Literary Dimensions Seminar

Tuesday, April 26, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
The Sentimental Science of Modern Selfhood
Lisa Mendelman, Assistant Professor of English and Digital Humanities, Menlo College,

Abstract: This talk explores the sentimental underpinnings of scientific models of modern selfhood across a century: from interwar fiction and cultural icons to contemporary affect studies. It does so via a case study of the flapper and Anita Loos's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1926). Loos's vexed manifesto of modern white, female self-making exposes the sentimentality of modernist hallmarks including irony, satire, stream-of-consciousness narration, and dialectical writing and reveals the sentimentality of enduring investments in scientific approaches to literature. Concluding with a foray into digital text analysis and data visualization, I demonstrate that feminine feeling, far from being peripheral to twentieth-century modernism, animates its principles and preoccupations.

Limited Seating. RSVP required. Please email cecilial@caltech.edu to RSVP.
For more information, please contact Cecilia Lu by phone at 626-395-1724 or by email.

Caltech's COVID-19 vaccination policies currently restrict access to indoor campus spaces to individuals with proof of full vaccination status. For relevant information, please see the FAQs under "Campus Access" here. The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, which is organizing this event, currently requires all speakers/visitors to its indoor spaces to be vaccinated. Visitors/speakers must demonstrate vaccination status no later than arrival on campus, before accessing indoor spaces.