MGSS - NYNJ Modernism Seminar with Victoria Rosner (Columbia)


From: Friday, January 30, 2015, 12:00am

To: Friday, January 30, 2015, 02:00pm

Our guest will be Victoria Rosner (Columbia University)

Victoria Rosner is Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia University School of General Studies.  Her book, Modernism and the Architecture of Private Life (Columbia UP, 2005) was awarded the Modernist Studies Association book prize. Her most recent books are The Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time, co-edited with Geraldine Pratt (Columbia UP, 2012) and The Cambridge Companion to the Bloomsbury Group (Cambridge UP, 2014).  She is a former Program Chair of the Modernist Studies Association and edits, with Nancy K. Miller, the “Gender and Culture” book series published by Columbia University Press. She is currently completing a book on modernism and the mechanization of the domestic sphere, tentatively entitled Machines for Living: Modernism, Literature, Domesticity.

Paper description: Since the 17th century scientists have known that there were forms of life that could not be seen with the unaided eye, but the knowledge that some microorganisms could engender disease came to science only in the 19th century. As germ theory moved into public consciousness, it required us to fear what could be neither seen nor heard, what was absolutely beyond the grasp of the senses. The cultural assimilation of germ theory had a considerable impact on the formation of modernist aesthetics across a range of forms of cultural production, including literature, the visual arts, and architecture and design.  My paper will look at several modernist accounts of infection and purity and trace their exploration of the increasing gulf separating sense-perception, hygiene, and asepsis.


Columbia University | Heyman Center for the Humaniities
2960 Broadway,
New York, New York, 10027


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Events sponsored by the Center for Cultural Analysis are free and open to the public, unless specifically noted

Friday, January 30, 12 pm - 2 pm, lunch will be provided

Paper will be pre-circulated on or about Friday, January 16.