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GOTH Critical Reading Group 3: The Enigma of the English Essay

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'The Enigma of the English Essay: An Archeology of an Academic Genre' an online reading group presented by Pavel Drábek (Uni. of Hull)

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THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE AS PART OF THE GOTH NETWORKSHOP, THURSDAY 18TH MARCH, 12.45-4.00PM

GOTH welcomes all members, OU colleagues and PGs to our third reading group, presented by Pavel Drábek. This event will be of interest to all colleagues whose professional responsibilities include academic writing, and especially postgraduate students, early career researchers and others wishing to address and debate the skills of writing for English-language academic publications, and literary and linguistic specialists interested in the historiography and use of metaphor.

Subject: The Enigma of the English Essay: An Archaeology of an Academic Genre

Abstract:

The English critical essay is unlike any other. This academic genre has developed out of a tradition of experiment and the cultivation of empirical knowledge. In this seminar, we will borrow Foucault’s approach and look at the archeology of the critical essay as a genre stemming from the philosophy of the Royal Society of London. Established shortly after the Stuart Restoration, it put into practice a project to consolidate a reliable, stable foundation of knowledge. In so doing, the Royal Society vetted the English language and adopted specific methods of experiment and documentation, which have ossified in the critical essay as its prominent genre. The seminar will start with a short talk setting the context, followed by a discussion of the implications and the two readings.

Readings:

• Thomas Sprat, The History of the Royal-Society of London, for the Improving of Natural Knowledge (London, 1667), pp.98-115.

• Ted Cohen, “Metaphor and the Cultivation of Intimacy”, Critical Inquiry 5.1 (1978), 3-12.

Presenter:

Pavel Drábek is Professor of Drama and Theatre Practice at the University of Hull. A theatre historian, theorist and practitioner, his interests range from Shakespeare and early modern drama, translation and adaptation, to scenography and playwriting. He writes and translates for opera, radio and stage, and is co-editor (with M. A. Katritzky) of Transnational Connections in Early Modern Theatre (MUP 2020).

The Reading Group will be hosted on the MS Teams platform, and links to join will be sent to participants on Wednesday 17th March.

All readings will be provided upon registration.

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