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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Seminar The Anxiety of Appropriation: Jewish/postcolonial literatures and histories

19th February 2015, 17:00 to 19:30, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green,, Professor Bryan Cheyette (University of Reading)
The Anxiety of Appropriation: Jewish/postcolonial literatures and histories,
Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Studies, followed by a wine reception. Hosted by the Transnationalism Research Group (MLAC) and the Centre for Jewish Culture, Society, and Politics.

Professor Bryan Cheyette, a leading figure of contemporary Jewish studies, will give a talk based on his recent book Diasporas of the Mind: Jewish and Postcolonial Writing and the Nightmare of History (Yale UP 2014), in which he explores the power and limitations of the diasporic imagination after WWII and the end of empire. His lecture will deal with recent theories of appropriation in the light of Jewish/postcolonial literatures and histories. Beginning with the idea of ‘metaphorical thinking’ as an acceptable form of appropriation, as proposed by Hannah Arendt and deplored by Cynthia Ozick, the lecture will cover a wide range of writers, from Margaret Drabble and Philip Roth to V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, and Zadie Smith, as well as thinkers such as Frantz Fanon, Albert Memmi, and Edward Said. Ultimately it will reveal both the dangers and necessities of crossing borders under the sign of ‘appropriation’.

Professor Cheyette is professor of modern literature at the University of Reading. His research ranges across late-nineteenth and twentieth century English literature, modernism and politics, new literatures in English, postcolonial literature, British-Jewish literature, theories of ‘race’ and modernity, and Holocaust literature. Before joining the University of Reading in 2005, he was Chair in Twentieth Century Literature, University of Southampton and Reader in English & Judaic Studies at Queen Mary College, University of London. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Michigan, Dartmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

For Further information please contact:-

Dr. Zoë Roth, Lecturer in French 
School of Modern Languages and Culture
Durham University
280, Elvet Riverside, New Elvet DH1 3JT
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 44354

Contact for more information about this event.