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Events 2007-2008


04/17/08 Professor Tim Reiss Lecture

"From the birds I Learned…" :
Jean de Léry on Violence, Religion and the Colonial

Thursday, April 17
7:00-9:00 La Maison Française
16 Washington Mews

“…aprendí de las aves
La sedienta esperanza,
La certidumbre y la verdad del vuelo.”

Pablo Neruda, "Arte de pajaros"

This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and co-sponsored by La Maison Francaise and the Dean of FAS.


5/1/08 and 5/2/08 Prof.Emily Apter is Organizer at NYU/Columbia Conference

The Way We Read Now:
Symptomatic Reading and its Aftermath

5/5/08 Prof. John T. Hamilton at Book Culture

Join Book Culture for an Evening with
John T. Hamilton
author of Music, Madness, and the Unworking of Language

Monday May 5, 7 pm
536 W. 112th Street

Joining John Hamilton for a discussion about his book will be Avital Ronell, Professor of German, English and Comparative Literature at New York University.

04/10-12/08 Lacoue-Labarthe Conference consponsored by Comp. Lit!

New York University/Princeton University/Cardozo Law School present:

Catastrophe and Caesura:
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe Today

Organized by Denis Hollier and Avital Ronell
Keynote speaker: Jean-Luc Nancy

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe has irreversibly inflected the way we understand catastrophic history and language. The depth of his work is considered by a number of philosophers, poets, and scholars attuned to this exceptional oeuvre.

Departmental faculty Professors Richard Sieburth and John Hamilton will be speaking.

Sponsored by the departments of French, German, Comparative Literature at NYU; Princeton University Department of French and Italian; Princeton Office of the President; Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies; NYU FAS Dean of Humanities; Cultural Services of the French Embassy, The Center for French Civilization and Culture at NYU; and the Humanities Initiative at NYU.

04/10/08 Professor Kristin Ross Lecture


Thursday, April 10, 12pm-2pm
South Gallery, Maison Française Buell Hall, 1st floor

In honor of the 40th anniversary of May 1968, the Maison Française has invited Kristin Ross to lead a discussion of her book, May ’68 and Its Afterlives. The book is an historical study of the way in which the political upheavals of the 1960s and early 1970s in France have been interpreted, debated, forgotten, flattened, trivialized, buried under commemorations and prey to endless ideological manipulations—a study, in other words, of the memory of May ’68 in France and the way in which the event has been overtaken by its own representations. Luncheon seminar attendees are encouraged to read the book before the seminar.

Kristin Ross is Professor of Comparative Literature at NYU. She is the author of The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (1988), reissued this year by Verso; Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (1995); and May ’68 and Its Afterlives (2002). All three books have been translated into French.

03/11/08 Ulrick Casimir Talk

“Reexportation and The ‘Double Audience’ of Samuel Selvon and The Lonely Londoners”

Tuesday, March 11, 6:00 pm
19 University Pl, Room 222

Casimir’s emphases are film studies and Caribbean studies, his research focusing on the relationship between British and American conceptualizations of the Caribbean and the way(s) that Anglophone Caribbean fiction writers and filmmakers tend to represent the region.

03/06-08/08 NYU Conference on Postcolonialism cosponsored by Comp. Lit.

Postcolonialism and the Hit of the Real

Keynote speakers: Pheng Cheah (University of California, Berkeley) Simon Gikandi (Princeton University) Alok Rai (University of Delhi)

Plus Plenary Panel: Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research) David Lloyd (University of Southern California) John Waters (NYU) Robert JC Young (NYU) with the participation of Rajeswari Sunder Rajan

Plus many panels, including those on French, German, Italian, Japanese colonialisms, on Ireland and Postcolonialism, Islam and Postcoloniality, and Cinema and Postcolonial Realisms.

03/04/08 Ivy Wilson Talk

"Love for the Race: Imagining Ethiopia and Trans-National Ideality from the Age of the New Negro to Blaxploitation"

Tuesday, March 4, 6:00 pm
19 University Pl, Room 222

Dr. Wilson’s current research interests focus on the solubility of nationalism in relationship to theories of the diaspora, global economies of culture, and circuits of the super-national and sub-national.

02/28/08 Susan Matthias Reading

The A.S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies at New York University, in celebration of George Seferis's birthday, cordially invites you to a public reading entitled:

The Sensual Seferis: Six Nights on the Acropolis

Thursday, February 28th, 4:00 PM
Hellenic Studies Conference Room
285 Mercer Street, 8th Floor

Dr. Susan Matthias, a graduate of NYU's Comparative Literature PhD program, is the winner of the 2006 Elizabeth Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize by the Modern Greek Studies Association.

For more information please call (212) 998-3990.

02/23/08 Prof. Ronell at German Graduate Student Workshop

Ghost as a Trope

February 23, 1:00-7:00 pm
Deutsches Haus

Broadening out from literary and cinematic case studies the workshop will explore the nature of ghostly figures and ways in which they could lend authority to previously silenced voices. The time framework stretches from the early "sightings" in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" deep into current implications, a time in which a return of that which returns becomes progressively more apparent.

Participants: Sue de Beer (NYU), Nicola Behrmann (NYU), Frauke Berndt (University of Chicago), Janelle Blankenship (University of Western Ontario), Sladja Blazan (NYU/Humboldt University Berlin), Jeff Champlin (NYU), Eckart Goebel (NYU), Alicja Kowalska (NYU), Natalie Nagel (NYU), Avital Ronell (NYU) Robert Stockhammer (Ludwig Maximilan Universität München), Brigitte Weingart (Columbia University) and further graduate students.

This workshop is organized by the Department of German and is free and open to the public.

02/22-23/08 Prof. Apter at French Dept. Annual Graduate Student Conference

La Vie de l'oeuvre: Inception, Reproduction & Decomposition

February 22-23
La Masion francaise
16 Washington Mews

Professor Emily Apter of the departments of Comparative Literature and French will be participating in the Roundtable Discussion on Feb. 23 from 4-6 pm.

02/07-23/08 Performance of Richard Sieburth's translation of Artaud's The Cenci

The Hotel Savant presents The Cenci
by Antonin Artaud

Adapted, conceived, and directed by John Jahnke
From a new translation by Richard Sieburth (Prof. of Comp Lit, NYU)
Showing at The Ohio Theater: 66 Wooster Street, NY, NY

February 7-23, 8pm Wed-Sun
February 16 & 23, 4pm Matinee

The Cenci is Artaud's only attempt to put on stage what he set out to describe in his revolutionary Theater of Cruelty manifestos. Granted the rights to adapt a new translation through Artaud's estate and Editions Gallimard in Paris, the Hotel Savant, long committed to re-envisioning relevant, seminal works, commissioned Richard Sieburth of The Department of French/NYU to translate the premiere American version of the play. This singular, dark, and terse interpretation opens at The Ohio Theatre in New York City on February 7, 2008 and was created in part through a residency at The Watermill Center in May 2007.

This event is not sponsored by the Dept. of Comparative Literature or NYU.

02/19/08 Kimberly Brown Talk

"Vantage Points: Visualizing the Body of the Black Diaspora"

Tuesday, February 19, 6:00 pm
19 University Pl, Room 222

Currently a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Rice University, Dr. Brown’s research and teaching interests concern slavery and the black female body, literatures of the African diaspora, and violence, visuality, and cultural memory.

02/11/08 Sven Spieker Lecture


Monday, February 11, 7:45 pm
Silver Center, Room 300

This lecture is organized by Professors Ulrich Baer and Shelley Rice, in association with the Humanities Team-Teaching Initiative, as part of the seminar Archive, Image, Text: The Myth and Reality of What Archives Hold, sponsored by the Departments of Photography, German, Art History, English and Comparative Literature.

02/11/08 and 02/12/08 Jonathan Abel Talk

"When Redactions Speak Louder than Words: Tortured Texts, Strategic Silence, and the Literary Casualties of War"

Monday, February 11, 5:00 pm
715 Broadway, Room 312

Meeting and lunch with grads:
Tuesday, February 12, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
715 Broadway, Room 312

Jonathan Abel is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages at Bowling Green State University. His research interests include literary identity, techonologies of dissemination, and theories of comparison.

02/07/08 Prof. Jacques Lezra at Medieval Studies Round Table Discussion

New Voices in Early Modern Studies at NYU

Thursday, February 7, 6:15 pm
19 University Place, room 222
A Round Table Discussion with:

Prof. Benoit Bolduc Dept. of French
Prof. Jacques Lezra Depts. of Spanish & Portuguese and Comparative Lit.
Prof. Karen Newman Dept. of English,
Dean Susanne Wofford, Dean of Gallatin

Reception to follow.

02/04/08 and 02/05/08 Daniel O'Neill Talk

"Masochism and Other Worldly Pleasures: Natsume Soseki's Failed Theory of Tragedy"

Monday, March 3, 5:00 pm
715 Broadway, Room 312

Meeting and lunch with grads:
Tuesday, March 4, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
715 Broadway, Room 312

Daniel O'Neill is an assistant professor of Japanese literature at UC Berkeley. he received a BA from Stanford in Modern Thought and Literature and a PhD from Yale in Japanese Literature.

2/4/08 and 2/5/08 Sayumi Takahasi Talk

"Tea and Sympathy of the Word and Image:
The Intermedia Arts-Texts of Rengetsu"

The Talk:
Monday, February 4, 5:00 pm
715 Broadway, room 312

Meeting and Lunch with grads:
Tuesday, February 5, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
715 Broadway, room 312

Sayumi Takahashi studied philosophy and creative writing at Princeton University and earned an MA and PhD in comparative literature and literary theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral dissertation included a study of the life and work of Otagaki Rengetsu.

01/31/08 Marshall Brown lecture

Music & Fantasy

Thursday, January 31, 6:30 pm
19 University Pl, Room 222

Marshall Brown is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of Washington and the editor of Modern Language Quarterly. He has written four books on European literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with special emphasis on the intersection of form with literary and cultural history. He also works on music and literature and is currently revising a collection of previously published and new studies entitled 'The Tooth that Nibbles at the Soul': Essays on Music and Poetry.


12/07/07 Professor Avital Ronell introduces Slavoj Žižek

Friday, December 7, 7:00 pm
The Cantor Film Center
36 E. 8th Street, Room 102

Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies and the Department of German proudly sponsor a lecture by Slavoj Zizek:

Fear Thy Neighbor as Thyself

Introduction by Avital Ronell, Professor of German and Comparative Literature.
This is a ticketed event open to the public. Please pick up your free tickets at NYU Ticket Central, Kimmel Center for University Life 60 Washington Square South, Room 206.

11/29/07 Department alum Mariano Siskin at the Lit Café

November 29th, 2007, 7:30 pm
Habitus @ the Lit Café
JCC in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Avenue

Mariano Siskind (Buenos Aires/Boston): Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. In 2007, he published his first novel, Historia del Abasto.

11/19/07 Micaela Kramer at the Robert Holmes Award Reception

Great Room, 19 University Place 6:30 – 8 p.m.

As part of the Robert Holmes Travel and Research Award for African Scholarship, past recipients present on research made possible through the grant. Past awards have supported the research and study abroad of scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Presentations include "Writing and Rewriting Carceral Spaces; the Prison as Master Signifier in Contemporary South Africa" and "The Life Course of Nevirapine."

11/8/07 Lecture by Professor Jacques Lezra

The Indecisive Muse
a conversation on Borges, Wittgenstein, translation, and Comparative Literature
with Professor Jacques Lezra

Friday, November 9, 2:00-400 pm
13-19 University Place, The Great Room
Jacques Lezra is a Professsor of Comparative Literature and Spanish and Portuguese. The Indecisive Muse is sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature.

First two events of the series *Abolition Marassa*, which marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British Slave Trade, to be presented by ÀJA (Adisa Jelani Andwele), leading Caribbean dub poet, performance artist, and humanitarian activist, who creates poetry in word and video, addressing issues of peace, poverty, and HIV/AIDS:

11/7/07 ÀJA presents "Don't Let me Die"

7:00 pm, 41-51 East 11th St., 7th Floor (just east of University Place)
“Don’t Let Me Die”
E-BOOK of Perspectives, Poems, & Photographs on War and Poverty.

11/8/07 ÀJA presents VIDEO JOURNEY

7:00 pm 19 University Place Room 102 (auditorium)
VIDEO JOURNEY to hunger-torn Rio, Soweto, Sierre Leone, Palestine, and Trenchtown (Kingston, Jamaica)

10/1/07 Public lecture by Professor Timothy Reiss

A Metaphor of Bird-Islands:
Columbus Counts His Chickens

(Colonization & Subversion)

7-9:00 Jurow Lecture Hall (100 Wash Sq E; first floor)
Tim Reiss is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and Distinguished Scholar in Residence. This lecture is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Science Dean’s Office.

9/27/07 Professor Emily Apter at La Maison Française

Luxury and Labor: The 18th/19th Century Turn
Thursday, Sepember 27 – 7:00 pm

Round Table Discussion with:
Emily Apter, NYU
Ben Kafka, NYU
John Shovlin, NYU
Caroline Weber, Barnard College 9/26-28/07 Professor Avital Ronell at Narcissus & Eros Symposium

Narcissus & Eros: Image or Text?
A Symposium at New York University
September 26 - 28, 2007

The symposium will negotiate methodological problems of the humanities today by rethinking a famous mythological pattern and should provide new theoretical insights into the relation between image and text through a series of case studies.

Friday, September 28, 4:15 pm
19 University Place, 1st Floor: The Great Room

Avital Ronell : Falling for Narcissus: Concluding Remarks

9/26/07 Professor John Chioles at The Onassis Cultural Center
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 7:00pm

Literary Evening the Atrium Café

A literary evening with Ersi Sotiropoulos, winner of the Greek State Prize for Literature and the prestigious Book Critics' Award for Zigzag through the Bitter-Orange Trees (2006), and John Chioles, Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University.

Reception to follow. Limited seating. Reservations for this literary evening begin September 17; please call 212-486-8314.

The Onassis Cultural Center is located in Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue, entrances on 51st and 52nd Streets, between Madison and Fifth Avenues.

9/5/07 Comp Lit Welcome Back Party!
Celebrate the start of a new year!
4-6:00 Casa Italiana 24 W. 12th Street