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Narrating Nations: Central and Eastern European Literatures after 1989

Narrating Nations: Central and Eastern European Literatures after 1989

With readings and lectures by Aleksandar Hemon, Marcel Beyer, Mikhail Shishkin, and Filip Springer.

The conference will take place at the Goethe-Institut Chicago on Thursday, November 7, 2013 and at UIC (Hull-House Museum) on Friday, November 8, 2013.

For the full program and other information, please see our conference website:

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the relationship among identity, language and location has become more complex due to the increased mobility of individuals and groups, as well as the rise of virtual communities in the cyber sphere. We live in an age of global economic and cultural trends, displacement and dispersal of ethnic groups, and shifting political borders. Rapidly and frequently traversing territorial boundaries, displaced individuals serve as transnational cross-pollinators of culture and scramble nation-bound conceptions of identity.   These phenomena complicate the ways we categorize, study, and consume literature; disrupt the criteria we use to delineate literary canons; and call into question the very notion of “national literature.” Nowhere are these questions of nation and national literature more germane than in the former Soviet bloc. The cataclysmic changes brought on by the economic and cultural restructurings, known as Perestroika and Glasnost’, challenged the role of geographic and political boundaries in defining so-called national literatures. This conference brings together contemporary writers from Central and Eastern Europe and scholars who study their work to interrogate the concept of national literature in the years after 1989 when national identity was and continues to be increasingly destabilized.

Organized by:

UIC Department of Germanic Studies

UIC Department of Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures.

With support from:

Goethe Institut Chicago

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

Center for Humanities at Tufts University (CHAT)

UIC Hejna Chair in Polish Studies

UIC Thaden Chair in Russian Intellectual History

UIC School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics

UIC Office of International Affairs

UIC International Studies Program

UIC Institute for the Humanities

UIC History Department

For more information contact Elizabeth Loentz at:

InterCcECT Mini-seminar: “Radical Empiricism Revisited” (11/22)

InterCcECT presents 
Professor of English, Indiana University, Bloomington
“Radical Empiricism Revisited” 
a miniseminar with readings available upon request 
(interccect at gmail dot com)
Friday 22 November
The Newberry Library, Room B-91
“Radical Empiricism Revisited” stages a major invention in contemporary theory, by grouping together work around Deleuze, Latour, Luhmann and others as a form of empiricism inflected by Kant, and contrasting this to a more innovative and experimental relation to the absolute found in Derrida and the early Foucault. My treatment is an outgrowth of possibilities opened up by my current project, Historicity and Holism (parts of which have appeared or about to appear in differences and diacritics), as well as those I explored in my previous two books on Derrida and phenomenology, history of science, and philosophy of language.

Ralph Cintron Lecture (11/14) UIC Humanities Institute

The Institute for the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago presents:

2013-2014 Faculty Fellow Lecture

Ralph Cintron

Departments of English and Latin American and Latino Studies


“Citizenship versus Unauthorized Immigration / Personhood versus Presence”


November 14, 2013 at 3 PM

UIC Institute for the Humanities, 701 South Morgan, lower level Stevenson Hall
Among strong nation-states with wealthy economies and viable democracies, the distinction between citizenship and alienage is a foundational institution—indeed, the “institution of institutions” as Etienné Balibar names it.  Of late both in the EU and the United States, the rights of unauthorized immigrants as persons, despite not being citizens, has been hotly argued.  United States Supreme Court decisions have granted rights in some contexts, usually on the basis of personhood claims established in the Fourteenth Amendment, but denied them in other contexts.  This paper is interested in the conceptual distinctions between citizenship and personhood, and will examine another conception, presence, that has remained latent in U.S. political and legal theory since at least 1790.


Ralph Cintron holds a joint appointment in English and Latin American and Latino Studies at UIC.  His research and teaching interests are in rhetorical studies; ethnography; urban theory; social theory; and transnationalism and immigration.  He has been a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.  In 2007-2008 he was a Fulbright Scholar on the political science faculty at the University of Prishtina in Prishtina, Kosova.  He was a former member of the Executive Board of the Rhetoric Society of America.   Angels’ Town: Chero Ways, Gang Life, and Rhetorics of the Everyday won honourable mention for the Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing from the American Anthropological Association.  In addition, he is associated with the International Rhetoric Culture Project, which brings anthropologists and rhetoricians together, and is co-editing for Berghan Press its 5th volume: Power, Rhetoric, and Political Culture: The Texture of Political Life.


A reception will follow.


For additional information please contact 312-996-6352 or



Institute for the Humanities/701 South Morgan, MC 206/University of Illinois at Chicago /Chicago, IL. 60607-7040

312-996-6352  //


UIC Gender and Women’s Studies Graduate Student Brown Bag Series

Thursday, October 17, 12:15 pm, University Hall, Room 1250

The Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) Graduate Student Brown Bag Series
presents a talk by Mae Liou (PhD Candidate in Philosophy, MA Candidate in
Germanic Studies):

“Racial Passing, Cultural Appropriation, and Gender Identity: Are there
limits to first-person authority?”

Race and gender are both socially constructed — but are they socially
constructed in the same way? In particular, if gender identity is a matter
of first-person authority (see Bettcher 2009), is racial identity also a
matter of first-person authority? If so, why? If not, why not? My aim in
this talk is to explore the complex topography of these questions, mapping
out some of the key differences between racial and gender categories and
drawing attention to the ways these categories are implicated in three
contexts: transgender identity, racial passing, and cultural appropriation.

This talk reflects work in progress — dialogue is encouraged & appreciated!

Bring a lunch–we’ll provide the beverages! Everyone is welcome!

**Please forward widely**

Upcoming GWSGSBB Talks:

*Thursday, November 21, 12:15 pm*: Ryan Parrey (PhD Candidate, Disability
Studies), “Returning Home: Disability, Openness, and Feeling at Home”

*Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:15 pm*: Mark Relyea (PhD Student, Community
and Prevention Research | Psychology), “Changing social norms to prevent
violence against women: How do programs measure their effects?”

*Thursday, March 20, 2014, 12:15 pm*: Piere Washington (PhD Student,
Sociology), “Intersecting Axes of Race, Gender and Class: Identity
Development in Black-White Interracial Families”

*Thursday, April 17, 2014, 12:15 pm*: Meghna Bhat (PhD Candidate,
Criminology, Law, and Justice), “Violence against women in Bollywood
cinema: Exploring gender differences among Indians’ perceptions in the USA”

InterCcECT Reading Group

Past Dialectics and Future Destructions
Catherine Malabou’s Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing
an InterCcECT reading group
Thursday, 17 October
UIC English Department, 2028 UH
for additional details and other events, visit our website
readings available upon request
InterCcECT is the Inter Chicago Circle for Experimental Critical Theory.  Contact us to announce or propose events, and check out our calendar  for action all over town.