Prof. Stefan Collini - From Belles-Lettres to Eng-Lit: Criticism and its Publics250 Years of English Literature
06/04/18 • 76 min
Professor Stefan Collini re-examines the history of the activity of literary criticism and discipline of English Literature. In the 250 years since the founding of the Chair of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres at Edinburgh University, the activity of literary criticism and discipline of English Literature have had a tangled, complex and at times uneasy, even antagonistic, relationship. This lecture will re-examine this history, focussing particularly on the question of the various publics addresed by criticism, in its literary-journalistic as well as academic forms. Coming up to the present (and even the future), Stefan Collini will explore the plurality of contemporary audiences for criticism and will challenge pessimistic accounts of 'the disappearance of the reading public'. Stefan Collini is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is also a frequent contributor to The Guardian, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, and other publications, as well as an occasional broadcaster. In 2012, the University's English Literature department celebrates its 250th anniversary. We're marking the occasion with exhibitions, events, talks, readings and seminars throughout the year. Recorded on Thursday 24 May 2012 at the University of Edinburgh's George Square Lecture Theatre.
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