Skip to main content
Browse by:

Effective March 10, 2020, all Duke-sponsored events over 50 people have been cancelled, rescheduled, postponed or virtualized.
Please check with the event contact regarding event status. For more information, please see

The Return of Genre Fiction: A Symposium

Event Image
Icon calendar
Friday, November 02, 2018
Icon time
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Icon speaker
Wai Chee Dimock, Mark Seltzer, Eva Illouz

This forum brings together 3 scholars whose current work considers the question of why we seem to be seeing a resurgence of popular genres-e.g., science fiction, romance, historical fiction, the novel of manners, detective fiction, the city novel, the Western, and so forth-in novels now written for and marketed to a global readership.

Speakers will address one or more of the following questions: How do various contemporary novels transform generic prototypes that once enabled readers to imagine belonging to a coherent national community, the historical origins of that community, the social bonds needed to hold it together, what had to be kept out, how it perpetuated itself, and thus its possible futures. To what contemporary genre novels attribute this transformation? What sensory, cognitive, and/or affective equipment does one require to negotiate the altered world of these novels? What political possibilities do these novels open up or close down?

Wai Chee Dimock (Yale), "The Three-Body Problem: Computation, Translation, Science Fiction."
Mark Seltzer (UCLA), "The Extinction of Genre."
Eva Illouz (Hebrew University), "Courtship, Sexual Freedom and the Narrative Self."