Weekly Favourites: Our Top SAS Events 22 – 28 February 2021

We hope you got a fair bit of reading done during our reading week break! This week we return with events on the bard, discussions on American politics, childhood, photography, and the gaze, disability studies, and Hollywood’s endeavours to transform European star of the 30s, Franziska Gaal, into an American icon. 

There are, of course, more events taking place within SAS, so we highly advise you to visit SAS’ Events Page to get more of an idea of the extensive events that are available. Remember there are also Research Training events taking placeRead more about it here. If you’d like to review one of the events, you can! Click here for more information.

London Shakespeare Seminar – IES
Monday 22nd February 2021, 17:15 – 19:00, Book Tickets

We start this week with a discussion on the bard. Though we aren’t Shakespeare scholars by any stretch of the imagination, we have found the London Shakespeare Seminar to be accessible to Shakespeare aficionados and everyone else alike. The London Shakespeare Seminar tackles this week Critical Race Studies alongside Dr. Ian Smith (Lafayette College) who will be discussing “Black Halmet” and Dr. Carol Mejia-LaPerle (Wright State University) who will be exploring ” ‘How does it feel to be a problem?’: Race, Affect, and Ill-Will”.

Trump and the Christian Right: A Dark Side of American Exceptionalism – IHR
Monday 22nd February 2021, 17:30 – 19:00, Book Tickets

You might ask: “more Trump? Isn’t Trump, like, old news?” Though Trump is no longer the President of the United States, with his election in 2016 came a wave of heightened nationalism as well as populism. Donald Trump’s appeal extended to the Christian right, which is the topic of this fascination discussion. Join Prof. John Newsinger (University of Bath) on a conversation about Trump, the Christmas Right, and the Dark Side of American Exceptionalism. Prof. Newsinger is a widely published socialist historian including books on Orwell and the left. This paper is part of a research project into the politics of the US right in the age of Trump.

Exploring the child’s gaze: childhood, photography and public life – IHR
Tuesday 23rd February 2021, 17:30 – 19:00, Book Tickets

“The gaze” is a familiar concept to most scholars in the humanities; whether in art, history, or literature the gaze is often an example of power over other peoples and individuals (hence the male gaze, the imperial gaze, or the white gaze which has been combated by the oppositional gaze). Dr. Melissa Sevasti-Nolas (Goldsmiths, University of London) focuses in this talk on the gaze of children. She writes that “[t]he gaze is both an instrument of surveillance, increasingly found in childhood, as well as a playground of pleasure. The contribution engages with children’s photographic practices on an ethnographic study where they were given digital cameras to take photographs of what mattered to them. It discusses what it might mean ethnographically to be undone by and to engage with the child’s gaze, as well as the implications for understanding of the relationship between childhood and public life.” 

Disability Studies and Modern Languages Research – IMLR
Wednesday 24th February 2021, 14:00 – 16:00, Book Tickets

Join Dr. Eleanor Jones on a discussion on Disability Studies, its relevance, and its importance in the Modern Languages Research field. Dr. Jones asks “how we might begin to see disability as fundamental to our work as Modern Language researchers, drawing on its intersections — and, perhaps, synonymities  — with race, sexuality and gender”. 

A Popular European Actress in Hollywood: The Case of Franziska Gaal – IMLR
Wednesday 24th February 2021, 18:00 – 19:00

We end this week by recommending IMLR’S event, “A Popular European Actress in Hollywood: The Case of Franziska Gaal.” Hamja Damon “will trace the transnational career of Hungarian-born actress Franziska Gaal, popular film star of the 1930s. Gaal shot to fame with her first German-language film (Paprika) made in Berlin in 1932, but on account of her Jewish heritage, she left Germany when the Nazis came to power. Her career continued in Vienna and Budapest before she relocated to Hollywood where, after appearing in nine successful German-language productions (and one in Hungarian), she starred in three Hollywood films (Cecil B. DeMille’s The Buccaneer [1938], The Girl Downstairs [1938], and Paris Honeymoon [1939] in which she starred opposite Bing Crosby) . Daemon will discuss her career in the context of exile, and highlight Hollywood producers’ endeavours to convert the European star into an American one.”

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