News

CCL events this week: Imagined Authors: Reading the Homeric Question in Joyce’s Ulysses

A reminder of the events scheduled for this week:

The next seminar in the Sing in Me, Muse series is this Thursday, 8 December 2022, at 6.00pm (London time):

Sophie Corser, ‘Imagined Authors: Reading the Homeric Question in Joyce’s Ulysses’

The talk will be in person at Goldsmiths (Lewisham Way, New Cross, London SE14 6NW), in the Professor Stuart Hall Building, Room 326, and will be followed by a reception (room 314). We shall also stream the event for those unable to attend in person. A link will be sent shortly before the start.

Click here for more information and to register.

CCL events this week: The Auto / Bio / Fiction Series and the London Beckett Seminar

A reminder of two events scheduled for this week:

The next seminar in the Auto / Bio / Fiction series is this Thursday, 17 November 2022, at 5.30pm (London time):

Hywel Dix, ‘Autofiction and Cultural Memory’ and Hanna Meretoja, ‘Metanarrative Life-Writing: Intersections of Life and Narrative in Autofiction and Biofiction’.

Click here for more information and to register (registration is required to receive the zoom link).

 

On Friday 18 November 2022, at 6pm, as part of the London Beckett Seminar, Dr Michael Krimper (Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University) will present the paper “The Insurgent Art of Failure: Beckett, Sade and the Lost Volume of Transition”.

To attend, please register by email.

Reminder: First Sing in Me, Muse seminar today: Abigail Ardelle Zammit

A reminder that the first seminar in the Sing in me, Muse: The Classical, the Critical, and the Creative is tonight at 5.30 GMT.

Poet Abigail Ardelle Zammit will read from her work in progress #wearedaphne and discuss how she has adopted hybridity and erasure as a vehicle for dissent. Her dialogue with Ovid’s Metamorphoses employs the violence of the blackout technique as literary tool and political commentary, selecting and obscuring words from Ovid’s tales – most noticeably from Daphne’s transformation into a tree – to retell the events leading to and following the assassination of the controversial Maltese investigative journalist Daphna Caruana Galizia.

Click here for more information and for the booking link – registration is required to receive the zoom link to attend.

 

Reminder: First Auto / Bio / Fiction seminar today: Michael Lackey and Jenny Rademacher

A reminder that the first seminar in the Auto / Bio / Fiction series is today at 5.30pm UK time:

Michael Lackey, “Zora Neale Hurston and Thomas Mann: Moses Biofictions as Political Interventions” and Jenny Rademacher, “Derivative Lives: 21st Century Spanish Biofictions in Speculative Times”. Click here for more info and for the booking link – registration is required to receive the zoom link (please register by 5pm)

 

2022-23 Programme of the London Beckett Seminar

The programme of the London Beckett Seminar has been published on our website. The next seminar will take place tomorrow, 21 October, at 6-7pm (BST):

Dr Hannah Simpson (The University of Edinburgh), “Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance”

To receive a link to attend, please email londonbeckettseminar@gmail.com.

Details below, with our best wishes – enjoy it!

 

Dr Hannah Simpson (The University of Edinburgh), “Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance”

Samuel Beckett’s plays have attracted a striking range of disability performances—that is, performances that cast disabled actors, regardless of whether their roles are explicitly described as “disabled” in the text. What is it about Beckett’s stage plays that attracts disability performance? What does a performance that translates a Beckett script in explicitly disabled terms do to our understanding of that text, or to our understanding of Beckett’s work more broadly? Or, more specifically: what do such performances reveal about these playtexts’ persistent concern with the conditions of embodied existence, and with the impaired body and mind?

Drawing on my new monograph, Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance, this talk addresses these questions with reference to historic and contemporary disability performances of Beckett’s work, and a new theorising of Beckett’s “disability aesthetic”. Hanna Marron as Winnie (Happy Days, dir. Michael Guvrin, 1985), Harold Pinter as Krapp (Krapp’s Last Tape, dir. Ian Rickson, 2006), Nabil Shaban and Garry Robson, and Dan Moran and Chris Jones as Hamm and Clov (Endgame, dir. Robert Rae, 2007, and Joe Grifasi, 2012), Jess Thom as Mouth (Not I, dir. Matthew Pountney, 2017), and Tommy Jessop and Otto Baxter as Vladimir and Estragon (Waiting for Godot, dir. Sam Curtis Lindsay and Daniel Vais, 2018): these productions emphasise or rework previously undetected indicators of disability in Beckett’s work. More broadly, they reveal how Beckett’s theatre compulsively interrogates alternative embodiments, unexpected forms of agency, and the extraordinary social interdependency of the human body.

HANNA SIMPSON is Lecturer in Drama and Performance in the Department of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She previously served as the first Rosemary Pountney Junior Research Fellow in British and European Theatre at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford. She is the author of Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of the Witness: Pain in Post-War Francophone Drama (Oxford University Press, 2022) and Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022). She is also Theatre Review Editor for The Beckett Circle and welcomes contact from anyone interested in reviewing for us.

The CCL’s 2022-23 programme of events

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Despite the difficulties of last year and the departure of some great colleagues, the CCL is alive and kicking, and about to kick off with a fantastic programme of events for 2022-23.

Our first CCL Annual Lecture will be given on 24 November 2022 by Marina Warner, with the title “Viral Spiral: Multiple Shape-shifting from Ovid to Covid”. You can attend in person (and have a drink with us afterwards!) or watch it online – click on the title to read more about it and book.

Two regular series of events will run in parallel through the academic year, during term time:

The Auto / Bio / Fiction series aims to put in dialogue (and possibly in dispute) different interpretations and practices of biofiction, autofiction and neighbouring genres and art forms, and discuss the questions raised by these forms and their critical and textual encounters.

We start on 27 October 2022 with Michael Lackey and Jenny Rademacher, and hope to see many of you there. Click on the links for more details and to register. All events for this series will be online, on Thursdays at 5.30pm (UK time).

The Sing in Me, Muse: The Classical, the Critical, and the Creative series will bring together scholars and students from a variety of disciplines with creative writers and other artists, to examine how the literary and material cultures of ancient Greece, the Near East and Rome have been adapted and rewritten at later times and other places.

We start on 3 November 2022, in collaboration with the Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre, with Maltese poet Abigail Ardelle Zammit. Abigail will read from her work and talk about her #wearedaphne project, which retells, through erasures of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphna Caruana Galizia.

This event will be online, but several of the other talks in this series will be in person, too.  All are on Thursdays, either at 5.30 or at 6pm. Click on the links to find out more and register.

On 24 March 2023, we’ll join forces with the Decadence Research Centre to host a day symposium on Decadence and the Fairy Tale – look out for more details soon.

Following the success of the first Spectacular Orientalism conference last June, on 27-28 April 2023 we will host the second Spectacular Orientalism conference, organised in collaboration with the Society for European Festivals Research, and focusing this time more specifically on Asia and the Far East.  The deadline to propose papers is 17 December 2022, and all details can be found on the Call for Papers page.

And given the success of our May 2022 Postcolonial Theatre series, look out for the announcement of the May 2023 Postcolonial Theatre Series.

Looking forward to seeing you in person or online for any or all of the occasions above (and the further delights that are being planned and will be announced in due course…),

With warmest wishes,

Lucia, Clare, Marie-Claude and Isobel

Recording of Margaret M. McGowan’s talk Dance, Performance and Politics published

The Recording of Margaret M. McGowan’s talk ‘Dance, Performance and Politics: A Study of how Choreography developed in Court Ballets to meet changing political needs’ has now been published.

Professor Margaret M. McGowan, CBE, Fellow of the British Academy and Research Professor at the University of Sussex, passed away on 16 March 2022. We are very grateful to Dr Jennifer Nevile of the University of South Wales, Sydney, Australia, for recording the talk, which Margaret had left in final draft form, with a selection of images, ready to be delivered.

 

 

In defence of Radical Inquiry in Comparative Literature, Translation and the Study of Language(s) – 7: Pluralism and Vulnerability

We are delighted to publish Florian Mussgnug’s final contribution to this series of posts based on the LINKS event that took place on 13 June 2022.  A description of the occasion can be found here. For previous posts, please scroll down.

 

On Pluralism and Vulnerability in the Arts and Humanities

In my brief intervention, I would like to stress the positive importance of pluralism in the Arts and Humanities.1 Instead of championing a single definition of the Arts and Humanities, I wish to emphasize the positive ambivalence of these fields and the interdependence of arguments, attitudes and styles that are in play; the irreducible complexity of political, social and cultural situations that will not be settled by neat solutions that focus on one interpretative category alone. In other words, I wish to suggest that the social importance of the Arts and Humanities cannot be stated in purely economic or institutional terms. It also stems from the artist’s and the scholar’s ability to query the human from diverse angles, including the position of its least privileged and most vulnerable designations. This ability, I propose, must continue to serve as a bedrock for reasoned and respectful dialogue, in academic criticism and in wider cultural and political exchanges. It can give shape to communities and projects that invite resourcefulness, generosity and kindness.2

The colleagues who have gathered for this event know that Goldsmiths has long been a vibrant home to traditions of critical practice that are not defined exclusively by the application of rigid protocols of knowledge. These traditions view scholarly inquiry as a patient and open-ended scrutiny that goes hand in hand with curiosity and care. Like the musician’s skill or the ability of the experienced craftsman, it develops from practice, through success and disappointment alike. It achieves neither conclusion nor perfection, but can offer illumination and fulfilment.

Goldsmiths’ research strategy underlines the importance of vibrancy, boundary-crossing, and inventiveness. These terms carry a positive tenor in the numerous disciplinary and cross-disciplinary frameworks that give shape to discussions in the modern languages, comparative literature, film and media studies and creative writing, among others. They hold a privileged place in structures of argumentation that have become deeply familiar to researchers in the Arts and Humanities, and that are often employed to defend their work against external attack.3 As a result, these terms have become near ubiquitous in recent scholarly debates. They are, in the words of anthropologist Marilyn Strathern, attractors: they hold the power to engage other terms and concepts, draw in values, and disseminate feelings “exactly as though everyone knew what was meant”.4 We may use them without quite knowing what they mean. But if we take them seriously, they compel us to understand academic research as a set of immanent, ever-modulating force-relations, which emphasize both relatedness and interruptions in relatedness, across space and time.

Do we still need research in the Arts and Humanities? It would be easy enough to respond to this question if we simply chose to posit the importance of our work in terms of institutional orientations. The work of the literary and cultural critic, then, could be said to consist in the systematic pursuit of specialist expertise and comprehensive knowledge. Specialism, accordingly, might be imagined, as a gradual homing in on an object of study: a progressive, discursively and epistemologically monolinear approximation that is ultimately rewarded by complete and definitive understanding. Once this understanding is achieved, the project has reached its conclusion.

As philosopher Raymond Geuss has shown, this conception of specialism is central to many academic knowledge practices, especially in the West. For example, it holds a powerful grip over analytic philosophy, where it functions, in Geuss’ words, as a culturally constructed myth “to which we have a strong tendency and perhaps a deep commitment – a commitment so deep that it generates an illusion of necessity”.5  The same can be said for literary and cultural studies, where the pursuit of specialist knowledge has found expression, in recent decades, in the rhetorical and epistemological conventions of critique: a mid-Twentieth Century style of analysis that postulates the reader as an expert, whose scrutiny serves to interrogate and decode certain qualities of a given work of art that are not readily apparent to the non-specialist.6 I wish to interrupt this orientation and sketch a different response.

Comparatists at UCL and Goldsmiths joined forces with their colleagues at King’s College London, twelve years ago, to create the London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies (LINKS). In more recent years, the network has also been joined by our distinguished colleagues and friends at Royal Holloway, Queen Mary University London, SOAS, Birkbeck and at the London School of Advanced Studies. What we have experienced together, over more than a decade, is the power of a community that resists the strictures of competitor-thinking and disciplinary silos and that celebrates experiences of aesthetic encounter, research, and creative critical practice that serve to unsettle the singular authoritativeness of specialist knowledge. We do so not because we wish to dismiss the importance of specialist knowledge but because we want to open the debates in our disciplines to more diverse orientations, subjectivities and narratives. From the perspective of hegemonic regimes of evaluation and assessment, this renders us vulnerable.

But vulnerability is crucial to our experience of scholarly community. Social Anthropologist Tim Ingold describes research as a state of vulnerability, not unlike the experience of being in love:

What the thinker and the lover have in common is that they are uniquely vulnerable. They are in a condition of surrender whether to the idea or to the beloved. But the condition is far from passive; on the contrary, it is passionate, an affectation of the soul that calls mind and body to contemplation.7

I wish to take this opportunity to thank colleagues and friends, at Goldsmiths, across LINKS institutions and elsewhere, who continue to take risks, and who champion practices of writing and teaching that are not restricted to established registers of expression or modes of scholarly attention. In this way, they point our attention beyond prescriptive regimes of production and assessment, disciplinary protocols and organisational structures.8 They remind us that reflections about art are ultimately reflections about life, and vice versa. They alert us to vulnerability and beauty that are shared by humans and non-humans on this living, unpredictable and wondrous planet.


1 For a more comprehensive discussion, see “Prelude”, in Florian Mussgnug, Mathelinda Nabugodi and Thea Petrou, Thinking Through Relation Encounters in Creative Critical Writing (Oxford: Peter Lang 2021), pp. 1-17. I am grateful to Peter Lang for permission to republish some passages from this text here, in revised form.


2 This argument is informed by Doris Sommer, The World of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities (Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2014).


3 See, for example, Martha Nussbaum, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2010).


4 Marilyn Strathern, Relations: An Anthropological Account (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2020), 2.


5 Raymond Geuss, Who Needs a World View? (Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London: Harvard University Press, 2020), xv.


6 For an important introduction to this concept, see Elizabeth S. Anker and Rita Felski (eds), Critique and Postcritique (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2017).


7 Tim Ingold, Correspondences (Cambridge: Polity, 2021), 2.


8 We recognise the importance of institutional practices and policies in higher education that foster a space for creative critical exchange, such as the PhD in Creative Critical Writing, which was developed and run by Timothy Mathews at University College London. It is important to emphasize, however, that creative critical research, by definition, will and should exceed the scope of such initiatives, even where it is facilitated by them.

In defence of Radical Inquiry in Comparative Literature, Translation and the Study of Language(s) – 6: On Translingualism and Multilingualism (A Tribute to Tamar Steinitz)

We are grateful to receive Francesca Orsini’s contribution in this series of posts, based on the LINKS event that took place on 13 June 2022.  A description of the occasion can be found here. The final post in this series will be published tomorrow. For previous posts please scroll down.

 

I come from an institution, SOAS, that has recently gone through a similar restructuring to what is happening at Goldsmiths, and is now looking to regrow after downsizing mostly its Languages & Cultures department, and particularly “smaller” languages and the higher-level courses that require and encourage an engagement with texts. In fact, I was part of the down-sizing, though I chose to jump before I was pushed.

I want to focus today on the brilliant scholarship of Tamar Steinitz, who has been targeted by the cuts at Goldsmiths. Her work on translingual poets has been cutting-edge. And her own research trajectory shows how Comp Lit’s engagement with the formal and linguistic aspects of texts leads not just to finding appropriate critical frameworks that become useful for students and scholars working in quite different context. This engagement can be revelatory, showing realities that otherwise remain unseen.

Tamar’s first book, Translingual Identities (2013), starts from a “traditional” comparative reading of the works of two exiled Jewish writers and shows how switching to writing in another tongue is the result of quite different stands – a rejection of German contaminated by the Nazis for Jakov Lind, while for Stefan Heym it came from his political engagement during WWII in the US and the desire to act as a cultural mediator. Her analysis is firmly grounded not just in theory but also in the historical context of Nazi Germany and Jewish exile and post-WWII politics, and explores the relationship between self, language, and writing across different genres (the historical novel, the satirical novel). As someone working on Indian literature, I was intrigued in the “curious” phenomena like writing one’s autobiography in another language—a distancing choice adopted by some colonial Indian writers as well.

In the best tradition of Comp Lit, the close reading of authors and texts opens up to broader and deeper questions: [I quote from her Conclusions] “I have charted two models of translingualism and literary creation. On the one hand, translingualism can be a form of alienation … where identity is split and reality is destabilized. On the other hand, translingualism is … a productive doubling of perspective, allowing the author to move freely between cultures and languages, setting them in dialogic relations and allowing them to illuminate and complement each other.

The role of translingual writers as cultural mediators, reflecting the concerns of minority populations—exiles, migrants, refugees, and diasporic communities—is of particular interest as the crossing of national and linguistic borders becomes increasingly common, giving rise to a growing body of work by transnational authors. The movement between languages internalizes and reflects both the freedom associated with geographical mobility and the emotional price it inevitably entails.”

These possibilities are taken up in Tamar’s second book, co-edited with Rachael Gilmour, on Multilingual Currents in Literature, Translation and Culture (Routledge, 2018)

This book is concerned with the circuits of language in the contemporary world, and with their implications for our understanding of literature now. While making no claims for a new global linguistic order entirely ruptured from those which came before, it argues that existing literary paradigms ill equip us to understand the complex forces that shape language in the present as they impact upon the production and circulation of literature. In tracing these forces, it takes up questions which, in many ways, define the current moment: the impact of accelerated patterns of migration precipitated by war and conflict, economic pressures, and environmental degradation; the relationship between national and supranational political formations and ideologies; and the transformative effects of transnational flows of culture, capital, electronic media, and technology. As we argue here, literature is sensitive and responsive to these developments, registering new kinds of linguistically and symbolically complex contexts and cultures.

This is a great volume, with some of the best people around as contributors, and offering a wide range of approaches (the polyphonic, multilingual city, region or transnational space; interlingual writers; born-translated texts, songs and diasporic subjectivity, films and novels “creating public”). It is also the kind of collegiate intellectual work and collective meeting ground that probably did not count towards the REF.

Tamar’s own work on the bilingual Hebrew/Arabic poetry of Almog Behar shows, again in an exemplary fashion, how lexical choices in the poet’s craft provide possibilities for thinking about language and identity in new ways. The choice not to translate Arabic words, or to offer specific phrases in both languages and scripts, speaks to a self that does not want to subscribe to the nationalist logic of separation and the Zionist narrative of a Jewish-Israeli identity and that finds the resources to do so.

Work on bilingual or translingual authors can appear niche within niche: bilingual Hebrew-Arabic within contemporary Hebrew poetry. But this is a wrong assumption. One of the most powerful aspects of working on and with bilingualism, multilingualism, translingualism is how widespread it actually is; how it often exists below the surface of literary texts, and literary cultures and markets, and how painful the relationship between language(s) and self often remains in this age of “global English”.

This was brought to me particularly strongly in a small literary festival called Multilingual London that my MULOSIGE project co-organized with the Museum of London in 2019 (which had to move online).

The idea behind Multilingual London was to highlight the presence of a literary London beyond English and to train the spotlight on artists who have or work in more than one language, but beyond the framework of seeing them as “community writers”. Another aim was to try and shift the conversation about languages beyond paradigms that are purely hierarchical or antagonistic, and to recognize the affective and aesthetic pull of idioms, songs, poems, and stories in languages otherwise considered “minor” or “less important”.

We had panels on languages in families and across generations (which threw up the useful coinage of “grandparent’s language” instead of mother tongue), and on writing and living across languages and places. And we had a poetry session in which poets only recited in their language of choice (Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Somali), giving others the chance to hear the poems while reading the translation on slides. The response, by writers and by audience members, was overwhelming. Selma Dabbagh’s confession about feeling an “outsider” to Arabic despite her heritage and lifelong attempt to learn it “properly” found a wide echo among the listeners, and highlighted the persistent but often painful and frustrated “language longing” among first/second/third generation speakers.

Recognizing that London is a multilingual city also in literary terms may seem obvious, but to the writers themselves it was revelatory and quite empowering. Shephali Forst, one of the poets featured, later wrote that “As a Multilingual writer in Hindi and English, in all honesty, until now I had envisaged that my writings in Hindi would not be of interest to the wider world audience. At the ‘Verses in Many Voices’ [poetry] event, I observed listeners eagerly imbibing translations, together with the rhythmic beauty of international voices, and it changed something inside me”. “There was something magical about hearing the different global musicalities of poetry across cultures”, the host Malika Booker wrote, and she added, “I was able to get access to poets and cultural poetics that are never featured on the British Literary scene.”

“I noticed everyone struggled with the same questions and anxieties”, writer Shazaf Husain commented, “but getting writers together like this helped to pool together people who deal with this problem creatively and turn it into an opportunity. It really made me less nervous about my multilingual identity, to be honest, and also removed many preconceptions I had in my mind about how academia treats other languages.”

And Aamer Hussein, “I was pleased to see many of us represent our different tongues and double heritage, and I thought the increased focus and intimacy that Zoom allows ultimately worked to our advantage. I think the session allowed many viewers apart from us to think through the question of the languages that surround us and I received enthusiastic responses from more than one monolingual member of the audience. Above all we were made aware, as Londoners, of the immense riches of our literary cultures and the realisation that so many of us chose to continue to write in our own languages while we address an audience that, in our new home, can only read us in translation.”

It strikes me that, as Goldsmiths prizes itself as a cultural hub of multicultural London, Tamar’s work on bilingual and translingual writers fits the remit perfectly. Her trajectory, as a comparatist from an English Department whose work increasingly speaks to debates about literature and language that are cutting-edge in academia and find such profound echo among artists and publics, seems to me exemplary. This is precisely the kind of work that we should cherish and hold up as a model.

… we propose to refocus the department on Creative Writing and on the study of Global Literature. This would support the centring of creativity, diversity and critical thinking in the department’s identity […]

We therefore propose to reduce FTE from areas such as Comparative literature, Translation Studies and Linguistics, whilst preserving the teaching of areas such as creative writing, Black British and Caribbean literature and world literatures, and critical thought.

(from Goldsmiths “consultation” document on the proposed redundancies, 10 October 2021)

Francesca Orsini

In defence of Radical Inquiry in Comparative Literature, Translation and the Study of Language(s) – 5: The non-hierarchical university

We thank Rosa Mucignat for her contribution to this series of posts arising from the LINKS event that took place on 13 June 2022.  A description of the occasion can be found here. For previous posts, please scroll down; further posts in the series will be published over the next couple of days.

 

LINKS and the non-hierarchical university

The threat to Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths was a shock for all of us who teach and research in this growing field. Comparative Literature is a relatively new discipline in the UK and has a longer tradition in Europe and America. But in the last 20 years, CompLit programmes have been opened and expanded in a number of British universities. In London, King’s, UCL and Goldsmiths were the first three institutions to offer comparative studies degrees, swiftly followed by Queen Mary, Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, and SOAS (in no particular order). Even in the aftermath of the financial crisis, when many sectors of Higher Education faced harsh cuts, Comparative Literature kept growing. It was in the context of this post-crisis buoyancy that LINKS was born. LINKS, or London Intercollegiate Network of Comparative Studies, is the brainchild of Kaja Marczewska, then a brilliant MA student in Comparative Literature at King’s, now Head of Collections Research at the National Archives.

In 2009 she approached me with the idea of organizing a graduate conference that would bring together MA students from other Comparative Literature programmes in London, as a way of creating a community in what was still a fragmented field.

UCL’s Florian Mussgnung, Lucia Boldrini of Goldsmiths and I jumped at the opportunity and devised the model of an itinerant annual meeting that would be hosted by each institution in turn. Kaja and I organized the first conference at King’s, and Goldsmiths ran it in 2012, followed by two more iterations as the circle of LINKS associates widened. In 2014, LINKS found its ideal institutional home at the Institute of Modern Languages Research at Senate House, where it organized a public seminar series, now part of the Convocation Seminars in World Literature and Translations, led by Joseph Ford.

LINKS emerged as an informal network in a father fortuitous and unplanned manner. But perhaps this is the reason for its lasting success: we have often worked in the interstices of our respective institutional structures, sometimes below the radar, coming together as individual researchers and students in a space free from the dictates of marketing, branding, impact and public engagement as university managers understand it. And we have offered exceptional value for money – our eagerness to bypass institutional channels and economize extending to the purchase and transport (in Lucia’s smoothly wheeled suitcase) of food and drinks.

LINKS is a true network, built from the bottom-up in a collaborative spirit, with no hierarchies and out of a shared interest and investment in our discipline. As universities increasingly adopt market strategies based on competition, low-cost, high-yield business models, and customer satisfaction, LINKS has stood for a different paradigm: the university not as a service provider but a community of scholars and students that collaborate with and challenge each other, invested in the creation and sharing of knowledge, and open to the public. As we know, this transversal, self-determined flow of ideas and people is vital to the advancement of a field of study, especially one that is interdisciplinary in nature like CompLit. The cuts at Goldsmiths affect us all – they will mutilate and disfigure the networks we rely on to keep our discipline alive.

Rosa Mucignat
Reader in Comparative Literature