Resident Scholars and Artists Lecture Series: Anne McCarthy
Resident Scholars and Artists Lecture Series
"The Counterfactual Sublime, 1816/1855 "
Counterfactual methodologies ask us to confront the reality of contingency, prompting us to reconsider the status of a past often assumed to be necessary or inevitable. More than that, however, the counterfactual recasts the present and the future as sites of radical possibility, where basic assumptions about identity must be left unresolved. This paper explores the intimate, though often overlooked, connections between counterfactual possibility and the experience of the sublime that emerge from confrontations with discontinuity in the world and in the self. Taking 1816 and 1855 as two “spots of time” for this inquiry, this paper will construct a counterfactual genealogy of sublime suspension that moves from Coleridge and Shelley to Tennyson and Browning.
Light lunch at 11:45 a.m. Presentation starts promptly at 12:00 p.m.