Within the framework of the one-year grant, PhD researcher Marijana Mikić will work closely with her mentors Derek Maus and James Donahue at the State University of New York at Potsdam.
Professor Maus is an expert in contemporary African American literature, in particular in the field of black satire. His recent publications on the topic inlcude Conversations with Colson Whitehead (2019) and Jesting in Earnest: Percival Everett and Menippean Satire (2019). Professor Donahue is one of the pioneers in the field of critical race narratology, as is evidenced by his recent Contemporary Native Fiction: Toward a Narrative Poetics of Survivance (2019) and the volume Narrative, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States (2017), which he co-edited with Jennifer Ho and Shaun Morgan. Maus and Donahue’s interdisciplinary research at the intersection of narrative theory and ethnic American literature is of central interest to Marijana’s work on the Narrative Encounters Project and her dissertation, entitled “Black Storyworlds: Race, Space, and Emotion in Contemporary African American Literature.”
Marijana’s plans during the one-year mentoring program include a research visit at SUNY Potsdam next spring and a visit from her mentors here in Klagenfurt in September 2021. We are excited about these wonderful opportunities and congratulations Marijana!
Together with colleagues W P Małecki and Małgorzata Dobrowolska, Alexa Weik von Mossner has published an article entitled “Narrating Human and Animal Oppression: Strategic Empathy and Intersectionalism in Alice Walker’s ‘Am I Blue?'” in the journal Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.
Combining orginal empirical research and cognitive narratology, the study explores the narrative strategies and attitudinal impact of Walker’s influential essay, in which she remembers her encounter with a white horse called Blue and draws connections between human and animal oppression.
Encountering African American Literature in the Classroom: Workshop with Matthew Teutsch
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 15:00-16:30
English Department, University of Klagenfurt
Based on several of his publications, Matthew Teutsch will discuss with the Narrative Encounters team how teaching African American literature might help students gain a better understanding of the ways in which the past has led to the construction of the current cultural moment in the US, when racial incidents appear on news feeds daily. What insights can students draw from early African American texts such as David Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles and Frederick Douglass’s What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? How did later African American writers—from Charles Chesnutt and Jean Toomer to Ernest Gaines—expand and complicate these critiques of white supremacy by renegotiating what it means to be black in America? How might students’ narrative encounters with such texts shed light on the current cultural moment? And how might it affect our approach as well as the resulting conversations when we teach them not within the United States but in a European country such as Austria? These are some of the questions we will address in the workshop.
Post featured image. Cropped photo by: Keith Ruffles