Gerrard Passanante, University of Maryland:
Little Big World: Disaster and the Materialist Imagination
Passante will look at the habit of moving from small things (atoms, details, fossilized seashells, words) to vast processes, universal narratives, and ideas of the world. Tracing this disaster-courting habit from the poetry of Lucretius to the geological speculations of the seventeenth-century polymath Robert Hooke to the philosophy of Leibniz, he argues that this most familiar business of making much of little has deep roots in the ways that early modern readers came to terms with the hidden violence of the materialist imagination.
Part of the Literature Department Graduate Speaker Series