Rita Felski is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of Virginia and Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, where she leads a research group on the “uses of literature.” She is also the former editor of the journal New Literary History.
Felski is the author of seven books, including The Gender of Modernity, Uses of Literature, The Limits of Critique , and the forthcoming Hooked: Art and Attachment, as well as editor or co-editor of four volumes, including Critique and Postcritique and Latour and the Humanities
How do we “get” or fail to “get” a work of art? And why do we care? This talk makes a case for attachment as a key word for the humanities: an approach to art that stresses relation rather than separation.
Zadie Smith’s conversion to the music of Joni Mitchell offers a striking example of one kind of attachment device: what I call attunement. The talk considers the differing rhythms and durations of attunement as well as the relation between the social mediation of art works and their often vivid and unmistakable presence.
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On account of the coronavirus this lecture may be held online and/or with limited participation.