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Foreign Languages & Literatures Events Archive




Fall 2009 - Spring 2010



  • Skinny Jeans and Fruity Loops: The Networked Publics of Global Youth Culture

  • Skinny Jeans and Fruity Loops

    Seminar with Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow Wayne Marshall (MIT FL&L).

    What can we learn about contemporary culture from watching dayglo-clad teenagers dancing geekily in front of their computers in such disparate sites as Brooklyn, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, and Mexico City? How has the embrace of “new media” by so-called “digital natives” facilitated the formation of transnational, digital publics? More important, what are the local effects of such practices, and why do they seem to generate such hostile responses and anxiety about the future?

    Wayne Marshall is an ethnomusicologist, blogger, DJ, and, beginning this year, a Mellon Fellow in Foreign Languages and Literatures at MIT. His research focuses on the production and circulation of popular music, especially across the Americas and in the wider world, and the role that digital technologies are playing in the formation of new notions of community, selfhood, and nationhood.

    Date: Tuesday November 10, 2009
    Time: 5:15 PM
    Location: 14E-310



  • The Beauty of Chinese Caligraphy

  • Beauty of Chinese Caligraphy

    Barry Lam, Chairman/Founder of Quanta Computers

    Barry Lam is the founder and Chairman of Quanta Computers. With over 30 years of experience, Barry is widely hailed as a visionary and has been globally recognized for his accomplishments. In 1999 and 2002, Barry was chosen by Business Week as one of fifty “Stars of Asia”. In 2002, he was highlighted in Business Week’s list of the top 25 managers of the year for his achievements in leading Quanta in becoming the world’s largest notebook producer. Barry continues to play an active role in the company’s strategies and visions as well as R&D initiatives.

    Date: Tuesday November 17, 2009
    Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
    Location: 32-141 (Stata Building)



  • Cool Japan Event - Summer Wars Film Screening
  • Date: Monday March 1, 2010
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 26-100


  • Marguerite Duras’s “The Lover” and “La Musica Deuxième”

  • Daniel Pettrow and Astrid Bas

    A bilingual (French-English) stage adaptation with music and English supertitles for French portions with performances by Astrid Bas, Daniel Pettrow, and violinist Ami Flammer. Free and open to the general public with a reception to follow.

    The Lover (1984) 50 minutes

    In The Lover, Marguerite Duras evokes the Indochina of her youth. A teenage girl in the thirties in Saigon has a scandalous affair with a rich Chinese man. In The Lover, Marguerite Duras adopts a tone that seems to confide to the reader topics that had haunted her throughout her work. Audiences are able to go with her as she drifts down through the Asia of the great Mekong River. The reader follows Duras through the twisting meanderings of the Delta, down into the humid rice fields and into the secret shadows of her obsessive and repeated incantations, which rise to the surface again and again in her books, films, and plays.

    We get so involved with the details of the lovers’ story, so candidly and brazenly created by the novelist, that we are utterly carried away by it. It is no wonder that the novel was a tremendous hit right off the presses when it was published in 1984, winning le Prix Goncourt, the prestigious French literary prize. Astrid Bas performs in The Lover, with violin accompaniment by Ami Flammer.

    La Musica Deuxième (1964) 50 minutes

    “She: It was another man, not you. Anyway, that’s how it was, another man. You were off to one side, alone, on the other side were all the men I’ll never get to know. (Pause) I think you must understand me perfectly. (Pause) Isn’t that right?” From La Musica Deuxième.

    La Musica Deuxième was first performed at la Maison Française at the New York University in 2007.The brilliant bilingual performance of Marguerite Duras’s work, performed by French actress Astrid Bas and American actor Daniel Pettrow, was well received by audiences. Performed by him in English and by her in French, each part is an accomplished feat of acting in its own language, with subtitles provided in English for the French part.

    A man and a woman have just gotten divorced. They have started new lives but are unable to untie the knot which binds them. A shared desire to meet brings them together again. They are both familiar and strange, known and unknown to the other. A word here, a word there, and they begin to put the past they shared back together, a past which tugs on all the misunderstandings and betrayals and begins to unravel again.

    In La Musica Deuxième, the real and the imagined become hard to separate, forming and reforming themselves according to desire’s melodic strains. The two hear each other as if listening to a piece of music, a piece of music Marguerite Duras has us hear as a chant coming from deep within, one that makes itself felt, as much as it is heard, from a far-off, secret place. Neither memory nor the past is fixed in place: everything happens in an endless back and forth between refusal and nostalgia, tenderness and revolt. (From comments by director Martine Charlet)
    La Musica Deuxième is performed by Astrid Bas and Daniel Pettrow.

    The performers

    French actress and director Astrid Bas has worked the past few years on Georges Lavaudant’s adaptations for the French stage of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Cassandra by Christa Wolf, Cenci by Artaud, Satyricon by Bruno Maderna, and Buchner’s Death of Danton. She has also been in stage adaptations directed by Anatoli Vassiliev, Bruno Bayen, Frédéric Fisbach, Eugène Durif, Hélène Vincent, Yves Baunesne and Jean-Marie Patte. With a Master’s degree from Paris’s national conservatory of dramatic art, as well as a degree from the national theater school of Strasbourg, Astrid Bas has also appeared in feature-length films by Benoît Jacquot, Arnaud Viard and Shiri Tsur.

    American national Daniel Pettrow has acted in more than fifty-five stage productions, both in national and international theater. As a member of the Wooster Group in New York, where he is currently appearing in Hamlet, Daniel Pettrow has worked on a number of collaborations with French directors, including Arthur Nauzyciel, Artistic Director of the National Theater of Orleans, and the German director Walter Asmus. In 1996, he also co-founded an alternative arts center in Atlanta called The Ballroom Studios, which is mainly involved with theater arts and the visual arts. Like Astrid Bas, he has also performed on the silver screen, in such films as Cult of Sincerity, The Last Adam and Kathy T. Getting Better, andon TV in Goodbeats and Roadtrip.

    Ami Flammer has been solo violinist in the largest national and international chamber orchestras. Winner of the Maria Canals International Competition and of the George Enesco prize, he has been performing for years in a duo with Jean-Claude Pennetier, with whom he has recorded contemporary works and composers. He is a professor at the conservatory of Chalon-sur-Saone and of Gennevilliers, and is currently a professor of chamber music at Paris’s National Conservatory for Advanced Music Studies. In 1988, he published a tome of considerable length on the violin, published by Lattès. He has also composed several scores for cinema (for adaptations of novels by Marguerite Duras and for productions by filmmaker Eric Rohmer) and for theater (Kafka at the Avignon Festival in 1993, with Michael Lonsdale).

    Cast
    Astrid Bas: Actress
    Daniel Pettrow: Actor
    Ami Flammer: Violin accompaniment

    Date: Tuesday March 2, 2010
    Time: 8:00 PM
    Location: Killian Hall (14S-100)


  • Reading by Saša Stanišic
  • A reading by Max Kade Writer In Residence, Saša Stanišic.

    Date: Tuesday March 9, 2010
    Time: 6:30 PM
    Location: 32-141 (Stata Center)


  • Performance & Lecture by Hamé
  • In addition to a sample performance of his rap artistry and a short talk on "Youth in France's Outer Cities (les banlieues), Hamé will screen ten short films that are part of his collaborative compilation work on police brutality, Outrage and Rebellion, including shorts by directors Chaab Mahmoud, Peter Whitehead, Marylene Negro, and Jean-Marie Straub.

    Date: Monday March 15, 2010
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: 32-155 (Stata Center)


  • "The Politics of Madonna Icons: The Mother of God and Russian NationalIdentity"
  • Amy Singleton Adams (The College of the Holy Cross)

    Russian leaders traditionally use their discovery or possession of significant Mother of God icons to advance military, social, and political agendas. Church leaders support the link between these Madonna icons and Russian self-perception in sermons that describe Mary's favoritism toward the Russian nation itself. This talk will explore the narrative culture that surrounds Mother of God icons. These tales of loss and discovery paint a more complex picture of the Madonna image, as political and ecclesiastic power is subtly challenged by the power of the icon itself.

    Amy is the author of Noplace Like Home: The Literary Artist and Russia's Search for Cultural Identity and is currently directing the "Framing the Madonna" project.

    This event is cosponsored by The MIT Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies (CB/BS) and the program in Women's and Gender Studies

    Date: Friday April 9, 2010
    Time: 12:00-1:00 PM
    Location: E51-095


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