Postdoctoral Fellow of French Sean Singh Matharoo
Earlier this year, I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Riverside (UCR). As a part of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity, I am now updating my doctoral thesis into a book, The Damned of the Alienocene: Performatively Modeling Energy Aesthetics for a New Structuralism, in the Department of Romance Studies. This book is a hypergenealogical study of the energy concept in French, English, Arabic, German, and Ancient Greek speculative literature and philosophy. I theorize the “hypergenealogical” method as a way of deconstructing texts that 1) understands history as an intervention in the present and 2) locates and commits to the energy that comes when thinking absolutes, or speculating. In our epoch of Anthropocenic energy crisis, whose possibility condition is the colonial-racial reality, I defend the assertion that the hypergenealogical method allows us to transition to alternative energy sources while remaining oriented toward egalitarianism and justice.
I have published articles, a book chapter, book reviews, interviews, and encyclopedia entries about my transdisciplinary research in various venues, including Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, Science Fiction Studies, Horror Studies, and Oxford Bibliographies in American Literature. I have an article derived from my thesis forthcoming in French philosopher Frédéric Neyrat’s Alienocene: Journal of the First Outernational. As a Fulbright scholar at Ghent University, Belgium, I was the primary advisor for a student’s Master’s thesis about French and anglophone music, poetry, and philosophy. In Europe, I shared my research at various venues, including Trinity College Dublin, the University of Tampere in Finland, the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, and the University of Copenhagen. Earlier this year, I received the UCR Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and was a finalist for the Walter James Miller Memorial for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic.
I am Book Review Assistant Editor for Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment, and am a partner/collaborator with Vision Inclusive. I am also a noise musician whose collaborative pieces about the environment may be understood to problematize the presupposition of colonial-racial divisions in thinking and being. On shared walks, or drifts [dérives], we follow noise and record sounds. Using a digital sampler and analog effects pedals, I recycle the recorded material, or waste, into experimental audio essays that demonstrate that today’s ecological crises disproportionately impact nonhumans in diasporas and speculate beyond the apocalyptic present to find energy in collaborative worldmaking. Finally, I am translating francophone Belgian science-fiction author J.-H. Rosny aîné’s Les sciences et le pluralisme (1922), which has led me to the study of natural philosophy and translation theory.
The Carolina Translation Collective
Sarah Blanton and Sarah Booker
The Carolina Translation Collective was originally founded in 2017 and reinvigorated in the summer of 2020. We, Sarah Booker and Sarah Blanton, drew on our research interests in translation studies, literature, migration, labor, and community building to create a supportive group for those interested in the practice of translation and interpretation.
We meet virtually once a month to converse about theoretical texts and approaches to literary translation as well as host guest speakers and workshops. We are interested in topics such as literary translation and theory, activism, and publishing. Thus far we have discussed texts by Walter Benjamin, Jorge Luis Borges, Don Mee Choi, and Lawrence Venuti, conducted micro-workshops on translation “problems,” and invited members to discuss their experiences as translators. In future sessions we are planning activities to consider the concept of the “foreign,” incorporate diverse readings beyond the “canonical,” and host project workshops. This group is first and foremost a collaborative and supportive community that is shaped by the collective’s interests and needs.
Individuals at all levels of experience, interest, language, and position both at UNC and beyond are welcome to join the collective. Indeed, active members include local professionals, UNC undergraduate and graduate students, professors, alumni, as well as people from other universities, such as UNCC, Duke, and Wash U and represent languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, and German. If you are interested in attending meetings or learning more about the Carolina Translation Collective, please email Sarah Booker (email@example.com) or Sarah Blanton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will add you to the listserv. You can also find us on Facebook as the Carolina Translation Collective.
UNC Summer School Teaching with Technology Mini-Grant
In the Summer of 2020 Kristine Taylor was the recipient of The UNC Summer School Teaching with Technology Mini-Grant. She developed and implemented tools to teach the PORT 101 summer course as a “flipped classroom,” providing students with a digital guide and study materials to support preparation.
Professor Taylor designed the Sakai Lessons tool with a detailed step by step guide to preparation for class, handouts with practice activities, a guide to online homework activities as well as PowerPoint grammar presentations with voice recording. These asynchronous grammar lessons d provided the students with description, examples and practice activities as companion material for the textbook. Finally, the course incorporated recorded, low-stakes speaking assignments in FlipGrid.com to help students develop Portuguese speaking fluency and pronunciation as preparation for in-class speaking activities.
In addition to preparing digital learning tools, Professor Taylor offered office hours via Zoom in addition to the in-office schedule. creating closer connections between instructor and students. With help from the grant, Professor Taylor and PORT 101 made a successful transition to the online format this summer.