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Hooked: Art and Attachment

The CEU Campus
Friday, December 1, 2017, 5:30 pm

17.30 Introduction: ProfJolán Orbán, University of Pécs, Hungary

How would our view of literature and art change if we took “attachment” as a defining concept? If we were to see bonds as not just constraining but as fundamental to aesthetic experience? This talk focuses on two common aesthetic ties. I offer a defense of identification that questions the dichotomy of sophisticated critics versus naïve and over-invested lay readers. My account of attunement, meanwhile, argues that the “presence” (vividness, force, impact) of an art work is not diminished but enabled by its social mediation. The focus of the talk is on what carries weight: on the significance and salience of ties. 


Rita Felski is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English at the University of Virginia, Editor of New Literary History and Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Southern Denmark. Her longstanding interests are in feminist theory, modernity and postmodernity, genre (especially tragedy), comparative literature, and cultural studies. Her most recent book The Limits of Critique (University of Chicago Press, 2015) is on the role of suspicion in literary criticism.  Similar issues are explored in an edited collection, Critique and Postcritique, co-edited with Elizabeth Anker (Duke University Press 2017). She is the author of numerous other books and articles, including Comparison: Theories, Approaches, Uses, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008 (co-edited with Susan Stanford Friedman); Rethinking Tragedy, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008; Uses of Literature, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008; Literature after Feminism, University of Chicago Press, 2003; Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture (Cultural Front), New York University Press, 2000; The Gender of Modernity , Harvard University Press, 1995; Beyond Feminist Aesthetics, Harvard University Press, 1989.

Jolán Orbán is a Professor with the Department for Literary Criticism, University of Pécs. Her research focuses on literary theory, philosophy, and cultural criticism, with an emphasis on deconstruction, philosophy of Jacques Derrida, performativity, modernity, post-modernity, and Hungarian literature. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters in Hungarian, English, and German.