V21 Summer Reading Groups: The Political Conscious, Imperial Forms, Utopia Now!
V21 is pleased to announce our third annual Summer Reading Group series. This year’s topics are The Political Conscious, Imperial Forms, and Utopia Now! Each cluster mixes primary, secondary, and theoretical/philosophical texts.
The Chicago area group will meet June 21, July 21, and August 21, 2-4pm at the DePaul Library Rosati Room.
Join us in person or host one in your region! Write v21collective at gmail for PDFs of the readings, and we’ll gladly advertise any 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 2016,or 2015, or from your own desires.
Use #v21summer to discuss readings with the worldwide groups.
Click below or contact us for details on satellites in locations such as:
THE POLITICAL CONSCIOUS (June 21)
What are the politics of literature? Is “political literature” a genre, mode, style, or mood? What is at stake for literary criticism and literary history in associating Victorian realism with “social problems” and “the Condition of England”? What is the didactic and what is the figurative, and does “the descriptive turn” help or hinder theorizations thereof?
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (Chapters 21-24)
Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Parts 2 and 3)
Alex Woloch, Or Orwell (Prologue and Intro)
IMPERIAL FORMS (July 21)
In preparation for upcoming 25th anniversary events celebrating Said’s Culture and Imperialism: What are the genres of empire? How have critical practices absorbed, or failed to absorb, the insights and methods put forth by Said? What happens when postcolonial criticism engages formalism? How does literary form register and dynamize the contradictions of empire?
Toru Dutt, “Baumgaree,” “The Lotus,” “Our Casuarina Tree” (alongside Cowper and Wordsworth)
Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (Chapter 1, Parts 1 and 5; Chapter 2, Part 3)
Nathan Hensley, Forms of Empire (Intro)
UTOPIA NOW! (Aug 21)
Does literature make demands? Quite aside from the utopian genre, what is utopian in the literary as such? What is the difference between utopian projections of other spaces, and utopian projections of other times? What does “the spatial turn” mean in Victorian studies? How do the determinants of the present inform the teaching and reading of past utopias? Who’s got a plan?
William Morris, News from Nowhere
Ernst Bloch and Theodor Adorno “Something’s Missing”
Phil Wegner, Imaginary Communities Intro and Chapter 1
Eleanor Courtemanche, “Satire and the Inevitability Effect: The Structure of Utopian Fiction from Looking Backward to Portlandia“