Reading the opening lines of a novel, coming face to face with a painting, or listening to a few bars of music, we may find ourselves captivated or entranced in ways we cannot always explain. We are enthralled by what we did not think we would care for, or we are left cold by what we were eagerly anticipating. On Thursday, February 22, 2018, Dr. Rita Felski—Professor of English at the University of Virginia—will deliver a talk entitled, “Attunement: How We Become Enthralled by Art,” that will explore why we are drawn to certain artworks—become “attuned” to them—but are stubbornly unmoved by others. It will consider various examples of attunement, both sudden and slow, with a particular focus on Zadie Smith’s response to the music of Joni Mitchell. A book signing will follow the program.
Speaker Biography: Rita Felski is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of Virginia, the Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and the editor of New Literary History. She has written extensively on literary theory and aesthetics, modernity and postmodernity, feminist theory, and cultural studies. Her most recent books include Uses of Literature (2008), Comparison: Theories, Approaches, Uses (2013), The Limits of Critique (2015), and Critique and Postcritique (2017).
This event is sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the American Studies Department, and the English Department.