Seminars 2011-12

Date: Thursday 29th March 2012

Time: 4 pm
Venue: Conference Room (B03), Basement Floor, Callaghan Building
Topic: ‘William Lloyd Garrison, Transatlantic Abolitionism, and Colonisation in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: The Revival of the Peculiar Solution’

Speaker: Dr David Brown 
(Manchester University)

One of the most persistent white responses to the ‘problem’ of slavery and race relations in the nineteenth-century United States was to suggest the removal and relocation of African Americans. The transatlantic abolitionist movement, however, decisively rejected colonisation in the early 1830s and conventional wisdom suggests that they maintained their firm opposition from that point onwards. It is curious, then, that abolitionists in Britain and the United States enthusiastically received a text in 1857 – The Impending Crisis of the South – calling for colonisation as well as abolition. This paper explains the reasons why they did so. It demonstrates that the Garrisonians recognised the book’s potential for influencing the critical presidential election of 1860 and consequently sought to aid efforts to ensure wide circulation, belying their reputation for avoiding electoral politics.
David Brown is senior lecturer in American Studies at Manchester University.  His research interests broadly include: the historical development of slavery, race and whiteness in North America; the American South (particularly the history of nonslaveholding whites); and the American Civil War (especially in an Atlantic context). In specific terms, he focuses on identity formation in the peculiar time and place of the Old South, a slave society presenting a distinctive set of racialised relationships by the 1850s. His approach takes insights from both social and cultural history to interpret issues of race, power and the construction of identity.

Date: Thursday 8th March 2012
Time: 4 pm
Venue: Conference Room (B03), Basement Floor, Callaghan Building
Topic: ‘The Violence on the Body and the Representation of Colombia:  The Case of Jorge Franco’s Rosario Tijeras’

Speaker: María Verónica Elizondo Oviedo 
(Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Fellow at College of Arts and Humanities and Centre for the Comparative Study of the Americas (CECSAM).

* Department of Languages, Translation and Media
21st February: “Family Archives: Visual and Verbal Rhetoric of the Body in Diamela Eltit” 
* Centre for the Comparative Study of the Americas (CECSAM)
8th March: “The Violence on the Body and the Representation of Colombia:  The Case of Jorge Franco’s Rosario Tijeras”

The so-called narconovela refers to the literary work of Mexican, Peruvian and Colombian writers whose aim is to represent the problems of their countries by focusing on a family or social group that is immersed in drugs and violence. My research is about the process of construction of territorial representation through the female body of Rosario Tijeras.  The novel of that name by Jorge Franco (Colombia, 1962- ) portrays a character defined by social stigma: she is poor, a sicaria  (hired killer), and a woman. The normative discourses about gender highlight the image of an indomitable and savage Colombia that only permits dysphoric analyses.
María Verónica Elizondo Oviedo is a PhD candidate in the Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. Since 2008, she has held an AECID scholarship, granted by Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación (Spain). Her research interests are Latin America Literature, Cultural Studies and Genre Studies. 
She received her first degree in Literature at the Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina, in 2007. During the academic year 2008-2009 she obtained her Master’s degree in Comparative Literature and Literary and Cultural Studies from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

Date: Thursday 20th October 2011
Time: 4 pm
Venue: Conference Room (B03), Basement Floor, Callaghan Building
Topic: ‘Worlds Apart?:  Understanding a Political Culture in Colombia and Venezuela’
Speaker: Dr Nick Morgan
(Newcastle University)
The concept of “political culture” is in many respects a problematic one. Far too often it is a dubious generalisation used to justify a multitude of phenomena that are otherwise hard to explain.
Although these “sister republics” share many of the same problems, their histories since independence have followed radically different paths, not least over the last two decades. After a general introduction the seminar focuses on the question of participatory democracy, using Bogotá and Caracas as case studies. The attitudes of both citizens and institutions to the idea of political participation will be used to exemplify aspects of the debate, with particular emphasis on the experience of the inhabitants of vulnerable communities such as Ciudad Bolívar and Petare.
Nick Morgan began his academic career at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. Since 2007 he has been a lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Newcastle University. His research interests have focused on popular culture and politics, though they also include literature and film. They include publications on the discourse of race and the problem of the nation in Colombia, the role of telenovelas in consolidating a national imaginary, and the analysis of political discourse in Colombia, Venezuela and Panama.