Sat 2 Feb: London Modernism Seminar – Jesse Matz and Sara Danius

A reminder about the London Modernism Seminar this Saturday featuring papers by Jesse Matz and Sara Danius. The seminar will take place at 11-1pm in Senate House (South), room 264. You can find the details as to the papers and brief biographies of the speakers below.
Best wishes,
Suzanne Hobson, Queen Mary, University of London, 
Tim Armstrong, Royal Holloway, University of London,
David Ayers, University of Kent, David Ayers,
Rebecca Beasley, Queen’s College, Oxford,
Helen Carr, Goldsmiths, University of London,
Jesse Matz (Kenyon College), “Modernist Time Ecology from Proust to Noë.”  Proust’s text dramatizes the problem of time but also proposes to solve it aesthetically.  That proposition is essentially ecological insofar as it offers the means by which to cultivate and even to restore the temporal landscape.  The ecological motive characterizes modernist time, in Proust and his contemporaries as well as legatees whose contemporary version of modernist time ecology renews its mission: recent films by Gaspar Noë and Neil Burger give new and troubling efficacy to ecological temporality.

Jesse Matz is Associate Professor of English at Kenyon College.  He is author of Literary Impressionism and Modernist Aesthetics (2001), The Modern Novel: A Short Introduction (2004), and a number of articles on modernist literature and culture.  He is currently completing a book on the legacies of Impressionism as well as a book on the ecological impulse of modernist temporality.  Portions of these books have recently appeared in Narrative, Modernism/modernityAmerican Literary History, Modernist Cultures, and two essay collections, Bad Modernisms (eds. Mao and Walkowitz) and The Legacies of Modernism (ed. David James).  Jesse Matz is currently based at the University of Exeter (where he is directing the Kenyon-Exeter study-abroad program).
Sara Danius (Södertörn University), “Proust’s Modernity; or, the Unknown Origins of Benjamin’s Theory of Visual Media”
In this paper, Sara Danius takes a new look at Walter Benjamin by exploring the theory of the image informing his widely influential essay on the work of art in the age of technical reproducibility (1936). Focusing on Benjamin’s most characteristically Benjaminian ideas, she suggests that they are not Benjaminian at all. Indeed, they derive from Marcel Proust. Why have scholars failed to notice that shadow presence? In order to understand why that is the case, Sara Danius suggests that one takes a new look at Proust as well.
Sara Danius is Professor of Aesthetics at Södertörn University in Stockholm. She is the author of The Senses of Modernism: Technology, Perception, and Aesthetics (2002), The Prose of the World: Flaubert and the Art of Making Things Visible (2006), and Nase für Neuigkeiten: Vermischte Nachrichten von James Joyce (2008, with Hanns Zischler). Currently, she is completing a book on 19th century realism, The Blue Soap. Sara Danius has been a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and is member of the Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.