Sari Altschuler @A19 Friday, March 13, 2PM, room 340, OdG, Univ. de Paris – CANCELED

The A19 seminar (LARCA-UMR8225) invites Sari Altschuler (Northeastern U., Boston, invited professor at Université de Paris) on Friday, March 13 (2pm; bâtiment OdG, room 340).

Her talk is titled:

Civic Signs: Race, Disability, and Citizenship in Antebellum America.

The American Revolution ushered in an unprecedented optimism about the abilities of individuals—at least white men—to participate in civic life. Using Enlightenment-inspired rhetoric, Americans in the new nation espoused the belief that almost all such individuals could be made good citizens, and in the first decades of independence they created institutions for people with particular impairments to do this work. This had unanticipated reciprocal effects: As the institutions began to define what it meant to be Deaf, blind, or mad in America, they also gave individuals with particular disabilities a stronger sense of shared identity, community, and common experience that, in turn, shaped the very ideas of American citizenship and belonging. In this talk, Sari Altschuler will examine the particular case of the Deaf community and its relationship to the development of civic rights for white and black individuals in the United States—particularly the role of sign language in determining what it meant to have a voice before the law.

Sari Altschuler is associate professor of English, associate director of the Humanities Center, and founding director of the Health, Humanities, and Society minor at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on medical humanities, disabilities studies, and antebellum US literature. She is the author of The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) and co-editor of Keywords for Health Humanities (under contract with NYU press) with Jonathan Metzl and Priscilla Wald. Her work has appeared in Early American LiteratureNineteenth-Century LiteratureAmerican LiteratureAmerican Literary HistoryPMLA, and the medical journal the Lancet.  Currently she directs Touch This Page! Making Sense of the Ways We Read, an award-winning multi-site and online exhibition about the multi-sensory experiences of reading with David Weimer, and chairs the Critical Health Humanities seminar at Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center with Amy Boesky and David Jones.

Sari Altschuler will also give a talk on her book The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States (U Penn, 2018) and her recently published PMLA essay co-authored with David Weimer and titled “Texturing the digital Humanities: A Manifesto on Wednesday, March 4, 12.30pm-2pm at campus U. de Paris, room 888C, bâtiment Les Grands Moulins.




Alexandre Mendès (Faculté de Droit de l’Université d’État de Rio de Janeiro – UERJ) “William James and the Deep South”) – Friday, February 7th, 2pm, OdG 829

Alexandre Mendes – Professeur Adjoint à la Faculté de Droit de l’Université d’État de Rio de Janeiro – UERJ. Doctorat en Droit (UERJ, 2012). Stage post-doctoral à l’Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre la Défense (2018). Il a publié le livre Vertigens de Junho: os levantes de 2013 e a insistência de uma nova percepção (Revan, 2018) et, avec Bruno Cava, A constituição do comum: antagonismo, produção de subjetividade e crise no capitalismo (Revan, 2016). Domaine de recherche: Droit et Philosophie Politique, Droit et mouvements sociaux, Droit et Littérature.

On Friday, Feb. 7th, 2PM (Room TBA), Prof. Alexandre Mendès will give a talk entitled: “William James and the Deep SOuth.”

All welcome!

Please note that you will need to ask for a badge at the reception to access the 8th floor.

Autres Objets du Pragmatisme (AOP) / Pragmatic Crossings — Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, 2pm-5pm/

La prochaine séance de A19, le vendredi 17 janvier à 14h, en salle 830, bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, est organisée en conjonction avec un nouveau groupe de travail sur la littérature et le pragmatisme dont le descriptif suit.

Nous aurons le plaisir d’entendre Nicholas Gaskill (Oriel College, Oxford) dont la communication s’intitule : The Will to Disbelieve: Pragmatism and Method in Literary Studies.

Nicholas Gaskill’s research focuses on American Literature from around 1830 to the present, Pragmatism, Aesthetics, Philosophy and Literature, Critical Methods. His first book, Chromographia, looks at the ways that U.S. writers imagined color experience between 1880 and 1930. It reads a diverse array of writers – from Stephen Crane and Charlotte Perkins Gilman to L. Frank Baum and Nella Larsen – in light of the material history of chromatic technologies and all the things that bright color came to stand for at the turn of the twentieth century: commodity culture, “civilization,” racialized sensation, avant-gardism, the perceptual lives of small children, and much else besides.

More broadly, Nicholas Gaskill is interested in American pragmatism, both as a historical phenomenon and as a resource for thinking about literature and criticism. One branch of his research has focused on the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, not a pragmatist per se but an important figure in the reception and reinvention of pragmatism over the past several decades. Other strands include essays on the idea of aesthetic form (as opposed to other types of form), on pragmatist theories of experience and their relevance to methodological debates in the literary humanities, and on the uses of metaphysics and ontology in contemporary theory.

Nicholas Gaskill is currently in the early stages of writing a book about the ideas of reality and aesthetic construction that have shaped American literature, especially of the past hundred years. Tentatively titled Reality in America, the book will focus on novels and poems that explicitly question the relation between literary artifice and metaphysical reality, and it will ask what literary writers can teach us about the task of building a common world.

Le reste de la séance sera résolument collaboratif, et nous lirons ensemble des textes de Whitman en regard de quelques essais de William James.

En espérant vous y retrouver,

Bien amicalement,


PS : pour accéder à la salle 830, et surtout aux ascenseurs qui y mènent, il faut demander un badge à l’accueil.

Cécile Roudeau
Directrice du LARCA-UMR8225
Professeur de littérature américaine
Université de Paris

Textes sur lesquels portera la discussion :

William JAMES, “Is Life Worth Living?” (Part I); “The Sentiment of Rationality,” in The Will to Believeand Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, 1897. 

–, “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings,” in Talks to Teachers on Psychology: And to Students on Some of Life’s Ideals, 1899.

–, “The Religion of Healthy-Mindedness,” in The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902.

–, “Lecture 1: The Present Dilemma in Philosophy”; “Lecture 8 “Pragmatism and Religion,” in PragmatismA New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking,  1907. 

Walt WHITMAN, “To You,” “Song of myself” (Sections 1- 5); “One Hour to Madness and Joy,” “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”; “Song of the Broad-Axe,”  “Song at Sunset,” “So Long,” Leaves of Grass,  1891-2


“Pragmatic Crossings”

“Autres Objets du Pragmatisme” / “Pragmatist Crossings” (Hélène Cottet, Antonia Rigaud, Cécile Roudeau) is a work group which we constituted following our AFEA workshop on that same theme last spring. It will meet several times during the year to discuss texts and hear a few invited speakers. We hope that this will eventually lead us to undertake broader projects together (conferences and publications).

This interdisciplinary workshop will look into the works of intellectuals affiliated to pragmatism in the U.S. (John Dewey, Alice Dewey, William James, Charles Saunders Peirce, Jane Addams, W. E. B. Du Bois…) and hopes to measure the impact of pragmatism beyond philosophy and more largely beyond the boundaries of disciplinary thinking. We are interested in intellectual genealogies or entanglements that will open to new understandings of the objects we work with – within the arts and literature of the United States, intellectual and institutional history, politics.

The first session will take place at Université de Paris, room 830, Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, 2pm-5pm.

Nicholas Gaskill (U. Oxford, Oriel College) will give a talk on “The Will to Disbelieve: Pragmatism and Method in Literary Studies.” The second part of the workshop will consist in a collective discussion of a selection of texts by Walt Whitman that we would like to read in conversation with essays by William James.

Texts we will be discussing:

William JAMES, “Is Life Worth Living?” (Part I); “The Sentiment of Rationality,” in The Will to Believeand Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, 1897. 

–, “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings,” in Talks to Teachers on Psychology: And to Students on Some of Life’s Ideals, 1899.

–, “The Religion of Healthy-Mindedness,” in The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902.

–, “Lecture 1: The Present Dilemma in Philosophy”; “Lecture 8 “Pragmatism and Religion,” in PragmatismA New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking,  1907. 

Walt WHITMAN, “To You,” “Song of myself” (Sections 1- 5); “One Hour to Madness and Joy,” “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”; “Song of the Broad-Axe,”  “Song at Sunset,” “So Long,” Leaves of Grass,  1891-2

A19 –“Tyranny in America: David Walker and Victor Séjour” (Elizabeth Duquette) @ Univ. Paris Diderot, vendredi 6 décembre, 14h.

Chers et chères collègues,


Le vendredi 6 décembre, à 14h (salle OdG 829, Univ. Paris Diderot), Prof. Elizabeth Duquette (Gettysburg College, editor of J19) donnera une communication intitulée  Tyranny in America: David Walker and Victor Séjour”


Le texte de Victor Séjour (Richard III, drame en cinq actes, en prose, 1852) qu’elle étudiera est disponible au lien suivant :



Elizabeth Duquette is Professor of American literature at Gettysburg College. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Dartmouth College and her Ph.D. in American Literature from New York University. Her teaching interests include nineteenth-century US literature, transatlantic literary culture, intellectual history, and critical theory. Her first book–Loyal Subjects: Bonds of Nation, Race, and Allegiance in Nineteenth-Century America (Rutgers UP, 2010)–explored the idea of loyalty in the postbellum United States. More recently, she and Claudia Stokes (Trinity University) published an edition of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s best-selling novel, The Gates Ajar (Penguin 2019). Working with Gettysburg graduate Cheryl Tevlin, Duquette also edited Elizabeth Stuart Phelps: Selected Tales, Essays, and Poems (U of Nebraska P, 2014).

Her current book project, America’s Napoleon Complex: Tyranny and Ubiquity Across the Long Nineteenth Century, offers an alternative history of the American political imagination in the nineteenth century, recovering the close, but often ignored, relationship between democracy and tyranny. In addition to these books, Duquette has published articles on a wide range of subjects; the most recent include “The Confidence-Man Between Genres,” The New Herman Melville (2019); “Reform in The Silent Partner,” The Nineteenth-Century American Novel (2018); “The Man of the World,” American Literary History (2015); “The Pleasures of Occasional Vitriol,” J19 (2015); “The Office of The Dead Letter,” Arizona Quarterly (2013); “Making an Example: American Literature as Philosophy,” The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature (2012); and “Pierre‘s Nominal Conversions,” Melville and Aesthetics (2011).

With Stacey Margolis, she edits J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.


Pour accéder au 8e étage, vous êtes priés de demander un badge au poste de sécurité, au RDC du bâtiment.


Très cordialement,


Cécile Roudeau
Directrice du LARCA-UMR8225
Professeur de littérature américaine
Université Paris Diderot

“Nature Repairs Our Ravages? George Eliot’s Novel Ecosystem”-Jesse Oak Taylor, OdG 165, 5pm-7pm

A19, Victorian Persistence and the LARCA invites Dr. Jesse Oak Taylor on Wednesday 6 November 2019. The joint sesssion (5pm-7pm) will take place at the Université de Paris (bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, salle 165).

Dr. Jesse Oak Taylor will give a paper entitled “Nature Repairs Our Ravages? George Eliot’s Novel Ecosystems.”

Jesse Oak Taylor is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Washington. His research focuses on industrialization and empire in the nineteenth century and their relevance for tracing the emergence of the Anthropocene. His recent book, The Sky of Our Manufacture: The London Fog in British Fiction from Dickens to Woolf (2016) traces the conceptual emergence of climate change on the soot-laden London fog (i.e., “smog”) in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. It argues that aesthetics, especially the novel, re-frame our perception in order to come to terms with an environment in which everything, including the weather, bears the imprint of human action. 

His current research explores the concept of the Anthropocene, especially in terms of the way it opens new methodological intersections between the humanities and the sciences, an approach Tobias Menely and himself have been calling the Earth System Humanities. At present, he is approaching this topic through Victorian evolutionary theory, asking how nineteenth century debates around species, geologic time, extinction, and the fossil record must be re-evaluated in light of the human species’s emergence as a geologic agent at planetary scale during the same period.

Pr. Sara Thornton (University of Paris) will be his respondent. 

We will be working with the following texts:

– Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘The Planet: An Emergent Humanist Category’, Critical Inquiry, Volume 46, Number 1 | Autumn 2019.

– George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1860. (Book First, Chapter 1, Book First, Chapter 12, Book Fourth, Chapter 1, Book Sixth, Chapter 5, Conclusion)

– Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, University of Chicago Press, 2016.

– Tobias Menely and Jesse Oak Taylor (eds.), ‘Introduction in Anthropocene Reading: Literary History in Geologic Times, University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press, 2017.

All are welcome!



Wednesday, Oct. 9, 5pm- Olympe de Gouges, Room 165, Poe’s Magazine Materialism (Paul Huhr)

A19 and LARCA-UMR8225 invites Paul Huhr at the LARCA séminaire commun.

Paul Hurh is Associate Professor, and Director of  Undergraduate Studies at the University of Arizona.

Paul Hurh’s research and teaching is primarily in the field of nineteenth-century American literature.  His work has focused on questions of literary aesthetics, philosophy, and intellectual history.   His book, American Terror: The Feeling of Thinking in Edwards, Poe, and Melville (Stanford 2015), charts the relation between models of Enlightenment method and the development of literary terror as a philosophical affect.  His current projects have taken a cosmological turn, and include studies of E.A. Poe’s astronomical aesthetics, spacetime in Herman Melville, and planetary conceptions of death in Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.  His essays have appeared in Nineteenth-Century LiteratureStyle, and Novel. 


“Thoreau’s Wild Thinking” (Michael Jonik), Friday, Sept. 27 2019, 2pm, room 131 (Olympe de Gouges, Paris Diderot)

A19 invites Michael JONIK (Univ. of Sussex) on Friday, September 27, 2019, @ Univ. Paris Diderot (room ODG 131)

Michael’s talk is titled:


Michael Jonik teaches American literature and contemporary critical theory at the University of Sussex. He recently published Herman Melville and the Politics of the Inhuman (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and he writes on pre-1900 American literature, continental philosophy, and the history of science. Michael was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Cornell University Society for the Humanities. He has won research grants from the Spanish government, the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Leverhulme Trust. He is founding member of The British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (BrANCA), and Reviews and Special Issues editor for the journal Textual Practice



Plan Paris Campus Rive Gauche