Author's Roundtable I: Roberto Dainotto's Europe (in Theory)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

posted under , , by Unit for Criticism
Written by Lauren Goodlad, Interim Director, Unit for Criticism

On Monday September 15th the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory held the first of three Author's Roundtables: a discussion by Roberto Dainotto, professor of Romance Studies at Duke University, of his recent book Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007). The event also featured three respondents: Elena Delgado (Spanish), Manuel Rota (Italian), and Carl Lehnen (English).

Dainotto begins his book by situating himself as a Southerner—an Italian—addressing the moment of European Union. In offering up the genealogical backstory of this European apotheosis the book does not simply transpose the logic of Orientalism to a latitudinal axis; it also tells a complicated story about internal otherness within Europe, describing the various ways in which Southernness—both like and unlike Orientalism—becomes aligned with historicity and particularity in a Eurocentric imaginary dominated by, but also unsatisfied with, its prevailing Northern polarity.

We have invited two guest bloggers—Katia Curbelo (ICR/Cultural Studies/Italian and Spanish) and Amauri Serrano (Italian, MSLI) to write on the roundtable and have also posted the responses by Manuel Rota and Carl Lehnen as well as a final reply from Roberto Dainotto.


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