We are pleased to announce a lecture by
Gerry Canavan
(Marquette University)

The Humanities after BLACKFISH

The lecture is going to be a part of the
American Studies Colloquium Series.

Thursday, December 13, 2018
at 4:00 p.m

Where?

American Studies Center, room 317,
al. Niepodległości 22, Warsaw.

What?

This presentation begins with my recent experience teaching a research capstone course for English majors at Marquette titled “The Lives of Animals” (after the J.M. Coetzee novel). In particular I discuss the students’ unexpected selection of the anti-Sea-World documentary BLACKFISH (dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite, 2013) as a primary text in the course, and the animated, passionate discussions the film subsequently engendered. Part nature story, part journalistic expose, part science fiction, and part true crime documentary, BLACKFISH became a fascinating hinge point in the class as a whole, gesturing towards multiple possible futures for the relationship between humans and animals, the majority of them dominated by what one student in the class would later very memorably characterize in his student evaluation as “a mood of debilitating grief.” As a paradigmatic text of the Anthropocene, BLACKFISH, and my students’ critical and emotional responses to it, points towards the possibility of a humanities that might someday move beyond human-produced, human-centered narratives — while at the same time positing a hard limit that might forever separate “us” from the animal lives around us who we adore, exploit, endanger, and enslave.

Who?

Gerry Canavan is an associate professor in the Department of English at Marquette University, specializing in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature. An editor at Extrapolation and Science Fiction Film and Television, he has also co-edited Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction (2014) and The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction (2015) and The Cambridge History of Science Fiction (2018). His first monograph, Octavia E. Butler, appeared in 2016 in the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series at University of Illinois Press.

News

The ASC is switching to remote-only teaching

December 2, 2021

Due to the worsening pandemic situation, the ASC is switching to remote-only teaching from Monday, December 6 until December 17, 2021.

News

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2021

The ASC Director’s wishes all students and workers good health, loads of optimism, and every success!

American Studies Colloquium Series

December 2: ‘Ain’t I a woman?’: Sojourner Truth, Feminist Theory, and the Unstable Category of ‘Woman’

November 22, 2021

Katrin Smiet’s lecture is devoted to the unstable category of ‘womanhood’ discussed from the perspective of power structures. This talk traces the feminist thinkers of the late 20th century to discover different answers to Sojourner Truth’s question: ‘Ain’t I a woman?’

American Studies Colloquium Series

December 9: Sham Ruins, A User’s Guide

November 21, 2021

What is it that sham ruins ruin? This talk focuses on a number of American sham ruins, and new meaning they impose. The reevaluation of sham ruins helps in understanding what makes a freshly minted broken object attractive in any period.

American Studies Colloquium Series

November 18: Studying Authorial Fingerprints – On Stylometric Study of American Literature

November 18, 2021

In this talk, Michał Choiński will demonstrate how stylometric study of literature may help more traditional, qualitative approaches to American literature by regrouping texts based on their regional affiliation, tracing an editor in a text and solving the issue of problematic authorship.