CLE 2017 Keynote Speakers

Espen Aarseth is Assistant Professor and Head of Research at the Center for Computer Games Research and director for the Games Program here at the IT University of Copenhagen. Editor-in-Chief of Game Studies. His research concerns ideological, narrative, semiotic and ontological aspects of games and game communication, as well as topics such as game addiction, games and meaning, and also digital literature culture and aesthetics.
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Isabel Capeloa Gil is Associate Professor of Cultural Theory at the Catholic University of Portugal and Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies (U. London). She is currently the Vice-Rector of the Catholic University of Portugal and the Director of the postgraduate program The Lisbon Consortium. Her main research areas include intermedia studies, gender studies as well as representations of war and conflict.
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Erica Lehrer is a socio-cultural anthropologist and curator. She is currently Associate Professor in the departments of History and Sociology-Anthropology and Canada Research Chair in Museum & Heritage Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. She is the author of Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places (Indiana University Press 2013). In 2013 she curated the exhibit Souvenir, Talisman, Toy and in 2014 published the accompanying book Lucky Jews and the online exhibit.
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Willie van Peer is Professor of Literary Studies and Intercultural Hermeneutics at the University of Munich, former President of IGEL (International Association for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media) and of PALA (Poetics and Linguistics Association). He is the author of several books and many articles on poetics and the epistemological foundations of literary studies, including Stylistics and Psychology: Investigations of Foregrounding (London, 1986).
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Roma Sendyka is Assistant Professor at Center for Anthropology of Literature and Culture Studies at the Polish Studies Department, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. Head of the Research Center for Memory Cultures. Specializes in visual culture studies, criticism and theory (affective turn, memory studies, cultural analysis). Works on relations between images, sites and memory, currently developing a project on non-sites of memory in Central and Eastern Europe.
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Espen Aarseth, The complex cultural objects and practices we for some reason call games

The talk will present a perspective on computer and video games as a gateway to global cultures and emergent textualities. Games offer new forms of virtual tourism,  where our new generations explore and enact historical, contemporary, and futuristic geographical scenarios. Literature (but not necessarily storytelling) has until recent times been the foremost vehicle for such cultural dissemination, so are computer games a new and perhaps even dominant form of literature?

Wednesday, 10 May 9:30-10:30 (room 144)

Isabel Capeloa Gil, Emotional Necropolitics from Antigone to bin Laden

Burials are unquestionably rituals where private passions and public zones of intimacy come together, where private memorialization scenes interact with the organization of public sentiment, where affect is effectively ushered into the promotion of socially organized mourning practices. The talk looks at the cultural impact of burial denial on the affective experience of those other bodies who interact with the dead, the logistics of affect that organize or are organized by the social structure of feeling and the ways in which they promote a pedagogic or resistant affectivity.  By addressing two representative case studies, Sophocles’ Antigone and the bin Laden affair, I wish to probe the manifold ways in which burial affects effectively matter. At stake are issues such as the governamentalization of the organic, the modalization of mourning, the mode of affect production and its interaction with the public technologies of affect. The production of an emotional necropolitics around the non-existing burial has social-political implications, negotiates cultural memory practices and articulates non-intentional modes of experience in their dealings with dominant ‘machinic assemblages’ of power (Grossberg). Of particular interest in this regard is the articulation of  affective investment with erasure and the questioning of the role of aesthetics in the grey zone where burial  prohibition is placed.

Wednesday, 10 May 14:15-15:15 (room 144)

Willie van Peer, What Literature Does to Us. And How Do We Know?

Most of our responses to literature center around ideas and emotions. But it is the concrete form in which literature presents these that makes it so special. To unravel the secrets of such literary effects, we need the best possible methods to study the responses of readers. These methods exist and they are available to anyone interested in the study of literature. They are, however, sadly underemployed by literary scholars, resulting in our poor knowledge of how emotions function in reading.
The lecture will present clear examples of these methods, illustrating the spectacular results they have yielded. Not only do they reveal solid insights into the interaction of cognitive and emotional processes of reading. More importantly even, they also unveil hitherto unexpected aspects of the interplay between the form and content of literary texts.

Thursday, 11 May 11:15-12:15 (room 144)

Roma Sendyka & Erica Lehrer, ‘Awkward Objects of Genocide’: Reading and Curating Affect with Pluralist Cultural Literacies

This talk is based on preliminary findings of the team research project Awkward objects of genocide: vernacular arts of [Holocaust] witness in and beyond Polish ethnographic museums, developed within the project Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts: From Intervention to Co-Production (TRACES, Horizon 2020, Reflective Society, 2016-2019). We focus on vernacular art objects produced since 1945 in Poland documenting the Nazi Occupation. These objects provide a laboratory for observing entanglements of culture, emotion, and memory/forgetting regarding the murder of Poland’s Jews during the Holocaust. We illustrate how these analytically challenging objects hover betwixt multiple symbolic systems (Polish/German,/Christian/Jewish; “folk”/elite; vernacular/popular/high arts), and describe our plans for curating them in participatory ways with multiple taxonomies that highlight their complexity and open them to (and beyond) their entangled “heritage communities.”  The talk will be illustrated by Wojciech Wilczyk’s photos and comments by Magdalena Zych (participants of TRACES).

Friday, 11 May 11:45-12:45 (room 144)