The Bandy Center has the feel of a secluded island peopled by superb scholars and librarians who can provide documents relating to the French and Italian modern period, accompanied by remarkable insight into their meaning and import. The resources of the Center seem oddly out of place, in both time and space, and researchers often describe the feeling that they have been transported to the very heart of modernism in Europe, a remarkable testament to travel in space and time that occurs upon entry into this island paradise, suspended on the 8th floor of the Vanderbilt library building. One of my objectives in this role as Faculty Director is to acknowledge rather than resist this sentiment, and to try to understand what it means to read these materials in a context as dissimilar to Paris as Nashville. To do this, I’ve launched a series of conferences on “cultural modernism” in Québec (2013), Latin American (2014) and Japan (2015), with proceedings as well as videotaped discussions published in the online journal www.ameriquests.org. The special issue devoted to Québec will appear just in time for the Latin American conference, creating a dialogue through time and space that connects our intellectual island paradise across time and space. The Bandy Center in these circumstances becomes a portal, and stands not as an island but as the center of a rhizome connecting scholars to texts, and writers to the eras that have inspired their work, and enabled new vistas of possibility in a world that is still “modern” in so many ways.
As a nineteenth-century literary historian and sociocritic, I have greatly benefitted from the amazing collections held in the Bandy Center, particularly the Pascal Pia Collection and its related ephemera. I have worked diligently over the last several years with French literary scholars to bring Pascal Pia’s notes and criticism to the forefront of literary studies. Currently, I am collaborating with one such historian to publish a portion of Pascal Pia’s notes concerning the French writer Paul Léautaud. In many ways, my work has been to serve as an ambassador of the Center. I am regularly in contact with researchers from Canada, France, Italy, and now, thanks to our upcoming conference, South America. For the vitality of the Center, I believe that such personal contact is essential, and I take great pleasure in the conversations and correspondences I have with world-renowned specialists in Baudelaire and Modern French Studies.
Additionally, I love hosting undergraduate and graduate students in Center, exposing them to our extremely precious holdings. I hope my enthusiasm for rare books, which I am constantly discovering in our collections, inspires students to take an interest in the material aspects of literary studies in a world that is becoming increasingly digitized and virtual.
Cultural Modernism II: Latin America
April 3-4, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Session I (9:30-10:40 am) W.T. Bandy Center, Central Library
Opening Remarks: Robert Barsky, Director
Introduction to the Center: Daniel Ridge, Yvonne Boyer (English)
Renata Philippov (Universidade Federal de São Paulo - UNIFESP, Brazil):
“Blurring Borders: The Self, the Wanderer and the Observer in Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and Machado de Assis” (English)
Coffee Pause (10:40-11:00 am) 2nd floor Gallery Level, Central Library
Session II (11:00-11:45 am)
Ana María Gentile (Universidad Nacional de La Plata - UNLP) :
« Les traductions de Baudelaire en Amérique Latine: rhétoriques et moules d’écriture » (French)
Lunch (11:45-1:15 pm) The Commons Center
Session III (1:15- 2:45 pm)
Sidney Barbosa (Universidade de Brasília: UnB) : « Présence de Baudelaire dans la culture brésilienne » (French)
Ricardo Meirelles (Centro Universitário Anhanguera, Brésil) : « Baudelaire au Brésil: ‘Les Fleurs du mal’ avant ‘As flores do mal’ » (French)
Break (2:45-3:00 pm)
Session IV (3:00-3:45 pm)
Carlos Pellegrino (Universidad de la Republica (UDELAR), Uruguay) : « Lautréamont et le Problème du Mal » (French)
Evening Event 7 pm Dinner at West House Faculty Head apartment
Friday, April 4, 2014
Session I (10:00-10:20 am) W.T. Bandy Center, Central Library
Yvonne Boyer, Vanderbilt Librarian: “Selections from the W. T. Bandy Center’s Collection”
Session II (10:20-10:45 am)
Professor Earl Fitz, Department of Spanish and Portuguese (Vanderbilt): “An Overview and Response”
Break (10:45-11:00 am)
Session III (11:00 am-12:15 pm)
Round Table Discussion, Recorded Responses
Baudelaire scholar and librarian of the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris. He stands near a lost self-portrait of 19th Century French author Charles Baudelaire. The drawing surfaced when curators at the Cite de l'Architecture Museum were looking through a collection of art objects found in the workshop of French sculptor Adolphe-Victor Geoffroy-Dechaume, a contemporary of Baudelaire.
Monsieur Avice was an invited visiting scholar to the Bandy Center. He lectured at the Bandy Center, the Department of French & Italian, and a special Baudelaire poetry reading at West House in Fall 2013.
As librarian for the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies, it is my privilege to welcome scholars, students, and Fellows to the Center.
The Center is located in the main library of Vanderbilt University and is part of the campus life. Scholars come from all over the world to consult material about Charles Baudelaire’s life, works, and related studies. This comprehensive collection is maintained with special attention paid to searching and acquiring materials in many formats and media, and providing access on site and online to scholars worldwide.
Our commitment to a constantly expanding bibliography with entries ranging from print form to ephemera, including specifically curated digital exhibitions, acknowledges the continuing legacy of Charles Baudelaire and his central position in modern French studies. The collection is housed in the Treasure Room of the library, an appropriate location, as a former director referred to the Center as the jewel in the Vanderbilt crown.