The Return to Form: a panel on Caroline Levine's FORMS: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (Princeton UP, 2015)

Panel Discussion | February 19 | 5 p.m. | Wheeler Hall, 315, Maude Fife room

 Carol Levine, David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities, Cornell English

 Department of English

Is literary criticism undergoing a "return to form," and can that be understood as something other than a retreat? Can close reading be deployed to analyze more than literary works of art, can its scope be broadened to include the analysis of sociopolitical experience? Were that so, could literary criticism intervene in and alter arrangements of power?

In Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network, Caroline Levine argues that literary criticism can help us to remake political life--and that to achieve that future (to harness that potential) we must understand how forms shape every aspect of our experience. Forms proffers a vision of politics that involves, less disruption and upheaval, more the careful designing of orders and arrangements--and holds a place for literary criticism in that act of political curation.

Panelists Stephen Best, Associate Professor of English, UC Berkeley
Caroline Levine, David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities, Cornell University
Kent Puckett, Professor of English, UC Berkeley
Dora Zhang, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley