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Literature | Graduate Speaker Series

The Graduate Speaker Series brings two to three outside scholars to speak to students and faculty in the Literature Department each semester. The series has attracted diverse dynamic intellectuals of national and international standing to speak about their work. We attempt to key the speakers to graduate classes offered each semester in order to highlight the scholarly debates occurring in the academy around a particular subject. Topics such as aesthetics, philosophy, history, biography, historiography, and critical history have found a place alongside critical and theoretical readings of texts, performances, and films.

Students are strongly encouraged to attend all talks since the discussion after each presentation offers invaluable opportunities for an exchange of questions and ideas between scholars and students.

Past Speakers

Chih-ming Wang
"Transpacific Crossings:
Study Abroad and Asian American Literature"

Daniel Shore
"The Lonely God, or How Milton Thinks about Secularization"

Timothy Yu
"Diasporic Poetics"

Gerrard Passanante
"Little Big World: Disaster and the Materialist Imagination"

Tanya Agathocleous
"Choosing between Country and Friend: Modernism, Syncretism and Disaffection in the Imperial Encounter"

Vincent Carretta
"Strangers in Strange Lands: Figures in the Eighteenth-Century African Diaspora"

Laura Rosenthal
"Georgian Gender Trouble"

Negar Mottahedeh
"Circulating Photographs:
Iranian Women in Revolt 1953, 1979 and 2009"

Amanda Anderson
“The Liberal Aesthetic”

Reid Barbour
“Faith, Reason, and Monstrosity:
Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici

Elizabeth Barnes
“’Bloody Instructions’:
John Brown and the Radical Reproduction of Sensibility”

David Crystal
"Pronouncing Shakespeare"

Lee Edelman
“Anechronology: Why The Birds Is Still Coming”
"Queer Theory Degree Zero: Almodóvar’s Bad Education"

Lisa Gitelman
“A Short History of [Blank]”

Stephen Guy-Bray
“Against Reproduction”

Jonathan Gil Harris
“H4: Henry, History, Histrionics, Hegel”

Joan Tasker Grimbert
"Romantic(Mis)readings of the Medieval Legend of Tristan and Iseult: Richard Wagner, Joseph Bedier, and Denis de Rougemont"

Kathryn Hume
“The Grotesque as Fantasy”

Theodore Leinwand
“Shakespeare: To the Great Variety of Readers”

Ruth Leys
"The Turn to Affect: A Critique"

Michael McKeon
“Scientific Experiment, Drama, and the Origins of the Novel”

Negar Mottahedeh
"Circulating Photographs:
Iranian Women in Revolt 1953, 1979 and 2009"

Martin Puchner
“Plato’s Shadows: Shaw and the Comedy of Ideas”

John Rogers
“Milton’s Paradise Lost and the Heresy of Individualism”

Laura Rosenthal
"Georgian Gender Trouble"

George S. Rousseau,
"Modernity and the Two Paranoias:
The Neurology of Persecution?"

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
“The Difference Affect Makes:
Melanie Klein and Others”

Jonah Siegel
“Wonders Taken for Signs:
The Institution of the Museum in Nineteenth-Century Britain”

Susan R. Suleiman,
"Moments of Self-Consciousness in Holocaust Memoirs"

Paul C. Taylor
"Blackness after the End of History; or,
Who You Calling Post-Racial?"

Clara Tuite
“Rank Thing:
Dandy Glamour, Ruination, and Ephemeral Endurance”

2016-2017 Series

Fall 2016

Andreas Huyssen
Media of Memory in Contemporary Art

October 26, 4:30-6:00pm
Battelle-Tompkins, 228

The lecture will discuss and compare three artists whose aesthetic work on the politics of memory comes from worlds beyond the Northern Transatlantic. Doris Salcedo (Colombia), William Kentridge (South Africa), and Nalini Malani (India) all work on histories of violence in their countries and choose strategies of representation deeply embedded in memories of modernism.

Funding for this event was provided in part by the Graduate Student Council.

If you would like to request a disability-related accommodation or accessibility information, please contact Lindsey DePasse at Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance of the event date.

2014-2015 Series

Spring 2015

"The Biopolitical Turn of American Fiction"
Nancy Armstrong
Duke University

Battelle-Tompkins Atrium
March 27, 5:00pm

Dr. Nancy Armstrong is a Gilbert, Louis, and Edward Lehrman Professor at Duke University. She has devoted her career to explaining how novels imagine a world that can be inhabited (or not) in specific ways by historically and culturally variable readerships. She teaches eighteenth through twenty-first century literature and critical theory, and she serves as editor of the journal Novel: A Forum on Fiction, a position she has held since 1996. At the moment, she is co-authoring a book with Leonard Tennenhouse titled "The Conversion Effect: Early American Aspects of the Novel" and writing essays about contemporary fiction.

"The Typical and the Particular
Nancy Yousef
Baruch College

McDowell Formal Lounge
April 1, 5:00pm

Join Professor Nancy Yousef of CUNY for a lively literary discussion on everyday Aesthetics between Wordsworth and Wittgenstein.

Professor Yousef's recent book, Romantic Intimacy, published by Stanford University Press, is a tour-de-force. In it, she frames intimacy as being about the problem of needing to protect a self from the exhaustion of full disclosure.

Nancy Yousef specializes in literature and philosophy of the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Her research interests include intersections between ethics, psychoanalysis and literary representation. In addition to Romantic Intimacy, she is the author of Isolated Cases (Cornell University Press, 2004). Among her other publications are essays on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, and Charles Dickens. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (2002-2003) and the National Humanities Center (2006-2007).

In addition to Great Works of Literature, Professor Yousef regularly teaches courses in the nineteenth century novel and women in literature.