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Distinguished Visiting Speaker

Bio-Note: Lauren M. E. Goodlad is Professor of English at Rutgers University. The author ofThe Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty, & Transnational Experience (OUP, 2015, 2017), Goodlad was director of the Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory Theory between 2008 and 2014 at the University of Illinois, Urbana, where she was also Kathryn Paul Professor Scholar, University Scholar, and Provost Fellow for Undergraduate Education. Her publications includeWorlding Realisms (a special issue of Novel) and The Ends of History (a special issue of Victorian Studies, co-edited with Andrew Sartori). Her current projects include a new collaborative , the Global Seriality Lab, for the study of serial archives, publics, temporalities and media; and two book projects: one of the longue duree afterlives of nineteenth-century genres, and the other on the country-house and the world-system.,

Talk Abstract:

It is a commonplace of our times to remark that neoliberal capitalism produces a relentless anti-historicism that fixates on the present as the only viable reality. In such a climate even self-styled enthusiasts of deep time and the longue durée adopt reductionist methods to make positivistic claims about genre and form. In this talk, Goodlad looks at detective fiction to show how the latest methods miss opportunities to theorize either genre or the longue durée. Turning to Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, she argues this 1887 novella is prescient in elucidating problems of genre, place, and ontology which flummox even the newest of data models. Ironically, the world’s first consulting detective was also the world’s first distant reader.