English Lectures and Events

Gilbert Lectures



Thursday, April 20, 2017

McCord Auditorium, 6:00pm - Reception; 6:30pm - Lecture.

Title:  Born-Again, Spied-Again James Baldwin

William J. Maxwell:

Washington University in St. Louis 

Abstract:  James Baldwin, buried in 1987, often looks like today's most vital and most cherished new African American author. This lecture will explore the reasons behind Baldwin's resurrection, from his elevated place in the cultural memory of the Black Lives Matter movement to his new status as an icon of state surveillance and racial counter-surveillance.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

McCord Auditorium, 6:00pm - Reception; 6:30pm - Lecture.

Title:  We Have Never Been Anti-Exceptionalists

Dana Nelson:

Vanderbilt University

Abstract: The project of repudiating the exceptionalism associated with the Cold War era founders of American Studies came at the same academic moment as the canon debates—they both started in the mid-1980s. In the twenty-first century, we’ve thoroughly repudiated American exceptionalism but we’re still glued to the old fashioned canon.  And here’s what I’ve started to wonder:  does our inability to let go of the white male canon give the lie to our vaunted anti-exceptionalism? 


Thursday, February 23, 2017

McCord Auditorium, 6:00pm - Reception; 6:30pm -  Lecture. 

Title:  New Media, New Natural History  

Heather Houser: 

University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: Can designer ecosystems compensate for ecological loss? This talk examines new media projects inspired by this question. I argue that visualizations by Maya Lin, Audubon Society, and others remediate epistemological and representational techniques from classical natural history not out of nostalgic yearning but to express the ongoing grief that extinction incites and conservation engenders. 


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dedman Life Science Building, Room 131.  6:00 Reception; 6:30 Lecture.

Title:  Frederick Douglass in Fiction:  From Harriet Beecher Stowe to John Updike and James McBride

Robert S. Levine:

University of Maryland


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hyer Building, Room 0100.  6:00 Reception; 6:30 - Prose Reading

Randall Kenan:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dedman Life Sciences Building, Room 131.  6:00 - Reception; 6:30 - Poetry Reading


 Dora Malech

Thursday, November 12, 2015

McCord Auditorium, 6:00 - Reception; 6:30 - Lecture

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen:  George Washington University

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fondren Science Building, Room 158, 6:00 - Reception; 6:30 - Lecture

John Michael:  University of Rochester


Thursday, November 13, 2014          

McCord Auditorium, 6:00 – Reception; 6:30 – Lecture

Devoney Looser:  Arizona State University


Thursday, March 26, 2015

DeGolyer Library, 6:00 – Reception; 6:30 – Lecture

David Hall:  Harvard


Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

McCord Auditorium, 6:00 – Reception; 6:30 – Lecture

Shirley Lim: University of California, Santa Barbara


Thursday, April 16, 2015

McCord Auditorium, 6:00 – Reception; 6:30 – Lecture

Ian Bogost: Georgia Tech University


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DeGolyer Library, 6:00 pm.

 Maurice Manning



March 19-21, 2015

Doctoral Lecture Series

The Doctoral Lecture series features presentations by our graduate students who are finishing their dissertations this year.  In these 30-minute presentations, the Ph.D. candidate will outline the scope of his or her dissertation project and demonstrate a focused reading of a text or texts that exemplifies the best work in the dissertation.  After a presentation of 30 minutes, the lecturer will take about 30 minutes of questions.  Students, faculty, and members of the public are welcome to attend. 

The lectures will be on the following Fridays at 3:30pm in 101 Dallas Hall:

Sept. 12: Kristina Booker: “Domestic Servants and the Character of Value in Tom Jones.”

Oct. 3: Chris Goldsmith: "Without a master, one cannot be cleansed': Sovereignty, Filth, and the Eighteenth-Century Body.”

Oct. 24: Charles Wuest: "Chaucer's ‘Thing’ and William Caxton's Erasure of It.” 

Nov. 7: Bethany Williamson: “Gulliver’s Travels and the ‘True Spirit of Liberty'.” 

Dec. 5: Julianne Sandberg

College Language Association

April 8-11, 2015