Critical Speaker 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.

2018-19 Critical Speakers Series

Mark Seltzer

Evan Frankel Professor of Literature and Distinguished Professor
University of California, Los Angeles


Systems as Usual:
Art in the Epoch of Social Systems

Thursday, November 1
10:30 a.m.
Donovan Lounge, Greenlaw Hall

Seminar Reading


Exercise Machines

Thursday, November 1
3:30 p.m.
Toy Lounge, Dey Hall

Videos from past Critical Speakers Series




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)