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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 criticalspeakerseries@gmail.com

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2021-22 Critical Speakers Series

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.

On 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!

Dr. Hale’s workshop is available to 12 UNC graduate students interested in engaging with her at seminar level.

The Workshop will be held on Friday, November 5th, in Greenlaw Hall, Room 225.

Lecture

“‘I Slip Into Your Skin’: Girl, Woman, Other & The Novelistic Aesthetics of Alterity” Dr. Dorothy Hale.

Thursday, November 4th at 3:00pm in Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly Room

Workshop

 Dr. Dorothy Hale.

Friday, November 5th at 3:00pm in Greenlaw Hall, Room 225

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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)