Conference Ticker “El Caribe como paradigma”

1st day, 09/12/2011
(Ticker by Tobias Kraft)

2 p.m. - Ottmar Ette inaugurates the TransArea Conference “El Caribe como paradigma: Convivencias / Coincidencias. Les Caraïbes comme paradigme: Convivialités et Coïncidences.”

El Caribe nos puede enseñar de entender la literatura desde unas lógicas relacionales, de entrecruces.

Al mismo tiempo tenemos que desarrollar nuestros métodos y conceptos teóricos de una forma móvil, desarrollar nuevas pautas de investigación y de interrelación científico.

2:15 p.m. - Keynote by Enrico Mario Santí (University of Kentucky, Lexington) entitled “El paradigma, o la paradoja, del Caribe”.

Mi ponencia se va a dividir en tres partes: 1) Observaciones generales sobre el Caribe como paradigma 2) Una reseña extensa de “La Isla que se repite” de Antonio Benítez Rojo 3) Abrir el tema hacía algo quizás imposible.

Quizá el Caribe de hoy - como el primer “melting pot” de la historia - ofrece al mundo no sólo un modelo de creolización (Glissant) sino también un reto ya que los conceptos culturales que se han generado desde allí, frente a una economía globalizada, están en un momento de crísis, de auto-cuestionamiento.

La Isla que se repite: El Caribe y la perspectiva posmodernaDuring the second part of his keynote, Enrico Mario Santí discusses in detail a new, posthumous edition of Benítez Rojo’s famous book La Isla que se repite: El Caribe y la perspectiva posmoderna, published in 2010 by Editorial Plaza Mayor, which includes two new until then unedited chapters by Benítez Rojo called “La Paradoja” and “El Ritmo”. Mario Santí points out that these two chapters perhaps aim at the “profound structure” of the Caribbean paradigm.

3:15 p.m. - Claudia Hammerschmidt (U Jena) presents her talk on “Corrientes del discurso caribeño o Tres vistas del amanecer en el trópico (Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Édouard Glissant, Dany Laferrière)”, in which she correlates the discursive and literary arguments and tensions of the three authors of her choice, concerning the Caribbean as a complicated and conflictive place of origin (Cabrera Infante), as a place of processual differences (Glissant), and as a place and reference to be dismissed (Laferrière).

4:00-4:30 p.m. Coffee Break

4:30 p.m. - [Program update:] In the only English presentation of this conference, Lars Eckstein (U Potsdam) presents his thoughts on “Precarious Conviviality and the Politics of Tricksterese in Pauline Melville’s The Ventriloquist’s Tale“, outlining that his analysis of Melville’s novel will focus on three dimensions: 1) narrative content 2) narrative genre 3) narrative discours. Highlighting the importance of the concept of “magical realism” (Carpentier) as a – by now – global branding of a certain kind of World Literature, Eckstein discusses Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and Toni Morisson’s Beloved as epitomes of this kind of globalized magical realist discourse.

5:15 p.m. – Following an introduction by Ottmar Ette, in which he highlights the theoretical and conceptual frame of the Potsdam based new book series “POINTE – Potsdamer inter-und transkulturelle Texte” and the new Network “POINTS”, Werner Mackenbach talks about the first POINTE volume Trans(it)Areas. Convivencias en Centroamérica y el Caribe, edited by Ette, Mackenbach, Gesine Müller, and Alexandra Ortiz Wallner. Trans(it)Areas was published by the Berlin publisher “edition tranvía (Verlag Walter Frey)” only a couple of weeks ago. Afterwards, Tobias Kraft briefly outlines the new (this!) website, officially to be launched today.

6:00 p.m. – Gesine Müller (U Potsdam), who recently finished her Habilitation, presents today her public inaugural lecture (Antrittsvorlesung) as professor of Romance Studies. The title of her talk is “Frankophonie avant la lettre. Konvivenz oder Koinzidenz von Victor Hugo zu Tahar Ben Jelloun”.

6:45 p.m. - Mojito reception celebrating Gesine Müller’s venia legendi.

7:00 p.m. – As both closing event and literary highlight of the conference’s first day, the Guatemalan poet Carol Zardetto reads passages from her books Con Pasión Absoluta and El Discurso del Loco.

2nd day, 10/12/2011
(Ticker by Tobias Kraft)

9:15 a.m. - Anne Brüske (U Heidelberg): Écriture et oeuvre d‘art dans la littérature de la diaspora caribéenne [brief summary will follow soon]

10:00 a.m. - Yvette Sánchez (U St. Gallen): Retrospección hacia adelante. Los EE.UU. como zona de tránsito de los Latinos caribeños [brief summary will follow soon]

10:45 a.m. Coffee Break

11:15 a.m. - [Program update:] Christina Liebl (U Bamberg): „Moi aussi, je vais bientôt entrer dans un tableau“ – Rapprochement des identités ambivalentes par la création artistique dans Fleur de Barbarie de Gisèle Pineau [brief summary will follow soon]

12:00 p.m. - Vicente Bernaschina (U Potsdam) presents his talk on Tomás de Estrada’sTrágica description, a complex and poetic description of the fatal earthquake, which destroyed the City of Guatemala en 1751. The text, as Bernaschina explains, depicts a poetological code based on two poems, which manifest a series of virtues of how to live in a catastrophic world. As a grounding layer of Estrada’s Descripción, there is a concept of conviviality between the poles of life and death, which is grounded in the idea of “conviction in action”.

12:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m. – Lunch

2:00 p.m. – Werner Mackenbach (U Potsdam) presents his reflections on “Veladas, veredas y verdades tropicales en El Génesis en Santa Cariba de Julio Escoto. El Caribe convivencial”. Commenting on the work of Julio Escoto as an “antithesis” to Glissant’s Traité du tout-monde, as some critics have called it, Mackenbach suggests a different reading: Escoto’s novel depicts the Caribbean as an anachronical space of simultaneous cultures, languages and hybrid histories, including both the “petite monde” as well as the “Tout-Monde”, as Mackenbach points out.

3:00 p.m. - In his talk “Ecos caribes desde el Caribe anglófono y holandés: la poesía etnizada de Walcott, Harris y Trefossa”, Marco Thomas Bosshard (U Bochum) presents the complex semantics of Walcott’s early poetry as a point of departure to talk in more detail about the poetic works of Wilson Harris and the Suriname writer Henri Frans de Ziel alias Trefossa. While Harris’ poetics are interwoven with the myth of Orpheus, “a museum text” (Harris), which the Guyanese poet comprehends as an act of disobedience, Trefossa’s work can be understood as a poetic search for the maternal essence – “Watermama” -, which evokes an epiphany both as a moment of suffering as well as an expression of autochthonous belonging.

4:00 p.m. – Coffee break

4:45 p.m. - Pablo Faúndez (HU Berlin) presents his talk on “La ciudad del poeta y la ciudad del historiador: versiones finiseculares de Santiago de Chile desde Rubén Darío y Justo Abel Rosales”.  [brief summary will follow soon]

5:30 p.m. - As closing lecture of this conference, Ottmar Ette present his reflections on “El paradigma del Caribe desde Prusia: Heinrich von Kleist”. Starting with Die Verlobung von St. Domingo, Ette identifies Kleist’s last novella as a literary pendular between two phases of accelerated globalization (Spanish-dominated in the first, French and British-dominated in the second phase), both on a paratextual as well as diegetical level. The story narrates the human catastrophe of the Haitian Revolution (without ever mentioning the name Haiti) as a paradigm, which can be understood as a contribution to a literary history of globalization, as Ette states. In a complex analytical parcours, Ette develops several close-readings, following a triangular framing of “List, Last, Lust” as well as “Finden, Erfinden, Erleben”. On all levels – the story’s relations between men and women, black and white, colony and metropoli, trust and mistrust – Kleist’s narration establishes paradigmatic figures in function of an experimental, disruptive, and prospective literature, which works as an exemplification of both failed as well as successful conviviality.

7:00 p.m. - End of conference

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