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Literary and Critical Theory Seminar: "Dangerous Dead Women and the Practice of Criticism"

Posted on 10/05/2012

Speaker: Professor Catherine Belsey (Swansea University)

Wednesday 16th May, 6-8pm, Senate House, Room 261

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From the Icelandic sagas to The Woman in Black, women may prove more menacing in death than they were permitted to be in life. Are ghost stories concerning the malevolent return of the oppressed best read as evidence of misgivings on the part of a misogynist culture? Or is a deeper anxiety perceptible? And how far are current critical practices open to a genre of fiction that registers a sense of something beyond what culture gives us to know?

Catherine Belsey is Professor of English at Swansea University. Her work and influence on the contemporary landscape of literary criticism is such that Textual Practice dedicated a Special Issue to her work (24:6, 2010). She is perhaps best known for her works Critical Practice (Routledge, 1980, 2002) and Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002), but her extensive body of work encompasses such subjects as Tragedy, Desire, Milton, Shakespeare, Feminism, and Theory. Her most recent books include Culture and the Real: Theorizing Cultural Criticism (Routledge, 2005), Why Shakespeare? (Palgrave, 2007), Shakespeare in Theory and Practice (Edinburgh University Press, 2008), and A Future for Criticism (Blackwell, 2011), in which she proposes a new direction for critical practice that emphasises the pleasures of fiction and the way it engages readers.

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