3 November 2010
DHT Faculty Room North
Dr Lorna Burns (IASH, University of Edinburgh), 'Caribbean Surrealism and its Legacies in Postcolonial Poetry, Painting and Philosophy'
To date critical analyses of the impact of surrealism on the development of Caribbean poetics have tended to restrict their focus to the Francophone Caribbean, documenting the interactions between French intellectuals and their Caribbean contemporaries. By contrast, this paper will outline the wider dissemination of surrealist values throughout the Caribbean: from its emergence in Caribbean literature and art in the late 1930s and 1940s, to the contemporary Caribbean writings of Édouard Glissant and Wilson Harris. Identifying the region’s engagement with surrealism as key to a pan-Caribbean aesthetics, I argue that this should not be seen as an isolated moment, but that Caribbean-European intellectual exchanges develop from this initial engagement into a shared field of contemporary post-continental philosophy.
28 October 2010
Faculty Room South, David Hume Tower
Prof. Laura Doyle (U. Mass, Amherst): "Untold Returns: Cultural Dialectics in a World-Historical Frame".
This lecture will engage in a discussion of postcolonial studies, political economy and world history to revise postcolonial models of literary analysis and develop the idea of an "inter-imperial" positionality.
25 October 2010
JOINT IASH/STAR/CANADIAN STUDIES SEMINAR
IASH, 2 Hope Park Square
Kevin Hutchings (Canada Research Chair in Literature, Culture, and Environmental Studies, University of Northern British Columbia):
"Scottish Writers and Canadian Indian Policy, 1800-1940"
Abstract: This paper will explore some key Scottish literary contexts that have informed colonial relations and the administration of Indigenous governance policy in Canada. First, I will discuss Scottish poet Thomas Campbell's celebrated "Indian romance" Gertrude of Wyoming (1809), showing how its representations engaged and informed structures of attitude and reference surrounding the making of Upper Canada's first Indian treaties-the Robinson Treaties of 1850-in part via Campbell's personal connection to Canadian Chief Justice Sir John Beverley Robinson. This discussion will be complicated by a consideration of Campbell's interesting encounter with Mohawk chief John Brant (Ahyonwaeghs), whom he met through Robinson in 1822. Moving to the early twentieth century, I will then consider John Buchan, the Scottish novelist who became Canada's governor general in 1935. Here I will discuss some of the formal ceremonies in which various First Nations made Buchan an honorary chief, paying particular attention to Buchan's friendship with Cree chief Sam Swimmer. Finally, I will examine some of Buchan's views on Canadian "Indian policy" as articulated in his essay "Down North" (1937) and in his final novel Sick Heart River (1941). Although Campbell and Buchan are far removed from each other temporally, they offer interesting comparative case studies of the ways in which Scottish writers responded to an "Indian Atlantic" world whose legacy is still very much alive in Canada today.
Fiona Black (Information Management Program, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia):
"Supporting the intellectual life of colonists: a conceptual model for studying 19th century transnational book trades"
ABSTRACT: Print culture was a crucial component of the development of colonies in what was to become Canada. The use of print for religious, administrative, educational, cultural and ephemeral purposes informed the nature and supported the structure of colonial life. Print culture is a complex phenomenon and theoretical models have been advanced that we now might test using some of the tools available to digital humanists, including historical geographic information systems. Print culture in any region depends on the financial, social and cultural capital of those in the book and allied trades. Drawing on 14,000 records of early Canadian book trade workers this paper suggests a conceptual model for analysing their contributions.
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