Northwestern Events Calendar


The Red Internationale of Seamen and Harborworkers! A Poetics of Strikes from the Kiel Mutiny to the West Coast Waterfront

When: Friday, April 15, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Central

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room (2nd floor, Room 201), 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


Please join us for this talk by LACS Program faculty affiliate Harris Feinsod, based on a chapter from his book-in-progress “Into Steam: The Worlds of Maritime Modernism,” followed by comments from another LACS Program faculty affiliate, Alejandra Uslenghi.

This chapter traces the artists and writers who represented and theorized an intensive burst of militant marine work stoppages in the mid-1930s. Tracing these maritime “strike waves” as an international form across global ports, the chapter discusses such diverse texts as neglected sea fiction by Walter Benjamin, the San Francisco docker zine The Waterfront Worker, the German-Jewish émigré photographer John Gutmann, and the poet Langston Hughes. Latin American contexts play important roles in these works, and the presentation will further explore how World War I and interwar shipping policy shaped Latin American commerce in Chile, Argentina, and the Canal Zone.

Harris Feinsod, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern, is a literary and cultural historian of the United States, Latin America, and the Atlantic world. His teaching and research emphasize poetry and poetics, modernism and the avant-garde in Europe and the Americas, multiethnic US literature, and transnational studies (especially hemispheric and oceanic approaches). His first book, The Poetry of the Americas: From Good Neighbors to Countercultures (2017), offers a detailed literary history of relations among poets in the US and Latin America across the mid-20th century. He is the co-translator (with Rachel Galvin) of Oliverio Girondo’s Decals: Complete Early Poems (2018), which was shortlisted for the National Translation Award in Poetry by the American Literary Translator’s Association. With John Alba Cutler, he directs Open Door Archive, a repository and exhibition space featuring digital reissues of neglected print cultures of the Americas.

Alejandra Uslenghi is Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern. She is a core faculty member in the Critical Theory Program and participates in the Critical Theory in the Global South Project. Her research focuses on modern literature and visual culture; photography and modern art in Latin America; critical theory and comparative modernist studies. She is the author of Latin America at Fin-de-Siècle Universal Exhibitions: Modern Cultures of Visuality (2016) and the editor of Walter Benjamin. Culturas de la imagen (2011). She is currently at work on a book-length project that examines the intersection of modernist literary experimentation and photography, in particular 20th-century women photographers.

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