The Humanities Division offers a stellar line-up of lectures this spring that cover the intellectual gamut from theory of Formalism to the tribulations of translation, and from Chinese art to Nazi propaganda. Highlights include:
March 3, 5, and 7, 2008
Franco Moretti, the Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University, will deliver the 2008 Frederick Ives Carpenter Lectures. The most prominent theoretician and historian of the novel in the English speaking world, Moretti’s work focuses on modern European fiction and blends sociological and literary insights in a tremendously creative way. His analytic approach which employs data, statistics, and calculations represents a somewhat radical departure from the more orthodox approach to literary criticism. He has written Signs Taken for Wonders (1983), The Way of the World (1987), Modern Epic (1995), Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998), and Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005). He writes often for New Left Review. Moretti was also the chief editor of The Novel (Princeton, 2006). Moretti has given the Gauss seminars at Princeton and the Beckman lectures at Berkeley, is a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, a scientific advisor to the French Ministry of Research, and a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
All three lectures at 4:30 p.m., Swift 3rd-Floor Lecture Hall 3/3 “Theory of the Novel, History of the Novel”, 3/5 “Bourgeoise: On Henrik Ibsen”, 3/7 “Quantitative Data, Formal Analysis: Reflections on 7,000 titles (British Novels, 1740-1850)”
March 7, 2008
Slavoj Zizek will present the 2008 Romberg Lecture on “The Spectrality of the Real: A Lacanian Approach”. Considered the world’s most prominent philosopher and cultural theorist, Zizek is known for his belligerent, revolutionist style, he has divided opinion within the academy, and developed a cultish following. Zizek is professor at the Institute for Sociology, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and at the European Graduate School EGS. He uses popular culture to explain the theory of Jacques Lacan and the theory of Jacques Lacan to explain politics and popular culture. In the last 20 years Zizek has participated in over 350 international philosophical, psychoanalytical and cultural-criticism symposiums in USA, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Netherland, Island, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Brasil, Mexico, Israel, Romania, Hungary and Japan. He is the founder and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, Ljubljana. Having published over fifty books including translations into a dozen languages, he writes on countless topics including the Iraq War, fundamentalism, capitalism, tolerance, political correctness, globalization, subjectivity, human rights, Lenin, myth, cyberspace, postmodernism, multiculturalism, post-marxism, David Lynch, and Alfred Hitchcock.
7:30pm in Social Sciences 122
March 11, 2008
Svetlana Boym, Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, will present “Eccentric Modernities and the Space of Freedom: Shklovsky, Arendt, Kafka.”
Boym’s research interests include 20th-century Russian literature (poetry, essay, autobiographical fiction), film and contemporary art, cultural studies, comparative literature, literature of exile, literary theory, Soviet and post-Soviet culture, East-European expatriate writers, study of memory and nostalgia, political and artistic freedom. Boym’s current project explores cross-cultural approaches to questions of freedom and liberty. An accomplished photographer and artist, Boym has created some of her most impressive works through experimenting with color and advances in technology, though she often refers to herself as “technologically impaired” and attributes her best works to happy accidents. Her publications include: The Future of Nostalgia (New York: Basic Books, 2001);Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1994); Death in Quotation Marks: Cultural Myths of the Modern Poet (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1991). To find out more about Boym, visit her Web site.
4:30 p.m. in Classics 110.
April 10, 2008
Albrecht Koschorke, professor of modern German literary studies at the University of Konstanz, will also give the 2008 Romberg Lecture. His talk is titled “The Fate of Sophonisbe:Female Eroticism and Male Friendship in 17th-Century Drama.” Koschorke is known as an extraordinarily innovative and productive researcher who has not only made an important contribution to current debates in the humanities, but indeed in some cases has initiated and set them in motion. The fundamental question underlying Albrecht Koschorke’s academic research concerns the links between social structures, medical representations of human beings, economic systems, technical and media-related discoveries, perceptive possibilities and imaginations, and relationships between physical beings and literature. Koschorke is the author of Holy Family and Its Legacy: Religious Imagination from the Gospels to Star Wars, as well as 2003 Leibniz Prize winner, Germany’s most prestigious research-funding prize.
For information on other endowed lectures, please visit: Lecture Series. A complete schedule of Humanities Division lectures and events can be found at Events Calendar.