Colloquium on Textual Commodities in Empire – 10th and 11th June 2013

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SLLM, the Faculty of Humanities, IFAS and WiSER invite you to a two day colloquium on Textual Commodities in Empire

10th and 11th June 2013

This international colloquium explores themes of global circulation and reading across empires and their afterlives.

WiSER Seminar Room
6th Floor, Richard Ward Building,
East Campus, Wits University


Day 1: Monday June 10

9.00-9.15: Welcome and opening remarks


Session 1: Distant Reading – Backwards, Forwards and Sideways

  •  Ian Henderson, King’s College, University of London, Towards a History of Reading Backwards
  • Elaine Freedgood, NYU, Hetero-Ontologicality
  • Discussant: Sarah Nuttall


Session 3: Paper empires

  • Sarah Gundry, King’s College London, ‘Homeward Bound’: Periodicity and the Cape Monthly Magazine
  • Isabel Hofmeyr, University of the Witwatersrand, Imperial Commons
  • Fariha Shaikh, King’s College,‘An Imagined Community’? The Social Life of Nineteenth-Century Emigrant Shipboard Newspapers
  • Discussant: Ashlee Neser

LUNCH: 13.00-14.00


Session 2: Secondhand empires, imperial jumble

  • Brenda Mhlambi, University of the Witwatersrand, The afterlives of the Zulu Empire: From the oral through the written to popular performance
  • Khwezi Mkhize, University of Pennsylvania, Dangerous Liaisons: Making Affiliations and Black Empire in early Twentieth Century South Africa
  • Achal Prabhala (Independent scholar, Bangalore), Word domination: The Enduring Legacy of the Cultural Cold War in India and Africa
  • Discussant: Sharad Chari


Day 2: Tuesday June 11


Session 1: Cutting Writing and Image

  • Sandra Young, University of Cape Town, Visual literacy and imperialist logic: the circulation of woodcut images of ‘new world’ peoples in the sixteenth century
  • Adrien Delmas, IFAS, The history of writing in the early modern period through the reception of the Codex Mendoza
  • Discussant: Cynthia Kros


Session 2: Affect, Pedagogy, Distance

  • Tanya Agathocleous, Hunter College, CUNY, Criticism on Trial: Criminalizing Affect at the Wilde trials and the trial of the Bangavasi
  • Abhijit Gupta, Jadavpur University, The Calcutta School-Book Society and the Production of Knowledge
  • Devleena Ghosh, UTS, Burma-Bengal Crossings: Representations of Liminalities in Bengali literature of the pre-independence era
  • Discussant: Dilip Menon

LUNCH: 13.00-14.00


Session 3: Closing Comments
Isabel Hofmeyr, Sarah Nuttall, Tanya Agothocleous