Borders Aesthetics

Borders Aesthetics:

A Wake Forest Faculty Exchange Lecture Series,

October 4 through 24, 2012

Featuring Ana Mª Manzanas Calvo, Associate Professor, Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Universidad de Salamanca; co-sponsored by the English Department, American Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Film Studies, and the Provost’s Office

“Border Aesthetics and Spatial Considerations”—Thurs. Oct. 4, 4:30-5:30 p.m., DeTamble Auditorium, Tribble Hall (reception to follow in Tr. A107).

This lecture will address the concept of the border and what it does to people, to language, and to space, drawing from several literary examples (Luis Humberto Croswaithe in “Instructions to Cross the Border,” Joyce Carol Oates in “Crossing the Border,” Dagoberto Gilb in The Magic of Blood, and Thomas King’s “Borders”), and from critics such as Michel De Certeau, Henri Lefebvre, Marc Augé, Derrida, and Patricia Price.

“Lines on the Land: Divisible Borders”—Tues. Oct. 9, 3:15-4:15 p.m., Tribble A109.

This lecture will focus on the spatial and conceptual divisibility of the border in Courtney Hunt’s filmFrozen River. A divisible border and an open dwelling become the focal points of the analysis. The liquid line refracts and reflects multiple divisions that correlate with the divisibility of the self. The oneness of the border, like the oneness of the self as defined on either side of the boundary, becomes an ontological impossibility; oneness is already an a priori twoness that divides the being-one-self of anything.

“Lines on the Water: Sea as Palimpsest”—Wed. Oct. 17, 11:00 a.m.-12:00, Tribble A108.

Taking a cue from de Certeau’s concept of spatial practices in The Practice of Everyday Life, this lecture will focus on the intersection of trajectories in the Atlantic Ocean. Contemporary crossings revisit previous spatial practices as well as other forms of mobility; they also provide examples of processual spaces and times, like the gerund in Diaz’s “Aguantando” (“Coping”) or Edwidge Danticat’s remapping of well-known routes in the Atlantic ocean in her story collection Krik? Krak!As they do such remapping, the narratives create a sense of history-in-motion. There is something peculiar about revisiting history from a mobile position, and this presentation will consider what such revisiting adds to the historical perspective. 

“Logic of Detention in Spielberg’s The Terminal and McCarthy’s The Visitor”—Wed. Oct. 24, 1:00-1:50, Carswell 111 (Annenberg Forum). 
Hovering over the abyss of September 11th and what Amy Kaplan calls “homeland insecurities,” this presentation contrasts the softening of the border mechanism in The Terminal and the reinstatement of such a ritual of separation in The Visitor. Whereas The Terminal creates a romantic comedy out of the logic of detention, The Visitor tacklesthe actual conditions at a detention center in Queens, NY. Whereas Viktor’s tamed foreignness is incorporated and welcomed by the We the People of the Airport, Tarek as alien is unceremoniously expelled from the body of the nation.

Professor Manzanas earned a PhD in English and American Literature from the University of Salamanca in 1992. With Jesus Benito, she is co-author of Cities, Borders, and Spaces in Intercultural American Literature and Film (Routledge 2011), Uncertain Mirrors: Magic Realisms in US Ethnic American Fiction (Rodopi 2010). She is also the editor of Border Transits: Literature and Culture Across the Line (Rodopi, 2007).

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