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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics Events & Colloquium

Book-in-progress talk - PATRICIA STUELKE (Dartmouth College): "Crisis, Genre, Movement"

When:Fr 19-05-2023 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Room 1315.0049, Harmonie building

This is event is hosted by the Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics.


Stuelke’s second book project “Crisis, Genre, Movement” argues that across the Americas, literary and cinematic experiments with genre and form are increasingly functioning as forms of engagement and entanglement with left social movement critique, tactics, and practices.

The field of contemporary literary and cultural studies currently manifests two seemingly contradictory concerns about genre: a preoccupation with the specific forms and usages of genre fiction, on the one hand, and a larger sense that we living through a period of what Lauren Berlant calls “genre flail,” in which the utility of the generic forms of sociality and aesthetics that we have inherited has eroded.

“Crisis, Genre, Movement” reframes this conversation in two ways. First, it reads contemporary experiments in genre in literature and film in the Americas not as a means to disrupt or secure the hierarchy of the literary, but rather as a set of improvisations taking shape in the midst of the “flail.” Second, the project argues that many of these new and reconfigured genres are developing in tandem with the critiques, forms, and affective modes of contemporary social movements in the Americas. Aesthetic (literary, cinematic, televisual) invention in the cracks of the “genre flail” has taken the form of a cultural front of these movements: recent generic shifts can be imagined as accompaniments to social movement projects, in that the imprint of contemporary movement tactics, strategies, and politics are visible in writers’ aesthetic experimentation with generic conventions. Resisting the assumption that genres, especially literary ones, circulate prior to and autonomous from contemporary politics, or solely as codifying and normalizing forces, this project traces how forms of generic experimentation, liberal-left and left critique, and activist practice across the Americas inflect one other.

About the speaker

Dr. Patricia Stuelke is Associate Professor at Dartmouth College, USA, and 2022-2023 Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany.

Earlier in the day, she will also give a PhD Dissertation writing workshop for PhD candidates of the Research Centre.