whc avg

This working group at the Yale Whitney Humanities Center looks at international avant-gardes—across cultures, time, and media, and across genres and forms of cultural production. We combine theoretical readings, art theory and philosophy with studies of avant-garde practices—including poetry, visual arts, film, performance and online cultural productions. Our aim is to look at the plurality of practices that refashion or respond to historical and neo-avant-gardes—and to the paradoxes of an alternative “avant-garde tradition.” Many in the group work on cultures often marginalized by the dominant Western European and Anglo-American historical avant-garde narrative: we hope to enrich the narrative and speak to each other from the margins through this project.

Themes for the 2016-2017 academic year: Internet Cultures and Translation Studies.

marijeta bozovic

Marijeta Bozovic is an Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, affiliated with Film and Media Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. A specialist in 20th- and 21st-century Russian and East European cultures with broad comparative interests, she is the author of Nabokov’s Canon: From Onegin to Ada (Northwestern University Press, 2016), and the co-editor (with Matthew Miller) of Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River (Academic Studies Press, 2016) and (with Brian Boyd) of Nabokov Upside Down (Northwestern University Press, forthcoming in 2017). She is currently working on her second monograph, Avant-Garde Post– : Radical Poetics After the Soviet Union. All of Bozovic’s projects—including work on Vladimir Nabokov’s English-language texts, contemporary  Russian protest poetry, Digital Humanities approaches to émigré archives, Danube and Black Sea studies—share a commitment to the study of transnational cultural flow, politics and aesthetics, cultural capital and its geographical distributions. Bozovic is the co-editor of the academic journal Russian Literature; the co-curator of the “Poetry after Language colloquy for Stanford University’s ARCADE digital salon; and a film and literature reviewer for The Los Angeles Review of Books.


Marta Figlerowitcz is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and English, also affiliated with the Film and Media Program. She is the author of two books, Flat Protagonists (Oxford UP, 2016) and Spaces of Feeling (Cornell UP, 2017, forthcoming) and is currently at work on a new project on the phenomenology of contemporary media. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in academic publications such as Camera Obscura, Film Quarterly, New Literary History, symploke, Qui Parle, and Poetics Today, as well as in more generalist venues including Boston Review, n+1, and Jacobin.

Profile 2

Janelle Gondar is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University specializing in 20th century Latin American literature. She has a BA and an MA in Spanish from CUNY Hunter College in New York City, as well as an MA and an MPhil in Spanish from Yale University. She has studied Spanish literature in both Argentina and Spain and has also studied Portuguese language in Brazil. Moreover, she has taught both English and Spanish language courses in Japan. Her main research interests include: 20th & 21st century Latin American poetry and short stories, Argentine detective fiction, Brazilian modernism and concretismo, Ibero-American orientalisms, Latin American radical cinema and theater, and visual representations/translations of the written language. Currently, she is working on her dissertation, “The Evolution and Revolution of the Haiku in Ibero-America,” in which she analyzes how the Japanese haiku was first introduced to and adapted by Ibero-American poets in both Spanish and Portuguese languages spanning across several major literary movements over the course of the 20th century.


Leslie J. Harkema is Assistant Professor of Spanish in Yale’s department of Spanish & Portuguese, and works primarily on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Peninsular Spanish literature. Her research interests include translation studies, literature’s relationship to science and religion, and tropes of youth and maturity in European modernism. She is currently completing a book manuscript that charts a modernist discourse of youth in Spain between 1895 and 1936, spanning a range of relationships between the poet and essayist Miguel de Unamuno and several writers affiliated with the group known in the 1920s as “La Joven Literatura” (“The Young Literature”). In it, she discusses the fashioning of youth in neutral Spain during the First World War, the effort to “rejuvenate” the Spanish poetic tradition undertaken by the young writers in the 1920s, and the rhetoric of juvenility employed by both republican and fascist artists in the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War. Her most recent article (“Escritura adolescente y anti-textualidad: Nuevo mundo de Miguel de Unamuno”) analyzes the thematic and stylistic treatment of adolescence in an early, unpublished novel by Unamuno, itself predecessor to works that were foundational for Spanish avant-garde prose.


Seth Jacobowitz: I am primarily a specialist in modern Japanese literature and media studies from the Meiji period (1868-1912) to present day. My signature piece of scholarship to date is Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History, which will be published by the Harvard Asia Center in Fall 2015. It primarily examines how new techniques and technologies of recording in late nineteenth century Japan decisively transformed the status of language, literature and national subjectivity. It further demonstrates how Japanese modernity was largely coeval, and in close dialog, with its counterparts in the West. A related area that I work on is Japanese modernism and mass culture. My first publication was The Edogawa Rampo Reader (Fukuoka: Kurodahan Press, 2008), an anthology of short stories and essays in translation by Japan’s preeminent writer of mystery and detective fiction from the 1920s to 1930s. I also maintain strong comparative research and teaching interests in modern Brazilian literature and culture. My current research is for a book entitled Brazil in the Japanese Imperial Imagination, 1908-1941, which investigates cross-currents in Japanese and Brazilian modernity, including the arrival of nearly two hundred thousand Japanese immigrants to Brazil in the first half of the 20th century.





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