Sponsored by The Center for the Humanities, Washington University in St. Louis
Our reading group examines the circulation of people, arts, media, and various cultural objects across the different regions connected by the Atlantic Ocean. We strongly feel that Transatlantic Studies represents now an emerging field of research in the humanities and social science since it moves beyond national and disciplinary borders in order to precisely understand the movement, routes and channels of transatlantic cultures, both at a synchronic level as it examines the various tensions at the core of contemporary process of globalization, and at the diachronic level by exploring the history of the colonial period, the Middle Passage and the postcolonial. In establishing this reading group, we hope to bring together scholars and students from equally diverse academic backgrounds in order to investigate the transnational and multilingual cultural space offered by the Atlantic as a field of scholarly inquiry. We hope to attract students and faculty with a wide range of interests, in order to engage in an interdisciplinary discussion of the transatlantic region and its cultural production. Thus, our “Transatlantic Crossings” reading group aims to appeal to researchers in fields as diverse as Literature and languages, Film and Media Studies, American and African-American Studies, Anthropology, International and Area Studies, Translation Studies, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, Performing Arts, and Music.
Focusing our activities for the 2011-2012 academic year on the theme of “Transatlantic Modernisms,” we will be reading The Inverted Conquest: The Myth of Modernity and the Transatlantic Onset of Modernism by Alejandro Mejias-Lopez (Vanderbilt UP, 2010). Mejías-López argues in this book that Latin America and the United States do not fit some Eurocentric models of modernity, and that a more precise evaluation of cultural expressions and modes is an essential undertaking in this area. We think the book will allow our group to productively discuss the role of transatlantic criticism and theory in relation to modernism and modernity from a new and original approach, and we expect it will appeal to the wide range of readerly interests of our colleagues in the Humanities, graduate students and faculty alike.
If you are interested in participating in this reading group and would like to be included in our listserv, please contact Nick Tamarkin at the following email address: Tamarkin@wustl.edu.
Jessica Hutchins, Andia Augustin, Nick Tamarkin, and Ignacio Infante.“Transatlantic Crossings” Reading Group Conveners