April 10: Sianne Ngai on Literary Gimmicks

The Feminist Reading Group presents 

a talk by 

Sianne Ngai 

Literary Gimmicks

Thursday, April 10, 2014
5:00 PM
McMahon Hall Lounge (Lincoln Center)
Free and open to the public

Sianne Ngai is Professor of American Literature at Stanford University. Her books are Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting (2012) and Ugly Feelings (2005). Her new project is on literary gimmicks and the intersection of technique and enchantment in the literature of twentieth-century capitalism.

In her first book, Ngai explored non-cathartic emotions--envy, irritation, anxiety--demonstrating how these so-called minor and politically ambiguous feelings are particularly well-suited for describing late-19th and early-20th century life. Her most recent book, Our Aesthetic Categories, was the Feminist Theory Reading Group’s pick for our Fall 2013 read.  It inspired a lively conversation about the distinction between the cute and the beautiful, the uncanny valley, and the attraction of cute robots. We look forward to hearing her speak about her new work on literary gimmicks.