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Gerard Passannante: “Little Big World: Disaster and the Materialist Imagination”
January 25, 2012 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Professor Passannante looks at the habit of making much of little–shifting between small things (details, fossilized seashells, words) and big ideas. Tracing this disaster-courting habit of mind from the writings of Montaigne and Shakespeare’s Othello to Robert Hooke’s discourses on earthquakes and the work of Vico and Boulanger, he argues that this most familiar operation has deep roots in the ways that early modern readers came to terms with the hidden violence of the materialist imagination.
Gerard Passannante received his B.A. from Yale in 2000 and Ph.D. from Princeton in 2007. He is the author of a number of articles on the history of science and literature in the Renaissance, and has recently published a book entitled The Lucretian Renaissance: Philology and the Afterlife of Tradition (Chicago). Professor Passannante has been a Rome Prize fellow at the American Academy in Rome and has had fellowships at The Folger Shakespeare Library and The National Humanities Center.
At 4:30 pm, Professor Passannante will conduct a graduate-student-only seminar on Carlo Ginzburg’s “Clues”