Derek Walcott Dies

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Derek Walcott (Werkgroep Caraibische Letteren; photographer Bert Nienhuis).

 

Sir Derek Walcott (1930-2017), nobel laureate, died on 17 March.  The Saint Lucian poet felt a special bond to early twentieth-century Irish writers so perhaps it was appropriate that he died on St Patrick’s Day.

The Guardian

 

Intersectionality and American Universities

His talk was shut down by organized chanting in its original venue, and disrupted when it was shifted to a nearby room and livestreamed. When Murray and his faculty interlocutor, Allison Stanger, then left to go to their car, they were surrounded by a mob, which tried to stop them leaving the campus. Someone in the melee grabbed Stanger by the hair and twisted her neck so badly she had to go to the emergency room (she is still suffering from a concussion). After they escaped, their dinner at a local restaurant was crashed by the same mob, and they had to go out of town to eat.

This event, described in The Daily Intelligencer, was clearly more controversial than most of those held in Dutch universities! The Intelligencer article explains the students’ reactions in terms of intersectionality, a theory that focuses on the interconnectedness of forms of discrimination. Although the term and the actions it has inspired are fairly recent, literary theory has for a long time insisted that, for example, feminist analyses of texts should take account of, for example, the interlocking differences of class, colour, and sexuality. A quick internet search will throw up all sorts of pro- and anti-intersectionality opinions, along with links to

See the opinion piece in The New Statesman.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who first formulated intersectionality (The New Statesman).

Literature in the News

Jane Austen: blind and perhaps poisoned? (BBC)

The real Ozymandias. Giant statue of Ramesses II discovered. (The Guardian) Thanks to Rocío.

China restricts foreign children’s books (The Financial Times).

With the election of President Trump, the sales figures of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four jumped, and journalists reached for predictable comparisons: see The Desert News.

Orwell
Orwell in Burma (from http://therebelkind.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html)

Deaths of the Poets

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What is the cost of poetry? Must poets be melancholic, doomed and self-destructive? Or is this just a myth? In our new Book of the Week, Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley – both award winning poets themselves – explore that very question through a series of journeys across Britain, America and Europe.

This BBC Radio 4 series is currently being broadcast in 15 min episodes that are available for 28 days from now.

Realism and Racism

An excerpt from a message from a recent graduate, now living in the UK, where there is a debate about the importance of the ethnicity of actors and questions of authenticity.


I thought this might be of interest:

https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2017/julian-fellowes-agree-odd-not-diverse-cast-half-sixpence/?utm_content=buffer36dfc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

There’s been a lot of talk in the theatre circles here about casting, in period dramas and otherwise, as well as discussions and protests about cultural appropriation (for example the protests against Howard Barker’s play: https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2016/londons-print-room-criticised-for-racist-casting-in-chinese-roles/), with most people making sweeping statements about the ‘purpose’ of theatre, and what it ‘should’ do.

Thomas Nashe Conference: London

Thomas Nashe: Prose, Drama, and the Oral Culture of Early Modern London

An AHRC funded event jointly organised by The Thomas Nashe Project and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Saturday 20th May 2017

The Thomas Nashe Project is hosting a one-day symposium exploring the relationship between prose and drama, orality and print (and much more)!

The day will conclude with a ‘Read Not Dead’ staged reading of Thomas Nashe’s unsettling and disturbing prose work, Terrors of the Night, a story of nightmares and evil spirits told by candlelight in The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

The reading will be directed by Dr Tom Cornford (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama). The script has been adapted by Dr Kate De Rycker (Newcastle University), who will also introduce it.

You are welcome to come to either event or both.

The symposium is free but registration is necessary. Please contact Prof. Andrew Hadfield, University of Sussex (a.hadfield@sussex.ac.uk).

Tickets for the Read not Dead event (£20; £10) can be bought from Globe Education:

http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/education/events/symposia-conferences/thomas-nashehttp://www.shakespearesglobe.com/education/events/symposia-conferences/thomas-nashe