Keynote 2019

“Possible Worlds and Pseudoscience Fictions”

The Americanist Colloquium and the American Literature in the World Graduate Conference are pleased to present a keynote by Kate Marshall, Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.

Kate Marshall is Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. She is a teacher and scholar of American fiction from the late nineteenth century through the contemporary period. Her work engages with media theory, narrative, the philosophy of science, and related modes of critical attention that illuminate how novels work as aesthetic and communicative systems and cultural agents. In her first book, Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (2013), she developed a systems-theoretical account of how media and infrastructure become the self-referring formal sites of communication in the fiction of the early twentieth century, transitioning from the corridors of power to the postwar open plan. Narrative mediation is also the gravitational center of her current manuscript, Novels by Aliens, which is a study of nonhuman narrative sentience and its genre lives in contemporary fiction, critical theory, and the novelistic history that informs them. She teaches literature, media, and contemporary thought in a variety of contexts, ranging from transhistorical encounters with genre to graduate writing workshops dedicated to work in the public humanities. She serves on the faculty of the History and Philosophy of Science at Notre Dame, and is a member of the steering committee for the Westville Education Initiative, a transformative prison education program run in partnership with Holy Cross College. She has also joined the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, teaching at the Vermont mountain campus. She is committed to the future of serious literary and cultural analysis and dedicates a good deal of her energy to its support. In addition to lecturing extensively in the US and abroad, she co-edits the Post45 book series at Stanford University Press and serves on the steering committee of the Post45 Collective.

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