Keynote Speakers


Neil Foley

Monuments and Memory: Comparing Public Reckonings with the History of the West and South

Friday, March 22, 5:00-6:30 pm, Plaza BC

Public reckonings with monuments and memorials in the West and South reveal how narratives of conquest/colonialism and slavery are made of silences, how African Americans, Native peoples, and others have sought to change those narratives, and what that tells us about the present eruption of white nationalism.

Neil Foley is the Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Chair of History at Southern Methodist University and the co-director of SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies. His current research centers on the changing constructions of race, citizenship, and transnational identity in the Borderlands, Mexico and the American West; Mexican immigration; and comparative civil rights politics of African Americans and Mexican Americans. His books include The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas(Berkeley, 1997); Quest for Equality:The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity(Harvard, 2010), and Mexicans in the Making of America (Harvard, 2014). He is also the editor of Reflexiones:  New Directions in Mexican American Studies (1998).

Lauren M. E. Goodlad

Ontological Reading and the Case of the Occulted Landscape

Saturday, March 23, 11:20-12:50, Plaza BC

This lecture takes up Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights to ask how the narrative work of landscape inspires new tools for the “ontological reading” of nineteenth-century fiction.  As part of a new project on the long afterlives of nineteenth-century fiction and the current turn to ontology, the lecture works forwards and backwards from Brontë’s pioneering treatment of landscape to recent homages, including Maryse Conde’s Windward Heights (1995)David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet (1999-2002), and Caryl Phillips’s The Lost Child (2015).

Lauren M. E. Goodlad is professor of English and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. She is the author of The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty and Transnational Experience (Oxford, 2015)and Victorian Literature and the Victorian State: Character and Governance in a Liberal Society (Johns Hopkins, 2003); co-editor of Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s (Duke UP, 2013), co-editor of Goth: Undead Subculture  (Duke, 2007), and a member of numerous scholarly editorial and advisory boards. Her articles and reviews have been published in journals such as American Literary HistoryCultural CritiqueELHGenreMLQNineteenth-Century Literature, PMLA, Victorian Literature and Culture, and Victorian Studies.

The Poetics of Public Space and the Aesthetics of Truth

Saturday, March 23, 5:30-6:30, Plaza BC

According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, there are currently over 1,500 public monuments and memorials that honor and uphold the narratives of the Confederacy. Recently, over 100 others have been removed. This multimedia talk, which integrates a slide presentation with movement and a short video screening, considers the ways Confederate memorials re-inscribe polarities and reify systems of power in contemporary society. It also demonstrates how pedestals left empty after the removal of the monuments can serve as metaphors for silenced moments in history.

 Ada Pinkston is a multimedia artist, educator, and cultural organizer and native New Yorker living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. Her art explores the intersection of imagined histories and sociopolitical realities on our bodies using monoprint, performance, experimental video, and collage techniques. Inter-subjective exchanges are the primary substrate of her work. Over the years, her work has been featured at a variety of spaces including The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, The Peale Museum, Transmodern Performance Festival, P.S.1, The New Museum, Light City Baltimore and the streets of Berlin. She is a Baker Artist award semifinalist (2016), a recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant in Visual Arts, administered by The Contemporary (2017); and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Ruby’s Project Grant in Visual Arts in (2017). Her most recent collaborative project includes founding the LabBodies Performance Art Laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland.