Plenary Session I: “Parody’s Past and Present”
Carolyn Williams, Rutgers University
Plenary Session II: “Performance/Studies: Reciting, Thinking, and the Victorian Classroom”
Catherine Robson, New York University
Plenary Session III: “Hand and Eye: Inventing the Moving Image in the Victorian Era”
Tom Gunning, University of Chicago
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Carolyn Williams specializes in Victorian literature and culture, with special interest in Victorian theater and Victorian poetry. She currently serves as Chair of the Department of English in New Brunswick. Until 2010 she was Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Writers at Rutgers and the Writers from Rutgers reading series. She was the founding Director of Writers House, now directed by Mark Doty. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Cultural Analysis (CCA). Outside Rutgers, she has served on the Supervisory Board of The English Institute and the Executive Board of The Dickens Project, and she now serves on the PMLA Advisory Committee as well as the editorial boards of Victorian Literature and Culture and English Literature in Transition. The author of Transfigured World: Walter Pater’s Aesthetic Historicism (Cornell, 1989), she has also co-edited Walter Pater: Transparencies of Desire (with Laurel Brake and Lesley Higgins, ELT Press 2002). She has recently published a study of the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, entitled Gilbert and Sullivan: Gender, Genre, Parody (Columbia University Press, 2011).
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Catherine Robson is an associate professor in the English Department at New York University, where she specializes in nineteenth-century British cultural and literary studies, and a faculty member of the Dickens Project. Author of Men in Wonderland: The Lost Girlhood of the Victorian Gentleman (Princeton UP, 2001) and co-editor of The Victorian Age for the Norton Anthology of English Literature, she has received fellowships and honors from the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin Institute for Advanced Study, NEH, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the University of California, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the North American Victorian Studies Association.
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Tom Gunning is the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago where he works on problems of film style and interpretation, film history and film culture. His published work has concentrated on early cinema (from its origins to the WW I) as well as on the culture of modernity from which cinema arose (relating it to still photography, stage melodrama, magic lantern shows, as well as wider cultural concerns such as the tracking of criminals, the World Expositions, and Spiritualism). His concept of the “cinema of attractions” has tried to relate the development of cinema to other forces than storytelling, such as new experiences of space and time in modernity, and an emerging modern visual culture. His book D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film traces the ways film style interacted with new economic structures in the early American film industry and with new tasks of story telling. His forthcoming book on Fritz Lang deals with the systematic nature of the director’s oeuvre and the processes of interpretation. He has written on the Avant-Garde film, both in its European pre-World War I manifestations and the American Avant-Garde film up to the present day. He has also written on genre in Hollywood cinema and on the relation between cinema and technology. The issues of film culture, the historical factors of exhibition and criticism and spectator’s experience throughout film history are recurrent themes in his work.