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“The Politics of Form”

When Apr 11, 2011
from 12:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where 915 Sproul and 126 Voorhies
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“The Politics of Form”

Monday April 11th

Professor Henry Turner (Rutgers University) and Professor Will West (Northwestern University) for a pair of events on the topic of “The Politics of Form.”  Here is a rundown of the events:

Noon-1:30: Graduate Student Lunch (915 Sproul)

This graduate student lunch provides a forum for graduate students to discuss with our guests trends in the study of form, the conditions of formal analysis, and how the study of form pertains to their own work. Our guests will each give their perspective and then we will open up the meeting for discussion and questions. To facilitate discussion, attendees are invited to read the following articles:

Henry S. Turner, “Lessons from Literature for the Historian of Science (and Vice Versa): Reflections on ‘Form’ William West, “What’s the Matter with Shakespeare?  Physics, Identity, Playing.”

For a pdf of the articles and to RSVP for the lunch, please contact Anna Pruitt at ampruitt@ucdavis.edu by Thursday April 7.

4:10 PM: Talks (126 Voorhies)
Henry Turner’s talk, "Corporation as Common Constitution: More's Utopia," will examine the early modern corporation as a "form of the political" by way of an analysis of More's Utopia, with a focus on how More imagines the "common" relation, on institutions as a form of political life, and  on law, philosophy, and literature as sources for political concepts.

Will West’s talk, "Beside Politics: A Sense for the Common in Elizabethan Theaters," will discuss public theaters as spaces in which a sense of horizontal group solidarity (that is, a group identity that does not gravitate around a leader or shared point of identification) was forged through competitive interaction.  Because the public theater eludes most definitions of the political, it therefore offers no organization towards any end (despite the recurrent anxieties of the City governments and other authorities), and the identity of the group is unarticulated and impermanent.

This event is co-sponsored by the English Department, the Davis Humanities Institute, Science and Technology Studies, and the Space and Spatiality Cluster.

About our speakers:

Henry S. Turner is Associate Professor of English Rutgers University and currently a fellow at the National Humanities Center. He is the author of The English Renaissance Stage (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Shakespeare’s Double Helix (Continuing Press, 2008), and is co-editor of The Culture of Capital: Properties, Cities, and Knowledge in Early Modern England (Routledge, 2002). He has authored numerous other articles on topics such as cartography, mathematics, and machines. He also co-edits the book series at Ashgate entitled Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the UW-Madison Vilas Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

William N. West is Associate Professor of English at Northwestern University, where he is a Fellow of the Humanities Residential College and Co-Director of the Drama Major. He is the author of Theatres and Encyclopedias in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2002) in addition to thirty major articles on topics such as the Wooster Group Hamlet and confusion on the Elizabethan stage. He is the co-editor of Robert Weimann’s Author’s Pen and Actor’s Voice(Cambridge University Press, 2000), the collection Rematerializing Shakespeare: Authority and Representation on the Early Modern Stage (Palgrave, 2005), and of the journal Renaissance Drama.

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