Lecture and Seminar Diana Brydon University of Tromsø March 5 – 7
This paper will introduce my participation within cultural studies projects that have crossed borders and can be understood as interdisciplinary and collaborative activities devoted to understanding the various ways in which people make meanings within different cultural contexts under changing historical and economic pressures. I offer these three terms for cultural studies engagement because they have emerged in response to challenges posed by globalization and the growing need for global research and action. They offer alternative ways of framing some of cultural studies’ most persistent concerns. I will explain why these concepts matter and the work they can help us do as cultural studies continues to reinvent itself in interaction with our changing global climate of knowledge construction. I am responding to current debates within the North American/European nexus of cultural studies, and to make my case, will discuss some dimensions of the argument offered in Lawrence Grossberg’s Cultural Studies in the Future Tense (2010) and various texts by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, who has inspired further thinking about transnational literacy and planetarity across the disciplines.
The full text of the lecture may be read in this pdf online.
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Seminar title: “Taking Responsibility for the Human Sciences”
“Everybody talks about the crisis in the humanities but nobody takes responsibility for it” (Bernstein 78)
In making this claim, American poet Charles Bernstein issues a challenge to imagine ethical forms of teaching and research appropriate to the demands of our globalizing world. Bernstein proposes poetics “as the foundation for a realm of value that is neither scientistic nor moralistic.” Instead, “Poetics is the ethical engagement with the shifting conditions of everyday life” (78). Bernstein’s poetics offers one possible alternative with the flexibility to negotiate the combined fluidities and frictions of life in global times and the continuing need to decolonize the imagination, reinventing social imaginaries on more egalitarian and inclusive principles. What, then, might it mean to take responsibility for the human sciences today? I will discuss my preliminary answers to this question by drawing on three collaborative, interdisciplinary research activities: “Brazil/Canada Knowledge Exchange: Building Transnational Literacies,” “Globalization and Autonomy,” and “Building Global Democracy.”
Work Cited Bernstein, Charles. “The Practice of Poetics.” In Attack of the Difficult Poems. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. 73-80.
Copies of Brydon’s paper for the seminar can be obtained from Stephen.email@example.com and will be available at the seminar.
Taking Bernstein’s challenge as its starting point, this paper considers the potential of Gayatri Spivak’s notions of planetarity and transnational literacies for reimagining humanities futures.