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Research seminars: February 2018

Wednesday 7 February 2018
Weekly Middle Eastern Film Screenings
Downpour (Bahram Beizai, 1972)
2h 8m, in Persian with English subtitles
A well educated and humble teacher arrives in a new city and at a new job in the pre-revolutionary Iran. He falls in love with a hardworking underprivileged young woman that nurses her very old mother and raises her young brother. In an environment where commitments and social problems often stand in the way between people and their dreams.
3pm, Buchanan Building, room B103

Thursday 8 February 2018
School of Modern Languages Research Seminar Series
Conflict and Change
‘Classed adaptations: conflicting narratives of change and stability among middling Iranian migrants in the UK’
Dr Mastooreh Fathi, Royal Holloway
4-5.30pm, School V, St Salvator's Quadrangle

Tuesday 13 February 2018
Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies (CRSCEES)
Professor Tomasz Kamusella (St Andrews)
The Forgotten 1989 Expulsion of Turks from Communist Bulgaria
5pm, Buchanan Building room 312

Wednesday 14 February 2018
C19c Brown paper-bag research seminar series 2017-18
“Sharing a 19th-Century Object and/or Concept”
Andy Murphy, School of English
Concepts: Literacy, education and politics
In his seminal statement of the modernist theory of nationalism (Nations and Nationalism, 1983), Ernest Gellner tied the rise of nationalism to the context of industrialisation in the nineteenth century, arguing that the systematisation required by industrialising societies demanded standardised forms of knowledge that could only be provided at the level of the state. To provide such knowledge, governments needed to set up formal educational systems. In Gellner's view, these systems served ultimately to create a homogenised culture, in the process calling into being a recognisable form of national identity. While Gellner’s model is compelling, the effects of the wider availability of education and the spread of literacy in the nineteenth century were, it might be argued, neither quite so uniform nor so predictable. Andy has taken up this issue in two separate research projects. He has looked at working-class readers’ encounters with Shakespeare in the nineteenth century and has registered the ways in which, for many of these readers, Shakespeare’s work served as a source of inspiration for programmes of radical political activism. He has also looked at the impact of the rise of literacy in Ireland in the same period. Here, an examination of the schoolbooks used in the educational system would appear to provide support for Gellner’s thesis, since they are geared towards inculcating a strongly British identity, at the expense of any distinctive Irishness. Yet this very process in itself prompted a significant counter movement in Ireland which, in 1916, culminated in a separatist uprising in Dublin. In the Irish instance, then, late nineteenth century/early twentieth century nationalism can be said to be produced in reaction against the process that Gellner identifies as the standard mechanism of nationalism. For Andy’s session, then, he would like to explore the complex implications of the expansion of education and the rise of literacy across the span of the nineteenth century.
1-2pm, Byre Conference Room

Wednesday 14 February 2018
Weekly Middle Eastern Film Screenings
Once Upon A Time, Cinema? (MohsenMakhmalbaf, 1992)
1h 30min, in Persian with English Subtitles
Mirza Ebrahim Khan, travels past in time to introduce cinematography to the previous king who can afford to pay for the new industry. But Nasser-e-din Shah takes an interest in the actress starring "Dokhtare Lor" movie and becomes an actor.
3pm, Buchanan Building, room B103

Wednesday 14 February 2018
Byre World / CRSCEES
In Conversation with Monika Szydlowska
Monika Szydlowska is an author of a popular webcomic Na Emigracji that illustrates the experiences of Polish immigrants in the UK.  The blog had been maintained since October 2013 and read by more than 10,000 fans. By using a style reminiscent of comic illustration it relates the trials and tribulations of immigrants who have decided to move to the British Isles. The minimalist watercolours are enriched with text (both in Polish and English), used to highlight or outline the nuances of common experiences and unexpected situations faced by a Pole outside Poland. They are frequently comical - either through laying bare prevailing stereotypes (on both sides) or through making wry observations of cultural differences.
Dr Emily Finer will join Monika Szydlowska for a discussion of her work that has been recently published as a book Do You Miss Your Country? (2016).
5pm, Byre Theatre, Studio

Thursday 15 February 2018
School of Modern Languages Research Seminar Series
Conflict and Change
‘Conflict and change: The case of Modern South Arabian Languages (MSAL)’
Professor Janet Watson, University of Leeds & Miranda Morris, University of St Andrews
4-5.30pm, School V, St Salvator's Quadrangle

Friday 16 February 2018
Institute for Contemporary & Comparative Literature (ICCL) Seminar Series
Comparative Literature and…
Prof Lucia Boldrini (English & Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths)
Thinking comparatively from the Mediterranean
Not so much a sea between three continents but a continent in itself for Halikarnas Balikçisi; “not a civilization but civilizations heaped upon each other” according to Braudel; the place where, for Valéry, European man was born, yet, for Dainotto, the “indispensable internal Other” of Europe – the Mediterranean, with its entwined and separate histories, cultures and languages, provides endless material for anthropological, archaeological, historical, literary and artistic studies. This seminar will offer an opportunity to consider what Mediterranean studies can offer to a modern theorization of comparative literature
5pm, B216

Wednesday 21 February 2018
Weekly Middle Eastern Film Screenings
Children of Heaven (Majid Majidi, 1997)
1h 29min, in Persian with English subtitles
After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair.
3pm, Buchanan Building, room B103

Thursday 22 February 2018
Department of Film Studies, co-sponsored by IGCCC and the Department of Italian
Leverhulme Lecture: Between Academia and Practice
Professor Vito Zagarrio
This lecture will take Professor Zagarrio's personal experience as a point of departure in order to try to elaborate a different model of combining theory and practice. Throughout his life, Professor Zagarrio has sought to reconcile his desire to produce scripts, feature films and documentaries with his academic career. This dual approach has led to the conviction that first-hand experience of film practice is crucial if the scholar is to be able to effectively analyse a filmmaker's work and, over time, this apparently 'schizophrenic' approach has developed into a special skill.
The event includes a screening of Zagario's feature film Three days or anarchy/Tre giorni d'anarchia, a historical drama documenting the impact on a small Sicilian village of the power vacuum created by the arrival of the American army in July 1943. Directed in 2005, it is Zagarrio's third feature film. It will be screened in a new restoration, in Italian with English subtitles.
2pm, St Mary's Lecture Room 3

Wednesday 28 February 2018
Weekly Middle Eastern Film Screenings
The Passage (Shahriar Bahrani, 1986)
1h 30min, in Persian with English subtitles
When Nasser is sent on an identification and patrol mission at the front line of the Iran-Iraq war, he gives his wedding ring to Atefeh, his newly wed wife, not knowing if he will make it back to her. What follows is a journey into the heart of Iraqi territory every bit as dangerous as Nasser knew it would be. But can he and the small group of brave soldiers he travels with complete their mission and get back alive?
3pm, Buchanan Building, room B103

Wednesday 28 February 2018
Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies (CRSCEES)
Dr Greta Matzner-Gore (USC)
From the Corners of The Brothers Karamazov: Minor Characters in Dostoevsky’s Last Novel.
5pm, Buchanan Building, room 312

Wednesday 28 February 2018
Byre World
The Uncondemned (dir. Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel, 2015)
The Uncondemned is a riveting documentary about an underdog group of lawyers and activists who defied the odds to do what had never been done: prosecute rape as an international war crime. In 1997, the young men and women at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found themselves inexplicably in charge of the first case of genocide in history. Underfunded, understaffed and overwhelmed, they faced incredible hurdles as they pursued their first case against a small town mayor. Crimes of war and against humanity had not been prosecuted since 1946, and surviving witnesses feared for their lives. And then, based on a last minute revelation, the prosecuting team amended the charge to include rape. Three heroic women would overcome their fears and shame to speak for all those who could not. Secret memos, witness assassinations, setbacks and barriers –The Uncondemned captures the untold, remarkable story that changed the course of international judicial history.
7pm, Byre Theatre, Studio