Loyola University Chicago

Department of English


Martin J. Svaglic Fall Lecture, “Textual Studies & the Nonhuman Turn"

 Martin J. Svaglic Fall Lecture, “Textual Studies & the Nonhuman Turn"


Faculty and students in LUC’s Department of English are cordially invited to the Martin J. Svaglic Fall Lecture, “Textual Studies & the Nonhuman Turn, A Symposium.” This event is sponsored by Marta L. Werner, the Martin J. Svaglic Chair of Textual Studies and The Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities. 

Matt Cohen

Matt Cohen, Professor of English, University of Nebraska, Lincoln will give a talk entitled “Walt Whitman’s Leaves.” Matthew Cohen is the author or editor of five books, including most recently Whitman’s Drift: Imagining Literary Distribution, which received the Finneran Award; The Networked Wilderness: Communicating in Early New England (2010); and Colonial Mediascapes: Sensory Worlds of the Early Americas (co-edited in 2014 with Jeffrey Glover of LUC’s Department of English). With support from a 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Cohen is currently writing a book on intercultural theory and method in early American studies, tentatively titled The Silence of the Miskito Prince: Imagining Across Cultures in Early America. He is a contributing editor at the Walt Whitman Archive and director of Cohen Lab, a digital humanities lab at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Branka Arsić

Next, Branka Arsić, Charles and Lynn Zhang Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, will deliver the presentation, ““Butterfly Tropics: Dickinson, the Archive and Aerial Poetics.” Branka Arsić is the author of Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau (2016), which received the MLA James Russell Lowell prize for the outstanding book of 2016; On Leaving: A Reading in Emerson (2010), and Passive Constitutions, or 7½ Times Bartleby (2007). She is the editor of the critical collections Melville’s Philosophies (co-edited with Kim Evans, 2017) and The Other Emerson: New Approaches, Divergent Paths (co-edited with Cary Wolfe, 2010). Arsić is currently working on two book projects: Ambient Life, Melville, Materialism and the Ethereal Enlightenment, which focuses on images of the elemental, vegetal and animal that traverse Melville’s work as a means of investigating how he imagined the capacity of matter to move and transform; and Butterfly Tropics: Emily Dickinson, The Archive and The Lyric, which investigates Dickinson’s obsession with transmutation and invisible continuities among discrete bodies promised by entomological life forms, to raise the question of how such a preoccupation governs her understanding of the poetic form, as well as what it does for her manner of archiving poetry in fascicles, sets, envelopes, letters or, simply, boxes and chest drawers.

This event will take place Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. and will be held on the 4th floor of the Information Commons. It is free and open to the public.