Past Events

2016

An overview of all events held in 2016 can be found here (PDF, 727 KB).

Shakespeare Lecture Series

ShakespeareLS

This year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (1564-1616). With this series of lectures we want to explore the bard’s lasting significance and his relevance today. The individual lectures will be delivered by members of the English Department and specially invited guests (Ulrich Busse, Andreas Höfele, Catherine Belsey, Beatrix Busse, Richard Wilson). They will all provide an insight into their own and very specific research angle into the work of William Shakespeare, covering a broad range of approaches both from literary and linguistic perspectives.

Flyer_Shakespeare_Lecture_Series (PDF, 354 KB)

Workshop: Franco Moretti - The Bourgeois, 8 March 2016

MorettiBourgeois

In this workshop, Franco Moretti (Stanford) will discuss his new book The Bourgeois. Participants are asked to have read The Bourgeois and are encouraged to ask pending questions. Organized in collaboration with Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens.

Flyer_Moretti_Bourgeois (PDF, 115 KB)

Lecture & Workshop: Catherine Belsey, 17-19 March 2016

CBHamlet

Catherine Belsey (Swansea University) will give a lecture on “Hamlet’s Beard: Shakespeare and the History of Gender” within the framework of the Shakespeare lecture series as well as hold a workshop focusing on "Ghost Stories".

Flyer_Catherine_Belsey (PDF, 452 KB)

Lecture & Workshop: Elizabeth DeLoughrey, 10 - 12 March

EDL

Taking the oceanic imaginary as a starting point, this workshop with Elizabeth DeLoughrey (UCLA) will explore the links between literature, the physical environment and pressing global concerns like migration and transnational exchange.

Flyer_Elizabeth_DeLoughrey (PDF, 962 KB)

Guest Professor Laura Marcus, 3-24 April

LauraMarcus

Laura Marcus (Oxford) will teach Professor Heusser’s class during his sabbatical. In addition to this, doctoral students will have the unique opportunity to sign up for office hours with her.

We will have a welcoming Apero on April 4th, which you are cordially invited to attend.

Lecture & Workshop: Mary Poovey, 27-28 May

MP

Mary Poovey (NYU) will hold a lecture - Some Lessons of History: Why Economists Failed to Anticipate the Great Recession - as well as a workshop - Application of Economic Models of Reading of Literature. Doctoral students are encouraged to participate.

Flyer_Mary_Poovey (PDF, 186 KB)

Workshop: Ida Lupino, 3-5 June

IdaLupino

In this workshop, participants will do a close reading of the films directed Ida Lupino. Prominent scholars Ivo Ritzer (Bayreuth) and Norbert Grob (Mainz) and Elisabeth Bronfen (Zurich) will give talks on the topic at hand and respond to issues raised in the ensuing discussions.

Flyer_Ida_Lupino (PDF, 744 KB)

Conference: What is an Image in Medieval and Early Modern England? 9-11 September

MedImage MedImage

This is the 5th Biennial Conference of the Swiss Association Medieval and Early Modern English Studies. It seeks to probe the function and status of images – visual as well as textual –in the two periods, and to put pressure on the commonplace that images were problematized as a consequence of the iconoclastic Reformation. Confirmed key-note speakers include Brian Cummings (York), Andrew Morrall (Bard Graduate Center, NY), Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge), and Nicolette Zeeman (Cambridge).

For more information go to conference website: http://www.samemes-5.uzh.ch/en.html

 

Workshop: Shoshana Felman & Eyal Peretz, 12 & 14 October

Felman

Shoshana Felman (Emory) will be present for two workshops in October. The first talk will discuss psychoanalysis and gender studies today with special regard to her conversation with Barbara Johnson. Both Felman and Johnson are key figures in bridging deconstruction and gender theory and have largely shaped our understanding of psychoanalysis in connection with literature having borne and placed special attention on rigorous psychoanalytic readings of texts. Felman, a long-time friend of Barbara Johnson and editor of The Barbara Johnson Reader, will center her first talk on on Barbara Johnson's A Life with Mary Shelley with a particular focus on "Afterword" as well as an excerpt from The Barbara Johnson Reader - "Barbara's Signature". This event will take place on October 12th. There will be an additional lecture by Shoshana Felman on October 14th focusing on censorship and Oscar Wilde - "Writers on Trial:  The Case of Oscar Wilde” - alongside a complementary talk by Eyal Peretz (Indiana) on "On the Origin of Film and the Resurrection of the People: D.W. Griffith's Intolerance". Doctoral students are encouraged to profit from this unique opportunity.

Flyer_Felman_Peretz (PDF, 145 KB)

 

Workshop: "Debt", Richard Dienst & Mladen Dolar, 4-5 November

Debt

This workshop will examine issues of debt from different theoretical perspectives. Prominent scholars including Richard Dienst (Rutgers) and Mladen Dolar (Ljubljana) and will give talks and respond to questions raised in the ensuing discussions.

 

Conference: Shifting Grounds - Literature, Culture and Spatial Phenomenologies, 25-27 Nov

ShiftingGrounds

This international conference responds to the recent return of phenomenological perspectives in literary and cultural criticism, and in the field of spatiality in particular. It aims to probe how a focus on sensory impressions and "the perspective of experience" (Tuan) can enhance our understanding of literary and cultural spaces. More

 

Conference “Images of Identity”: Doctoral Workshop with Chris Morash (Dublin) and Kath Woodward (Milton Keynes), January 30-31, 2015

 

This two-day symposium aims to explore the constitution of personal, national and cultural identities at the intersection of the verbal and the visual. It will focus on the multiple relations between identities, words and images, addressing issues such as visual culture, transmediality, iconicity, and the materialities of words and images. The keynote speakers are Chris Morash (Dublin) and Kath Woodward (Milton Keynes).

“U.S. Image Culture and Continental Philosophy”: Block Seminar with Ivo Ritzer (Bayreuth), February 20-21 and February 27-28, 2015

 

This seminar examines the mutual influence and constant exchange between European/Continental Philosophy and American cinema. It looks at the European analyses of, as well as responses to, movies from various genres, and in its discussion draws on the work of Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Rancière, Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou.

Research Colloquium, 4 May 2015, 17:30

 
 

Doctoral students in English Literature will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and to give an update on their research projects at this colloquium. In addition, future workshops and projects will be discussed. The colloquium is taking place in PET-4 (Plattenstr. 47, Zurich)

Flyer: Research Colloquium (PDF, 79 KB)

“The Wire, Seriality, Media and Global Politics”: Workshop on Television and Seriality, May 15-17, 2015


 

This workshop will discuss the portrayal of the African American urban underclass in the television series The Wire. It will identify analogies between the show and Bombay cinema, and investigate the limits of such a cultural cross-mapping.

Flyer: The Wire, Seriality, Media and Global Politics (PDF, 9916 KB)

Guest Lecture and Individual Meetings with Doctoral Students: Sue Vice (Sheffield), May 18, 2015, 17:30

 

Sue Vice will give a talk about the Holocaust as it has been represented in recent British fiction−as a conflict between the different myths of winning the war and failing to prevent genocide. The lecture is taking place in PLH-1-102 (Plattenstr.47, Zurich)
Prof. Vice will also be meeting doctoral students working in the field of memory and trauma on an individual basis.

Poster: Sue Vice (PDF, 780 KB)

 

“All is Fair in Love and War”: Workshop on Troilus and Cressida, May 28-30, 2015

 

In this workshop, participants will do a close reading of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. Prominent scholars will give talks on the play and respond to issues raised in the ensuing discussions.

Flyer: All Is Fair in Love and War (PDF, 1471 KB)

Advanced Research Colloquium, Mailly, October 15-18, 2015

 

Doctoral students and literature professors will meet for three and a half days at the Château de Mailly (France) to present their research projects, discuss primary and theoretical texts, and talk about future projects. The colloquium will also be open to a restricted number of advanced MA students who are interested in doing a PhD in English literature in Zurich.

ARC Mailly Programme 2015 (PDF, 1279 KB)

"Archaeologies of Indebtedness": Workshop on Debt and Indebtedness with Richard Dienst (Rutgers), November 06-07, 2015

 

As a result of the current financial crisis, issues of debt have gained renewed urgency in critical thought. This workshop explores the social, political and moral bonds created by debt in examples drawn from literature and the media.

Flyer: Debt Workshop (PDF, 230 KB)

Conference on Cold War Cultures, December 10-12, 2015

 

This conference will focus on Cold War cultures, war and media, and on representations of history on the screen. Speakers include Robert Burgoyne (St Andrews), Alan Nadel (Kentucky), Holger Pötzsch (Norway), and Elisabeth Bronfen (Zurich).

Flyer_Cold_War_Cultures (PDF, 447 KB)

2014

British Culture and Eccentricity

Doctoral Workshop with Hanspeter Künzler, January 17-18, 2014

The pre-eminence of British artists in pop music history is in no small part due to the fact that British society has always cherished and respected eccentric views and habits. This workshop will examine the role of eccentricity in the shaping of British attitudes - especially gender attitudes - throughout the ages. Amongst many others, we will analyse the connections between Victorian gentlemen and Vivian Stanshall (aka Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band); Edith Sitwell and Quentin Crisp; William Blake and Mick Jagger; Thomas de Quincey and Anna Kavan. The list is endless...

The Cinema of Raoul Walsh: Doctoral Workshop with Tom Conley (Harvard), February 14-15, 2014

In this two-day workshop, Tom Conley will present material from his planned book on the cinema of Raoul Walsh. A special focus will be laid on the ways Walsh's films negotiate and map war, trauma and the night through the genres of film noir, the war film and the western.

Doctoral Workshop on Seriality, April 11-12, 2014

In this interdisciplinary workshop, scholars working in American and German studies will discuss questions of seriality by examining recent American television series in relation to the German Tatort. The workshop will be taught by Christiane Frey (New York), Rembert Hueser (Minnepolis) and David Martyn (St. Paul)

Utopias, Travels and Insularity: Doctoral Workshop with Jean-Michel Racault (La Réunion), May 8-10, 2014

Jean-Michel Racault is Prof. emeritus at the University of La Réunion. He will teach a three-day bilingual workshop on utopias, travels and insularity in European literatures of the classical age. The workshop is co-hosted by the English and the French Departments.

Narratography Across Media: Doctoral Workshop with Garrett Stewart (Iowa), May 30-31, 2014

Garrett Stewart is Professor of English Literature at the University of Iowa. He will teach a two-day workshop combining discussions of mycrostilistics and the philosophy of language with an attention to the thematics and optics of surveillance. Texts to be discussed will range from the novels of Charles Dickens to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

2nd Workshop in Literary Research: Critical Practice (Summer School), June 16-18, 2014

This second summer school addresses doctoral candidates in literary studies from the university of Zurich and other Swiss universities. Please send your application and a one-page abstract including a short biographical note to doktoratsprogramm@ds.uzh.ch by 28 February.

Discursive Possession of Western Literature by African Thought: Doctoral Workshop with Wendy Belcher (Princeton), September 26-27, 2014

This workshop will examine the African influences on Western literature. The focus will be on the African contexts of the works of Samuel Johnson (such as Rasselas), but the workshop will also address issues such as the African influence in the works of Herman Melville, writers from the American South and Romanticism.

Opening Event Doctoral Program, October 1, 2014

Join us for information about the doctoral program, current projects and upcoming events. All currently enrolled PhD students and interested Liz/MA students are cordially invited.An apéro will be offered.

Workshop on Practical Matters with Allen Reddick, Barbara Straumann and Christina Ljungberg, October 21, 2014

In this three-hour evening workshop, doctoral candidates will receive valuable information and inputs on issues like publishing, conference papers and abstract writing. The workshop will be co-taught by Allen Reddick, Barbara Straumann and Christina Ljungberg. Time: 6-9 pm. Place: English Department, Plattenstr. 47, PLH-102.

Comedy, Mimesis and Avarice: Doctoral Workshop with Mladen Dolar (Ljubljana), November 7-8, 2014

Mladen Dolar is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana. He will present material from his current research projects, combining reflections on comedy, mimesis, materiality and avarice. The workshop will bring together figures of misers in authors such as Plautus and Dickens and the libidinal economy of capitalism.

Doctoral Workshop on Life Writing, December 5-6, 2014

Recent years have seen an engagement with life writing reminiscent of the modernist period. This workshop will be on life writing and modernism, and on the way in which present-day auto/biography’s experimentation with form and fiction harks back to that of modernism. The workshop will be taught by Prof. Laura Marcus (Oxford), Prof. Lisbeth Larsson (Gothenburg) and Dr. David James (London).

2013

Travelling Narratives: Modernity and the Spatial Imaginary

International Symposium, November 29 - December 1, 2013

Cultures have always been in contact with as well as imagined spaces other than their own. Ever since the age of discovery, however, the relations, links and ruptures between different spaces have played an increasingly significant role in the cultural imaginary, taking on new urgency in today’s world of ever increasing mobility and global networks.
This three-day symposium hosted by the English Department at the University of Zurich will focus on spaces in relation, addressing the importance of issues such as borders and crossings, utopia, travel and exile in the sphere of cultural production. It aims to explore ways in which spaces are represented and textually produced, as well as how boundaries between different spaces are traversed.
The conference is primarily aimed at scholars working in the field of literary and cultural studies. However, as we believe issues of spatiality can be fruitfully examined in an interdisciplinary framework we invite contributions from different segments of the academic community.

Theorising The Wire: Crime, Culture, Seriality

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Griselda Pollock (Leeds), Prof. Elisabeth Paefgen (Berlin) and Daniel Eschkötter (Weimar), November 1-2, 2013

The groundbreaking US-American television drama series The Wire (2002-2008) has received wide critical attention. This workshop will invite scholars from Germany and England who will discuss The Wire and the role of contemporary television series as both a new art form and a continuation of the seriality of 19th century moral imagination and the multiperspectival narratives of 20th century modernism.

Advanced Resesarch Colloquium in Mailly (F)

October 18-20, 2013

Doctoral students and literature professors will meet for two and a half days at the Château de Mailly (F) to present their research projects, discuss primary and theoretical texts, and talk about future projects. The colloquium will also be open to a restricted number of advanced MA students who are interested in doing a PhD in English literature in Zurich.

Queenship

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Mandy Merck (London) and Prof. Susanne Scholz (Frankfurt), June 7-8, 2013

Point of departure for this workshop on queenship is a discussion of the cultural survival of Elizabeth I, in regard particularly to her portraits and self-­‐‑performances. At issue is what Mieke Bal has called doing history preposterously, which is to say looking at a set of representations through the lens of their subsequent recyclings. This touches on the manner in which Shakespeare’s plays obliquely represent his sovereign as well as the literary and cinematic texts that have revisited and reconceived her, splicing together historical re-­‐‑imagination with contemporary concerns. In this two-­‐‑day workshop, a set of prominent scholars will present papers on the issue of queenship so as to open up discussions on what is at stake in the gendering of sovereignty. While not limited to England’s Virgin Queen, the cases presented will help us seek out both historical specificity as well as explore the interface between political power and mediality.

Television As an Art Form: A Private Journey

Doctoral Workshop with filmmaker Hagai Levi (Tel Aviv), May 24-25, 2013

Hagai Levi is a well-known Israeli film and television director who is best known for his television drama Be Tipul, for which he won an Israeli Film Academy Award as Best Director. Hagai Levi’s workshop will revolve around the thesis that television series are the art form of the 21st century. During the workshop, he will also present material from his new series.

US-American Foundational Myths and/in Popular Culture

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Heike Paul (Erlangen-Nürnberg), April 18-19, 2013

This workshop will address the foundational mythology of the US as an imagined community. We will briefly review the history of American studies as a discipline and its peculiar investment in a particular set of ‘myths and symbols’ as defining ‘America’ and explaining (and legitimizing) ‘American exceptionalism’. These core myths/symbols have been emplotted in narratives, visualized and memorialized in iconic ways, and engrained in civil religious cultural practices and rituals. On the basis of a discursive rather than normative definition of myth, we will explore the relationship between myth, public memory, history, and ideology. The power of myths derives from a seemingly paradoxical structure that involves both, longevity and change, continuity and variation. Its tacit dimension is part of its power to perform and to do its cultural work, so to speak. Whereas my talk on the previous evening focuses on the founding fathers (and their recent comeback), the seminar will be addressing another case study: the American West, the agrarian myth, and the role of the frontier in a (trans)national imaginary by discussing a range of materials ranging from Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier-thesis to the recent TVseries Deadwood.

Mark Strand

Poetry Reading and Guest Lecture, March 21, 2013

2012

Return of the Body: Körperlichkeit, Film und Neue Medien

Guest lecture with Dr. Ivo Ritzer (Mainz), December 6, 2012

Radical Hope

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Jonathan Lear, November 8, 2012

The Ethics and Politics of Reviewing, or Reviewing Is Dead—Should We Care?

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Linda Hutcheon, May 10–12, 2012

In our electronic age, in which everyone and anyone can become a reviewer online, we’ve witnessed a democratic urge to dethrone “taste orthodoxies” by seemingly eliminating the need or desire for professional or expert reviewers. This course will examine the consequences—ethical, economic and political—of this move for the institution of reviewing and its cultural functions.

Collection, Recollection, and Romantic Reading

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Deidre Lynch, April 19–20, 2012

Early nineteenth-century literary culture in Britain depended to a remarkable extent on practices of excerpting, clipping, and pasting, and redrafting, recontextualizing, and recycling: practices that would now seem alien to literate individuals’ standard definitions of the act of reading, except that recently our interactions with the reading materials of the Internet have made them newly familiar.  This workshop will consider some of the cultural frictions engendered by these practices.  It will consider anthologies, past and present (including custom-made poetry scrapbooks from the early nineteenth century); anxieties aroused by the practices of extracting on which anthologizing depends (is the practice an act of devotion or fidelity, or does the anthologist make something new in the act of detaching verse from its originary context?); the Romantic lyric poem as souvenir, collectible, and token of remembrance; the birth of the genre of the biblio-autobiography (shaped by book-memories and only infrequently by text-memories).

March 12-13: Workshop with Prof. Robert Pippin (Chicago)

Robert Pippin is Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche, as well as on film and modern visual arts. In this workshop he will lecture on Hegel and the Philosophy of Visual Modernism as well as on Skepticism in Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place. The latter talk is complemented with a seminar discussion on Robert Pippin's forthcoming book on Philosophy and Film Noir, which gives participants the opportunity to engage in a discussion with this eminent philosopher and critic.

2011

Lecture Series 2011

The series incorporates lectures organized by the “English and American Literary Studies” program and the peer-mentoring program “Genius for Hire”.


September 27: Dame Gillian Beer (Cambridge): "The Backbone Shiver": Darwin and the Arts
18:30, Room PLH 102
English Department, Plattenstr. 47, 8032 Zürich

October 28: Felicity Nussbaum (UCLA): Oriental Drama and Tragic Muse Mary Anne Yates.
Organized by the peer-mentoring program “Genius for Hire”. 
For more information visit http://www.es.uzh.ch/Subsites/events/PeerMentoring.html

November 21: Christina Wald (Augsburg): Communion and Cannibalism in Thomas Lodge's A Margarite of America (1596)
18:30, Room PLH 102
English Department, Plattenstr. 47, 8032 Zürich

December 5: Bernd Herzogenrath (Frankfurt): Matter and Memory: Bill Morrison's Decasia
18:30, Room PLH 102
English Department, Plattenstr. 47, 8032 Zürich

December 12: Alan Richardson (Boston College)
Organized by the peer-mentoring program “Genius for Hire”. 
For more information visit http://www.es.uzh.ch/Subsites/events/PeerMentoring.html

December 19: Anne Whitehead (Newcastle) Prosopagnosia, or the Problem of Reading Faces: Refiguring Empathy in Ian McEwan's Saturday
18:30, Room PLH 102
English Department, Plattenstr. 47, 8032 Zürich

October 22-23: Workshop with David McKitterick (Cambridge)

What is the future of the book? (And what about its past?)

Professor David McKitterick (Cambridge), the prolific author of classic, groundbreaking studies of the book such as "Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 1450-1830" and editor of the multi-volume "Cambridge History of the Book in Britain" will give a workshop on "Exploring Some Current Bibliographical Issues" on October 22-23 at the English Department. This is a unique opportunity for discussion with the perhaps premier student of the creation, distribution, collection and importance of books across history in the English-speaking world. The workshop is open to everyone interested.

Preparatory texts and complete syllabus will are made available on OLAT.

Search for "David McKitterick“ or use the following link: https://www.olat.uzh.ch/olat/url/RepositoryEntry/4347133955?guest=true&lang=de

September 24-25: Workshop with Mladen Dolar on Literature and Modernity

Mladen Dolar, eminent cultural theorist, philosopher and expert in psychoanalytical theory is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Among many essays and articles he is the author of a number of books, including (with Slavoj Zizek) Opera’s Second Death and more recently the highly discussed A Voice and Nothing More – a radically new, philosophically grounded theory of the voice as the lever of thought, as well as one of the paramount embodiments of the psychoanalytic object.

In his workshop at the English Department Dr. Dolar will take a look at modern literature’s paradoxical task of putting experiences into words which escape language. Through a combination of theoretical approach and close readings of texts by Kafka and Beckett we will disentangle how the modern experience of negativity, of the lack and the absurd is conveyed through modern literature.

September 5: Prof. Dr. Jeffrey N. Cox (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Organized by the peer-mentoring program “Genius for Hire”.
For more information visit the “Genius for Hire”-Homepage

July 20: J. Hillis Miller at the English Department

Under the title "Should We Read Literature Now, and, If So, How? : Text; Action; Space; Emotion in Conrad's Nostromo", one of the world’s most prominent literary critics, Professor J. Hillis Miller from the University of California, Irvine will be giving a lecture at the English Department on Wednesday, July 20, at 15:00 in room PLH 102.

The Violence of Aesthetics — the Aesthetics of Violence

Doctoral Workshop, June 17-19, 2011

Joint doctoral workshop (University of Zürich-CUSO) organized by Profs. Elisabeth Bronfen (UZH) and Margaret Tudeau-Clayton (UNINE). English Seminar, Plattenstrasse 47. 
This workshop offers the unique opportunity to hear, meet and discuss with distinguished scholars (John Drakakis, Andreas Höfele, Garret Stewart and Bran Nicol).