HKBU Arts Does Method

Professor Wai Chee Dimock

Professor Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University
Date & time: Monday 3 June 2019; 16:30-18:00
Venue: OEM1008, Ho Sin Hang Campus, HKBU
[Click HERE to register.]

Beginning with the shared dangers faced by the humanities and the planet earth, Wai Chee Dimock uses her PMLA editor’s column to propose a new method: science-informed, tech-savvy, attentive to the health of the planet no less than the health of the body, and affirming a sustainable future not in spite of but because of our vulnerabilities.

TEXTS to read before attending this talk: Climate Humanists | Endangered | Humanists as Builders

Wai Chee Dimock is a leader of innovation in literary studies and global pedagogy. She was appointed as the William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University in 2003, a position she holds to this day. A native Hong Konger, Dimock read English at Harvard University and obtained her PhD from Yale University in 1982. Editor of PMLA, and a film critic for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Dimock’s essays have also appeared in Critical Inquiry, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. Dimock’s book, Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (2006), received Honorable Mention for the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association and the Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association.


NOTE: The following two events with Professor Arne De Boever have been CANCELLED. 

Professor Arne De Boever

Professor Arne De Boever, California Institute of the Arts
Date & time: Thursday 6 June 2019; 16:30-18:00
Venue: OEM1008, Ho Sin Hang Campus, HKBU
[Click HERE to register.]
NOTE: This event has been CANCELLED.

In my talk, which is based on a short book I published in the Forerunners series with the University of Minnesota Press, I propose the notion of aesthetic exceptionalism to capture the widespread belief that art and artists are exceptional. “Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism” challenges that belief focusing on the political exceptionalism of the sovereign artist as genius, as well as the economic exceptionalism of the original work of art. Engaging with sculpture, conceptual artwork, and painting by emerging and established artists, and working across Western and Far Eastern philosophical traditions, I draw on aesthetic and political philosophy to propose a worldly, democratic notion of unexceptional art as an antidote to the problems of aesthetic exceptionalism that my talk uncovers.

Please read this BOOK before attending this talk: Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism

Arne De Boever is Faculty in the School of Critical Studies and Director of the MA Aesthetics and Politics program at the California Institute of the Arts. His works include States of Exception in the Contemporary Novel, Narrative Care: Biopolitics and the Novel, Plastic Sovereignties: Agamben and the Politics of Aesthetics, and Finance Fictions.


Sebald and Lerner.png

Arne De Boever in Conversation: On Sebald and Lerner
Speaker: Arne De Boever
Discussant: Jeffrey Clapp
Moderator: Tammy Lai-Ming Ho
Date: Monday 10 June 2019
Time: 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Venue: Kafnu Hong Kong
[Click HERE to register.]
NOTE: This event has been CANCELLED.

Arne De Boever, California Institute of the Arts

Abstract: In spite of their differences, the works of the late German writer W.G. Sebald and the young US writer Ben Lerner are often associated with each other, for example because both authors write auto-fiction and use images in their books. In this brief talk, I want to consider the list as a stylistic feature that ties Sebald and Lerner’s works together. While lists in Sebald are easily related to his concern with memory, I will draw from Sebald’s The Emigrants to argue that they should be read as part of a sustained engagement with realism in his work as well. In Lerner too, lists appear as part of such a consideration of realism and I will close-read lists from both Lerner’s debut novel Leaving the Atocha Station and his follow-up novel 10:04 to make that case. Looking for lists in Lerner and Sebald will mean, in part, to move away from WWII as a central reference point for Sebald’s writing to consider instead the Cold War and Mutually Assured Destruction—the possibility of extinction that, in Lerner, also becomes associated with the Anthropocene—as a historical frame of reference for reading Sebald’s prose. If the list is not usually considered great reading, this talk is meant to change that perception.

Jeffrey Clapp

Jeffrey Clapp (Discussant) is Assistant Professor and Acting Head in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies at The Education University of Hong Kong. His research is primarily about contemporary American literature, and has appeared or is forthcoming in journals like Post45, Textual Practice, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, and College Literature.

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