RevAmStudies revving up for fall 2012!

Save the dates! RevAmStudies starts up again on 7 September; a terrific line up for the fall! We’ll update as more info rolls in. Happy end of summer, all!

RevAmStudies Fall 2012 Schedule of Events [as of 23-Aug-12]

7 September – J. Jack Halberstam
Public Lecture: 4p, English Program Lounge, Room 4406


In this talk, Halberstam pulls forward the idea of “Low Theory” from his book, The Queer Art of Failure, and use it to frame new work on feminism, revolt and Lady Gaga. Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal offers some examples of Gaga Feminism from new political movements to eclectic animated films like Fantastic Mr. Fox and through odd, new forms of anarchistic and improvised rebellion. Throughout, Halberstam encourages the search for theory and politics in odd corners on behalf of a different way of thinking about knowledge, gender politics, culture and transformation.

Seminar: 12p, President’s Conference Room (8201.01)
Readings: 1) Introduction to European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe  by Fatima El Tayeb (Univ of Minnesota press, 2011); 2) Selections from The Coming Insurrection by The Invisible Committee (NY and Paris: Semiotexte, 2009); 3) Licia Fiol Matta, “Introduction” to A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriel Mistral (U of Minnesota Press, 2002); and, 4) chapter 3, “The Queer Art of Failure” from Halberstam’s The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP 2012).


14 September – Christopher Ianinni

Christopher Iannini is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University.  He is a specialist in colonial and nineteenth century American literature, with strong interests in the history of science, Caribbean studies, and Atlantic studies.  Widely published in numerous critical journals, he is the author of Fatal Revolutions: Natural History, West Indian Slavery, and the Routes of American Literature (UNC Press, 2012).

Public Lecture: 4p, English Lounge (Room 4406.3)

“Bartram’s *Travels* and the Natural History of West Indian Slavery”

This talk is drawn from Iannini’s recently published book Fatal Revolutions: Natural History, West Indian Slavery, and the Routes of American Literature (UNC Press, 2012). Broadly described, the book traces the relationship between two dramatic transformations in the history of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world–the growth of the West Indian plantation as a new kind of social institution and economic engine, and the rise of natural history as a new scientific discipline, intellectual obsession, and literary form. Iannini argues that these transformations were inextricably linked and that together the established fundamental conditions for what we might call “the practice of letters” in the colonial Americas. This talk provides a case study within this longer history by focusing on William Bartrams *Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida* (1791), long considered a foundational text for early American nature discourse.

19 October – J. Kēhaulani Kauanui

Public Lecture: 4p, Location TBA
Title: Hawaiian Indigeneity and the Contradictory Politics of Self-Determination

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at Wesleyan University.  She earned her PhD in History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2000. Kauanui is the author of Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity, published by Duke University Press, 2008. She is currently writing her second titled, Thy Kingdom Come? The Paradox of Hawaiian Sovereignty, which is a critical study on gender and sexual politics and the question of indigeneity in relation to state-centered Hawaiian nationalism.  Kauanui is the sole producer and host of a public affairs radio program, “Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond,” which is syndicated through the Pacifica radio network. She is also a member of The Dream Committee, an anarchist radio collective that produces a radio program called Horizontal Power Hour.  From 2005-2008, Kauanui was part of a six-person steering committee that worked to co-found the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) for which she also served as an acting council member, then as an elected member of the inaugural council from 2009-2012.

This lecture will explore the contestation over indigeneity and

self-determination in the controversy over the state-drive push for a
federally recognized Native Hawaiian Governing Entity within US domestic
policy, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as
the Hawaiian Kingdom restoration movement.

Seminar: Details TBA


30 November – Hester Blum

Public Lecture: 4p, President’s Conference Room (8201.01)

Title: Oceanic American Studies

In the wake of the transnational or hemispheric “turn” in U.S. literary studies, we might ask what happens if our scholarly perspective is reoriented from the perspective of the sea. If methodologies of the nation and the post-nation have been land-locked, how would an oceanic turn allow us to explore new ways of thinking about familiar and unfamiliar texts in pre-1900 U.S. literature? “Oceanic American Studies” considers more specifically the unexplored possibilities that the Arctic and Antarctic regions offer to hemispheric or transnational conversations, as well as to more recent calls to reorganize critical thinking from a planetary perspective.

Seminar: 12p, President’s Conference Room (8201.01)
Readings: “The Prospect of Oceanic Studies,” PMLA 125.3; “John Cleves Symmes and the Planetary Reach of Polar Exploration” American Literature Vol. 84, No. 2 (June 2012); “The News at the Ends of the Earth: Polar Periodicals” (work in progress)

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