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Past Events

The Culture of Experience: Pragmatism and Early-Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature

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This conference investigates the wide cultural and aesthetic reach of pragmatist thought in the early twentieth century. From the experimental art practices at Black Mountain College to social scientific techniques in the New Negro Movement, from the formation of the “history of ideas” and literary studies as academic disciplines to modernist poetic practice and the social thought of W. E. B. Du Bois, pragmatism played a profound yet understudied role in the styles and institutions of U.S. culture. Using the rubric of the “culture of experience,” we hope to expand the understanding of what pragmatism was—as a philosophy, as a set of cultural tendencies, as a network of institutions and people—and how it helped to define the production and reception of modern U.S. literature.

 

Read more: The Culture of Experience: Pragmatism and Early-Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature

10/6-7/2016 - 19th Century Workshop: Population

The nineteenth century turned the very old concept of “population” into a newly central actor in the realms of politics, arts, and science. This workshop aims to answer several pertinent questions: How did the concept vary in different national and professional contexts, and how did it interact with other rubrics of organization like race, nation, class, and gender? How did population cut across or reinforce the ideology and practice of slavery and empire? How adequately do our current theories account for nineteenth-century realities? And what legacies of nineteenth-century theories of populations are still with us today?

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Cultural Analysis, the Americanist Seminar, the Rutgers British Studies Center, the Department of English, the Department of History, and the Program in Comparative Literature.

2016 19th Century Workshop Brochure

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