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Critical Speaker Series Presents Dr. Dorothy Hale. - UNC English & Comparative Literature

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Critical Speaker Series Presents Dr. Dorothy Hale.

November 4, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

On Thursday, November 4 and Friday, November 5, we’ll be joined in person by Dr. Dorothy Hale. Dr. Hale is Professor of English at Berkeley, where her research and teaching focus on the Anglo-American novel, theories of the novel, and problems of novelistic form. Her most recent book, The Novel and the New Ethics, published by Stanford University Press in 2020, explores how the contemporary emphasis on the social value of the novel has its roots in modernism’s emphasis on narrative form, and especially in the work of Henry James. Her lecture, “‘I slip into your skin’: Girl, Woman, Other & the Novelistic Aesthetics of Alterity,” promises to be an exciting conclusion to the Critical Speaker Series’ fall lineup!

As a kind of post-script to the work of her most recent book, The Novel and the New Ethics, Hale will speak about the ways in which she sees Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other fitting into her argument that “crucial to the contemporary understanding of fiction’s social value is a belief in fiction’s power to offer a meaningful encounter with otherness” (Hale in Stanford University Press’s blog post). Her lecture centers what she sees as Evaristo’s contributions to the work of contemporary novelists who “have helped to consolidate a novelistic aesthetics of alterity.” In her lecture, Hale will explore questions like ” By what power, right, or ability does the novelist slip into the skin of social others? In Girl, Woman, Other which of the twelve characters in this multi-perspectival novel seem to pose no barrier to authorial inhabitation? Which characters resist authorial omniscience? How does Evaristo’s use of what she calls “close third person” establish the ethical possibilities of and limitations to representing characterological personhood? How does this novel’s innovative use of typography contribute to or detract from the representation of characterological personhood as point of view?” (blog post)


The lecture will be held in Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly Room at 3:00 PM.


November 4, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm