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School Research Seminar Series Hilary Term 2018-2019Tuesdays at 4pm, Trinity Long Room Hub

Research Seminar, Hilary Term 2019


12th March 2019
SPEAKER: Jonathan Thacker (King Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish, Oxford)
TITLE: ‘Frames and Fourth Walls: Self-Consciousness in the Spanish Golden Age’
ABSTRACT:
The great writers and artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spain – the Golden Age – are admired in part for their explorations of the boundary between reality and fiction, the world and artistic representations of it. Cervantes’s experiments in the novel and Velázquez’s in his paintings helped to question notions of truth, identity, authority, and the place of the human in a re-imagined world. This lecture outlines some of these artistic achievements and investigates how the popular dramatists of the period, often overlooked as major artists, also reflected the uncertainty and complexity of the period.

 
26th March 2019
SPEAKER: Stephen Boyd (Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, UCC).
TITLE: ‘Cervantes and the Armada’
ABSTRACT:
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) served as a soldier in the Spanish army from 1569 to 1575. Famously, he took part in, and was seriously wounded at, the naval Battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571). His experience of warfare at sea is reflected in many of his literary works. Starting with a brief consideration of some passages from Don Quixote and the Exemplary Novels that evoke the kinds of experience that would have been familiar to the soldiers and sailors of the Armada of 1588, this paper will focus on two aspects of Cervantes’s (non–combatant) involvement in that campaign: as a commissioner of supplies for the ships, and, as a writer, in the form of two Odes, one written before the outcome was known, and the other afterwards.     

9th April 2019
SPEAKER: Chloe Fagan (Germanic Studies, TCD)
TITLE: ‘The Role of Albania and Kosovo in the ‘South-Eastern Turn’ in Contemporary German Language Literature’
ABSTRACT:
The past fifteen years have seen an increase in German language texts taking Albanian or Kosovar themes as their focus. My thesis analyzes this group of texts by Albanian and Kosovar migrant authors, and other contemporary German language texts written in response to recent Albanian and Kosovar history, to assess how they fit thematically into the so-called "Eastern Turn" in contemporary German language literature, and take it a step further, to form a “South-Eastern Turn”.
My research then examines the question of how these authors and texts respond to the cultural traumas of the fall of Communism in Albania, the period of change in its aftermath, the war in Kosovo, and the resulting migration/refugee culture, and how these texts contribute to our understanding of these events and processes, as well as assessing migrant subject configurations in these Albanian/Kosovar texts, in combination with a critique of Balkanist discourse which Albania, and Kosovo, are subject to.
I ultimately argue that one of the main concerns of this “Turn” is to disrupt the official narrative produced by the dominant discourse in Albania and Kosovo, to problematize the understanding of this history, and to highlight the memory work currently lacking on the political level in Albania and Kosovo.