Giovanna Covi

Giovanna Covi, Associate Professor of American Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Trento, Italy.

She has a degree in American Literature from the University of Venice and a PhD in English from Binghamton University. Her research focuses on feminist theory in relation to Caribbean and African-American literatures, and she is particularly interested in bridging the gap between the academy and grassroots movements. She is the author of Jamaica Kincaid’s Prismatic Subjects: Making Sense of Being in the World (2003) and of essays in From English Literature to Literatures in English (2005), Edward Said and Jacques Derrida: Reconstellating Humanism and the Global Hybrid (2008), Literatures in English: Priorities of Research (2008), and in the journals Review of Contemporary Fiction, The Journal of Contemporary Thought, Synthesis, and Rivista di Studi Americani

Paper Title: “A Poetics of Solidarity and Mercy: Engaging the Crisis of Europe with Leela Gandhi, Judith Butler, and Michelle Cliff”

Paper Abstract: The crisis of Europe, which exploded with the Greek crisis and was sealed by Brexit, has been characterized for decades by the human catastrophe of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. I argue that Europe’s deeply political crisis exposes a conceptual weakness in its own original idea—the weakness of separating politics from poetics, and thus relying on concepts that exclude tensions and ambiguities. I analyze Europe’s founding concept of solidarity and the Judeo-Christian concept of mercy. In the past half century, these two concepts have been framed within a binary paradigm that has culturally produced the limitations and the conundrum that are now paralyzing Europe’s political action.

Mellon Sawyer Seminar

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