Apr 08 2015

Stephen Best joins the 2015 Osnabrück Summer Institute

Posted at 9:32 am under archived,Uncategorized

We are photo_Stephen Best_July 2014_New Yorkpleased to welcome Stephen Best at this year’s Summer Institute for the first time, granting the student insights into his work at the intersection of law and the humanities.

Stephen Best is Associate Professor of English at UC-Berkeley. He is the author of The Fugitive’s Properties: Law and the Poetics of Possession (University of Chicago, 2004), a study of slavery, property, and legal hermeneutics in nineteenth-century American literary and legal culture. Since 2002, he has been a member of the editorial board of the journal Representations, where he has edited a number of special issues: Redress (with Saidiya Hartman), on theoretical and political projects to undo the slave past, and The Way We Read Now (with Sharon Marcus), on the limits of symptomatic reading. His next scholarly project, Unfit for History, addresses recent critical trends toward melancholy and recovery as responses to the traumatic losses of slavery; the manuscript discerns alternatives to these ways of accounting for loss in works of contemporary literature and art that forge critical possibilities by way of a kind of apocalypticism, or self-eclipse, from the shimmering recycled-aluminum constructions of the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, and the layered paper canvases of the Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford, to the recent novels of Toni Morrison. His work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Hellman Foundation, the Humanities Research Institute (University of California), and the Ford Foundation.

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