Semester 2 2019-20

29 January 2020 – Gundermann (Film Screening)

Gundermann tells the story of Gerhard “Gundi” Gundermann, one of East Germany’s most significant music artists. A digger driver who writes songs, Gundermann is at odds with himself. He’s a poet and a clown, a spy who’s being spied on, and he wants to change the world, but he doesn’t know how. Andreas Dresen’s multi-award-winning film is more than a biopic: it’s a music film, a romance and a drama. Above all it’s a film about the GDR, a country that no longer exists, but which comes to life again here and now.

12 February 2020 – Tartan Journeys Through the African Diaspora

Tartan might be quintessentially Scottish, but it has travelled around the world and been adapted or absorbed in fascinating ways by various cultures. Tartan is used in Kenya in the form of shukas (blankets worn by the Maasai Mara), in South Africa, and in India in the form of Madras cloth, which then travelled to the Caribbean and the US. Join Teleica Kirkland, Creative Director of the Costume Institute of the African Diaspora in conversation with Emma Bond, as they discuss the transnational journeys of tartan. A short documentary film on the Tartan Project (30 minutes) will also be shown.


26 February 2020 – MAN/ufactured: (Historical) Masculinity in Question

Recent controversies surrounding what it means to be a man — whether it is how one dresses, acts, or even feels — are but the latest incarnation of an age-old question. This event showcases a range of practices and research in the arts, including poetry, art history, and drag, that relate to masculinity in Europe during the medieval and early modern periods. In looking to the past, we invite our audience to recognise the unbroken thread of socially constructed masculinity across the ages and to reflect upon its possible future.

Note: As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the following events were cancelled. Some were rescheduled to later dates in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years.

1 April 2020 – It’s a Strange Thing to be a Poet: An Evening with Miguel d’Ors

Miguel d’Ors is one of Spain’s foremost contemporary poets. He has published 13 books of poetry, which have recently been collected in the volume Poesías completas 2019. Varied and diverse in terms of its themes, tones, influences and approaches ¬-(albeit, at the same time, profoundly unitary and coherent), his poetry is always distinctive, precise and memorable. In a rare visit to Scotland, the author will read a selection of his poems and will discuss his work with Javier Letrán (School of Modern Languages), who teaches and researches on Contemporary Spanish Literature. Max Gilligan, a student of Spanish, will provide English translations. [Photo: © F. J. Berguizas]

15 April 2020- Writing Noises: Gómez de la Serna and Avraamov’s Symphony of Sirens [Rescheduled to 6th April 2022]

European artists in the 1920s are seeking the abolition of all barriers: art in all forms should inform life and art should have no other boundaries but life itself. In 1922, the Russian composer Avraamov reconfigured the everyday life of the workers in the city of Bakú (then the Soviet Union) as a musical performance, and from Madrid the quintessential Spanish avant-garde writer Ramón Gómez de la Serna (1888-1963), celebrated it. Dr Fernandez will reinterpret Avraamov´s collage of sounds with the words of the writer. The active participation of the audience is welcome.

22 April 2020- From Snake to Oil Magnets: A Historical Journey [Rescheduled to 7th April 2021]

Come to witness the astounding benefits of Dr Ted L. L. Bergman’s amazing cure-all! For aches, pains, indigestion, scrapes, burns, and poor eyesight, this cure-all literally does it all! Dr Ted L. L. Bergman, a lecturer in Spanish at St Andrews, and not an actual medical expert, will be presenting on historical quacks and dubious medicine across time. We invite the audience to join in a discussion afterwards about the appeal of snake-oil salesmen and pseudo-science that continues in our modern age.