Presidential and Plenary Address Conference Luncheons

We will be hosting two lovely and fascinating luncheons at the 2015 PAMLA Conference: the Friday, November 6th Presidential Address Luncheon, featuring PAMLA President Heidi Schlipphacke, and the Saturday, November 7th Plenary Address Luncheon, featuring Plenary Speaker, Kara Keeling (both luncheons will be located at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower). The luncheons do cost an additional fee ($29), but each Address Luncheon is sure to be a highlight of the conference. To join us for one or both Address Luncheon, visit our Registration page (http://www.pamla.org/2015/registration), and use our safe and easy-to-use online Eventbrite payment system to make a reservation.

If you have any questions about the luncheons, please email PAMLA Executive Director, Craig Svonkin: svonkin@netzero.com.

Friday Presidential Address Luncheon, 12:20-1:50 pm

PAMLA President Heidi Schlipphacke, Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will deliver the 2015 PAMLA Presidential Address, “The Future of Melancholia: Freud, Fassbinder, and Anxiety After War.” This talk interprets Freud’s essay on melancholia, the mood seen as defining post-WWII Germany, as a work that points anti-intuitively to the future. R.W. Fassbinder’s films embody melancholy as the emotional state that structures Fassbinder's anxious queer futures.

PAMLA President Heidi Schlipphacke’s talk reads selected films of New German Cinema auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder as aesthetic markers of a future-oriented melancholia. Produced in West Germany in the 1970s, a period known for the attempt to look truthfully at the traumatic Nazi past, Fassbinder’s films nevertheless highlight the largely overlooked forward-looking nature of melancholia. Schlipphacke turns to Freud’s post-WWI essays on melancholia and anxiety in order to tease out an interpretation of Freud’s reflections on these emotional states that complicate an understanding of melancholia as the product of the return of a repressed trauma. Freud’s writings on melancholia and anxiety offer, she contends, a window onto these psychological states that highlight their fixation on the future. Fassbinder’s films often pick up on the importance of the future and anxiety for the structure of melancholia. While representing characters caught in a seeming repetition compulsion of domination and submission, Fassbinder’s films likewise point to tenuous futures that do not merely reproduce the past. These futures, she suggests, are both anxious and queer – deeply fearful but simultaneously deviating subtly from well-worn narratives from the past.

Heidi Schlipphacke is Associate Profesor of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and has been a member of PAMLA since 1998. Her research focuses on issues of gender, kinship and aesthetics in the German Enlightenment and in post-WWII German and Austrian literature and film. She also enjoys writing on American popular and queer culture. She has published in a wide variety of journals, including Screen, The Journal of English and German Philology, The German Quarterly, and Camera Obscura, among others. Her book, Nostalgia After Nazism: History, Home and Affect in German and Austrian Literature and Film, appeared with Bucknell University Press in 2010. She is a member of the editorial boards for the Goethe Yearbook, for the Journal of Austrian Studies, and for the book series, “New Directions in German Studies,” published by Bloomsbury. She has received research fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and from the Fulbright Foundation. She is currently working on a monograph on monogamy and polygamy in 18th-century German literature and thought and on a co-edited volume on the cultural resonance of the empress Elisabeth of Austria. She recently edited a special issue of the Journal for Austrian Studies on the topic “Habsburg Nostalgia.”

To join us for the 2015 Presidential Address Luncheon, please make a reservation: http://www.pamla.org/2015/registration

Saturday Plenary Address Luncheon, 12:00-1:30 pm

Kara Keeling, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California, will deliver the 2015 PAMLA Plenary Address, “Wild Seeds: On Speculation and Black Futures.” This talk will bring African American novelist Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed (1980) into conversation with Black British filmmaker John Akomfrah’s 1996 film The Last Angel of History, in order to advance theories of queer temporality at an interface with Black existence.

Professor Kara Keeling’s talk will bring African American novelist Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed (published in 1980) into conversation with Black British filmmaker John Akomfrah’s 1996 film The Last Angel of History in order to advance theories of queer temporality at an interface with Black existence. Keeling understands these texts to be cultural explorations of the significance of Black existence to speculation and futurity. Wild Seed provides a counter-narrative of the Middle Passage, a fantastic origin story in which matter does not signify in reliable ways. The race, sex, gender, etc. of any given body may or may not secure predictable knowledges about whoever or whatever dwells in that body. At the same time, Butler tells a disturbing tale in which eugenics is part of a Middle Passage undergirded by violence, fear, calculation, and measurement in which all of the novel's characters are participants. The Last Angel of History presents Butler’s oeuvre as part of the cultural formation known as Afrofuturism, as it was being articulated in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In addition to giving a filmic expression to a dynamic cultural formation that today is experiencing a revitalizating transformation, The Last Angel of History itself is a creative enactment of the Afrofuturism of that time period. Keeling argues that attending to the film’s formal and thematic logics opens a relationship between Blackness and temporality as those were becoming perceptible in relationship to speculation during the 1980s and 1990s, which has implications for how we think about technology and speculation now.

Kara Keeling is Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts and of American Studies and Ethnicity in Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at the University of Southern California. She works in the areas of Film and Media Studies, Black Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Critical Theory, and Cultural Studies. Keeling’s book, The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense (Duke University Press, 2007), explores the role of cinematic images in the construction and maintenance of hegemonic conceptions of the world and interrogates the complex relationships between cinematic visibility, exploitation, and the labor required to create and maintain alternative organizations of social life. She is co-editor (with Josh Kun) of Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies and (with Colin MacCabe and Cornel West) of a selection of writings by the late James A. Snead entitled European Pedigrees/ African Contagions: Racist Traces and Other Writing. Keeling also is the author of several articles that have appeared in the journals GLQ, Cultural Studies, Qui Parle, The Black Scholar, Women and Performance, and elsewhere. Her most recent book manuscript, tentatively entitled Queer Times, Black Futures, is under contract with New York University Press. It engages with theories and cultural practices that enable one to think entanglements of temporalities, spatial politics, finance capital, and radical imaginations.

To join us for the 2015 Plenary Address Luncheon, please make a reservation: http://www.pamla.org/2015/registration