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Countervoices 2nd Spring Research Seminar

Thursday 10 March 2022, 4.00PM to 5.00PM

Speaker(s): Miya Treadwell Joseph Gascoigne

Join our PG forum’s second research seminar of the spring term, part of a series of events that offer postgraduate students in the Centre for Modern Studies and beyond the opportunity to present a short piece of work to an interdisciplinary audience.

The event consists of two presentations from Miya Treadwell and Joseph Gascoigne followed by a Q&A. 

Narratives that Bind: Netflix, Black Film and World Cinema by Miya Treadwell

In this paper, I argue that the history and trajectory of Black American film intersects with and can be understood through principles of world cinema. Black American narratives have long existed outside of the Hollywood conventions that often serve as a line of demarcation in world cinema scholarship. Building on Lúcia Nagib's definition of world cinema (2006) and her concept of realism within modes of production (2020), I show how contemporary Black narratives on Netflix are sustaining a diasporic perspective. Although originating in the US, its marginalized production and preoccupations with colonial dynamics or racial and geographical inequality helps to regard this content as a mode of world cinema. Moreover, as In Our *Mothers' Gardens* (2021) and *High on the Hog* (2021) demonstrate, these connections with world cinema have only been intensified by Netflx's production model.

Miya Treadwell is a Ph.D. student in the English and Related Literature Department at the University of York. Her research explores contemporary Black narratives across digital media platforms. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish Literature from the University of Maryland and a M.A. in Film and Literature from the University of York.

Manipulating accountability: The political use of inquiries by Joseph Gasgoine

Inquiries are prominent in the public consciousness right now: a US inquiry is investigating the 6th January storming of the Capitol, whilst the UK awaits the findings of the "Partygate" investigation. But how much faith should the public place in such inquiries? This paper examines the history of inquiries in the postcolonial Caribbean, focussing on the 1990 Blom-Cooper investigation into an international gun-running conspiracy. This case shows how inquiries have been used for political purposes, either to steer public opinion, discredit political opponents, or to avoid sanction for criminal behaviour. In most western democracies inquiries are widely regarded as an exhaustive and objective truth-finding exercise, but history does not support this assumption. Instead we must consider the extent to which inquiries are politicised. When and by whom are inquiries called? What powers and investigative scope are they given? Who receives their final report? And what force do their findings have? Through use of the partisan press, manipulation of supporters, and curtailment of inquiry autonomy, leading politicians have used inquiries for their own political interests. This paper should inform how we in the UK perceive official inquiries, how we monitor their conduct, and how we respond to their findings."

Joseph Gasgoine is a PhD candidate at the University of York researching political culture in the Eastern Caribbean during and after decolonisation.

Location: Zoom

Admission: Zoom ID: 921 4804 8394 Passcode: 476836