Image Copyright: © Ferris, J.L.G Writing the Declaration of Independence (1932)
Deutsches Haus at NYU presents “Civility and Its Opposites: The Empathies and Resentments of White Liberalism, 1767-1826,” a lecture by DAAD Visiting Scholar Frank Kelleter, Head of the Department of Culture at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universitaet Berlin, and a conversation with Herman Bennett, Professor of History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Can the Declaration of Independence be read as a media event? What does it mean when colonial elites speak in the name of wounded humanity? Which language games and which emotional performances are at play when enslavers rally against their own “enslavement”? These questions stand at the center of Frank Kelleter’s project, “A Literature of Civic Indignation, 1767-1826,” which argues that the historical meaning of the 18th-century Enlightenment resides not only in its political philosophy but also, if not more so, in its media rhetoric. In his lecture, Frank Kelleter will focus on Thomas Jefferson and the senses of “whiteness” in the early literature of American liberalism.
Please RSVP here: https://forms.gle/yJqkyMZ91iRRk74U9
This event will take place at 42 Washington Mews. This semester, based on NYU's guidelines, in-person events will be open to members of the general public.
Attendance instructions for NYU faculty, students and staff: Please show your NYU Violet Go Pass at the door.
Attendance instructions for members of the general public:
• Members of the general public must show a valid government-issued photo ID
• Members of the general public must show proof of being up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination, which includes the booster when eligible, with an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine. (Ideally, you would bring your CDC vaccination card or the details on Excelsior Pass Plus.)
Documentation for members of the general public will be checked at the door and must include:
◦ Dates of doses
◦ Vaccine manufacture for each dose
◦ Documentation is in English
• Vaccine exemption requests are not accepted at the door.
• Test results are not accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination and will not be accepted at the door.
About the participants:
Herman L. Bennett is a Professor at the Graduate Center (CUNY) and Director of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC). He has held faculty positions at UNC-Chapel Hill, The Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, and the Free University of Berlin.
His publications include: Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570–1640 (2003); Colonial Blackness: A History of Afro-Mexico (2009); African Kings and Black Slaves: Sovereignty & Dispossession in the Early Modern Atlantic (2019).
A recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities Grants, a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, a two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University, an ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship, Membership at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton and a Mellon Sawyer Seminar for “The Histories & Cultures of Freedom.” In 2016, he was inducted into The Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.
Frank Kelleter is Chair of the Department of Culture and Einstein Professor of North American Cultural History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. His main fields of interest include the American Enlightenment and American media and popular culture since the nineteenth century. His most recent publications include Culture²: Theorizing Theory for the Twenty-First Century (ed. with Alexander Starre, 2022), Media of Serial Narrative (2017), David Bowie (2016), and Serial Agencies: The Wire and Its Readers (2014).
"Civility and Its Opposites: The Empathies and Resentments of White Liberalism, 1767-1826" is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).