October 16, 2002 – Wlad Godzich: “The Modern Subject Meets Globalization”

Two Lectures
Wednesday, October 16, 5-7pm
Wednesday, October 23, 5-7pm

Kresge 159

The Center for Cultural Studies is pleased to present a two-part talk by Wlad Godzich, who has over the last decade been a central figure in a number of scholarly discussions of globalization, humanism, and literature. Indeed, many of the concerns shaping Dean Godzich’s recent work on the global are present in his early work as a medievalist, where he traced the concurrent emergence of vernaculars, print technology, and political administration. With the 1988 publication of his essay “Emergent Literature and the Field of Comparative Literature” (reprinted in Godzich, The Culture of Literacy, Harvard, 1994), Professor Godzich explored an ongoing concern with the problematic of emergence, which has led not only to reconceptualizations of literary history, but to dialogues with natural and social scientists engaged in similar work on new forms of knowledge.

About his talks this quarter, Dean Godzich writes:
“The two talks bring together two lines of research I have been working on during the past decade. The first has focused on the category of the subject in the context of western modernity. It is my contention that the modern subject is characterized by a homology between discourse and action. In the first talk I will present a synoptic view of this homology and argue that it is the ground upon which the strong subject of modernity has been built. In the second talk I will turn to my other concern: globalization and its significance for scholars in the human sciences. I will use the synopsis presented in the first talk to identify areas in which the subject is affected. Some of these areas will be analyzed in some detail, others identified as research topics for the future. A surprising outcome of the juxtaposition of these two research projects has been the re-emergence of imagination as a central and dynamic category for thinking the subject in the context of globalization.”

Wlad Godzich has taught at Columbia, Yale, the University of Minnesota, the University of Toronto, and the Université de Montréal, and has held many visiting appointments in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Before coming to UC Santa Cruz he was at the Université de Genève (Switzerland) where he held the Chairs of Emergent Literature and Comparative Literature. He is the author of several books, notably The Emergence of Prose (Minnesota, 1987) and The Culture of Literacy (Harvard, 1994). He was co-editor of the acclaimed 88–volume series Theory and History of Literature, published by the University of Minnesota Press.