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Seminars

World Literature: Circulations Outside the Modern

Organizer: Alexander Beecroft

The theory and practice of world literature has often seemed to depend on a notion of modernity. Sometimes, this has been explicit, through a focus on forms of circulation and influence which have... more

Legal Forms

Organizer: Geoff Baker

What is the relationship between legal history or juridical concept, on the one hand, and aesthetic form or genre history, on the other? At least four decades after the beginnings of “law and... more

Impersonal Intimacy in an Expanded Field

Organizer: Aleksandr Prigozhin

As critics like Leo Bersani and Tim Dean have shown, there’s much to be gained for criticism by decentering the self in addressing questions of intimacy. In their critiques of the sovereign ego,... more

Sound Waves

Organizer: Julie Beth Napolin

“Voice” is both a key metaphor and a key medium of politics. Political participation is figured as “having a voice”; the word vote has its origins in the Latin vovere, “to vow.” But what of the sonic... more

Marketing World Literature

Organizer: David Damrosch

Literary prizes and events play a growing role today in the international circulation and reception of writers and their works. Even nationally based awards such as the Pulitzer can have an... more

Postwar Variations

Organizer: Bradley J. Fest

This seminar will take as its starting point the appeal of the injunction on Frank O’Hara’s tombstone to “live as variously as possible” for writers of the last seventy years. Variation enchants and... more

Literary Approaches to Financial Imperialism

Organizer: Kyle Wanberg

The thin veil of separation between finance and government has eroded to the point where there is no longer a need to formally distinguish between the intentions and interests of their... more

Feminist Repetitions/Repeating Feminisms

Organizer: Andrea Mendoza

The idea for this seminar begins with a line from Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life (Duke University Press, 2017): “The repetition is the scene of feminist instruction.” These words announce a... more

Bodies of Knowledge/Knowledge of Bodies

Organizer: Kate McCullough

One look at the front page of any newspaper reminds us that bodies, and their relationship to the State, have never been more at risk and at stake. What might ontological, phenomenological, or... more

Bad Readers

Organizer: Meghan Vicks

Vladimir Nabokov taught his students that naïve readers think they can “glean information about places and times from a novel,” and that the worst readers identify themselves with fictional... more

The Hermeneutic Model of Translation

Organizer: Mushtaq Bilal

In his recently published book, Contra Instrumentalism: A Translation Polemic, Lawrence Venuti puts forward a model of translation that he calls hermeneutic. It “conceives of translation as an... more

Cultural Pluralism and Literary Innovation

Organizer: Donald Wehrs

This seminar proposes to explore various kinds of cultural pluralism (from ethnic diversity to religious ecumenicalism to heterogeneity through trade routes or colonialism) and their relation to... more

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