Seminars

Jerome Rothenberg spoke as part of the 2017 seminar program on Writing Through: Translation and Othering as Forms of Composition.

Our Next Seminar

Alix Beeston on 'Frozen in the Glassy, Bluestreaked Air: John Dos Passos’s Photographic Metropolis'   

Friday 26 April 2019
11am – 12.30pm

Location: Female Orphan School, conference room 1, EZ.G.23, Parramatta South Campus, Western Sydney University(Corner of James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road, Rydalmere)

The experimental form of John Dos Passos’s first major novel, the episodic, multilinear Manhattan Transfer (1925), has long been understood in connection with the montage techniques of avant-garde cinema. But Dos Passos’s notes and drafts for the book reveal the ahistoricity of this analogy even as they offer up other spectatorial contexts for understanding its experimental form. I draw on new archival work in this paper, which interprets Manhattan Transfer’s serialised mode of narration and characterisation in line with the figuring of female bodies through the photographic apparatus of advertisement and celebrity ancillary to early-twentieth-century Broadway entertainments. By unpacking the image of Dos Passos's central character, Ellen Thatcher, as a photograph, “frozen into a single gesture”, I account for Dos Passos’s critique of the dominations of the male gaze and the complicity of photographic technologies as mechanisms of social control in the modern city.

GUEST SPEAKER BIO:

ALIX BEESTON is Lecturer in English at Cardiff University. This paper is drawn from her first book, In and Out of Sight: Modernist Writing and the Photographic Unseen, which was published in 2018 by Oxford University Press. Her work appears or is forthcoming in PMLA, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Modernism/modernity, Arizona Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is also the author of Object Women, a digital art history project developed in partnership with the George Eastman Museum: www.instagram.com/objectwomen.

RSVP Ms Suzanne Gapps (s.gapps@westernsydney.edu.au)
All welcome.

Our seminars are free and open to visitors from outside the university. If you want to come along to one of our seminars simply RSVP by sending an email to writing@westernsydney.edu.au indicating which seminar you wish to attend.

The Parramatta South campus is accessible by public transport including University shuttle bus. See the Getting to uni page for more details.

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