UBC’s Critical Studies in Sexuality

I am delighted to become affiliated with UBC’s Critical Studies in Sexuality. For information about the program, please see: http://grsj.arts.ubc.ca/undergraduate/critical-studies-in-sexuality/

My profile at CSIS: http://grsj.arts.ubc.ca/persons/judith-paltin/

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Upcoming Talk: “Modernism’s Frustrated Energies”

at MSA 18, Pasadena, CA, November 2016

Night Mail

Images: Alfred Stieglitz

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Forthcoming article: “Music, Intermediality, and Shock in Ulysses”

James Joyce Quarterly, issue not yet scheduled.

“With us, there is a house, a lamp, a plate of soup, a fire, wine and pipes at the back of every important work of art.”        –Jean Cocteau[i]

This essay argues that particular qualities of music as a nonfigural art are crucial to the ways that experience, memory, identity, and affect are formalized for characters’ relief and psychic defense in Ulysses. Continental, British and Irish modernisms all became interested in experimenting with layered intermedialities, and, in particular, with their contributions to the complexity of possible signification. As a literary text which interprets visual arts, music and sounds, Ulysses may be a turning point in intermedial compositional practice, going beyond musical reference or mimetic transcription to reconfigure textual articulations of knowledge, sociality and emotion.

[i] Jean Cocteau, Coq et Arlequin (1918), at <https://archive.org/details/lecoqetlarlequi00coctgoog> (viewed 15 May 2015).

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Upcoming talk: “Conrad’s Mediated Lives and Mass Bodies: Writing in the Shallows”

to be presented at the annual conference of the Joseph Conrad Society (U.K.) in June-July 2016 at U Edinburgh Napier.

Early crowd analysts assumed in the individual crowd-member a proportionate loss of rational judgment, stable emotion and self-acknowledgment of responsibility. This theoretical bias propped up a traditional understanding of crowd-membership as a relinquishment of a mythic autonomy. Conrad approached the problematic from another direction; he experimented with conceptualizing the crowd as prior to and constitutive of, the individual, as when he shows an unreliable narrator’s effort to construct Jim from outside perceptions and the residual of his social networks, or how the mass body absorbs Stevie’s death. This paper brings together recent work on mediated lives and the mass body to read a set of Conrad’s character biographies as social and collective centres of focus, and to generate some ideas about their effects.

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Upcoming Talk: “Revisiting the Crowds of Joyce’s Ochlokinetics.” International James Joyce Symposium, London, June 2016

pedestrian movement the economist 21541709

Image:The Economist, December 17, 2011

Dublin’s crowds are strangely invisible in Ulysses and difficult to decipher in the Wake. Why so?  In this paper, I will discuss some crowd actions and related events during and around the occasion of the Easter Rising, and compare them with several samples of formal and representational experiments in “Wandering Rocks” and in FW, in order to derive a set of questions about visualizing complexity and unpredictability, –questions such as how to integrate interacting quantitative and semantic phenomena.

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Upcoming Talk: Green College Leading Scholar Series

“Crowd Actions, (Reverse) Design and Complexity”
Green College, UBC          Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 5 pm.
Paired with Ivan Beschastnikh, “What’s under the hood? Recovering specifications of software systems,” whose presentation follows mine.


Some prefer to view crowds as complex adaptive systems, in which case one might “reverse engineer” crowd actions to analyze the articulations and flux that changed too quickly to be captured in real time. There is a goodly amount of tension between theory and practice, though, neatly presented via another complex adaptive system: modernist narrative fiction. This presentation compares conventional analytical approaches to two famous crowd actions, the Irish Easter Rising (1916) and the London Battle at Cable Street (1936), to roughly contemporaneous fictional representations of crowd movements and collective mental states.
1600px-Mandel_zoom_09_satellite_head_and_shoulder
Image: Created by Wolfgang Beyer with the program Ultra Fractal 3; accessed from Wikimedia Commons 21 August 2015. <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mandel_zoom_09_satellite_head_and_shoulder.jpg>.

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Upcoming Talk at MSA 17: “Exilic Modernism, the Culture Industry and California”

stahl house (case study house #22)

MSA 17, Boston MA, Nov. 2015

Panel : Locating Popular Modernisms:  Medium, Discipline, Place

Organizer: Paul Peppis

Analyzing three particularly rich—and neglected—cases of modernist encounters and exchanges with popular forms of cultural production during the first half of the twentieth century, our panel interrogates the critical categories and cultural boundaries that have for too long conditioned and limited understandings of relations between modernism and the popular.  Together, our papers chart a vital and variegated cultural field in which cultural forms and producers “high” and “low,” modern and mass mingled and mixed promiscuously and productively, generating distinctive and important artworks and cultural products at once popular and modern.

 

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Upcoming Talk – Icon versus Type: An Argument about Representation

…to be presented at NAVSA 2015, Honolulu Hawaii, this July.

Picture: Alexandre Socci / Barcroft Media1082118912

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Upcoming Talk–California Modernists: Art and Criticism in a Queer Place

isherwood

UBC Department of English Faculty Research Series

Friday, March 27, 2015

3:30-4:30 pm

Buchanan Tower 599

Image source: <http://fromthevaultradio.org/home/2009/05/29/ftv-160-gay-pride-month-christopher-isherwood/>. 29 January 2014

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Upcoming Talk – Beyond Radical Translation in Victory

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MLA Session  156 (this talk to replace Charne Lavery’s “Looking Back in Victory: ‘Native Life,’ the Threat of Witness, and Narrative Perspectivism”)

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 7-8:15 p.m.

Vancouver Convention Centre, Room West 204

Panel arranged by

The Joseph Conrad Society of America

http://www.2015victorypanel.com/index.html

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