A propos Thomas Constantinesco

A former student of the École normale supérieure, I hold an agrégation in English. I was appointed as Associate Professor at Université Paris Diderot in 2010 where I teach American Literature and Literary Translation. Before joining Paris Diderot, I also taught at Yale University and Keble College and Magdalen College, Oxford. Between 2014 and 2019, I was a junior research fellow at the Institut universitaire de France. From 2019 to 2021, I will be a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford.

Friday, 10 February, 2pm, Jamie Fenton, “When Persons Become Supposed: Emily Dickinson and the American Civil War”

 
The next session of the A19 seminar series (VALE / LARCA) will take place on Friday, 10 February, 2pm-4pm.
 
Sorbonne Université, Bibliothèque de l’UFR d’études anglophones (esc. G, 2è étage; entrée par le 54 rue Saint Jacques ou le 17 rue de la Sorbonne, 75005 Paris).
 
Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83666172388?pwd=Z3VOYnBMTUg1UnRFNHBOaDRDU2Zhdz09

ID de réunion : 836 6617 2388
Code secret : 337910

When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse — it does not mean — me — but a supposed person. Emily Dickinson to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, July 1862.

Emily Dickinson sent this cryptic statement to her mentor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, as the United States entered its second year of civil war. This paper aims to decode the statement, by paying special attention to that innocuous word ‘supposed’. What is a ‘supposed’ person? How does Dickinson go about supposing them? What lives do they live in verse? The paper will offer two routes through this problem. First it will investigate Dickinson’s interest in dramatic monologue. Her poems have attracted the label of lyric, but this is not a truth inherent, and we should be confident in pursuing their relationship with other modes. If a supposed person is something like a character, how far are Dickinson’s poems from those of her heroes, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning? The second route is towards the Civil War. Dickinson wrote this letter to a Higginson away at war, where she feared he had become ‘impossible’. This part of the paper will argue that ‘supposing’ was a necessary talent for civilians waiting for news of combatant relatives or friends: with no guarantee of survival, soldiers had to be imagined alive. This kind of supposing found its way into Dickinson’s poems in the voices of soldiers. The paper will end by trying to draw the two routes together, proposing, via an encounter with Shakespeare, that Dickinson’s poems can be read as the monologues of impossible people.
 
Jamie Fenton began his education at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he completed a BA in English and MPhil in American Literature, before moving on to an AHRC-funded PhD at Pembroke College, Cambridge, which he finished in 2021. In early 2020, he held a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. In 2021-2022, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at University College London.
His research interest is American Literature, especially the literature of the American Civil War. He practices a historical-formalist mode of close reading, which aims to work out how style emerges from and then thinks about its political and cultural environment. His PhD investigated a series of Civil War poets, including Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Laura Redden, Emily Dickinson, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. He has also written on Woody Guthrie, Henry David Thoreau, and the contemporary poet Erica Dawson.
 
Photograph of Jamie Fenton

Friday, January 27, 2pm, Todd Carmody, “Work Requirements: Literary Labour and Social Welfare”

The next session of the A19 seminar series (VALE / LARCA) will take place on Friday, January 27, 2pm-4pm.

Sorbonne Université, Bibliothèque de l’UFR d’études anglophones (esc. G, 2è étage; entrée par le 54 rue Saint Jacques ou le 17 rue de la Sorbonne, 75005 Paris).


Participer à la réunion Zoom
https://u-paris.zoom.us/j/89286080719?pwd=NHFrNXEzYzB5WmdPNjhONWNOREV3dz09

ID de réunion : 892 8608 0719
Code secret : 357391.

Work Requirements

Throughout the history of the United States, work-based social welfare practices have served to affirm the moral value of work. In the late nineteenth century this representational project came to be mediated by the printed word with the emergence of industrial print technologies, the expansion of literacy, and the rise of professionalization. In Work Requirements (Duke UP, 2022), Todd Carmody asks how work, even the most debasing or unproductive labor, came to be seen as inherently meaningful during this era. He explores how the print culture of social welfare—produced by public administrators, by economic planners, by social scientists, and in literature and the arts—tasked people on the social and economic margins, specifically racial minorities, incarcerated people, and people with disabilities, with shoring up the fundamental dignity of work as such. He also outlines how disability itself became a tool of social discipline, defined by bureaucratized institutions as the inability to work. By interrogating the representational effort necessary to make work seem inherently meaningful, Carmody ultimately reveals a forgotten history of competing efforts to think social belonging beyond or even without work.

Todd Carmody is a writer, researcher, and strategy consultant in New York and a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute.

J. Michelle COGHLAN (Manchester): “Devouring New England: the Matter of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s Culinary Regionalism”. Seminar “À Table!” (VALE/A19) / 10 November 2022, 5:30-7pm, Sorbonne Université, Bibliothèque de l’UFR d’études anglopohones

We are delighted to invite you to the next session of the general seminar of VALE (Sorbonne Université), “À Table!,” in association with A19, on Thursday, November 10th, 5:30-7pm, on zoom.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84404794825?pwd=NkxFcTV0bnlZNVY5NHVCMitpMnJDZz09

ID de réunion : 844 0479 4825
Code secret : 879460

The guest speaker will be J. Michelle Coghlan (Manchester) and her paper is entitled: “Devouring New England: the Matter of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s Culinary Regionalism”. 

Cécile Roudeau (Université Paris Cité) will be respondent.

J. Michelle Coghlan is a Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Director of the Programme in American Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. She is the author of Sensational Internationalism: the Paris Commune and the Remapping of American Memory in the Long Nineteenth Century (Edinburgh UP, 2016), which was awarded the 2017 Arthur Miller Centre First Book Prize in American Studies, and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Food (Cambridge UP, 2020). She is currently at work on two projects: Louise Michel in America, forthcoming from Rutgers UP, explores Michel’s expansive influence on late-nineteenth-century American woman radicals and the wider fascination she held for Americans of various political persuasions and Culinary Designs aims to chronicle the making of American taste in the long nineteenth century; in Spring 2023, she will be guest-editing the “Radical Henry James” special issue of The Henry James Review.

https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/j.michelle.coghlan.html

Sujet : Séminaire général VALE
Heure : 17h30

Participer à la réunion Zoom
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84404794825?pwd=NkxFcTV0bnlZNVY5NHVCMitpMnJDZz09

ID de réunion : 844 0479 4825
Code secret : 879460

 

“What Does Literature Feel Like?” / 7 October 2022, 2pm-6pm

Université Paris Cité, Olympe de Gouges building, room 830 / Zoom:
 
Thomas Constantinesco (Sorbonne Université):”Introduction: What Does Literature Feel Like?”
 
Édouard Marsoin (Université Paris Cité): “Touching Whiteness in Moby-Dick
 
Adeline Chevrier-Bosseau (Sorbonne Université): “Snowblind: Embodying inarticulated affect in Cathy Marston’s choreographic translation of Ethan Frome
 
Erica Fretwell (SUNY Albany): “Sensitivity Training”
 
Q & A
 

Zoom link:

https://u-paris.zoom.us/j/88150678012?pwd=TDVxM3JMUmJ6aFJhTmc0L2JFMU5JZz09

ID de réunion : 881 5067 8012

Code secret : 957204
 
We hope to see you there!