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Lunch Seminar with Allan Hepburn: Representing Catastrophe

Seating is limited. RSVP to Jolie Griffin.

This seminar will focus on representations of catastrophe, especially nuclear catastrophe in mid-century British novels. Discussion will expand, however, to include the temporality of catastrophes in general such as they are represented in fiction: instantaneity, slow extinction, painful endings, temporal duration beyond the end of human time. Many narratives about catastrophe—Lord of the Flies and The Chrysalids—hypothesize a future, whether near or remote, the will be able to construe the meaning of global annihilation. In this regard, we will talk about transmission, survival strategies, and the reorganization of states after a catastrophic event. The reading for this seminar will be “The Future and the End: Imagining Catastrophe in Mid-Century British Fiction.”


Allan Hepburn is James McGill Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at McGill University. He is the author of Intrigue: Espionage and Culture (2005), Enchanted Objects: Visual Art in Contemporary Fiction (2010), and, most recently, A Grain of Faith: Religion in Mid-Century British Literature (2018). He co-edits the Mid-Century Studies Series for Oxford University Press. His forthcoming works include essays on Nancy Mitford and diplomacy, Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach, and thrillers in the global Cold War.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm


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