GEMS Doctoral School Seminar 2018: Histories and Theories of Reading

GEMS is proud to present the programme of this year’s Histories and Theories of Reading Seminar. The Seminar is funded by Ghent University’s Doctoral School-programme (Humanities and Law) and is open (and exclusively so) to PhD-students. Those of you who want to participate, please get in touch with jurgen.pieters@ugent.be. Students will earn a credit by participating in (at least) three out of six sessions. Below are the details of the programme (the dates for the spring semester have been finalised) and a description of the format.

 

Histories and Theories of Reading: Fourth Series (2018)

The specialist course consists of a series of seminars that cover a period from January 2018 to December 2018. As in the previous three successful series, each seminar focuses on the work of one of six eminent international literary scholars who play a leading role in the disciplines of literary and cultural theory and literary and cultural history and have made important theoretical and conceptual contributions to their respective disciplines and to the historiography of both the central object of study (literary writing) and the disciplinary attempts at writing its history. Each of the scholars central to the seminar are, first and foremost, experts in their disciplines and specialists of a particular literary historical moment (ranging from the early modernity to the twentieth century). We aim for a good mixture of senior and more junior scholars: some of our guests are internationally renowned leading figures (Belsey, Korsten, Schiffman) while others have the potential to rise to that fame (Badmington, Galvez, Marno, Parvini).

The aim of the seminar is to provide both an in-depth discussion of the past research and work in progress of the particular scholar as well as a reflection on emerging concepts, theories and approaches in the disciplines of literary and cultural theory and literary and cultural history. In addition to the thematic interests of the invited scholars, we will also draw on the conceptual approach of each individual scholar. In this way, the specialist course is not only of added value to PhD students specialized in the particular discipline or historical moment of the invited scholar, but also to any PhD student dealing with (literary) texts or concepts in his or her research.

The specialist course is divided into six seminars with the international specialists that we have invited. Each seminars consists of two sessions: in a first session (3 contact hours) the selected texts by the invited speaker will be discussed under the guidance of one of GEMS professorial or postdoctoral staff. These texts are chosen by the invited scholar in consultation with the organisers of the specialist course and will run up to a maximum of 150 pages per seminar (our guests are asked to select five ‘texts’). The texts will be circulated among the participants a few weeks prior to the first session. The goal of this introductory discussion (supervised by one or more of the GEMS-co-ordinators) in the first session is to prepare the participating PhD students for the conversation and discussion with the invited scholar in the second session. Additionally, at the end of this first session each participant is asked to prepare and formulate one major question regarding the research of the invited scholar in relation to the participant’s own PhD research. These questions will be further formulated in writing in the days of the session and will be circulated among the participants before the session with the invited scholar. They will help structure the conversation in the second session.

During this second session (3 contact hours), which takes place approximately a week after the first, the invited scholar will give a short introductory presentation on his past, current and envisioned work. This presentation or talk will form the basis for a thorough exchange between the scholar and the participants. During the exchange the participants will have ample of opportunity to pose their prepared questions and discuss further questions that rise up during the conversation. This method of operation allows the participating PhD students not only to develop and deepen their expertise in the research field but also to practice asking and formulating critical questions and participating in scholarly debates. These skills will undoubtedly prove valuable in their research career at scholarly symposia, roundtable discussions and conferences. As the seminars are conducted in English, the specialist course also offers an occasion to practise their language proficiency in ‘academic English’.

 

Programme

Spring term:

  • Session 1: Neema Parvini (University of Surrey)

Theme: The future of historicism – ‘beyond’ the New Historicism.
Preparatory session: Thursday, March 22 2018 (9.30-12.30)
Session with our guest: Thursday, March 29, 2018 (9.30-12.30)

  • Session 2: David Marno (University of California, Berkeley)

Theme: early-modern poetry and its relations to religious history – the genealogy of aesthetic criticism.
Preparatory session: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 (9.30-12.30)
Session with our guest: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 (9.30-12.30)

  • Session 3: Catherine Belsey (Derby University) / Neil Badmington (Cardiff University)

Theme: the heritage of post-structuralism and the future of literary and cultural studies – what is the value of criticism today?
Preparatory session: Friday, May 25, 2018 (9.30-12.30)
Session with our guests: Friday, June 1, 2018 (9.30-12.30)

Fall term:

  • September/October [date to be specified]: Zachary Schiffman (Northeastern Illinois University)

Theme: the topic of his book The Birth of the Past: the genealogy of Western concepts and modes of historical thinking – Reading historical anachronism vs. reading ‘the past’ in early modern Europe

  • Early November [date to be specified]: Marisa Galvez (Stanford University)

Theme: the genealogy of poetry before it became ‘modern’

  • December [date to be specified]: Frans Willem Korsten (Leiden University)

Theme: towards a new form of cultural history – specific case: the Dutch Golden Age.

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Announcement: GEMS Seminar: Histories and Theories of Reading. Fourth Series.

In the course of 2018, GEMS will host a number of international scholars whose work is relevant for the study of literary and other cultural artefacts and practices of the early modern period. Neema Parvini, David Marno, Zachary Schiffman, Marisa Galvez, Frans-Willem Korsten and Catherine Belsey have all accepted our invitation to participate in a series of discussions with PhD-students. The Seminar is co-funded by Ghent University’s Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities and Law.

In the course of the past years, the program of the Histories and Theories of Reading Seminar has featured, among others, Kathy Eden, Albert Ascoli, Roland Greene, Jonathan Culler, William Marx, Leah Price, Julian Wolfreys and Rodolphe Gasché.

More details about this year’s programme will be announced in the course of January 2018. The first three sessions will take place between March and June, the other three between October and December. PhD-students who want to participate in the Seminar and obtain credits for the DS-programme are required to inscribe for three out of six sessions. Expressions of interest and further inquiries can be sent to jurgen.pieters@ugent.be.

The picture is Antonello da Messina’s Saint Jerome in His Library (ca. 1475).

May 2nd & 10th: DS seminar with Rodolphe Gasché

Our sixth guest of the Doctoral Course Histories and Theories of Reading is Rodolphe Gasché (State University of New York at Buffalo).

Central to the seminar will be Gasché’s most recent book: Deconstruction, Its Force, Its Violence (2016).

Time schedule and locations:Gasche

preparatory reading session:
Monday 2 May – 9:30 – 12:00.
Location: Large Meeting Room (Blandijn, third floor)

session with Rodolphe Gasché
Tuesday 10 May – 14:30 – 17:30.
Location: Room “Mortier” (Faculty Library)

Registration for the specialist course is required. See here or here for more information on registration and on the entire course.

April 26th & May 3rd: DS seminar with William Marx

Our fifth guest of the Doctoral Course Histories and Theories of Reading is William Marx (Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense).

MarxWe will read ‘Du tremblement de terre de Lisbonne à Auschwitz et Adorno: la crise de la poésie’ (2005), ‘Penser les arrière-gardes’ (2004/2008), ‘La véritable catharsis aristotélicienne : pour une lecture philologique et physiologique de la Poétique’ (2011), ‘Est-il possible de parler de la fin de la littérature?’ (2012), and ‘Brève histoire de la forme en littérature’ (2013).

Time schedule and location:

Tuesday, 26 April, 2016, 9:30 am – Faculty of Arts & Philosophy Library ‘Room Mortier’: preparatory session.

Tuesday, 3 May, 2016, 9:30 amLarge Meeting Room (Blandijn, third floor): session with William Marx.

Registration for the specialist course is required. See here or here for more information on registration and on the entire course.

March 14th & 22nd: DS seminar with Jonathan Culler

Our fourth guest of the Doctoral Course Histories and Theories of Reading is Jonathan Culler (Cornell University).

CoverLyric

Theme of the seminar: Literary theory and the poetics of the lyricTime schedule and location:

Monday, 14 March 2016, 9:30 AM: preparatory session.
Location: Room “Mortier” (Faculty Library)

Monday, 22 March 2016, 2 PM: session with Jonathan Culler
Location: Room “Mortier” (Faculty Library)

Registration for the specialist course is required. See here or here for more information on registration and on the entire course.

December 14th & 21st: DS seminar with Neil Badmington

Our third guest of the Doctoral Course Histories and Theories of Reading is Neil Badmington (University of Cardiff).

Theme of the seminar: Cultural and literary studies with an emphasis upon the work of Roland Barthes

BadmingtonBarthesTime schedule and location:

Monday, 14 December 2015, 10 AM: preparatory session.
Location: Blandijnberg 2, Room 100.072

Monday, 21 December 2015, 2 PM: session with Neil Badmington
Location: Blandijnberg 2, Room 100.072

(For those who are unfamiliar with the building, the room is at the groundfloor – main entrance, to the right. A map of the building can be found here)

Registration for the specialist course is required. See here or here for more information on registration and on the entire course.

Histories and Theories of Reading 2015/16

Doctoral Schools specialist course
International Seminar: Histories and Theories of Reading
> more information can be found here

October 2015: Martin Eisner
(Duke University)
Theme: Transnational literary history of
early Modernism, history of the book and texts
guided reading session
Tue October 6, 2015: 9:30 – 12:30
lecture/discussion Martin Eisner
Tue October 13, 2015: 9:30 – 12:30
November 2015: Roland Greene
(Stanford University)
Theme: Cultural history of the Renaissance
guided reading session
Tue November 3, 2015: 9:30 – 12:30
lecture/discussion Roland Greene
Tue November 10, 2015: 9:30 – 12:30
December 2015: Neil Badmington (University of Cardiff)
Theme: Cultural and literary studies
with an emphasis upon the work of Roland Barthes
guided reading session
Mon December 14, 2015: 9:30 – 12:30
lecture/discussion Neil Badmington
Mon December 21, 2015: 9:30 – 12:30
February/March 2016: Jonathan Culler
(Cornell University)
guided reading session
Mon March 14, 2016: 9:30 – 12:30
lecture/discussion Jonathan Culler
Tue March 22, 2016: 14:00 – 17:00
April 2016: William Marx
(Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
guided reading session

lecture/discussion William Marx
May 2016: Rodolphe Gasché
(State University of New York at Buffalo)
guided reading session

lecture/discussion Rodolphe Gasché

Registration for the specialist course is required. To register, please send an e-mail to Katrien De Clercq mentioning the course title, your name, first name, student number, Doctoral School and Department.