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Dangerous Constellations


Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús

March 28th at 5:30pm "Dangerous Constellations" Friedl 225, East Campus, Duke University Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús's new book, Catastrophic Historicism: Reading Julia de de Burgos Dangerously (Fordham UP, 2023), unsettles the historicist constitution of Julia de Burgos (1914-53), Puerto Rico's most iconic writer-a critical task that necessitates redefining the concept of historicism. While critiques of historicism as a realism leave untouched the sovereignty of the historian, Catastrophic Historicism insists that reading the text of history requires an attunement to danger-a modality that interrupts historicism by infusing the past with a contingency that evades appropriation. March 29th at noon (lunch to follow) "Glissant's Medusa: Sovereign Cosmopoiesis and Unworldly Abjection" Blue Parlor, East Campus, Duke University Building on Rizvana Bradley's suggestion that the critical humanities has undertaken a "turn to the world," this talk argues that this turn is enabled by an idealization of the concept of worlding that disavows the desire for sovereignty that structures the process of world-constitution, however piously or altruistically the latter may be construed. To make this case, the talk will provide a rhetorical reading of Glissant's "La barque ouverte" to show how Glissant's poetics of worlding otherwise generates the semblance of a "New World" of relationality and non-totalitarian unity-in-diversity by obfuscating the structural role that the production and appropriation of racialized/sexed abjection plays within cosmopoiesis. The seminar has one, very short, suggested pre-read: Éduoard Glissant's "La barque ouverte" or "The Open Boat" from Poetique de la Relation/Poetics of Relation. The French and English can be found here: Co-Sponsored by The Program in Literature, The Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South, The Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Department of Romance Studies


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