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GCS runs a public research seminar every fortnight during semester. The details for tomorrow's event are below.

James Donald, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences and Professor of Film Studies at UNSW

"The House I Live In: Paul Robeson’s formation in Harlem"

Abstract: Paul Robeson arrived in Harlem in the Red Summer of 1919, as the Negro Renaissance was getting underway. In the decade that followed, while Harlem was in vogue, Robeson achieved the status of both New Negro hero and black star. His attempts to negotiate the claims and expectations of the Renaissance, at the same time as establishing a career as a performer, while often trying to justify pragmatic career decisions in terms of Renaissance cultural politics, often made him a controversial figure. This paper looks at the difficulty of ‘being Paul Robeson’ in the 1920s, with special reference to his stage and screen roles and his music.

Julian Murphet, Professor of Modern Film and Literature at UNSW

"My mother is a Graphophone; or, Faulkner’s radio play for voices"

Abstract: In late 1929, when William Faulkner famously wrote his novel As I Lay Dying in a 47-day white heat next to a coal powerhouse dynamo, the commercial contest between the established phonograph industry and the nascent radio industry entered its decisive stage. The reproduced American “voice” was straddling the technical divide between grooves that stored sonic frequencies, and the “ether” in which radio waves vibrated; and large capitalist interests were demanding rapid fidelity-convergence on the one hand, and prohibiting the playing of phonographs on the air on the other. Never had the question of represented voice been so loaded with economic and medial determinations; which may help to explain the unprecedented atomizing of Faulkner’s narrative voice in his novel into 15 distinct ones. This paper explores the sonic background to Faulkner’s self-described “tour de force” in capitalist media history, and the enormous shifts in gendered psychoanalytic functions triggered by that history. It asks the big question: how can a dead mother speak?

Date: Friday, April 30, 2010
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: The Refectory, Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney (downstairs from the Faculty of Arts)
Chair: Mark Steven

All welcome. Drinks will follow at Manning Bar.

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About the Blog

This is the blog for thinking and talking about culture, Cultural Studies and cultural analysis at the University of Sydney.