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The Gottschalk Seminar with Kim F. Hall

Friday, December 1, 2017 at 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, English Lounge, 258 GSH
232 East Ave, Central Campus

"'I didn’t think I would feel like this': Early Modern Race Studies and its Discontents"

For this graduate student seminar, Professor Hall will circulate the conclusion to her book, Sweet Taste of Empire: Sugar, Race and Gender in Early Modern England (under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press) and an excerpt from Robert Appelbaum's Aguecheek's Beef, Belch's Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections: Literature, Culture, and Food Among the Early Moderns.

The tripartite conclusion first discusses the response by people of color to artist Kara Walker's 2014 blockbuster installation, A Subtlety: The Marvelous Sugar Baby. Professor Hall sees in the black anger at the 2014 installation and in the oblivious responses by (mostly white) spectators a dynamic similar to the ongoing discussion of the presence and meanings of race in early modern literary studies, which helps make visible a racial politics of innocence in both the seventeenth century source materials and contemporary early modern scholarship. Inherent in conflicts over the installation and the Ferguson protests that emerged at the same time is anger at the refusal to hear what blacks have to say about their experience of being raced subjects and to consider that black epistemologies have a salience for historical understanding. The second section briefly juxtaposes Susan Amussen’s reading of English laws regarding slavery in Caribbean Exchanges with Colin Dayan's discussion of English law in The Law is a White Dog to demonstrate the gap between scholarship emerging from the African diaspora and early modern scholarship that refuses dialogue over race. The final section offers a reading of Walker's 2015 follow up exhibit, Afterword, and argues for the need to put race, anger, and healing in the story of early modern studies.

RSVP required -
Please RSVP for the seminar by email to:
Relevant materials will be emailed to those who RSVP

The Gottschalk Memorial Lecture was established in memory of Paul Gottschalk, Professor of English at Cornell, scholar of British Renaissance literature and author of The Meanings of Hamlet (1972). He died in 1977 at the age of 38.

Sponsored by the Department of English

~ This graduate student seminar is being offered in conjunction with the Paul Gottschalk Memorial Lecture by Kim F. Hall on November 30th. ~

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engdep, cashum


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Lynn Lauper

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graduate students and faculty, RSVP required

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