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[Zoom] Distinguished Lecture Series - Prof. Yoon Sun Lee (1 Feb 2021)
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  • Date 2021-01-16 21:52:12
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Topic: Distinguished Lecture Series:

Of Narratology and Natural History: Foucault, Enlightenment Race Theory, and the Frames of Frankenstein

Time: February 1 2021  09:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Seoul)


Frankenstein occupies a place of special importance in literary history, in narrative theory, and in the history of modern ways of knowing. Shelley’s novel could be seen as using its narrative frames to position the creature within natural historical schemes of classification. But it also allows the creature to voice the advent of his own awareness of the world, and his place, or lack of place, in it. His experience and the narrative’s frames both depend on and push against each in complex ways. This seminar will look closely at the history of knowledge presented in Foucault’s The Order of Things as well as Enlightenment natural history and race theory to examine the structure of Shelley’s novel and its status as an exemplary Romantic text. It will also consider the implications of taxonomy as a mode of knowledge that continues to be practiced in contemporary narratology.




Yoon Sun Lee is a professor of English at Wellesley College. She publishes and teaches in several fields: British prose in the Romantic era, the eighteenth-century novel, Asian American literature, narrative theory, and literary theory. She is the author of Nationalism and Irony (Oxford University Press, 2004), and Modern Minority: Asian American Literature and Everyday Life (Oxford University Press, 2013), and her essays have appeared in journals and collections including PMLANovel: A Forum on FictionRepresentationsThe Cambridge Companion to Narrative TheoryThe Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Her most recent book project, How It Happens, examines how plots operate in British realist novels, linking them to contemporary developments in natural philosophy and to the history of objectivity.


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