Friday, October 2
Maureen McLane (NYU) “Border Trouble: or, Ballad Mediality and ‘World Literature'”
Abstract: In this paper, Maureen N. McLane will explore how ballads, as both texts and tunes, have long crossed, troubled, yet also sustained multiple borders–historical, national, medial. A reckoning with balladry’s transmedial status, and with the long history of ballad scholarship in English, suggests many openings for further theoretical reflection: not least about the underexplored relations between recent discussion of “World Literature” and of “World Music.” Some specific topics: the ambiguous status of Scotland and of Scottish balladry since the 18th century; the place of Herder in recent theorizations of World Literature; “The Twa Sisters” as case study for investigations into locality and globality.
David Samuels (NYU) “Who Invented Music and Language?”
Abstract: In some recent work on language evolution, music has re-emerged as a practice notable for its explanatory power. Yet this work also recycles dichotomous models that link language to the rational and music to the emotional. In this paper I attempt to come to an understanding of a possible music-language link that moves away from syntax and cognition and toward socialization and playfulness.
Carolyn Abbate (University of Pennsylvania) “Overlooking the Ephemeral”
Abstract: The talk centers on latency and ephemerality: why ephemeral phenomena are difficult to interpret, and the ways in which their traces can be recovered from recording media that accidentally preserved them; the specific examples are drawn from German silent film.
Fred Moten (Duke) “Jurisgenerative Grammar (_For Alto_)”
Silver Center of Arts and Science