Critical Speakers Series

The Critical Speaker Series of the Department of English and Comparative Literature features outstanding and innovative scholars in the literary humanities. It showcases their contributions for the larger University community and the public.

For more information, please contact either Kevin Pyon or David Baker.

Critical Speaker Series, 2016-2017

SIDONIE SMITH (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

-- Talk: "Manifesto for the Humanities: A 21st-Century Doctoral Education"

November 2 (Wednesday), 2016

3:30 pm

University Room, Hyde Hall


-- Seminar: "How We Teach Now: Imagining a 21st-Century English Major"

3:30 pm

November 3 (Thursday), 2016

Donovan Lounge, Greenlaw Hall

Cosponsored by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities

HEATHER LOVE (University of Pennsylvania)

-- Talk: "The Book that Came in from the Cold: Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt"

January 25 (Wednesday), 2017

3:30 pm

Toy Lounge, Dey Hall


-- Seminar: "The Uses of Description"

January 26 (Thursday), 2017

3:30 pm

Donovan Lounge, Greenlaw Hall

TIFFANY STERN (Royal Holloway, University of London)

-- Talk: "Singing Plays and Playing Songs -- Ballads and Plays in the Time of Shakespeare"

April 18 (Tuesday), 2017

3:30 pm

Toy Lounge, Dey Hall


-- Seminar: "Dumb Shows and the Invention of Stage Directions"

April 19 (Wednesday), 2017

3:30 pm

Donovan Lounge, Greenlaw Hall

See below for videos from our past Critical Speakers Series events:

Alan Liu, University of California at Santa Barbara: "Key Trends in the Digital Humanities: How the Digital Humanities Challenge the Idea of the Humanities" (February 9, 2016)

Laura L. Knoppers, University of Notre Dame: "'By her owne directions': Margaret Cavendish, Gender, and Early Modern Medicine" (September 30, 2015)

Pamela Smith, Columbia University: "From Matter to Ideas: Making Natural Knowledge in Early Modern Europe" (April 7, 2014)


Jonathan Kramnick, The Johns Hopkins University: "Presence of Mind" (March 6, 2014)


Michael McKeon, Rutgers University: "The Origins of the English Novel in the Parody of Family Romance" (March 6, 2013)


Mark McGurl, Stanford University: "The Institution of Nothing: David Foster Wallace and Taxes" (November 27, 2012)


Adrian Johns, University of Chicago: "The Invention of Scientific Reading" (April 10, 2012)