The “Problematics of Culture and Theory” Seminar, held by the School of English at Aristotle University, will be hosting an online talk by Dr Emily Van Duyne (Associate Professor of Writing at Stockton University in New Jersey, US, and 2022 Fulbright Scholar at AUTh) on Tuesday, 12th April, 5:30pm. The title of the talk is:
'Dark Hooks' & Dead Girls: Sylvia Plath, Erasure, & Anti-Black Racism
The talk will take place via the Zoom platform. The relevant link will be sent by email on the eve of the talk to all those who submit the registration form.
Problematics Seminar Coordinators:
Dr L.E. Roupakia (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Ε. Botonaki (email@example.com)
This talk will interrogate the problematics of the anti-Black racism that pervades the work completed in the last two years of Sylvia Plath's life, including her famed Ariel poems and The Bell Jar. It will look closely at the poem 'Ariel,' and, using close readings of an early journal entry from Plath's high school years, explore some possible reasons Plath chose to include the word 'nigger' in her poem most famous for its visions of creative and sexual freedom. 'Dark Hooks' will also explore Sylvia Plath's archive through the framework of scholar Saidiya Hartman's essay 'Venus In Two Acts,' which, using the archive of the Atlantic Slave Trade as its subject matter, asks how we write at the limits of archival silence. Given that Plath's archive is famously missing her last journals and novel, Hartman's work seems to be a useful way to understand it-- and yet, how can we reconcile Plath's privileged position as a white woman, using Black Americans as fodder for imagery, with Hartman's 'Venus,' a young African slave whose name only enters the archive because she was murdered on board a slave ship? These, and other problematics of race, class, gender, and writing, will be discussed in this talk.
GUEST SPEAKER BIO
Emily Van Duyne is an Associate Professor of Writing at Stockton University in New Jersey, in the US. A 2022 Fulbright Scholar, she is currently teaching and doing research at Aristotle University, in Thessaloniki. She is the recent recipient of 2022 New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowship in prose-writing from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Her book LOVING SYLVIA PLATH will be out next year with W.W. Norton & Co. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Harvard Review, Women's Studies Quarterly, American Poetry Review, Literary Hub, and many other places. Tweet at her @emilyvanduyne.