Brunel Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series

Event Details

Brunel Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series

Time: March 9, 2016 from 4pm to 6pm
Location: Drama Studio Brunel
Street: Cleveland Rd
City/Town: London. UB8 3PH
Website or Map:…
Phone: +44 (0)1895 267 343
Event Type: seminar
Organized By: Johannes Birringer
Latest Activity: Feb 26, 2016

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Event Description

Holly Maples  (Brunel, Theatre):  "Posturing History: Embodying Protest from Black Lives Matter to Beyoncé"


Nicephor Herrantes (São Paulo): Queering Lament: Selections from the Occult Songs of the Greek People").  

Wednesday, March 09: Research Seminar

4 PM - 6:00 PM / Drama Studio Brunel University London

"Posturing History: Embodying Protest from Black Lives Matter to Beyoncé" --The 50th anniversary of the 1965 Selma March was darkened by the release of the Ferguson Report, condemning systemic signs of racist policing just days before the celebrations. Unsettling echoes of the 1960s, from burning churches, to violent protests, and images of police brutality, appeared alongside those of important American civil rights commemorations, creating a climate of performative protest, where re-enactments of civil rights era America gave ammunition to the current struggle. Twitter feeds positioned Black Lives Matter protests side by side images from the 1960s, creating a virtual performative space to fuse the past to the present. Continuing this trend, protestors staged re-enactments of civil rights marches and speeches, while posing and performing gestures of historic leaders and protestors from the Civil Rights era. As President Obama stages a re-enactment of the famous photo of Rosa Parks on the Alabama bus, Black Lives Matter protestors perform dark mimicries of the 1960s sit-ins by staging “die-ins”, laying down as if dead in front of a police station in Ferguson, Missouri, and Beyoncé’s channeling of the Black Panthers at the SuperBowl is directly associate to Black Lives Matter protests by her dancers. In these events, past and present struggles are fuse together into embodied performances of protest. However, the posturing of the 1960s are not solely political devices, but enable members of the public to inscribe acts of racial injustice upon their own bodies. Through an interrogation of how such performative protests affect the minds and imaginations of the public, this paper examines how the past becomes absorbed into the collective imaginings of American citizens through the act of posing, posturing, and re-enacting past events, allowing them to physically imagine, and indeed, become, the body politic of the nation.



“Mourning Others: Queering Lament: Selections from the Occult Songs of the Greek People” -- Dating back to the late 19th century, the Politis Manuscript came to light three years ago and contains twenty, disavowed or 'occult' 'Selections from the songs of the Greek people' which were recorded by Nikolaos Politis (1850-1921), the patriarch of Greek Folk Studies, but have never been included in his same-titled key publication (1914). All these texts raise issues about various forms of homoerotic desire, while at the same time they decry the impossibility for different kinds of radical subjects to become worthy of mourning. For the reasons that this paper elucidates, since the year 1914, individuals and communities in different countries appropriated these songs, depicting them as original creations and silencing their Greek origins. The research project presented here aims a) to identify the Politis Manuscript folksongs with individual and collective works of the world literary heritage, b) to restore and publish the discovered manuscript as the first Greek folk anthology of queer laments (pustiás ké ololygmú). 

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