe « Territoires, identités, mutations » le vendredi 31 mai à 10h en salle 126.
Dr Sophie Ball (Middlesex University, London):
Reclaiming the commons: a discourse for new politics?
How grassroots activists are shaping the future
This thesis draws together a number of examples of activism and protest in order to illustrate some of the discourses and practices that have emerged in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that offer alternatives to the neoliberal discourse. I make the case for the political significance of the activists who have been a force for change that has been largely overlooked – until 2011, the year which saw a series of protests take place across a large part of the globe: ‘the year politics changed’. (New Statesman 2011)
I present this argument through what I call the story of the commons, and assert that this narrative is evidence of a vision that has arisen piecemeal, and largely from grassroots levels. The examples of discourse and practice that this thesis explores illustrate both the emergence of the language of the commons from many different spheres of life and also its influence across a range of fields. The analysis includes a historical overview of the commons, while focusing on the evolution of the concept from the latter half of the 20th century to the present day, with the most recent material taken from events occurring in 2012.
Through this vision, we recognise what is lost through the hegemony of ongoing capitalist appropriation, accumulation and exploitation of all aspects of life and reassert rights over – reclaim – that which has been lost. Through the struggle of all those involved in reclaiming the commons, a discourse for new politics emerges and shapes the future. This thesis demonstrates the emergence of a new discourse of the commons that makes possible a reconceptualisation of social, economic and political spaces.
Sophie Ball has been Student Exchange and European Projects Manager at Middlesex University, London, since 2004, supporting collaborative projects between Middlesex University and its partners both within and beyond Europe. She has also been an Activist/Citizen in Wood Green, London Borough of Haringey, UK, and has been involved with local activist groups, currently participating in a resident-led project to manage funds awarded by the National Lottery through the Big Local programme for the benefit her local neighbourhood.
Sophie Ball graduated at Liverpool University in 1989: BA Combined Honours (Third World Studies, Spanish and Portuguese). She has an MA in International Relations from Middlesex University (2007), as well as a PG Cert Research Methods and PG Cert Higher Education. She completed her PhD thesis in International Relations at Middlesex University in 2013: Reclaiming the commons: a discourse for new politics? How grassroots activists are shaping the future.
Annonce séminaire Sophie Ball 310513