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Critical Speaker Series

The Critical Speaker Series of the Department of English and Comparative Literature is a graduate-student-run program featuring 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

Follow the Critical Speaker Series:


Twitter @SeriesCritical

Instagram @criticalspeakerseries

2022-23 Critical Speakers Series

Dr. Elizabeth Anker (Cornell), November 3-4, 2022

Dr. Mary Pat Brady (Cornell), November 10, 2022 (via Zoom; co-sponsored with the Latino Studies Program)

Dr. Stephanie DeGooyer (UNC-Chapel Hill), November 15, 2022: Book launch for Before Borders: A Legal and Literary History of Naturalization (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022); with comments from Dr. Charlotte Sussman (Duke)

Dr. Jean-Thomas Tremblay (York University), February 22-23, 2023

Dr. Ronjaunee Chatterjee (Queen’s University), late spring 2023

See our social media, linked above, for specific times and locations

Upcoming Lecture

Dr. Elizabeth Anker, “The Project of Theory Post-Dobbs

Thursday, November 3 at 3:00 PM in Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly Room

Upcoming Seminar

Dr. Elizabeth Anker

Friday, November 4 at 1:00 PM in the Campus Y, Room 207

Videos from past Critical Speakers Series



Anjuli Raza-Kolb University of Toronto)
“Indian Country.” (Wednesday, October 6, 2021)





Alexander Weheliyem (Northwestern University)
: Black Life / SchwarzSein (Monday, February 1, 2021)





Theo Davis (Northeastern University)
: “Enough”: Melville’s Momentary Intersubjectivity (Thursday, September 24, 2020)





Nan Z. Da (University of Notre Dame): “Tracking Devices: King Lear and Modern China” (March 4, 2020)







Cary Wolfe (Rice University): “Autoimmunities” (September 26, 2019)




Heather Love (University of Pennsylvania): “The Book that Came in from the Cold: Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt” (January 25, 2017)




Jack Halberstam, University of Southern California: “Becoming Feral: Sex, Death, and Falconry” (April 2016)




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)