Late Summer Lectures 2014

From the uncanny films of Wes Anderson and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, to the flimflamming con artists of Oscar Wilde, Late Summer Lectures returned in 2014 with an eclectic and fascinating mix of topics. Late Summer Lectures introduces the cutting edge research of our postgraduate students to a wide audience. The 2014 series ran on Wednesday evenings from 13th August to 1st October, in Alington House, Durham.

Authorship and Hysterical Woman in Muriel Spark’s The
Driver’s Seat
, by Arya Aryan

Throughout the critical culture of the 1970s and 1980s, theorists such as Roland Barthes were postulating the “death of the author.” However, Arya Aryan suggests that the work of some female novelists can be seen to challenge implicit assumptions of authorship, in a way that prefigures later theoretical debates. His lecture shows how Muriel Spark’s 1970 novel The Driver’s Seat expresses concerns with the assumptions of literary culture, by bringing to the fore the problems that beset all women living in a patriarchal society. [MP3 version]

Boy with Apple: The “Comfortable Uncanny” in the Films of Wes Anderson and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, by Elizabeth Drialo

With films like The Life Aquatic, Amélie, and the recent Grand Budapest Hotel, the directors Wes Anderson and Jean-Pierre Jeunet are known for the slightly weird, sometimes unsettling twists that they give to reality. Using colour filters, child-like musical scores, and shots that make locations look like models, both directors evoke fairy-tale like worlds in which their characters can seem like dolls. Elizabeth Drialo shows how their films draw on the disturbing quality of the uncanny to ultimately produce a sense of nostalgia in the audience.[MP3 version]

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