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Fourth Annual Symposium 
Session Descriptions

“De mi cartera para muchos”: Escritura femenina en la Argentina decimonónica

Dr. Vanesa Landrus, Foreign Languages 

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Dr. Vanesa Landrus

Este trabajo pretende rescatar las voces argentinas periféricas con la intención de demostrar el valor incuestionable de su aporte en la gestación de los proyectos de emancipación femenina. Mi análisis se enfoca específicamente en las cartas, discursos y ensayos periodísticos de dos hermanas cordobesas: María Euguenia y Rosario Echenique. A través de sus numerosas correspondencias, discursos en clubs sociales y publicaciones en periódicos cordobeses como, Eco de Córdoba (1860), El Progreso (1968), El porvenir (1872) y La Situación (1878) entre otros, estas escritoras llegan a sobrepasar los estrechos límites de acción que les imponía una sociedad cromáticamente jerarquizada y colocan en primera plana su misión de reivindicar la condición de la mujer periférica. Desde una perspectiva marginal, estas literatas crean un espacio discursivo alternativo desde el cual comienzan a teorizar sobre lo femenino, es decir; a emprender el proceso de contemplación de la problemática de la mujer en el contexto argentino. Sus escritos, hasta el momento ignorados por la crítica tradicional, revelan posturas cruciales para entender la dinámica de resistencia y transgresión social, política y cultural que moldearon los debates nacionalistas de la Argentina decimonónica.

This paper aims to rescue the peripheral silvery voices intended to demonstrate the unquestionable value of its contribution in the creation of the women's projects. My analysis focuses specifically on the letters, speeches and journalistic essays of two Cordovan sisters: Maria Rosario and Echenique Euguenia. Through its numerous correspondences, speeches in social clubs and publications in newspapers as CordobaCordoba Eco(1860), Progress (1968), The Future (1872) and The Situation (1878) among others, these writers come to exceed action narrow limits imposed on them chromatically hierarchical society and placed in front his mission to claim peripheral status of women. From a marginal, these literate create an alternative discursive space from which to begin to theorize on the feminine, i.e., to undertake the process of contemplating the problems of women in the Argentine context. His writings, so far ignored by traditional criticism, reveal positions crucial to understanding the dynamics of resistance and transgression social, political and cultural nationalist debates that shaped the nineteenth-century Argentina.

 

Undue Burdens and Personal Responsibility: Abortion and A(na)chronicity in Contemporary Drama by African American Women

Dr. Jeannie Ludlow, English & Women's Studies 
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 Dr. Jeannie Ludlow

 

In the early 1990s, the phrase “personal responsibility” was code for, crudely, stopping so-called welfare queens from taking advantage of the system and was used to further social stereotyping of welfare recipients as women of color whose promiscuity and laziness made them dependent on other Americans for financial support. At about the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey marked a shift in the legal and public discourse of abortion, establishing the state’s interest in protecting the potentiality of human life throughout pregnancy. In a radical break from Roe’s rhetoric of rights, the Casey decision designated state limitations on abortion access constitutional as long as they did not present “undue burdens” for the women seeking abortion services.

This paper focuses on three plays by African American women that explore the social and discursive ramifications of these two legal speech acts. Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky (1995), Kia Corthran’sCome Down Burning (1995), and Suzan-Lori Parks’s Fucking A (2000) all feature characters—both abortion providers and abortion patients—who describe their abortion experiences on stage in ways that expose the complicated relationship among the paternalism of “undue burden,” the judgmentalism of “personal responsibility,” and racialization. All three reveal the ways these rhetorics overdetermine the abortion experiences of women of color in the U.S. in the late 20th century, participating in the simultaneous social stigmatization of women of color, poor people, and abortion. 

 

Delta Character outside the Delta: Turn-of-the-Century News about a Heinous Event

Dr. Debra Reid, History
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Debra Reid

This session will involve attendees in analysis of news reports documenting the cotton pickers strike in Lee County, Arkansas, that turned deadly in October 1891. It will start with the "Four Corners of a Document" technique and then employ other approaches to document analysis. The published accounts that attendees will analyze represent northern and southern, as well as white and black perspectives on the event. It will conclude with a comparison of the attendees interpretation of the documents compared to accepted scholarship on the event. How can Arkansans interpret the event in light of the session's findings?

 

Remapping the Black Atlantic 

Dr. Charles Foy, History
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Charles Foy


This paper proposes to show how the utilization of the Black Mariner Database (“BMD”), a collection of records for more than 23,500 eighteenth century black seamen I have developed, can enable one to write biographies of heretofore largely hidden lives and redefine the contours of the 18th century Black Atlantic, the subject of my book manuscript, Liberty’s Labyrinth: Freedom in the 18th Century Black Atlantic.
The paper will do so in three discrete ways. First, it will answer the central question concerning individuals for whom there is limited documentation: were their lives exceptional or commonplace. The BMD illustrates that the most striking characteristic of the lives of all black mariners was their continued vulnerability to re-enslavement. Second, the BMD permits us to place black mariners within the shifting legal boundaries of the Atlantic. As abolition took hold in various regions freedom was granted to many former slaves. At the same time many slave masters moved their slaves to avoid the effects of gradual emancipation. During the last quarter of the 18th century large numbers of black mariners found themselves swept up in this movement of black bodies into slave-holding regions. And lastly, the BMD also permits us to more deeply consider assistance by whites in helping slaves flee via the sea. The BMD makes clear the critical role that the increasingly compassio! nate humanitarianism among some whites, be they governmental officials, navy officers or abolitionists, was critical for those enslaved black mariners who obtained freedom.

 

"Discourse of a 'Naturally Disciplined' Body in Japanese Theater” and "Manipulation of the Imperial Household Authorities during the Allied Occupation Era”

Dr. Jinhee Lee, History
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Dr. Jinhee Lee

The two of the ten papers that I reviewed and selected for this year's Midwest Japan Seminar Series as an Executive Committee member of the organization will be presented in this refereed professional workshop. The papers that I am responsible to provide my review on are: “Discourse and Logic of a 'Naturally Disciplined' Body in Japanese Theater” by Maki Isaka (University of Minnesota) and "'Democratizing the Emperor': Manipulation of the Imperial Household Authorities and the National Language Council during the Allied Occupation” by Noriko Akimoto Sugimori (Kalamazoo College). Dr. Isaka's paper will analyze the ways in which bodily disciplines in Japanese theatre training (Kabuki and Noh drama) were conceived and contested by different experts and why. The paper by Dr. Sugimori will trace the changing usage of imperial honorifics for Japanese emperors in the modern era from Meiji to Hirohito while paying particular attention to the changes that the American-led Allied Occupation era brought.