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Race, Power, and Poetics Seminar Series Spring and Summer 2022 

Race, Power, and Poetics is a series of events coordinated by Dr Lara Choksey, and Dr Rachel E. Holmes, and Dr Xine Yao. A cross-period examination of the inextricability of its central terms, Race, Power, and Poetics considers the implication of poetic practices and shaping role in racial and ideological dynamics. 


*****  Seminar 4: Thursday 19th May, 4.00 - 5.30pm (PLEASE NOTE DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED) **** 

Fools cap World Map

Natalya Din-Kariuki (University of Warwick): Worldling, Stranger, Citizen: Cosmopolitanism and Migration in Early Modern England

The seventeenth-century writer James Howell claimed to have ‘come tumbling out into the World…a Cosmopolite’. This paper examines how early modern writers drew on the language and ideas of cosmopolitanism, shaped by Stoic and Cynic philosophies and their early Christian afterlives, to engage with debates about travel, migration, and citizenship.    


Previous events in series: 

Amber Lascelles (University of Bristol): “The Dancing Women Move Forward”: Embodied Black Feminist Resistance to Neoliberalism in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body
Amber Lascelles

In Tsitsi Dangarembga’s acclaimed 2018 novel This Mournable Body, representations of Black women’s bodies lay bare neoliberal myths of racial equality and economic progress. Set in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare in the 2000s, the novel explores narrator Tambudzai Sigauke’s experiences of misogynoir, poverty and poor mental health. This talk argues that in addition to revealing the difficulties of agency, Dangarembga imagines embodied forms of resistance, positioning the solidarity of community as an empowering alternative to neoliberal individualism. This talk is based on a chapter of a monograph-in-progress that traces how writers including Dangarembga, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dionne Brand and Bernardine Evaristo shape global conversations about Black feminism and use their fiction to reimagine the possibilities of solidarity.


Penelope Geng (Macalester College): Cripping Benefits in Timon of Athens
Penelope Geng

 In act 1, Timon declares “we are born to do benefits” only to discover that in an ablenationalist state like Athens, benefits are available to the exceptional few. What lessons might we draw from the play’s bold depiction of nonnormative and nonproductive embodiment? How have recent productions (staged in this current age of ablenationalism) used casting, costume, music, and design to foreground the text’s representation of disability, race, and civic belonging?


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