Rhetorics of Reading: American Contexts and Methods in Literary Studies

What analytic purchase do we gain on our current ideas about literary study if we recognise some specifically American contexts and genealogies for them? We aim to look at the ways that intellectual and social investments with roots beyond the present are informing the discipline. This framework encompasses developments including fabulation and speculation in Black Studies, as well as links to traditions of pragmatism and romanticism. The symposium reads for assumptions, glitches, links, and slips, between the state of the field and American intellectual and social histories.

For further information, the Zoom link and the pre-circulated papers, please contact rachelmemalkin+rhetorics@gmail.com.


All times in British Summer Time

Wednesday 16 June  
5:00-5:15 Welcome and introduction (Rachel Malkin and Nicholas Gaskill)

Yogita Goyal (UCLA), “Standing at the Border: Migration, Narrative, and American Literary History”

  Jennifer Fleissner (Indiana), “‘As If!’ in Thunder”
  Discussant: Winfried Fluck (Freie Universität Berlin)
6:30-6:45 Break
6:45-8:00 Merve Emre (Oxford), “The Return to Philology”
  Angus Brown (Birmingham), “Lost Letters: How to Read an Erasure Poem”
  Discussant: Kevin Brazil (Southampton)
Thursday 17 June  
5:00-6:15 Rachel Malkin (Oxford), “Inheriting Cavell”
  Lloyd Pratt (Oxford), “Free Reading: A Political History”
  Discussant: Elin Danielsen Huckerby (Cambridge)
6:15-6:30 Break
6:30-7:45 Nicholas Gaskill (Oxford), “Facts and Fictions: Pragmatism, Method, and What We Make of Literature”
  Mark Jerng (UC Davis), “The Speculative and the Generic”
  Discussant: Peter McDonald (Oxford)
7:45-8:15 Concluding discussion