Event

Rigoberto González Reading, Talk, and Book-Signing

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Rigoberto González, author of Autobiography of My Hungers, spoke on Monday, April 16, at 5pm in Pope Auditorium on Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus. His visit was part of the Reid Family Writers of Color Reading Series, which since 2008 has brought some of the most celebrated writers of color to Fordham.  Events have included readings, master classes and panel discussions.  The English Department at Fordham is deeply grateful to the Reid Family for their continuing generosity.

Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children's books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, including Autobiography of My Hungers and Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He also edited Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and Alurista's new and selected volume Xicano Duende: A Select Anthology. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and writes a monthly column for NBC-Latino online. Currently, he is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey, and the inaugural Stan Rubin Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Rainier Writing Workshop. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the L.A. Times and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Since 2016 he has served as critic-at-large with the L.A. Times and on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

González also led a Craft Class and met with students and others on Monday afternoon. His 5pm reading and talk were be followed by a book-signing. 

This year’s Reid events were made possible through the generosity of Kenneth and Frances K. Reid and the sponsorship of the Fordham English and African & African American Studies departments, the Graduate Student Association, and the Creative Writing Program.

Shachar Pinsker Speaks on Urban Cafes and Modern Jewish Culture

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Shachar Pinsker (U. Michigan) presented a talk on the role of urban cafes in the development of modern Jewish culture on Thurs. April 19 at 6 pm in rm. 2-01A of the Law School.

Shachar also offered a workshop on Thursday, 2:30-4 pm in Lowenstein 906, on the collaborative work he is doing with his Michigan colleagues on diasporic Jewish cultures. Here's a paragraph describing it:

Histories of modern Jewish cultures face the challenge of how to fathom complex issues of place and space. Because Jews never conformed to the national concept of the unity of people, language and territory, modern Jewish culture developed within constantly shifting borders of empires and nation-states. Jews are a transnational people with multiple diasporas, and this project proposes to map the migration of multilingual literary and visual networks of cultures across the long 20th century. Using innovative digital tools and databases, we plan to visualize the tension between  transnational and diasporic, but also grounded in a particular place; belonging to both global and local cultures. We hope to take macro and micro views of this network of people, analyzing both the diasporic and individual levels, as well as a multimedia view, such as visual and textual analogs. Digital humanities tools will allow us to map a non-linear, multimodal narrative.

Pinsker's visit was co-sponsored by the programs in Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature. 

Four amazing events--attend them all!

Fordham's English Department is sponsoring four fabulous events in the next nine days--attend them all! 

Here's the basic information--you can see details on the posters

  • Wednesday April 11, 5pm, in Keating First (RH), Haben Girma will present the first Fordham Distinguished Lecture on Disability: "Disability & Innovation:  The Universal Benefits of Inclusion."
  • Friday April 13, 4pm, in Law School Room 3-09 (LC), Kyla Wazana Tompkins will present a lecture titled "So Moved: Ferment, Jelly, Intoxication, Rot." 
  • Monday, April 16, 5pm, in Pope Auditorium (LC), the Reid Family Writers of Color Reading Series presents Rigoberto González, author of Autobiography of My Hungers.
  • Thursday, April 19, 5:30pm, in Law School Room 1-01, Rebecca Wanzo will give a talk titled "Black Panther: 'Post'-Civil-Rights Hero in Revolutionary Times."

Haben Girma to speak on "Disability & Innovation: The Universal Benefits of Inclusion"

Haben Girma to speak on "Disability & Innovation: The Universal Benefits of Inclusion"

Haben Girma will speak on "Disability & Innovation: The Universal Benefits of Inclusion" on Wednesday, April 11, 5-6pm, at Fordham University's Rose Hill Campus (Keating First). You can also attend at the Lincoln Center campus, in Lowenstein 708. Please RSVP. 

Fordham Graduate Film Group Screens Suspiria

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In a packed screening room on October 30, the Fordham Graduate Film Group watched Dario Argento's visceral, balletic horror masterpiece, Suspiria (1977). The group, formed in 2014 and currently led by Elizabeth Light and Caitlin Cawley, convenes once per semester to screen a critically relevant film.

This semester, Suspiria was a huge hit – attendees reveled in Argento's vivid mise-en-scene, ominous soundtrack, and surreal fairy-tale of an American dancer in a labyrinthine boarding-school run by murderous witches. A long and lively discussion then touched on the intersections of horror and fairy-tale, Argento's “three mothers” film sequence, Deleuzian sensory effects, disability and historical space, and sensory motifs throughout the film.

Fordham Film Group's primary goal is to provide a space for such viewings and conversations, incorporating current film studies and critical theory while also giving grad students the opportunity to socialize, theorize, and build community. Past screenings have included Portrait of Jason, Let the Right One In, and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. The Film Group is funded annually by the English department and supported by two invaluable faculty mentors, Moshe Gold and Shonni Enelow. The group's cross-disciplinary, bi-annual gathering is open to all graduate students with an interest in cinema. The Film Group's next screening will be in Spring 2018. Stay tuned! For more information, please email Liz Light (elight1@fordham.edu). (Poster image: Matt Ryan)

Irish Literature Students Spend an Evening Immersed in Joyce

 

Three students from Professor Keri Walsh’s “Texts and Contexts: Modern Irish Literature” course were among the lucky few invited to participate in the dress rehearsal for this year’s production of The Dead, 1904, an immersive theater adaptation of James Joyce’s “The Dead.”

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“The Dead,” the concluding story in Joyce’s 1914 collection Dubliners, is one of the most beloved and resonant works in Irish literature. It is set in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Dublin, at the end of the Christmas season. In it a couple—Gabriel and Gretta Conroy—arrive at the home of their aunts for an evening of merriment and melancholy. They dine, dance, hear music, and give toasts. All of those assembled---with the exception of one intoxicated guest named Freddy Malins and one full of political passion named Molly Ivors--try their best to suppress their differences in the name of harmony and “Irish hospitality.” At the immersive production, Computer science majors Zainab Shaikh and Chenelle Simpson, and Environmental Science major Lauren Beglin were seated at the head table alongside the actors. They were served a holiday feast inspired by the one in the story, and they were drawn into the events detailed by Joyce. The performance took place at the American Irish Historical Society on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in a townhouse that evoked the period in which the story is set.

As the evening neared its end, the audience was invited up one flight of stairs to witness the climax of the story: Gabriel and Gretta’s confrontation in which she remembers a lost love of her youth. This scene, staged in a darkened room with only a bed in it, allowed Lauren Beglin to reconsider the opinion she had formed of the story’s protagonist. She commented that, “In my initial reading of 'The Dead,' I did not have a very high opinion of Gabriel, especially in his treatment of Gretta in the final scene of the story. Seeing this scene brought to life, however, completely changed my view of him. Instead of a whiny man who could not bear the idea of his wife having a life before him, the actor's performance recast him as a heartbroken man who loved his wife with all his heart and soul, but would never be able to truly express that to her because of her past, and would never be able to live up to her idea of love. It was a scene that humanized a character I formerly hated and completely changed my experience of 'The Dead.' " Chenelle Simpson found that the production helped her to draw new connections between Irish writers. She realized that the characters of Gabriel and Gretta might be based not only on Joyce’s own life, but also on the experiences of one of his important precursors: “The last scene enabled me to acknowledge the relationship between James Joyce and William Butler Yeats,” said Simpson. “The story reminded me of Maude Gonne who also suffered a loss [that of her child], and how Yeats, like Gabriel, was unable to receive her ideal affection. Yeats, being such an inspiration at this time and being only seventeen years older than Joyce, could possibly have influenced the characterization of Gabriel.” Zainab Shaikh found herself impressed by the feats of acting required in immersive theater: “one of the major lessons I learned was about the art of being in character but also connecting with your audience….How can they keep us feeling comfortable? Do we communicate on the basis that it's 1904 or 2017? They gracefully responded to all of our interactions and wove them into a great production. Their hospitality truly immersed me into Joyce's world, their humor allowed me to loosen up and the intimacy of the vast set (as paradoxical as that sounds) allowed for one on one interactions that seem to be missing from many theatrical shows.”

This year marks the second holiday season in which Dot Dot Productions, in collaboration with The Irish Repertory Theatre and The American Irish Historical Society, will be staging Joyce’s story. "The Dead," 1904 runs from November 18th to January 7th. It is directed by Ciarán O’Reilly and adapted by Paul Muldoon and Jean Hanff Korelitz.

check out more information about the event here.

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