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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Inventions of the Text Seminar Series

Inventions of the Text complements our Research Seminar series. Inventions is organised by a team of postgraduate researchers, and combines papers by academics from Durham and beyond with presentations by PhD students. Seminars run roughly every couple of weeks during term time, with around eight or nine events a year. After each seminar, attendees are welcome to socialise with the speaker(s) over dinner. They are generally for University staff and students, although sometimes open to the public.

Forthcoming Inventions of the Text Seminars

Schizophrenia, Criminality, and the Neo-Baroque

31st October 2018, 17:30 to 19:00, Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Jeremy Tambling (Honorary Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong)

Join us for our next Inventions of the Text seminar, where Jeremy Tambling will roam across Dickens, Joyce and Latin-American literature in a quest for the 'neo-Baroque'.

About This Talk

The borders explored in this paper are those most porous ones which are called into question by schizophrenia, a term belonging to Modernist discourse, and the demand, within modern subjectivity, for the self to be seen as individual and unitary. Nietzsche’s essay ‘On the Pale Criminal’ (Thus Spake Zarathustra)illustrates the demand for the self to interpret itself in terms of consciously rational motivations and purposes; this paper will refer to Dickens, but examine the place of Joyce’s writing, as basic for twentieth-century texts which attempt to consider language as on the border between the self and other, refusing the sense of individuality as in the control of the single subject. The literature this gives rise to in Latin American novels has been called ‘neo-baroque’; new in taking the ‘baroque’ in a politically revolutionary way (as earlier baroque forms had served reactive ends) and I want to consider the potentialities in this neo-Baroque for considering the decentred subject.

About the Speaker

Jeremy Tambling was formerly Professor of Literature at Manchester, and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. His most recent book is Histories of the Devil (Palgrave, 2017).

Contact for more information about this event.

Past Inventions of the Text Seminars