Annual Symposium: Amanda Anderson

Date(s) - 10/06/2017
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm



The Humanities Center welcomes Amanda Anderson, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and English at Brown University, and director of Brown’s Cogut Center for the Humanities, as our Annual Symposium guest speaker on Friday, October 6th at 3:00 PM in the EIZ Theater.

11:00 AM; 4010 JFSB — Book Discussion: Bleak Liberalism

Lunch will be served.

3:00 PM; EIZ Theater (B192 JFSB) — All faculty and students are invited to attend.

A reception will follow in the FLAC.

Title: “Therapeutic Criticism”

A therapeutic impulse could be said to stand behind two distinctive responses to ideological criticism that have formed in the field of literary criticism over the past few decades.  The first response is best characterized as an askesis that willfully reduces the methodological field, the second response promotes a sensitized understanding of critical subjectivity under duress, one in need of repair or mood-enhancement. Foucault’s turn from the analysis of disciplinary power to practices of the self serves as the model for the first response, one that is modest, method-based, and focused on the cultivation of ethos by the practitioner.  The other model, more emphatically and avowedly therapeutic, is provided by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s own influential turn from paranoid reading to reparative reading. This talk revisits the relation between psychology and ideological or systems analysis in the history of criticism, paying particular attention to the new interest in Winnicott, and to the divergent ideological affinities — liberal versus radical — of various psychological frameworks.

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