Faculty Lecture Series to Feature Christian Thorne on World Literature

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 8, 2013—The second talk in this year’s Faculty Lecture Series will be presented by Christian Thorne, associate professor of English at Williams College, on Thursday, Feb. 14. Thorne’s lecture, titled “The Sea Is Not a Place: Putting The World Back in World Literature,” will take place at 4:15 p.m. in Wege Auditorium, Thompson Chemistry. A reception will follow in Schow Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

Thorne’s lecture will focus on whether it is possible to create stories that encompass the whole world. In recent years, scholars have begun to realize that explaining historical, political, or economic phenomena at a local and national level can be misleading. As a result, there has been a growing interest in building a global perspective and understanding that events around the world are systematically interconnected. Thorne will consider whether it is possible for this expansion of perspective to be replicated by novelists and filmmakers. Can movies and novels take in expanses larger than a single nation? Which traditional storytelling techniques would have to change in order to accommodate such a shift? If fictional narratives are unable to deal with enlarged scale and scope, does this mean fiction will mislead us into believing that our lives are more regional than they actually are?

Thorne has taught at Williams since 2004 and received tenure at 2010. His areas of expertise include critical theory, horror and the Gothic, rock & roll, and the history of the novel, with an emphasis on the historical and postcolonial novel. He teaches courses on cultural theory, critical theory, and the topic of happiness.

Thorne received a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in literature from Duke University in 2001.

The Faculty Lecture Series will continue on Feb. 21 with William Wooters, Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy, and his lecture on the question of “Why Does Nature Like The Square Root of Negative One?”

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