All entries for March 2011
March 22, 2011
I recently joined a research project titled Globalized Cultural Markets: the Production, Circulation and Reception of Difference (Reference FFI2010-17282). This international group of European scholars is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and directed by Dr. Belén Martín-Lucas at University of Vigo, Spain. My main contribution to the project is in two areas: a specific study of the fetishization and commodification of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo; and a wider project considering the circulation of postcolonial poets in global cultural markets.
News Item 1: A new book on Postcolonial and Feminist Grotesque
We are happy to announce that our fellow project member Sofia Pimentel Biscaia has recently published her book Postcolonial and Feminist Grotesque: Texts of Contemporary Excess. Please check the info on Peter Lang website: http://www.peterlang.net/
Congratulations to Sofia!
New Item 2: Conference on “Other” Indias: The Richness of Indian Multiplicity
Belén Martín-Lucas is involved in organizing the following conference:
II AEEII Conference, November 23-26, 2011.
II Biennial Conference of the Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies
November 23-26, 2011: Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canaries,
The Spanish Association for Interdisciplinary India Studies holds its second International Conference in 2011, and welcomes papers from a variety of fields (including politics, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, history, ecology, anthropology, technology, economics, and others) which consider the multiplicity of the Indian mosaic. We invite proposals that look into the ways in which India (and the Indian subcontinent) is represented and explored, with special emphasis on difference in plurality, and diversity in unity. Other topics may include cultural assimilation –shadows of India in the Western world and vice versa— the rewriting of the Indian canon, the
problematization of Indian idiosyncrasy and the narration of the various Indian diasporas in the world, among other possibilities. We will also include parallel sessions with miscellaneous papers not strictly related to the topic.
The Conference will be hosted by the University of La Laguna (Facultadde Filología & Dept of English and German Studies) at the Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain, during November 23 (starting Weds Afternoon) till November 26 (ending Sat Morning), 2011.
Complete affiliation of author(s), and paper title, as well as telephone, fax, mail and e-mail addresses, should be submitted before June 30, 2011. Abstracts (around 250 words) will be evaluated by the Conference Academic Committee and authors will be informed of their acceptance by end-July 2011.
Papers should not exceed 10 pages (2,500-3,000 words; 20 minutes’ delivery) and they can be presented either in English or Spanish. A peer-reviewed selection of the conference papers (in the English version) will be considered for publication under the format of a book.
Please, email abstract and bio-note to the organizing committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the end of June. Conference details, including list of plenary speakers, will follow shortly at: http://www.aeeii.org/
March 01, 2011
I had a break last month from writing my usual note about poetry for the Nittany Valley Writers’ Association Newsletter. The reason was because chaos ensued after my apartment was flooded last month. I am now getting back on top of my writing workload, however, and things are getting back to normal.
Poetry is often thought of as an elite mode of writing which focuses on grand themes. Some of the most successful poets, however, place their poem in a familiar domestic space, which nevertheless enables them to work through universal and enduring themes. Take for example, a poem by local poet Robin Becker: ‘The Roast Chicken’.
Ostensibly, the poem tells a simple story; the narrator cooks a roast chicken, picking over its carcass on consecutive nights. By the end of the poem, however, it is clear that the narrator is actually picking over her own life choices. The tone is rueful, self-mocking even, as the narrator sits down to eat ‘alone’. The use of humor, however, makes the subject matter all the more affecting: the suicide of the narrator’s sister, loneliness, the lack of family life, and the narrator’s fear that she may be taking on the characteristics of her father. Though the poem is confined to a simple, domestic scene, it hinges on a sense of regret, and ends with the image of an old flame who admonishes the narrator for lost chances:
knowing that she was your best chance,
though she would say
your best chances are the ones you take.
Note: You can find ‘The Roast Chicken’ in Becker’s collection All American Girl.
Happy St David’s Day! St David’s in Pembrokeshire, West Wales is one of my favourite places in the world, and I’m thinking of it today when I am so far away across the Atlantic.