Helen Deutsch to Deliver Wang Distinguished Lecture in Literary and Cultural Studies

Helen Deutsch, Department of English,

The Wang Distinguished Lecture in Literary and Cultural Studies will be presented this year by Helen Deutsch, Professor of English at UCLA.  Professor Deutsch will be in residency at GW September 18-19, and will deliver a lecture titled “Savage Indignation: Jonathan Swift, Edward Said and the Demands of Late Style.”

Location: Marvin Center 405
Date: September 18, 2019
Time: 5:15 PM

Professor Deutsch describes her presentation as follows:

‘Jonathan Swift’s irony displaces us not only metaphorically and ethically but also temporally, an untimeliness I will characterize, drawing upon the work of one of Swift’s most passionate interlocutors, Edward Said, as “late.” Such irony leaves no firm ground upon which to build either a monument to oneself or a barrier to divide oneself from the inhuman, or the inhumane.  Edward Said’s career-long conversation with Swift, I will argue, culminated in his final unfinished book on late style, in which illness and disability take on unsettling literary forms that refuse the present in order to appeal to the future.’

Helen Deutsch is the author of Loving Dr. Johnson (2005) and Resemblance and Disgrace: Alexander Pope and the Deformatino of Culture (1996).  She is co-editor, with Mary Terrall, of Vital Matters: Eighteenth-Century View of Conception, Life, and Death (2012) and, with Felicity Nussbaum, of “Defects”: Engendering the Modern Body (2000).  She teaches and researches at the crossroads of eighteenth-century studies and disability studies, with particular emphases on questions of authorship, originality, and embodiment across a variety of genres.  

This visiting mini-residency was created through a gift by Albert Wang and his family that has, since 2009, supported professors such as Edward P. Jones (now a member of the GW English Department), José Esteban Muñoz, J. Jack Halberstam, Stacy Alaimo, Simon Gikandi, and Michael Bérubé.  The gift from the Wang family is one of the largest philanthropic commitments to GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English.

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