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C.IAS Events

The C.IAS Events Series is designed to include new perspectives, alternative vantage points, branch out to unchartered territory as well as to revisit and reconsider established themes and topics. With its science-to-public approach, the event series facilitates knowledge transfer between academia and a wider audience.



April 1, 2014 - Patrick J. McNamara

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, USA

"The Centennial Stage: Mexico’s Old Regime and the Independence Celebrations of 1910"



In "The Centennial Stage: Mexico’s Old Regime and the Independence Celebrations of 1910" McNamara offers a new interpretation of the importance of Mexico’s 1910 Centennial by connecting it to the outbreak of revolutionary fighting in that same year. He challenges the notion of "collective memory," focusing instead on commemorative practices as public performances of national identity. Based on archival sources from throughout Mexico, this study decenters Mexico City within the Centennial narrative and highlights local and regional histories throughout Mexico and within Mexican/Mexican-American communities in the United States.


May 6, 2014 - Heike Hartung

Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Greifswald and the University of Potsdam, Germany


"Fantastic Reversals of Time: Representing Age in the Fantastic Mode"


In contrast to realist fiction, in which the experience of aging is explored in narratives of coming-of-age, the mode of the fantastic opens up alternative visions of life in time. Age fantasies may serve different cultural functions, both by reinforcing contemporary age stereotypes and by envisioning counter-narratives of age.



In her talk, Heike Hartung will present two different literary case studies of female old age in the fantastic mode, George McDonald's fairy tale "Little Daylight" (1864) and Mary Elizabeth Braddon's vampyre story "Good Lady Ducayne" (1896). The strategies of age narrative developed in these nineteenth-century tales of the fantastic will be compared, in the discussion, with F. Scott Fitzgerald's satiric tale of a fantastic age reversal, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (1921), in order to explore the meanings of age in the genre of the fantastic.

May 28, 2014 - Robert K. Collins

San Francisco State University, USA


"Displaying What is a Black Indian: Evidence of Native American Transculturalization of Africans in a Smithsonian Exhibit."



What is a Black Indian? To explore this question, this guest lecture takes a person-centered ethnographic approach to the dynamics of African and African American acculturation or “transculturalization” – a term coined by A. Irving Hallowell (1963) - within Native American communities, as discernible from life-histories collected during my tenure as a co-curator of the current Smithsonian's traveling banner exhibit, "IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas." Three years in the making and reflective of community consultation and institutional collaborations between the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), this exhibit – like the lived experiences to be presented - illuminate past and present shared life ways, communities, policies, and unified forms of creative resistance experienced by African Americans, Native Americans, and individuals of blended African and Native American heritage racially and/or culturally (African-Native Americans), within and outside of Native American communities. Knowing that Africans and Native Americans interacted only skims the surface of this exciting area of the ethnographic and historical records. There remains the challenge of understanding the diverse natures and sources of these cultural exchanges throughout Native America. 

June 30, 2014 - Liliane Weissberg

University of Pennsylvania, USA

Within the framework of the GUSEGG - Graz International Summer School 2014, the Research Area ‘Cultural History and Interpretation of Europe’ and the Center for Inter-American Studies present:


Transformations and Conversions: History, Religion, and the Birth of Psychoanalysis in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna


The lecture will focus on the transformation of the city of Vienna in the sec- ond half of the nineteenth century, the immigration of Jews to Vienna and the importance of religion during this period, and Freud‘s biography. I would like to show how all of this contributed to determine Freud‘s invention of a scientific vocabulary for his newly defined discipline of psychoanalysis.

July 1, 2014 - Marta Cerezo Moreno

Spanish Distance Learning University (UNED), Spanin


Within the framework of the GUSEGG - Graz International Summer School 2014, the Research Area ‘Heterogeneity and Cohesion’ and the Center for Inter-American Studies present:



The Trace of Age and Memory in Contemporary Narrative


By drawing on concepts such as Paul Ricoeur’s differentiation between same (idem) and self-same (ipse) as inserted within his conceptualization of narrative identity and Freud’s principal of afterwardness, this presentation deals with the way John Banville’s last novel, Ancient Light (2012), shows how mnemonic reconstructions and revisions of past experiences during old age evidence how the constitution of the self is always provisional as it proves to be subject to a continuous process in constant change. Ban- ville reflects on how experience and knowledge during late stages of the life course imply a revision of memory traces that establish new relations between past and present selves. The protagonist’s negotiation with his memory’s mechanism for the retrieval of the past results in the construction of an account of the past full of “improbabilities” and “anomalies” (30) made out of disparate parts that must be assembled. This process of piecing to- gether what memory brings to our minds serves Banville to open a debate on the nature of our inner selves and the essence of the Other and also of the relationship between age and the recollection of the past.


Banville, John (2012). Ancient Light. London: Penguin Books.

July 7, 2014 - Christian Cwik

University of Trinidad and Tobago

Within the framework of the GUSEGG - Graz International Summer School 2014, the Research Area ‘Heterogenity and Cohesion’ and the Center for Inter-American Studies present:


The Caribbean on the Eve of the Great War, 1898 - 1914



This lecture will show that since the beginning of the 20th century, political conflicts determined the relationships between the German Empire and the USA, and the Caribbean became one of the scenes of these conflicts follow- ing World War I. General reasons were the imperial policy, increased German investments, the submarine warfare and the US economic interests.

September 23, 2014 - Tomás Straka

Andrés Bello Catholic University, Caracas


In the Footsteps of Humboldt: Germans and Austrians in Venezuelan Social Science.


During the 19th and 20th century, Venezuela was a common destination for voyagers from German-speaking countries. Inspired by the works of Alexander von Humboldt, painters and naturalists such as Ferdinand Bellermann and Anton Göring crossed Venezuela in search for “picturesque” landscapes, exotic flora and fauna and foreign Native People. The voyagers were supported by German immigrants who had previously settled in Venezuela and this set-up allowed them to study the social customes of the country through the eyes of the settlers. Even though the views the voyagers held of the Venezuelan society at the point of their arrival bear stong traces of Eurocentrism, they were nevertheless infuential on the development of Venezuelan Social Science. Up until the second half of the 20th century, the country’s geography was, for instance, studied by using Le voyage aux régions equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent. In the 1870s, the Silesian scientist Adolfo Ernst founded the School of Positivism in Caracas, a school of thought that was formative for many generations of sociologists, historians and politicians who then controlled the social and political thinking of Venezuela for half a century.

November 25, 2014 - Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky

Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany


Quering Medea with Maria Callas: On P.P. Pasolini's Filmic Adaptation of the Medea Myth



There is something awry in the historical memory around Medea. This is precisely the point of departure of Pasolini’s film: he does not create an opposition between the world of patriarchal reason, embodied by Jason, and the matriarchal, irrational, archaic, and magical world personified by Medea. On the contrary, he shows that this oppositionis itself the product of a historical conception, which from the Age of Reason has associated the departure from self-caused immaturity with the rationalization of sensuality and sexuality. As I will show, this queering of the Medea myth is masterly represented by Maria Callas in the role of Medea. Her gesture and acting originate in 19th century opera. Hers is a body fallen silent in the midst of song. Her affiliation with such a different medium makes Callas/Medea appear even more extraneous, sublime and distant.



Center for Inter-American Studies
Elisabethstraße 59/II 8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 8213
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 - 9767

Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.phil. M.A.

Roberta Maierhofer

Phone:+43 316 380 - 8198

Please contact me via email. Thank you!

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