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Research Colloquium of the English Department

Our colloquium addresses a broad variety of research topics in English and American Studies and offers up-and-coming as well as established scholars a chance to present their current projects to colleagues and students. Fields of research include literary and cultural studies, didactics, and linguistics.

The colloquium takes place on selected days during the term. A 45-minute lecture is usually followed by a discussion of up to 30 minutes.

All interested students and colleagues, also from other fields of study, are welcome to experience research outside the classroom and to engage in critical discussions.

If you are interested in presenting a paper in our research colloquium or for futher questions, please contact the organizers: Dr. des. Holger Limberg (Linguistics/Didactics), h.limberg@uni-oldenburg.de or Dr. des. Annika Pherson (Literary and Cultural Studies), annika.mcpherson@uni-oldenburg.de


Schedule for the summer term 2010:

09 June 2010:
Dr. Beril Saydun (University of Oldenburg)
"Construction of Nationalism and Gender in Halidé Edib’s Autobiographical Writings"

24 June 2010:

Dr. Anne Kuhlmann-Smirnov (Bremen/Berlin)
"Early Modern Afro-European Encounters in North Central Europe"

28 June 2010:

Dr. Lisa King (University of Kansas)
"The Imagined Indian: The Rhetoric of American Indian Representations in Euro-American Media"

01 July 2010:

Dr. Thorsten Huth (Southern Illinois University)
"Translating Cultures: Requests in Learner Interaction"

Forthcoming talk

24 June 2010:

2:15pm (A13 0-028)

Dr. Anne Kuhlmann-Smirnov (Bremen/Berlin)

"Early Modern Afro-European Encounters in North Central Europe"

The Early Modern European imagination of the world was spurred and challenged by the encounter with several non-European cultures. The alphabetized public was aware of the learned treatises of scholars and shared travelers' experiences through cosmographies and travel reports. Later, the rise of the encyclopedia offered a new form of alphabetically organized knowledge. However, encounter with other cultures was not limited to the written word and cultural contact with non-Europeans took place also in Europe itself. Unlike the first people of America 'discovered' after 1492, the notion of people of black African descent was not entirely new to Europeans. Much earlier, Greek and Roman writing, but also the Bible and later reports on the crusades to the 'Holy Land' had informed about the existence of black- or dark-skinned people on the African continent. Since the Ethiopian church was regarded as being part of the Christian church, people of African descent were seen as potential allies of the Christian armies. This image of Africans as part of the Christian world was visualized in religious images like 'The three Magi,' 'Bathseba,' 'The Baptism of the Eunuch' and others, and Black Africans became a sizable part of European societies in the fifteenth century, when Portuguese ships reached out to the West African coast. This lecture will examine the presence of people of African descent in the social networks of a North German noble house, the East-Frisian princely family of the Cirksena and will trace their paths and life-courses in this social environment, trying to assess their positions in the subtly scaled hierarchies of the courtly world. Originally coming to the German lands as slaves at an early age, they became part of the court and wider society through cultural practices such as religious conversion, which can be regarded as the ultimate prerequisite for social integration, but also as a first step towards a (limited) emancipation from lingering dependencies.

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