School of Humanities and Sciences
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Hoagland Family Professor, T. Robert and Katherine States Burke Family Director of BOSP, and Professor, by courtesy, of Iberian and Latin American CulturesOn Leave from 09/01/2019 To 08/31/2020
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy current research is concerned with the relationships among race, form, genre, representing what Jeffrey T. Nealon has recently term the “post-postmodern.” In the latest version of this research presented at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien, Freie Universität Berlin I use Sesshu Foster's "Atomik Aztex" as an example twenty-first century racial imaginaries. Part fantasy, part hallucinatory sur-realism, part muckraking novel in the grand realist protest tradition of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), part historical novel in the mode of Vassily Grossman’s great Stalinist era masterpiece, Life & Fate (1980) set during the battle of Stalingrad, part ethnographic history about religious, military, and social structure of the pre-Columbian Aztec (Nahua, Mexica) world, part LA noir, and wholly Science Fiction alternative and counterfactual history, it exemplifies many of the criteria of the “post-postmodern.” Moreover, in addition to this range of formal matters, Atomik Aztex is concerned with two other topics:
•a reconceptualization of the way that race affects the formations of history, and
•the reshaping of the form of the novel in order to represent that reconceptualization.
With eighty-two characters populating the story, itself a plotted compendium of at least two radically separate yet intertwined universes of action, in a continually shifting movement from past, present, and future times, Atomik Aztex is a radical experiment in novelistic form. Using the tools of quantitative formalism developed for literary use by the Stanford University Literary Lab, I wish to show how the work of the computational humanities, in conjunction with traditional hermeneutic methods of literary analysis can help us understand the radical turn of contemporary American fiction toward speculative realism.
Professor of German Studies and, by courtesy, of English
BioKathryn Starkey is Professor of German in the Department of German Studies. Her primary research interests are medieval and early modern German literature and culture with an emphasis on visuality, material culture, language, performativity, and the history of the book.
She is the author of "Reading the Medieval Book: Word, Image, and Performance in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 'Willehalm'" (Notre Dame 2004), and "A Courtier’s Mirror: Cultivating Elite Identity in Thomasin's 'Welscher Gast'" (Notre Dame 2013). Together with Horst Wenzel (Berlin), Professor Starkey co-edited "Imagination und Deixis: Studien zur Wahrnehmung im Mittelalter" (Stuttgart 2007), and "Visual Culture and the German Middle Ages" (New York 2005). In collaboration with Ann Marie Rasmussen (Waterloo) and Jutta Eming (Berlin), she conducted a three-year research project funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation TransCoop Program on “Tristan and Isolde and Cultures of Emotion in the Middle Ages.” This project culminated in the co-edited volume "Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan" (Notre Dame 2012). One of her current projects is a co-authored (with Edith Wenzel [Aachen]) edition, translation, and commentary of songs by the medieval poet Neidhart (ca. 1210-1240) entitled "Neidhart: Selected Songs from the Riedegger Manuscript".
Prof. Starkey has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the UNC Institute for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Before joining the faculty at Stanford in 2012 she taught in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.