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Theory of the novel: ethics, alterity, and politics in the new enfranchised nations


The project "Theory of the Novel: Ethics, Alterity, and Politics in the New Enfranchised Nations", organized by the Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Studies, at the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences of the University of Sao Paulo, seeks to encourage discussion on the theory of the novel, both with social and formalistic approaches, seen from Brazilian and American perspectives. The contribution of Dorothy Hale, an expert on Henry James and novel theory, having written many articles, books, and an anthology on the subject, will focus primarily on James, as a foundational figure for twentieth-century American novel theory. The researcher will consider why James's creative and critical writing became a common touchstone for all the major schools of American theory. As Hale explores James's importance for formalism, structuralism, narratology, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and identity politics, she will track the ways these theoretical approaches either implicitly or explicitly privilege the novel as a genre. Hale will want to ask more particularly how the Jamesian novel serves as a prototype for each theorist's more general sense of what the novel is or should be. Other topics of discussion will include the Anglo-American novel's development into a high art form; the value placed upon characterological autonomy; the notion of the implied author and the problem of Jamesian ambiguity; the structure of narrative as the form of modern epistemology; the politicization of narrative technique; the representation of sexuality and gender; and the violence of signification. Hale will trace James's influence on the production of fiction by reading As I Lay Dying (1930) by William Faulkner and Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston. Fiction by James will include "The Figure in the Carpet" (1896), The Turn of the Screw (1898, 1908) and either What Maisie Knew (1897, 1908) or "The Beast in the Jungle" (1903). She will conclude with a consideration of James's importance to the development of New Ethical theory in our contemporary critical moment. We will try to maximize the visit by working on different levels: classes, lectures and meetings, which in short will fit the following plan: *Meetings with professors and graduate students from area of Literary Studies; *Contribution to the course "The Theory of the Novel: Brazilian and American Perspectives", from May 9th to May 23rd 2013. The course will be given in the first semester of 2013, by the professors Ana Paula Pacheco, Edu Teruki, Joaquim Alves de Aguiar, Maria Augusta Fonseca, Marcelo Pen Parreira (Department of Literary Theory), Sandra Guardini Teixeira Vasconcelos (Department of Modern Languages) e José Pasta Júnior (Department of Classical and Vernacular Languages); *Open Class - "From vision to voice: William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying - on May 20th. This class will be given with the aid of simultaneous interpreting, and will be extended to undergraduate students; *Lecture on the Laboratory of Novel Studies, coordinated by professor Sandra Guardini Vasconcelos. Articles and interview to be published by the Department are also part of our plans. (AU)

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