Where Does Dido Rest? Thinking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Together
Friday, February 8, 2019 - 9:30am to 11:00am
Smith Warehouse, Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall, Bay 4, C105
About the presentation: The term "The Black Mediterranean" has been invoked to describe the brutal struggle over migration playing out in the region. It's a forceful locution, asking us to rethink the fertile "cradle of civilization" as a necropolitical zone akin to the transatlantic slave trade of the eighteenth century. Yet the concept is not an analogy. Rather, it claims a historical continuity, presenting slavery and migration as deriving from the same pernicious history of race capitalism. This talk considers how does that connection between the past of the Atlantic and the present of the Mediterranean surfaces in literary history. To do so, it turns to a figure sometimes represented as a hinge or transit between the two spaces-Dido, Queen of Carthage-as she appears in Tate and Purcell's 1688 opera, Dido and Aeneas and M. NourbeSe Philip's 2008 poetic engagement with the archive of the eighteenth-century slave trade, Zong!.
About the presenter: Charlotte Sussman is Associate Professor of English.