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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Bodies, Texts, Nations Research Group Seminar: Dan Hartley (Leeds) 'The Politics of Style'

21st February 2018, 17:00, A56, Elvet Riverside I, Durham University

Co-sponsored by the Bodies, Texts, Nations Research Group

Dan Hartley will present the main arguments of his book, The Politics of Style: Towards a Marxist Poetics (Brill: 2017). The book develops a Marxist theory of literary style through an immanent critique of the work of Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson. The talk will begin by delineating the historical and conceptual preconditions for the emergence of a ‘politics of style’, uncovering an underground current of stylistics within the Marxist tradition from Marx to Barthes. The second part will set out what Williams, Eagleton and Jameson have written on style and demonstrate how this came to figure in their overall intellectual and political projects. The third part will delineate an independent theory of style and frame it as a foundational element of a potentially larger Marxist poetics. The talk will then conclude with some brief remarks on what such a theory of style may offer current debates on ‘world literature’.

Daniel Hartley is a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for World Literatures at the University of Leeds. He is author of The Politics of Style: Towards a Marxist Poetics (2017). He is on the comité editorial of the French online journal of Marxist theory Revue Période. He has published widely on Marxist theory and contemporary literature. His current book project, provisionally entitled Capital Personified: Impersonality in the Modern World-System, investigates the multiple political valences of literary impersonality in “world literature” across the long twentieth century.

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