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Books at the Center, Nicholas Paige (Professor, UC Berkeley) Technologies of the Novel (UP Cambridge 2020)

Mon February 8th 2021, 1:00pm
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Books at the Center, Nicholas Paige (Professor, UC Berkeley) Technologies of the Novel (UP Cambridge 2020)

Please join us on Monday, February 8th for the Center for the Study of the Novel’s third book launch event of the year. We are delighted to welcome Nicholas Paige, Professor of French at University of California Berkeley, to celebrate his most recent book, Technologies of the Novel (Cambridge UP, 2021). 


Here is a short description of Prof. Paige’s new work: 


Based on a systematic sampling of French and English novels over more than two centuries, Technologies of the Novel sets aside the familiar histories of the genre’s so-called ‘rise’, proposing that the novel is a system whose constant yet patterned flux must be understood in the context of technological evolution more generally. Technologies of the Novel makes this argument through coordinating quantitative data and qualitative reading, asking us to reflect on how we use digital methods to make sense of the scope and variety of literary forms. 


The Center’s Director, Margaret Cohen (English, Stanford), Professor John Bender (English, Stanford), and Chloe Edmondson (Thinking Matters, Stanford) will serve as respondents to Professor Paige.  


The event will take place via Zoom, on February 8th at 1pm (PST). This is the link to register in advance. Those who wish to read Technologies of the Novel’s introduction and chapter 10 before the session should request the PDF by contacting Cynthia Vialle (cinziag [at] (cinziag[at]stanford[dot]edu)).


Nicholas Paige is a Professor and Chair of the Department of French at UC Berkeley. His teaching and research focuses on the early modern period, specifically on French 17th and 18th literary works, ranging from life-writing to fiction. His first book, Being Interior:  Autobiography and the Contradictions of Modernity in Seventeenth-Century France, published by U Penn Press in 2001 traces the emergence of autobiography in religious writings by female writers of the time. His book Before fiction: The Ancien Régime of the Novel (U Penn Press, 2011), which was awarded the 2013 ASECS Gottschalk prize for best book on the 18th century, offers a history of the novel from the point of view of fictionality. 


Margaret Cohen is Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French Language, Literature and Civilization at Stanford University, where she teaches in English and directs The Center for the Study of the Novel. Among her books, she is author of the award-winning The Novel and the Sea, and the forthcoming The Underwater Eye,  as well as general editor of the six-volume set A Cultural History of the Sea, which will appear with Bloomsbury Press in May 2021. 


John Bender is Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies at Stanford University, in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature. He was director of the Stanford Humanities Center from 2001-2008. He is author of Spenser and Literary Pictorialism, Imagining the Penitentiary: Fiction and the Architecture of Mind in Eighteenth Century England (winner of the 1987 Gottschalk Prize for the best book on an 18th-century topic), and co-editor (with Simon Stern) of Tom Jones (Oxford, 1996).  With David Wellbery, he co-edited The Ends of Rhetoric: History, Theory, Practice and Chronotypes: The Construction of Time (Stanford, 1990 and 1991). He co-edited (with Michael Marrinan), Regimes of Description: In the Archive of the Eighteenth Century (Stanford, 2005). Also with Michael Marrinan, he co-authored  The Culture of Diagram (Stanford 2010; German translation, Akademie Verlag, 2014).  Ends of Enlightenment, a volume collecting his essays, was published by Stanford University Press in 2012.


Dr. Chloe Summers Edmondson is a Lecturer in the Thinking Matters program at Stanford. She received her PhD from Stanford in the French & Italian Department in 2020. Her research is situated at the crossroads of literary criticism, cultural history, and media studies, with a particular focus on letter-writing practices in 17th and 18th-century France. She has also worked on numerous digital humanities projects in affiliation with "Mapping the Republic of Letters" and at CESTA (the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis). She has published this research in the Journal of Modern History, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and notably she co-edited the volume (with Dan Edelstein), Networks of Enlightenment: Digital Approaches to the Republic of Letters (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2019). 


This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome, and we hope to see you there!