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The Return of Genre Fiction: A Symposium

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Friday, November 02, 2018
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11:00 am - 7:00 pm
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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."