Rita Felski, the William R. Kenan Professor at the University of Virginia, will be giving a talk titled, "Crrrritique": An Investigation of the Limits of Critique and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion," at 3 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.
Felski describes the talk as follows: "The idea of critique drives much contemporary work in the humanities. Why is critique so often held to be the most rigorous, scrupulous, and radical form of thought? And what intellectual and imaginative possibilities does it overshadow or overrule?" In this talk, Felski develops a five-part definition of critique-in the hope of prompting reflection on the value and limits of critique as a scholarly method.
Felski is an internationally known scholar of feminist theory, modernity and postmodernity, and cultural studies. She is the editor of the scholarly journal New Literary History, and she is the recipient of a number of honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the William Parker Riley Prize for best article in PMLA.
Felski's visit complements strengths in the English Department, the Gender, Race, and Identity Program, and Philosophy. She is the author of a number of important books in the field of literary and critical theory, including Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change (Harvard University Press, 1989), The Gender of Modernity (Harvard University Press, 1998), and Literature After Feminism (University of Chicago Press, 2003). Most recently,
Felski's research has focused on an investigation of the aesthetic experiences of enchantment and shock, as exemplified in her manifesto Uses of Literature (Blackwell's, 2008).