[Msa-discuss] T. S. Eliot Society Peer Seminar

Chinitz, David Dchinit at luc.edu
Thu Apr 24 00:43:31 EDT 2014


Peer Seminar: Eliot at the Limits of History and Historicism
The 35th Annual Meeting of the T. S. Eliot Society
St. Louis, September 19-21, 2014

Eliot's work has always raised historical questions: whether in the temporal vortex of The Waste Land, the medieval pageantry of Murder in the Cathedral, or the timeless suspension of the Four Quartets, the reader is invited again and again to meditate upon the past's presence. Austin Graham's seminar will accept that invitation, exploring the many ways in which Eliot's writings seek to apprehend history. What manner of historian is Eliot? To what extent does he seek to escape history, or master it? How does Eliot help us understand the larger modernist movement's attachment to the old, the archaic, and the pass?? Participants are also encouraged to consider how Eliot's poetry is itself historical, and ask how history-conscious scholars ought to approach it. What is Eliot's true historical context? What are the stakes of thinking of him as an early twentieth-century artist, or as an avatar of an older "tradition," or as a creator of transcendent, ahistorical art? All manners of approach to these questions are welcome, and in our seminar we will work to connect Eliot's past-minded verse to recent debates about the roles that history, context, and novelty play in literary scholarship more generally.
The seminar will be led by T. Austin Graham, assistant professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches American literature. He is the author of The Great American Songbooks: Musical Texts, Modernism, and the Value of Popular Culture (Oxford: 2013). His current project is a study of American historical fiction and the American historical profession in the twentieth century.
To enroll in the seminar, email Frances Dickey (dickeyf at missouri.edu). This year's seminar is open to the first 15 registrants; registration will close July 15.  Seminarians will submit 4-5 page position papers by email, no later than September 1st.

For further details on the Eliot Society and its annual meeting, please visit our website (http://www.luc.edu/eliot).

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