Theory Research Seminar: Past Seminars

Autumn 2016/17

Martin Glozman

The dialogical and aesthetic construction of characters - the construction of life

5.15pm, Tuesday 6 December 2016

Jessop West, Seminar Room 4.

Martín Glozman is a professor with the Ministry of Education of Argentina, The National University of General Sarmiento, the Interfas foundation, and he has also been a member of the Taos Institute. He is the author of narratives and essays working with both the relationship between Bakhtin’s aesthetic considerations of author and character, and his personal experience as a writer of fiction and autobiographical literature. His approach involves the legacy of family stories, fictionalization of family life and the impact of publication on life experience. He has published three novels and will be publishing his fourth in May 2017. He also works with these theoretical aspects, as a professor and workshop coordinator, based on resources from creative writing to be used in different contexts within dialogical practices in therapeutic approaches and frameworks among others. This arch spans the distance between aesthetic mediations of the traumatic past in his personal and family history (orphanage after the 1st World War and the survival in the concentration camps in the 2nd World War) and the creation of resources for community work.

Spring 2015/16

Lakshmi Bandlamudi

‘Dialogics of Self, The Mahabharata and Culture: The History of Understanding and Understanding of History’

5.15pm, Tuesday 26 April 2016

Jessop West, Seminar Room 2.

Lakshmi Bandlamudi is a Professor of Psychology at City University of New York. Her work explores questions about dialogic consciousness and socio-historical epistemology, bridging humanities and social sciences and Indian and western philosophies, she discusses the interconnections between myths, culture, history and consciousness. The current paper relates to her book Dialogics of Self, The Mahabharata and Culture: The History of Understanding and Understanding of History (2010). Drawing from the works of Bakhtin, Vygotsky, Vico, Lotman and others, she focuses on problems of interpretation and on interpreting the personal past and cultural past (the epic text) to demonstrate how multiple histories (individual, cultural, that of the text and the very categories of understanding) intersect in the processes of novelization and canonization of the epic text. Her most recent book is Difference, Dialogue and Development: A Bakhtinian World (2015).

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Jonathan Hall

From the ideology of adventure to the cult of the caudillo: reflections on a transatlantic cultural history

Jessop West GR03 5.00, 4 May 2016

Joint Bakhtin Centre and Hispanic Research Seminar

Jonathan Hall is a former lecturer in Comparative Literature and is currently an honorary research fellow at the Bakhtin Centre. He is the author of several papers and articles on the Bakhtin Circle, and a book on Shakespearean Comedy. He is currently working on a book to argue for the need to see Bakhtin’s “monologism” as a resistance to the potential for change (“becoming”) which dialogism makes possible. This means that monologism is the active creator of ideology. But its proclaimed singleness is actually shaped by the rival discourses which it continually struggles to control, appropriate, or repress. Another consequence of seeing ideology as ongoing discursive struggle is that any dominant ideology carries within itself the other socially developed discourses which it has appropriated or silenced. In the light of these considerations, this paper will explore some of the historical conditions of possibility for the Spanish conquest of America and their legacy.

Autumn 2014/15

Peter E. Jones

Goffman versus Vygotsky on ‘egocentric’ and private speech

5.15pm, Tuesday 28 October 2014

Jessop West, Seminar Room 3.

Peter Jones is Principal Lecturer in Communication Studies in the Department of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University. He has published widely on issues of linguistic theory and methodology. A monograph co-authored with Lisa Brown (Bringing Back the Child: Language Development after Extreme Deprivation) is currently in press and he is presently completing a book on the linguistic and semiotic concepts in Vygotsky’s cultural-historical psychology (Language and Human Potential in Vygotsky’s Tradition). The lecture will present a critical evaluation of Vygotsky’s theory of speech internalization, focussing on the radical alternative account of the relevant phenomena offered by Erving Goffman. The lecture will show how Goffman’s view from the ‘interaction order’ dissolves Vygotsky’s interpretative framework and will examine the wider implications of such an outcome for cultural-historical psychology.

A summary is available here

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Karine Zbinden

From Russia to “Rive gauche”: All That Was Lost and Gained in Bakhtin’s and Voloshinov’s Early French Translations

5.00pm, Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Jessop Building, Seminar Room 117

Karine Zbinden is Senior French Lectrice at the University of Sheffield and Honorary Research Fellow at the Bakhtin Centre. She is the author of Bakhtin between East and West: Cross-Cultural Transmission (2006) and of numerous papers and articles on various aspects of Bakhtin’s thought and on Tzvetan Todorov’s works. The lecture will address the impact of the different context of reception of the translations of works by Bakhtin and Voloshinov in France in the 1970s on the understanding of these works. In brief, the problems of translations are amplified by the specific history of the Left in France to produce interpretations which differ considerably from the original works.

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Aleksei Penzin

Art and Biopolitics in the Early Soviet Avant-garde

5.15, Monday 8 December 2014

Jessop West, Seminar Room 1

Alexei Penzin is Reader at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Wolverhampton, and Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. He is a member of the group Chto Delat [What is to Be Done?], which works in the space between theory, art, and political activism. His major fields of interest are continental philosophy, Marxism, the Soviet and post-Soviet studies, and the philosophy of art. Penzin authored numerous articles including the essay Rex Exsomnis: Sleep and Subjectivity in Capitalist Modernity (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012). In his lecture he will present his research on alternative biopolitics embedded in the early Soviet avant-garde art of 1920s (zhiznestroitel’stvo, “life construction”). His research aims at a critical rethinking of contemporary theories of art and politics, such as “the politics of aesthetics” by Jacques Rancière and Boris Groys’ idea of the “total art of Stalinism.”

Autumn 2013/14

Il'ia Kalinin

Russian Formalism and Revolution

5.15pm, Tuesday 29 October 2013
Jessop West, Seminar Room 2

Ilya Kalinin is an assistant professor at Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in St Petersburg. His research focuses on the history of the humanities in early Soviet Russia (particularly on the political and philosophical dimensions of Russian Formalism). He is editor-in-chief of the journal of NZ: Debaty o politike i kul'ture (NZ: Debates on Politics and Culture), and has published in a wide range of journals including Russian Literature, Wiener Slavistischer Almanach and Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie. He is currently a Fellow at Dashskova Centre and at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.

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Paromita Chakrabarti

Crisis of the Responsible Word: Bakhtin, Dialogism and the Postcolonial Memoir

5.15pm Tuesday 5 November 2013
Seminar room 2, Jessop West.

Paromita Chakrabarti is Assistant Professor of English Literature and Communication at H.R. College, University of Mumbai. She is a 2010-2011 Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of English, Indiana University, Bloomington. She completed her Ph.D in South Asian American Diaspora literature and has published several articles in international journals. Currently she is working on a postdoctoral project on interracial marriage and multicultural citizenship in the South Asian Diaspora. The lecture will reconsider notions of narrative liminality and interruptive dialogism in the reading of the postcolonial memoir. It will discuss how Bakhtin’s conception of the dialogic can play a useful role in understanding the ways in which postcolonial memoirs become a site of contested, unsettling and endless re-negotiations.

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Sunthar Visuvalingam

The Rule of Freedom: Rabelais, Bakhtin and the Christian Problematic of Transgressive Sacrality

A joint seminar with the Department of French Studies

5.15pm Tuesday 17 December 2013
Seminar room 3, Jessop West.

Sunthar Visuvalingam is best known for formulating “transgressive sacrality” as a paradigm for comparative religion, taking the carnivalesque clown as his starting point. His thesis was first presented to an interreligious conference in New York in 1985 and at the annual South Asia conference at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) 1986. His theorizing, which draws explicitly from Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois, Laura Makarius, and René Girard, has been compared to Victor Turner and Mikhail Bakhtin. Sunthar hosts the multilingual www.svAbhinava.org website to facilitate international collaborative research on intercultural issues along these lines. His talk will combine a reinterpretation of Rabelais’ Thelème Abbey and the esoteric dimension of the popular carnival.
Spring 2014

Liisa Steinby

What is 'Kafkaesque'? Time, Space and Subjectivity in Kafka’s Amerika: the Chronotope of Unmündigkeit

5.00pm Wedneday 26 March 2014

Seminar room 2, Jessop West.

A joint seminar with the Department of Germanic Studies

Liisa Steinby (until 2007 Liisa Saariluoma) is professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Turku, Finland. Her main interests of research concern the problematics of modernity in the novel from the eighteenth century to the present, aesthetics and theory of arts, the connection between literature and philosophy, and theoretical and methodological questions of literary studies. She has published eleven monographs, among them Nietzsche als Roman. Über die Sinnkonstituierung in Thomas Manns "Doktor Faustus" (Tübingen: Niemeyer 1996), Erzählstruktur und Bildungsroman. Wielands “Geschichte des Agathon”, Goethes “Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre” (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann 2004), Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre und die Entstehung des modernen Zeitbewusstseins (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier 2005), and Kundera and Modernity (Purdue Univ. Press 2013), sixteen edited books, among them Bakhtin and His Others. (Inter)subjectivity, Chronotope, Dialogism with Tintti Klapuri (London etc.: Anthem 2013), and c.80 scholarly articles.

Autumn Semester 2008/09

NATALIA SKRADOL

`A Carnival of Exception: Gabriele D'Annunzio, Giorgio Agamben and Mikhail Bakhtin´

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Seminar Room, Douglas Knoop Centre, Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Natalia Skradol is Research Fellow at the Zentrum für Zeitgeschichtliche Forschung, Potsdam, Germany. She has published in the areas of film studies, psychoanalysis and totalitarian rhetoric. Her current research project is "Totalitarian emotions" - representations of the emotional world of the 'New Man' in popular scientific and propagandistic texts from the time of the Weimar Republic, National Socialism, post-revolutionary Russia and the period of 'high Stalinism.'

PETER JONES

`Sign Mediation in Vygotsky's Cultural-historical Psychology´

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Seminar Room, Douglas Knoop Centre, Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Peter Jones is Principal Lecturer in Communication Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. His interests include general linguistic theory and philosophy of language, the Vygotskian cultural-historical conception of language, and the role of language and communication in social activity. His recent publications present a critique of mainstream linguistic views (including 'discourse analysis'), drawing on the 'integrationist' approach to language and communication developed by Roy Harris and others. He is currently writing a book on language theory in the Vygotskian tradition.

Spring Semester 2007/08

HANS GÜNTHER

«Остранение: Брехт и Шкловский»

('Defamiliarisation: Brecht and Shklovskii'; in Russian)

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Hans Günther is emeritus professor of the University of ielefeld (Germany). His research focuses on Russian avant-garde and Soviet culture, and his publications include Die Verstaatlichung der Literatur (1984), The Culture of the Stalin Period (ed., 1990), Der sowjetische Übermensch (1993), Sotsrealisticheskii kanon (ed. with E. Dobrenko, 2000), and Sovetskaia vlast´ i media (ed. with S. Hänsgen, 2006). His principal current interest is the work of Andrei Platonov, on whom he has published extensively.

BRIAN KENNEDY

'War, Carnival Violence, and National Identity: Timothy Findley Makes the Case for Canada'

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Brian Kennedy teaches contemporary British and post-colonial literature and writing classes at Pasadena City College in California. He is the author of Growing Up Hockey (2007), a work of creative non-fiction, and co-editor, with Mona Field, of The People and Promise of California (2008); he has also published articles on writers including Henry James and Virginia Woolf. He has been active in Bakhtin studies for a decade and is currently putting together a volume of essays which use Bakhtin to read the work of Finnish poet and novelist Bo Carpelan.

Autumn Semester 2007/08

MIKA LÄHTEENMÄKI

'Evgenii Polivanov: Between Two Paradigms'

Thursday 11 October 2007

Mika Lähteenmäki is Acting Professor of Russian at the University of Joensuu, Finland. A frequent visitor to the Bakhtin Centre, he has published widely on the work of the Bakhtin Circle, with particular reference to questions of language and linguistics.

Spring Semester 2006/07

ILYA KALININ

'Fiction, Non-Fiction, Meta-Fiction: The Case of Russian Formalism'

Tuesday 30 January 2007

Ilya Kalinin is an assistant professor at Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in St Petersburg. His research focuses on the history of the humanities in early Soviet Russia (particularly on the political and philosophical dimensions of Russian Formalism). He is editor-in-chief of the journal of NZ: Debaty o politike i kul'ture (NZ: Debates on Politics and Culture), and has published in a wide range of journals including Russian Literature, Wiener Slavistischer Almanach and Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie.

MAGDALENA SMOCZYŃSKA

'Jan Baudouin de Courtenay and Child Language Study'

Tuesday 6 February 2007

Magdalena Smoczyńska is Docent (Reader) in Linguistics and Head of the Child Language Laboratory at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland and was, from October 2006 to February 2007, Leverhulme Visiting Professor based in the HRI, and attached to the Department of Human Communication Sciences and School of English, at the University of Sheffield.

GAVIN GRINDON

'Bread and Circuses or Bread and Roses?: Carnival as Safety Valve or Revolution'

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Gavin Grindon is a final-year PhD student in the English department at the University of Manchester. His thesis examines the theory of revolution as festival as it has developed in Surrealist-Marxist thought from the College of Sociology in the 1930s to Reclaim the Streets in the 1990s. His recent publications include 'Carnival Against Capital: A Comparison of Bakhtin, Vaneigem and Bey', Anarchist Studies, 12:2 (2004) and 'The Breath of the Possible', in Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigation // Collective Theorization, ed. Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber (AK Press, 2006).

VLADIMIR V. FESHCHENKO

'Formalism with and without Aesthetics: Glimpses into the History and Theory of Linguistic Aesthetics'

Tuesday 22 May 2007

Vladimir V. Feshchenko is Research Fellow in theoretical linguistics at the Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Autumn Semester 2006/07

SANJA BAHUN-RADUNOVIĆ

`The Subject and its Vicissitudes: Psychoanalysis in Early Soviet Russia´

Tuesday 26 September

Sanja Bahun-Radunović received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University in May 2006. Her dissertation, entitled `Modernism and melancholia: history as mourning-work´, uses the psychoanalytic concept of melancholia to illuminate the formal inflections in the genre of the novel as `refractives´ of wider social and intellectual changes. She has published articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, ranging from the history of psychoanalysis and its intellectual dynamics through modernist literature and arts to the theory of the novel.

RUTH DERKSEN

'"Write in Russian and very little or I will not get it": Transgressing Genre Boundaries in Stalin´s Prison Camps'

Tuesday 10 October 2006

Ruth Derksen is an instructor and administrator in the Centre for Professional Skills Development at the University of British Columbia, and a Remote Location PhD student associated with the Bakhtin Centre. The subject of her thesis, which is near to completion, is the epistolary form in light of genre theory and discourse analysis, with particular reference to the work of Bakhtin. As well as working on several articles and a book, she is producing a documentary which investigates letters sent to Canada by prisoners in Stalin´s Gulag between 1930 and 1939.

PETER JONES

'Voloshinov´s Linguistics in Integrationist Perspective'

Tuesday 28 November 2006

Peter Jones is Principal Lecturer in Communication Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. His interests include general linguistic theory and philosophy of language, the Vygotskian cultural-historical conception of language, and the role of language and communication in social activity. His recent publications present a critique of mainstream linguistic views (including `discourse analysis´), drawing on the `integrationist´ approach to language and communication developed by Roy Harris and others. His latest paper, `Why There is No Such Thing as "Critical Discourse Analysis"´, is forthcoming in Language and Communication.

Spring Semester 2005/06

ALEXANDRE MITCHELL

`A Reconstruction of an Ancient Greek Carnival at the Kabirion Sanctuary (5th–4th centuries BC) in Central Greece´

Tuesday 21 February 2006

Alexandre Mitchell lectures in classical archaeology and Latin at the University of Reading, and is a research fellow at the University of Oxford. His doctoral thesis, entitled `Comic pictures in Greek vase-painting. Humour in the Polis and the Dionysian world, in the sixth and fifth centuries BC´ is the first systematic iconographical study of humour in Greek art. A book based on the thesis, and offering an archaeological and historical investigation of the social meaning of humour on Greek pots of the 6th to the 4th centuries BC, is to be published by University College London Press in 2007.

PAUL THOMPSON

`Spoken Monologue as a Medium of Learning´

Tuesday 16 May 2006

Paul Thompson was a secondary-school English teacher for many years before undertaking doctoral research into the ways in which children learn through small-group talk; his ensuing study was grounded theoretically in the ideas of Vygotsky and Bakhtin. He now works as a teacher educator and researcher in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. Over the past two years, he has coordinated a teacher research programme involving ten linked action research projects to develop speaking and listening in schools in the Barnsley Education Action Zone. His most recent articles on classroom oracy have appeared in Changing English and English in Education. A paper on the assessment of classroom talk is due to be published in the Cambridge Journal of Education later this year.

CHIK COLLINS

`The Speech Genre of "Partnership" in Urban Scotland: Neo-Liberalism, Urban Degeneration and Local Communities´

Tuesday 9 May 2006

Chik Collins works in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Paisley. He is the author of Language, Ideology and Social Consciousness: Developing a Sociohistorical Appproach (1999), which seeks to develop a synthesis between the ideas of L.S. Vygotsky and A.N. Leont´ev on the one hand, and Bakhtin and Voloshinov on the other, in the context of `thick´ historical engagements in his own locality—central Scotland. He is the author of articles in journals such as The Journal of Pragmatics, Urban Studies and Historical Materialism. In recent work he has challenged `Critical Discourse Analysis´ from a `cultural-historical´ perspective—working with Peter Jones (Sheffield Hallam University)—and provided a critical assessment of the history of `partnership´ initiatives in Scotland for local community organisations.