Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Uneven & Combined Development: Modernity and Modernism

Carmela Gross, EXTRAS, 25 enamelled metal signs (each 20cm x 45cm). Image courtesy of the artist.

Room 2.09
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
University Road
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

A workshop convened by Daniel Hartley & Gail Day in the Centre for Critical Materialist Studies, University of Leeds

What is the relation between modernism and modernity? Is modernity singular or multiple? What do theories of ‘world-literature’ tell us about modernity as a problem of form and how do they avoid charges of Eurocentrism and homogenisation? The aim of this half-day workshop is to explore such questions through the lens of ‘uneven and combined development’.

We welcome our speakers:

Sharae Deckard, University College Dublin
‘An Underdeveloped James Bond’ and a ‘Rectangular Head’: Combined and Uneven Aesthetics in Pepetela and Mabanckou

Chrysi Papaioannou, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
A Singular Avant-Garde: Reflections on Comparativism and the Chronopolitics of ‘Cultural Area Studies’

Daniel Hartley, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds: respondent.

SSpeaker abstracts and biographies can be downloaded here.

Preliminary readings include extracts from the Warwick Research Collective’s 2015 monograph, Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World Literature. We will also consider arguments by Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancıoğlu; located in the field of International Relations, their argument considers the relations between the theory of uneven and combined development, World Systems Theory, Political Marxism, and Postcolonial Studies. See below for full details of the readings.

Programme

12.00-13.30
Presentation: Chrysi Papaioannou, University of Leeds
Chair: Steve Edwards, Birkbeck
Discussion

13.30-14.30
Break

14.30-17.30
Presentation: Sharae Deckard, University College Dublin
Respondent: Daniel Hartley, University of Leeds
Chair: Gail Day
Discussion (including short break)

Readings

Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancıoğlu, How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism (Pluto Press, 2015), Chapter 1: ‘The Transition Debates: Theories and Critique’, pp 13-42

WReC (Warwick Research Collective), Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World Literature (Liverpool University Press, 2015), Chapters 1 & 2: “World-Literature in the Context of Combined and Uneven Development” and “The Question of Peripheral Realism”, pp. 1-80 (a pdf of the first two chapters is available here online).

Further information

If you would like to participate in this workshop, please contact Daniel Hartley: D.J.Hartley@leeds.ac.uk

Forming part of the Centre for Critical Materialist Studies’s Working Group on Uneven and Combined Development, today’s event continues discussions from our December 2016 symposium Aesthetic Form & Uneven Modernities as well as previous workshops in São Paulo and London.

Sharae Deckard’s visit to Leeds is co-organised by the Centre for Critical Materialist Studies and the Postcolonial and World Literatures and Cultures Reading Group. It is co-sponsored by Professor Stuart Taberner’s Leverhulme project Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary German and South African Literature.

The Postcolonial and World Literatures and Cultures Reading Group will be organising further events with Sharae Deckard on Wednesday 24 May. For further information, contact Sam Perks  and Becky Macklin.

Image: Carmela Gross, EXTRAS, 25 enamelled metal signs (each 20cm x 45cm). Image courtesy of the artist.

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