Research events play an important role in our active research culture. Academic staff from the University and other institutions come together with students to share and debate the latest ideas and developments.

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24 October 201815:30

The Birth of Brazilian Amazonian Societies, Prof. Mark Harris (St Andrews)

The Exeter Centre for Latin American Studies first seminar of the year will be delivered by Mark Harris, Professor of Historical Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Full details
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7 November 201818:30

Film screening 'Tierra Sola' and discussion, Paul Merchant (Bristol)

The EXCELAS second seminar of the term will have Dr. Paul Merchant, Lecturer in Latin American Film and Visual Culture at the University of Bristol, introducing the film 'Tierra Sola' (tbc) and moderating the post-film discussion.. Full details
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8 November 201817:30

When the Mediterranean Moved West: Pathways of Catalan Emigration in the Americas

Thomas Harrington is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College in Hartford (USA), where he offers classes on contemporary Iberian literature, cinema, and cultural history. His main lines of research are recent Peninsular movements of national identity, Iberianism, Contemporary Catalan culture, cultural theory (especially Polysystems Theory), and the migrations between the so-called peripheral cultures of the Peninsula and the societies of the Caribbean and the Southern Cone. He is the recipient of two Fulbright scholarships, and the Batista i Roca prize for his work in disseminating Catalan culture in the world. In addition to his academic work in Hispanic Studies, he is a frequent commentator on politics and culture in the US press and a number of Spanish- and Catalan-language media outlets. Full details
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14 November 201815:30

Polity. Demystifying Democracy in Latin America, Joe Foweraker (Exeter)

Exeter Centre for Latin American Studies Seminar.. Full details
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21 November 201815:30

Chinese and European Perspectives on Architecture and Heritage (CTC event co-hosted with Global China Centre)

In this paper we examine an aspect of our forthcoming book, The Temporality of Building, which is a comparative study of building through time between Chinese and European traditions. The relation between time, setting/location and built form in European architecture was the broad theme of Marvin Trachtenberg’s recent book Building-in-Time: From Giotto to Alberti and Modern Oblivion (Yale University, 2010). Trachtenberg identified in this study the emergence of a conflictual relationship in Early Modern Europe between two modes of building temporality: the first constitutes the “time of the building itself”, in its relationship to site, physical substance and design, and the other the “lifeworld of a building” which encompasses all aspects of a building’s existence, from its patronage, political influences, religious practices, and economic and social contexts. In our paper we use Trachtenberg’s dialectical model of building temporality as a lens for comparing building practices in China and Europe. The paper begins with a brief comparative study of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Forbidden City in Beijing, highlighting how building through time in both examples diverges, reflecting very different attitudes towards material culture, concepts of heritage and physical and cultural contexts. The second part of the paper will examine a contemporary building project in Yancheng (Salt City), an ancient city located on the north bank of the Yangtze River. Called ‘Water Street’, this commercial project was modelled on traditional shopping streets from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The study will demonstrate how the conscious emulation of building form and associated ceremonial/ritual practices from the past, in a city whose built heritage was largely erased from history, provides an intriguing example of how ‘historical fabrication’ was implemented outside any temporal or contextual framework that would be deemed meaningful from a Western (European) perspective. Full details
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21 November 201816:30

Patchwork Cities: Urban Ethnic Segregation in the Global South in the Age of Steam, Michael Goebel (Geneva)

Shared EXCELAS and CIGH seminar given by Michael Goebel,Associate Professor in International History at the Graduate Institute, Geneva.. Full details
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26 November 201816:30

Animate Ivory: Materiality, Beauty, and Pygmalion's Statue

The story of Pygmalion’s ivory woman, transformed into a living woman, posits a relationship between animacy and materiality that I will interrogate through a focus on several medieval French translations of Ovid’s story. I will explore the terms in which medieval poets describe the inanimacy of the statue, and I will foreground the materiality and the material of Pygmalion’s ivory woman in order to ask whether Pygmalion’s beloved lady, as white as ivory, can tell us something about the values that organize the association of animacy and whiteness in medieval Europe. Full details
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27 November 201816:30

'Deconstruir' los mitos de la independencia sudamericana, Inés Quintero and Rogelio Altez (Venezuela)

EXCELAS Seminar with Inés Quintero and Rogelio Altez from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Please note that this seminar will be delivered in Spanish.. Full details
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28 November 201815:30

Translating Research Cultures: the French Social Sciences and Humanities in English

This talk will explore the challenges and broader implications of translating between two academic research cultures, specifically translating the French social sciences and humanities into English. French academics are under increasing pressure to use English as a lingua franca, creating substantial demand for specialist academic translations. In this field, the cultural mediation required of translators is very specific in nature. It involves producing texts for multiple readers — the original authors, but also other audiences such as peer reviewers, funding committees, journal editors, and the national and international academic community. The competing expectations generated by this situation seem to require incompatible degrees of domestication and the translator plays a complex role in this cultural transaction, compounded by a form of “invisibility” partly intrinsic to the academic framework. In this context, it is also interesting to ask what this negotiation process can tell us about the research cultures in question. What can we learn from the points of resistance encountered when navigating between the norms, values, and assumptions of two radically different epistemological traditions and, more broadly, what are the potential consequences and/or losses inherent to the hegemony of the English language in the academic world?. Full details
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29 November 201817:30

Clandestine Correspondence at Court (Niklas-Cartwright lecture)

During over 20 years Marie Antoinette exchanged notes and letters with the Imperial Ambassador to France, count Mercy. Was she a naive puppet of the Habsburgs, betraying French secrets? Is there any foundation to the accusations of political scheming made at her trial? The more than 100 letters and notes, many of them unpublished, which she wrote to the diplomat during her time in Versailles and at the Tuileries give answers to these and to many other questions. Catriona Seth was appointed to the Marshal Foch Chair at Oxford three years ago after a career spent in France. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and a membre associé of the Académie Royale de Belgique. She has worked extensively on French literature, editing Les Liaisons dangereuses and the works of Germaine de Staël for the Pléiade. She has published autobiographical texts by women along with a book-length study of inoculation and an intellectual biography of the poet Parny.. Full details
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5 December 201815:30

Venezuelan Literature and the Bolivarian Revolution, Katie Brown (Exeter)

The sixth EXCELAS seminar of the term will be delivered by Katie Brown, Lecturer in Latin American Studies. Full details
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12 December 201815:30

Connected Keywords in Early Modern France

This round table brings together four specialists in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century French literature and culture working in the south-west, Rowan Tomlinson (University of Bristol) with Exeter's Helena Taylor, Adam Horsley, and Hugh Roberts. We shall present a methodology of relevance to other time periods and languages, namely word history as a means of exploring contested areas of social and cultural history. We shall pay close attention to keywords that were not fully determined and that could thereby become the focus of ideological debates as various parties sought to define them for their own purposes.. Full details
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13 December 201814:30

Exploring Capitalism. Historical Archaeology and Heritage of the Modern Expansion into Antarctica, Ximena Senatore (CONICET)

Seminar co-organised by Archaeology and EXCELAS. Dr. Ximena Senatore is a researcher at CONICET (Argentina) and member of ICOMOS International Polar Heritage Committee.. Full details
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23 January 201915:30

ML Work in progress

tbc. Full details
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6 February 201915:30

Flying Saucers in Italy: The Italian case towards a global history of science fiction

The speaker: Dr Giulia Iannuzzi (Università di Trieste) studies science fiction in a historical and comparative perspective, history of publishing, and new media. Her two latest books – Fantascienza italiana: Riviste, autori, dibattiti, dagli anni Cinquanta agli anni Settanta (Milan: Mimesis, 2014) and Distopie, viaggi spaziali, allucinazioni: Fantascienza italiana contemporanea (Milan: Mimesis, 2015) – are the essential reference for any study of science fiction in Italy. The event: Science fiction as a genre with its easily recognizable repertoire of themes and tropes is a unique vantage point from which to observe the functioning of a trans-national literary production. Building on the increasing attention to non-English traditions as well as to the idea of global or world science fiction that Science Fiction Studies have experienced in recent years, this seminar will offer an overview of the translation phenomenon in Italy. A brief outline of long-term trends, and quantitative evidence in 20th-century series will be the starting point to critically assess the agency of publishers and translators in shaping ideas of genre, brought to light in publication choices, and in the adaptation of original texts by means of paratexts and translation choices. The close reading of a selection of cases will help illustrating a complex series of motives at work behind a vast range of domestication practices: from the adaptation to a readership different from the original one, to issues of cost and seriality that often took precedence over artistic considerations. The history of science fiction translations in Italy aptly emblematizes wider-reaching cultural processes, from changes in segments of readership, to the shifting connections with other linguistic areas.. Full details
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20 February 201915:30

Film-making on the left

tbc. Full details
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1 March 201915:30


Guest Lecture organized by Russian, supported by CTC. Full details
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6 March 201915:30

American Poetry and French theory

tbc. Full details
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20 March 201915:30

Science in the Vernacular: Translating Galileo

The speaker – Mark Davie, formerly Head of Modern Languages at Exeter and Italian editor of the Modern Language Review, is the translator, with William R. Shea, of Galileo’s Selected Writings (Oxford World’s Classics, 2012). An Honorary Fellow at Exeter, he is currently working on a complete translation of Galileo’s Dialogue, his argument in support of the Copernican model of the universe, also for Oxford World’s Classics. Discussant: Dr Jonathan Bradbury (University of Exeter) The event – Galileo’s reputation as a leading intellectual figure in Europe was established by his short book Sidereus nuncius, describing his observation of the heavens using the newly invented telescope, written in Latin and published in Venice in 1610. In the same year he resigned his university chair at Padua and accepted the patronage of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, moving to Florence where he remained for the rest of his life. From this point onwards all his major works were written in Italian, i.e. Tuscan, vernacular. With his decision to abandon Latin in favour of the vernacular Galileo effectively translated scientific discourse from the academic world to a princely court. Mark’s paper will consider Galileo’s reasons for making this change, its consequences for scientific writing in a modern European language, and the challenges it presents to a translator of Galileo into modern English.. Full details
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8 May 201915:30

Research Groups in ML session

tbc. Full details
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22 May 201915:30

Revisiting the re-translation hypothesis. Translation defaults, textual time and kairos.

The re-translation hypothesis – the idea that there is teleological improvement from one translation of a source text to the next – has been largely discredited since it was first put forward by Antoine Berman and Paul Bensimon in 1990. But Berman’s own translational practice and reflection in L’Âge de la Traduction, his 180-page commentary on Walter Benjamin’s ‘Die Aufgabe des Übersetzers’, may allow the hypothesis to be recast. Berman’s commentary reflects upon Benjamin’s German text and on Maurice de Gandillac’s French translation thereof. Berman thinks and re-translates Benjamin, to a significant degree, through Gandillac. He acknowledges longstanding criticisms of Gandillac’s translation (then the only existing translation) but argues that French readers should nonetheless acknowledge the ‘gift’ that Gandillac made them in the sixties when he introduced Benjamin’s texts into France. The many revisions to Gandillac’s translation that were made both by the translator himself and by subsequent editors point to the complexity of Benjamin’s text and the humility of the translator in the face of this complexity. It is against this background that Berman’s introduction of the concept of the translational défaillance should be understood, his rendering of the term Versagung, borrowed from Freud, a term that I will render as “default”. Defaults are not errors or failings but point to nodes of textual resistance; they are an inevitable part of the translation process. I will show, via my own English translation of L’Âge de la Traduction, how the concept of the “default”, coupled with Berman’s reflections on textual time and kairos, may help us re-think the re-translation hypothesis, situating re-translation as a dialogic, collaborative process of mothering – in the sense of birthing – a text. Full details
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5 June 201915:30

Work in Progress (2)

ML staff and pgr present work in progress. Full details
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