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Research Seminar

February 22 @ 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

February 2023 Presenters and Abstracts

Presenter 1: Tessa Archambault
Title: « Si on ouvrait des gens, on trouverait des paysages » : A Study of Landscapes in Two Films by Agnès Varda
Abstract: This presentation will consider the representation of landscape and human relationships to natural surroundings in two films by Agnès Varda: La Pointe Courte (1955) and The Gleaners and I (2000). While these two works are radically different from each other in genre, style, and time-period, they each present unique perspectives on how communities and individuals engage with their immediate environments. Both films provide glimpses of how this happens in ways that arise out of circumstance, long-standing traditions, or beliefs. At the same time, the use of landscape images in these works points to the invisible and abstract aspects of such relationships that are difficult to capture in concrete terms. I will explore how Varda’s use of landscape adds layers of nuance and meaning to the stories these films convey.

Presenter 2: Léna Remy-Kovach
Title: !it was never going to be okay:” Reflections on translating decolonial poetry from one settler language to another
Abstract: How do I make sure not to betray the legacy of pain that is the central organizing impulse of most contemporary decolonial poetry? How do I work against perpetuating the exploitative colonial forces and inequity that originated in the imposition of French on Indigenous groups and are still today at play in both the North American educational system and publishing industry? I share the technical and moral dilemmas I face while attempting to translate it was never going to be okay by jaye simpson from English to French. In this collection of free verse and poetry in prose, simpson explores the multiple facets of Indigeneity and queerness, and addresses both the violence and the intimacies of understanding intergenerational trauma and neocolonialism. Their decolonial poetry is also a form of activism in which they destabilize the authority of the English language. My selection of examples explores the difficulty in transposing forms and styles inspired by ancestral techniques of oral storytelling and already translated into English in the poems, the necessity to challenge dominant narratives of colonialism in the destination language, and ingrained cultural biases that could lead me to misconstrue the poet”s feelings and motivations.

Presenter 3: Kristin Phillips-Court
Title: Tacita corporis figura: Botticelli’s silent body
Abstract: Vasari’s vita of Sandro Botticelli in The Lives of the Artists (1550 & 1568) would appear to illustrate the dangers of resting on one’s laurels, even if there is little evidence of
Botticelli’s reputational demise, then or now. The life of ‘Botticello’ is one of the shortest and most undramatic in Vasari’s collection; yet it is also one of his most remarkable literary
creations for reasons that are not immediately apparent. Vasari makes only passing mention of the artist’s works, and no mention of the Laurentian circles to which Botticelli had attached
himself. My interest lies in examining how the insinuatio that opens Botticelli’s vita and the striking verbal image that closes it bear out in the definitive text.


February 22
4:30 pm - 5:45 pm
Event Category: