Our Fall 2005 session took place on Friday, November 4th at 4:30 p.m. at Connolly House. PhD student Jason Kerr started us off with the evening's topic and introductions before a roundtable discussion moderated by PhD student Nirmal Trivedi and featuring Professors Chris Wilson, Cynthia Young, and Ann Spinney in addition to PhD student Becky Troeger and M.A. students Matthew Sebold and Karen McConnell.
Professor Jim Smith gave his talk entitled "Monuments, Magdalens, Memorials," which explored three different artistic and memorial responses to the Magdalen Laundries in comtemporary Ireland.
M.A. student Laurie Rodrigues presented her paper entitled "Theatrical Elements of Published Indian Treaty Documents," and PhD student Tim Thompson presented "'My Nation Is the Portuguese Language': Fernando Pessoa's Poetic Imperialism."
Below are extracts from these two graduate papers. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about obtaining a copy of one of these texts from the author.
"Theatrical Elements of Published Indian Treaty Documents" by Laurie Rodgrigues
In his introduction to Indian Treaties Published by Benjamin Franklin, 1736-1762, Julian P. Boyd refers to the printed Indian treaties of early America as “diplomatic dramas.”
A primary purpose of these treaty council gatherings was to serve as a means to foster a mutual friendship; complaints and desires were expressed through parleying between
both parties. Another function was for the exchange of gifts, part of the Indian protocol, to maintain these friendly relations. Treaties published between 1750 and 1790, in
appearance as well as written style, are reminiscent of the published play. In fact, they resemble plays dating from the same period. The council documents invoke conventional
metaphors, character types take shape, and specific plots are played out to a relatively predictable degree. Despite these parallels, however, dissimilarities between these
documents and dramatic texts are in fact apparent. As a literary genre all its own, I submit that the style and structure of the printed Indian treaty has contributed to America’s
perception of Indians even to this very day.
"'My Nation is the Portuguese Language': Fernando Pessoa's Poetic Imperialism" by Tim Thompson
In 1934, the year before his death, the Portuguese modernist Fernando Pessoa published a cycle of forty-four short lyrics devoted to the
theme of Portugal’s national identity: it was the only book of poems that he would publish during his lifetime. As Irene Ramalho Santos
observes in her recent study of Pessoa’s place in Anglo-American modernism, this poetic sequence, titled Mensagem [Message], recalls
in many ways the lyric-epic poem The Bridge by the American modernist Hart Crane. But whereas Crane’s poem desperately seeks not
to fail in its effort to “lend a myth to God” and elevate the Brooklyn Bridge to the status of national symbol, Pessoa’s Message seems to
set itself up for failure. Rather than appeal to the promise of Portuguese modernity, it looks back to the Portuguese “Age of Discovery” and
evokes historical figures such as Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, and the ill-fated King Sebastian. Throughout Message, Pessoa’s
treatment of Portuguese imperialism is complicated by a pervasive sense of saudade, a term that, according to many lusophones, is
untranslatable, but that carries connotations of nostalgia, melancholy longing, homesickness, and a yearning for lost presence.