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Intensive seminar: Reading with the New Frankfurt School

05/09 - 06/09

/In English/

5–6 September 2024
Tallinn University, Uus-Sadama 5, room M-135

Guest lecturer: Professor Rita Felski, University of Virginia
Registration deadline: 26 August 2024, register HERE

Credits: 1 ECTS
Reading the required seminar texts is the prerequisite for participating in the course. All texts will be provided electronically to registered participants.

Hosting institutions: Tallinn University; Estonian Doctoral School of Arts and Humanities


Can the claims of theory and literature be brought into a more equal balance? How does literature recast or refigure perceptions of life? And how might life—our condition of worldly enmeshment—modify the claims of theory? This workshop addresses longstanding questions about the relation between literature, theory, and experience by engaging a body of thought that’s terra incognita in the humanities: the writings of the present-day Frankfurt School. These writings reveal some notable similarities to current debates in literary studies. First, they reflect on the limits—as well as the value–of critique and are developing more affirmative concepts and vocabularies. And second, they are turning to phenomenology and accounts of human experience that do not treat persons as mere shadows cast by all-determining structures.

The argument of my forthcoming book is organized around what I call “experience-concepts” drawn from German thought. One lecture discusses the idea of resonance while the other revisits an older idea of lifeworld. The roundtable will examine the relationship between literature, theory, and experience, and the seminar will focus on the epistemological and political stakes of intellectual work.

About guest lecturer:

Rita Felski holds the John Stewart Bryan Professorship of English at the University of Virginia and is a former editor of New Literary History. She was also Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Southern Denmark (2016–2021). She was educated at Cambridge University and pursued graduate work in Australia, earning an M.A and Ph.D at Monash University. Her current research centers on aesthetics, method, and interpretation, but she also have longstanding interests in feminist theory, modernity and postmodernity, genre (especially tragedy), comparative literature, and cultural studies. She is the author of Beyond Feminist Aesthetics (Harvard UP, 1989), The Gender of Modernity (Harvard UP. 1995), Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture (New York UP, 2000), Literature After Feminism (Chicago UP, 2003), Uses of Literature (Blackwell’s, 2008), The Limits of Critique (Chicago UP, 2015), and Hooked: Art and Attachment (Chicago UP, 2020).

More information: Eva Kruuse, eva.kruuse@tlu.ee.






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