5th annual summer reading groups!
V21 is delighted to announce our fifth (!) annual Summer Reading Group series. This year’s topics are EQUALITY, THE STATE, and THE PLANET. We are excited this year to cosponsor THE PLANET with VCOLOGIES! As is traditional for our summer syllabi, each cluster mixes primary Victorian, secondary critical, and theoretical/philosophical texts.
The Chicago area group will meet June 19, July 22, at the Lincoln Park Public Library Reading Room (3pm-5pm) and and August 26, at The Red Lion Pub (5pm-7pm) 1150 W Fullerton (Red, Purple, Brown Lines: Fullerton)
Join us in person or host one in your region! Satellite groups are worldwide! Use the 21st day of every month or any day that works. Interested parties for whom travel would be required for in-person groups are also encouraged to use Zoom.
We’ll gladly advertise satellite groups here and through twitter. If you want to host a group and aren’t sure with whom you might collaborate, we can help facilitate connections. Satellite groups are welcome to use our syllabus from this year, from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, or from your own desires.
Use #v21summer for discussion prompts and simul-reading.
Contact us for details on satellites in locations such as:
(write v21collective at gmail for PDFs of the readings)
Matthew Arnold Culture and Anarchy chapters 2-3
Kandice Chuh The Difference Aesthetics Makes: on the Humanities After Man intro
Alex Callinicos Equality excerpt
Articulations of equality guide the western philosophical tradition, even as the material history of the west incriminates those ideals. Under empire, after humanism, in the throes of neoliberalism, what are promising motifs and practices of equality? What remains to be embraced, developed, and invented in the theory of equality? How does the importance of liberalism to 19thcentury intellectual and political dynamics shape the study of the 19thcentury today? What new conversations in the field can open up thanks to recent work (such as Anderson, Goodlad, Hadley) revisiting liberalism, or theoretical explorations of the literary production of equality (Derrida, Ranciere), or critical developments of the posthuman (Bennett, Haraway, Lyotard)? Is there a dialectic of equality? How do the humanities approach or enact equality?
THE STATE JULY
Friedrich Engels Origin of the State excerpt
Zarena Aslami, Dream Life of Citizens intro
Nicos Poulantzas State, Power, Socialism excerpt
From Plato’s Republic to Shelley’s unacknowledged legislators to CIA cultural diplomacy to Rankine’s Citizen, the connections between literature and the state have been a recurrent problematic in literary study and literary production. How does the institution of literature contribute to the theory of the state? How does literature mediate the state? Is the state a form, or a content? Why have humanists so often understood their work as anti-institution and anti-state? What are the major differences and continuities in the scope and functioning of the British state from the C19 to the C21? Why is it important to theorize the state distinctly from the nation?
THE PLANET AUG (session jointly sponsored with VCOLOGIES!)
M.P. Shiel, The Purple Cloud
Benjamin Morgan, “Fin du Globe”
Kathyrn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None
What happens when we recognize the nineteenth century as the period when anthropogenic ecological crisis first leaps to a planetary scale? How are cultural objects caught in and created by global webs of imperialist extractive economies and new fossil energy systems? What is the role of literature in theorizing more expansive ecologies, imagining alternative historical trajectories, and toggling between human and planetary scales? Can the study of nineteenth-century culture sharpen ongoing debates about how to properly characterize the history and causes of planetary ecocide today?