English seminar: Cardiac Realism: The Affective Life of the Modern Novel – School of Art Communication and English English seminar: Cardiac Realism: The Affective Life of the Modern Novel – School of Art Communication and English

English seminar: Cardiac Realism: The Affective Life of the Modern Novel

19 April | Woolley S226 Room and Zoom
Doug Battersby, ‘Cardiac Realism: The Affective Life of the Modern Novel’

This paper examines a tradition of British novelists—Charlotte Brontë, Thomas Hardy, May Sinclair, and D. H. Lawrence—who turn to the heart to convey emphatically embodied understandings of emotion and subjectivity. Animated by a realist commitment to developing stylistic forms capable of capturing the actualities of human experience, these novelists objected to their more celebrated peers for what they perceived to be excessively cerebral representations of life, from Brontë’s famous complaints about Jane Austen’s neglect of “what throbs fast and full, […] what the blood rushes through,” to Lawrence’s curt dismissal of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) as “too mental” a novel. How might our histories of realism and modernism look different if we spotlight, not the familiar techniques for dramatising conscious introspection and ethical deliberation that define the achievement of Henry James and his heirs, but more corporeal strategies of affective description? Pairing two modernist novelists with the Victorian predecessors who profoundly influenced them, this paper looks to sketch an alternative genealogy of the modern novel representing alternative philosophical accounts of human experience in which bodily affect occupy a central place.

Doug Battersby is a Marie Curie Global Fellow at Stanford University and the University of Bristol. He works on the history of the novel in English from the 19th century to the present day, with a particular interest in how novelists’ representations of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations have evolved in response to changing cultural, philosophical, and scientific understandings of subjectivity and emotion. His first book, Troubling Late Modernism: Ethics, Feeling, and the Novel Form, was published by Oxford University Press last year. Other recent publications include articles for Modernist Cultures, Literature and Medicine, and Essays in Criticism.

 

Contact: Liam Semler (liam.semler@sydney.edu.au)

 

Seminar overview for S1 2023

22 March

Woolley S226 Room and Zoom

Gretchen Minton (Montana State University, and Fulbright Scholar, James Cook University), ‘Big Skies and Specific Sites: Shakespeare’s Environments in the North American West’

 

5 April

Zoom only

Harilaos Stecopolous (University of Iowa), ‘Reconsidering Transnational Literary Studies: US Literature in the Diplomatic Frame’

 

19 April

Woolley S226 Room and Zoom

Doug Battersby (Marie Curie Global Fellow, Stanford and Bristol), ‘Cardiac Realism: The Affective Life of the Modern Novel’

 

3 May

Woolley S226 Room and Zoom

Nienke Boer (University of Sydney), ‘The Briny South: Displacement and Sentiment in the Indian Ocean World’

 

17 May

Woolley S226 Room and Zoom

Frances Di Lauro (University of Sydney). Title to be advised.

Date

Apr 19 2023
Expired!

Time

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

More Info

Join via Zoom

Comments are closed.