25 September, 16.30–19.45, Vimma (Aurakatu 16, Turku)
Playing (with) non-violence
Playing videogames has always been tied to controversial speculations and assumptions about its negative impact, from the promotion of violence to fostering aggressive behaviour, particularly among youth. But is there an enjoyable and healthy way of playing games? In what way can video or board games be a useful learning tool, promoting non-violence and various other skills like problem solving, multiperspectivity in history education, team work, coordination and negotiating in international affairs?
Find an answer by joining us to disscuss and explore educational potentials of (video)games and to learn-by-playing together with experts!
16.30 Welcome by Nena Močnik and Maria Garda (University of Turku, AgainNeverAgain Project)
16. 45 OPENING WORD: Monstrous Gamers: Videogames, Violence and US Politics
by Tom Apperley, Tampere University
In a recent controversial tweet, condemning gun violence in the USA, the US President blamed video-games for glorifying violence and creating a generation of ‘monsters.’ Gamer culture immediately highlighted the foolishness and hypocrisy of Trump’s statement. This talk further explores this critique of Trump through the history of the US videogames industry and Trump’s own communication practices. The role of US government and politics in shaping how violence is presented in videogames must be understood against the backdrop of the many historic and emerging, popular and non-violent genres of videogames. While the violence of the shooters that Trump condemns is reprehensible, he also makes use of the divisive and hateful communication practices first popularized by gamergate. Trump’s characterization of gaming as ‘monstrous’ elides his own role in producing an environment of anger, fear and hate where immigrants are scapegoated and victimized.
17.15-17.30 Coffee & Cakes
17.30-18.00 ‘Game Fair’: Learning non-violence through (video)games
18.00-19.30 Play! Learning & Playing games with facilitators
19.30-19.45 Wrap-up and Closing
The event is organized in cooperation with University of Turku (Turku Institute for Advanced Studies & Selma Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory) and Vimma, Youth Art and Activity Centre. It is funded by European Commission as a part of the project Again Never Again: Teaching Trauma Transmission through Experiential Learning, http://www.againneveragain.eu)
Participation is free, but we ask you to RSVP by 18 September here.
7 October, 14–16, Minerva E119 (University of Turku, Kaivokatu 12)
A Daedalus for the Romantic Era? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Seminar by Fiona Sampson, Roehampton University, London
Popular and high cultures alike celebrate the enduring archetypes Mary Shelley created in her 1818 novel Frankenstein. The over-reaching scientist who takes no account of the social or ethical consequences of his research, and the nearly human he creates, have been transformed into hugely entertaining clichés. They also remain indispensable in helping us make sense of the scientific, technological and medical innovations of our era. But, while Frankenstein and his creature are known today across the developed world, older myths work in parallel, revealing societies’ recurring ambivalence about the innovative individual who may hold our life in his hands. Particularly analogous is the story of Daedalus, who represents the Trickster potential of an exceptional talent. Mary Shelley will have known this Classical myth. Daedalus – who despite many great inventions is also proxy progenitor of the Minotaur, and creator of both the Labyrinth and the wings that will kill his own son Icarus – represents the intrinsically hubristic character of even benign innovation. Rereading these myths side by side allows us to unearth some of the social anxiety generated by technological and political innovation in the Romantic era.
Professor Fiona Sampson has published twenty-seven books and been translated into thirty-seven languages. She’s a Member of the Order of the British Empire for Services to Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the English Association and Fellow of the Wordsworth Trust. She holds the Chair of Poetry at Roehampton University, London; she is also a critic, librettist and editor. From 2005-12 she was the Editor of Poetry Review, the UK’s oldest and most widely read poetry periodical. Her prizes include the Newdigate Prize, Cholmondeley Award, Hawthornden Fellowship, and honours from Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, the Society of Authors, the Poetry Book Society and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and international awards in the US, India, Macedonia and Bosnia. In Search of Mary Shelley (2018) has been internationally critically acclaimed.
16 October, 14–19, Minerva E221 (University of Turku, Kaivokatu 12)
Politics of Narrative and Memory
This workshop will explore the political dimensions of narrative practices and forms of memory. It examines how memory cultures and cultural narratives shape the way in which people see the political world and the possibility of political change. The speakers of the workshop are Molly Andrews and Eneken Laanes who are currently visiting scholars at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.
Molly Andrews is Professor of Political Psychology and Co-director of the Centre for Narrative Research (www.uel.ac.uk/cnr/index.htm) at the University of East London. With an interest in the intersection of individual biography and society, for the past twenty years she has been listening to, and writing about, the stories which people tell about their lives, specifically focussing on their perception of the political world and their role within it. Her books include Lifetimes of Commitment: Aging, Politics, Psychology and Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change (both Cambridge University Press), and Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life (Oxford University Press).
Eneken Laanes is the Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Culture Analysis at Tallinn University and Senior Researcher at the Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Her research deals with transnational memory and transcultural memorial forms in post-Soviet memory cultures of Eastern Europe. She is the author of Unresolved Dialogues: Subjectivity and Memory in Post-Soviet Estonian Novel (in Estonian, UTKK) and co-editor of Novels, Histories, Novel Nations: Historical Fiction and Cultural Memory in Finland and Estonia (SKS).
5 November 2019, 13–15, Hovi V105 (University of Turku, Kaivokatu 12)
Queering the Trenches: The Homoerotic Accents in François Ozon’s Frantz (2016)
Lecture by Helena Duffy, Turku Institute for Advanced Studies
Frantz (2016) is not the first adaptation undertaken by French film director François Ozon and, characteristically for the maker of 8 Femmes (2002) or Swimming Pool (2003), this recent film revisits a relatively obscure source text. As a remake of Maurice Rostand’s play L’Homme que j’ai tué (1930) and Ernst Lubitsch’s film Broken Lullaby (1932), Frantz appears to belong to ‘heritage cinema’. Critics such as Fredric Jameson (1991), Andrew Higson (2004) or Linda Hutcheon (2013) have associated the genre with nostalgia and conservative values, accusing it of projecting an elite version of the national past and of portraying the nation as a site of heteronormative reproductive futurism. However, as a postmodern film which, to put it in Hutcheonean terms, both uses and abuses the narrative convention it inscribes, Frantz evidently challenges values attached to ‘heritage cinema’. By queering death in the trenches, Ozon, as I contend in this presentation, explores both the association between queerness and the negation of reproductive futurism postulated by Leo Edelman (2004) and the linked conception of the queer as the site of society’s death drive. The film reinforces this connection by making the eponymous character’s death in a rectum-like trench both the starting point and the culmination of the imaginary relationship between Frantz and Adrien, and by placing Manet’s Le Suicidé in the intertextual backdrop of their homoerotically tinged interactions. Correlatedly, by queering Frantz’s death, Ozon destabilises the conception of war as a gendered and gendering experience capable of reinvigorating postwar society with physically and morally virtuous masculinities. But, identified with pacifism, queerness serves not only to reinforce the film’s obvious anti-war message but also, more broadly, to criticise modernity with its faith in humanity’s uninterrupted progression towards future. By showing Anna’s hopes for a relationship with Adrien dashed and by having her contemplate Le Suicidé in the closing scene, the film confirms its resistance to normative social order embodied by Anna’s aggressively heterosexual suitor Kreutz. Indeed, Frantz blames this order for the carnage of World War I and, given the unrelenting nationalism and thirst for revenge on both sides of the Franco-German border, potentially also for the forthcoming atrocities of World War II.
Helena Duffy is Collegium Researcher at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies, where she is working on a project focused around literary representations of Jewish mothers during the Holocaust. While mainly concerned with the way the Nazi genocide and, more broadly, military conflict have been portrayed in contemporary literature, her research has addressed other aspects of French culture, including the cinema of Lidia Bobrova and Andrzej Żuławski, or Madame de Lafayette’s 17th–century novel La Princesse de Clèves. Helena Duffy is the author of a monograph entitled World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction (Brill, 2018) and of thirty journal articles, essays and book chapters. In her career, she has taught French language and culture at universities in Poland (Wrocław), Australia (UQ, UNE), France (Blaise–Pascal, Clermont–Ferrand) and UK (Hull, Oxford Brookes, Royal Holloway).
Historical sources in art and research
Event organised in collaboration with Centre for Artistic Research and the History forum (University of Arts), Helsinki
– more information will be provided during the Autumn –
New Perspectives in Oral History (in Finnish)
Seminar by Anne Heimo and Ulla Savolainen
– more information will be provided during the Autumn –