Why Compare? Literary Study and the New Humanities Why Compare? Literary Study and the New Humanities

Leverhulme Visiting Professor David Ferris will give three public lectures accompanied by an eight-week seminar series on key historical and theoretical moments that have both formed, and may in future form, the comparative study of literature.

Public Lectures

  • Wednesday 12 February - Postmodern Mimesis: Distortions of Figure in Francis Bacon. Respondent: Professor Howard Caygill, Kingston University and Paris 8
  • Wednesday 19 March - Comparative Places: Translating Istanbul/Tasking Translation. Respondent: Professor Clive Scott, University of East Anglia.
  • Wednesday 7 May - The New Humanities: Tradition Anew? Respondent: Professor Paul Hamilton from Queen Mary College, University of London. 

Time: 18:30

Venue: Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre

Admission: Free – everyone welcome


Seminar Series

Dates: Tuesdays, 28 January to 18 March 2014

Time: 16:00-18:00

Venue: Arts 01.06

Enrolment: Open to UEA staff and postgraduate research students. Students should enrol through e:Vision (module code: HUMSR001). Staff and students from the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) are welcome to attend. To book a place, email humgrad.school@uea.ac.uk.

Training Credit Value: 4 for the full series.

For further information, please email humgrad.school@uea.ac.uk.   



On 20 June 2014, the final event in David Ferris' programme is open to all postgraduate researchers and academic staff. The morning of the symposium will comprise short papers and provocations by students and staff on the meanings and futures of contemporary comparative work in the humanities.

In the afternoon session, we are delighted to welcome Professor Samuel Weber, eminent critical theorist and literary scholar, who will be talking about tragedy, Hölderin and the likeness and unlikeness of translated language.  The title of the seminar is "To(o) Like: Hölderlin's Remarking of Sophocles."

SAMUEL WEBER is Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University and co-director of its Paris Program in Critical Theory. After studying with Paul de Man and Theodor Adorno, he co-translated and wrote a critical introduction to Prisms, Adorno's most important book of cultural criticism. Professor Weber has published seminal books on Balzac, Lacan, and Freud, on the relation of institutions to interpretation, and on media philosophy (Mass Mediauras), on theatre (Theatricality as Medium) His two most recent books are Targets of Opportunity: On the Militarization of Thinking (Fordham UP) and Benjamin's -abilities (Harvard UP).

For information on booking a place, see our News and Events pages.