The Contemporary: Rita Felski

The Contemporary: Rita Felski
Fri January 21st 2022, 10:30am

Speaker(s): Rita Felski (Professor of English, University of Virginia; Niels Bohr Professor, University of Southern Denmark), Respondent: Michaela Bronstein (Assist. Prof., English, Stanford)

RESPONDENT: Prof. Michaela Bronstein (Stanford Univerisity)

Rita Felski will be the Contemporary Workshop's next guest. Her talk will draw out the affinities between the ideas of Hartmut Rosa and two novels (Stoner, 1965, by John Williams and Theory, 2018, by Dionne Brand) that capture moments when words reverberate and come alive, portraying transformative aspects of intellectual life as well as alienating aspects of academic institutions. The idea of resonance, Felski argues, speaks to the force of attachments to both literature and theory; it can clarify the phenomenology as well as sociology of our intellectual commitments.

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Rita Felski is John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia and Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and the former editor of New Literary History. Her books include The Gender of Modernity (1995), Uses of Literature (2008), The Limits of Critique (2015) and Hooked: Art and Attachment (2020). She is currently writing a book on literary studies and the contemporary Frankfurt School.

Michaela Bronstein is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Stanford University. She works on modernism and 20th-century fiction more broadly in American, British, and African contexts. Her first book, Out of Context (Oxford), was shortlisted for the MSA first book prize. Articles by her have appeared in Novel, PMLA, American Literary History, the Journal of Modern Literature, Modern Language Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her book in progress examines novels about acts of revolutionary violence.