Textual Studies Program

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April 2015


Nicholas Paige (Berkeley), From Examples to Samples: Quantifying the Fictionality of the French Novel, 1681-1820

April 20, 2015 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Most historians of the novel’s “rise” argue by example and example alone.  We generate our narratives about the genre’s history from a few works that we assume to be either representative of the mass of works or as harbingers of future practice.  Should we want to counter those narratives, we just pick some other works, or, more commonly, subject the same works to a different reading.  What happens, though, if we move from interpreting examples to taking samples?  I’ll try…

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Jeffrey Schnapp (Harvard), Print in the Digital Age and Cold Storage: A Documentary

April 27, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Jeffrey Schnapp, a renowned Romance linguist, Dante scholar, editor, curator, and digital humanist, presents on recent projects engaged in remediating print. At 3:30, he will offer a public seminar on the metaLABprojects series in the metaLAB at Harvard and, more broadly, the various scenarios for the future dialogue between pixels and pages. At 5:00, Schnapp will host a screening of Cold Storage, his 26-minute documentary about the Harvard Book Depository, followed by a discussion of “knowledge design” and his work in the…

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May 2015


Janice Radway (Northwestern), lecture TBA

May 14, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


November 2015


Elaine Freedgood (NYU), How the Victorian Novel Got Realistic (in a French way), Reactionary, and Great?

November 2, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The Victorian novel wasn't all that great from about 1850 to about 1970. It lacked form, endings weren't tragic, and narrators intruded too much. The critical demands on the novel, from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century are dramatic and anti-narrative--that is mimetic, and anti-diegetic. The Victorian novel starts to get great as strong theories of narration arrive in Anglophone criticism: from France.  The narrators who had been a blight become sly and powerful, formal hijinks are smoothed out into…

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December 2015


Jacob Soll (USC), Beyond Habermas: News in the Secret Sphere

December 10, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Jacob Soll (History, University of Southern California) explores the role of both the state and the nascent public sphere in the genesis of news and information flows in early modern Europe. Habermas’s model of the rise of a public sphere is now beginning to crumble, not only as scholars show much earlier origins of news, information flows, and public opinion, but also as the state emerges as a key player in inventing and managing news. Soll discusses the symbiosis, often odd and…

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January 2016


Deidre Lynch (Harvard)

January 20 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


February 2016


Bonnie Mak (Illinois and Penn State)

February 3 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Virginia Jackson (UC Irvine) and Yopie Prins (Michigan)

February 29 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


May 2016


Siân Echard (UBC) and Alexandra Gillespie (Toronto)

May 6 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Michael Papio (UMass Amherst)

May 12 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


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