Reading Against Time: Transhistoricism and Early Modern Literature

General Programming

April 22, 2016 Friday, 9:00am–5:00pm EDT Butler Library, Room 523, Columbia University
  • Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

Reading Against Time seeks to create a forum for scholars working seriously across the traditional boundaries of academic periodization. With one foot planted firmly in the early modern period, we ask how perspectives from eras both adjacent and distant can influence our reading practices, offer new interpretations of standard texts, and help us rethink the chronological barriers that often confine our work as literary scholars. What kinds of innovative interpretive practices are developed when one brings together texts from periods we have traditionally held to be distinct? How might we expand or revise traditional theories of influence and literary history? What literary histories are occluded by the modes of periodization currently built into our institutional structures? We aim to bring together a diverse group of scholars working in what we might broadly call a transhistoricist literary practice, and to ask what transhistoricism can offer us at this moment.

Jeff Dolven, Princeton University, will deliver the keynote address.

This conference organized by the Early Modern Colloquium of the Department of English and Comparative Literature and by Gabriel Bloomfield, Department of English and Comparative Literature; Alexander Lash, Department of English and Comparative Literature; Michael West, Department of English and Comparative Literature.


Keynote address: Jeff Dolven (Princeton): "Style and Survival"

Liza Blake (Toronto): "Periodizing Literature and Science"

Carolyn Dinshaw (NYU): "Green Knight, Green Girl, Green Land: Colonial Politics in Medieval Romance and Modern Novel"

Anthony Grafton (Princeton): "How Do World Histories End?"

Jean Howard (Columbia): "Thinking Through and Against Shakespeare: The Historical Consciousness of British Post-War Playwrights"

Catherine Nicholson (Yale): "No Time to Scan: Crisis in The Faerie Queene"

Kristen Poole (Delaware): "Always, Already, Again: The New Typology"

Richard Rambuss (Brown): "'And all that happens now is outside history': Kubrick and Shakespeare"

Stuart Sherman (Fordham): "The Staple and the Register: Jonson, Fielding, and the New Times of the News"

Emily Wilson (Penn): "Transhistorical Translation?"