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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Modelling the Self: 'Modelling is what the Victorian Realist Novel Does,' by Professor Philip Davis (University of Liverpool)

26th February 2008, 18:15 to 19:15, Elvet Riverside 140

This lecture forms part of the Institute of Advanced Study's "Modelling the Self" series.

Professor Philip Davis argues that the Victorian Realist Novel is one of the greatest inventions for modelling real existence in the world.

It takes an ‘as if’ model of the world and then refines it through a series of existential revisions and category redefinitions. This is the classic Darwinist view of the art historian Gombrich: ‘making before matching’. Victorian realism remains loyal to a norm within the world - in terms of time and space and bodies. But within that conventional post-Romantic norm it finds inner variations that test mundane appearances through the revelation of deeper subdued structures of being which may yet deserve the Romantic term ‘visionary’. Authors will include Hazlitt, Carlyle, Trollope and George Eliot.

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Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


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