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Namwali Serpell – University of California, Berkeley – How to Read Faces
The Forum aims to promote scholarly dialogue and debate concerning the status and future of literary and cultural studies,
with an emphasis on exploring and engaging new theoretical paradigms and critical perspectives in humanistic scholarship.
The 2016-17 Kanner Forum will be organized around a broad theme, “How to Read…” As you know, reading has long held a
privileged place in literary studies as a term of art for what literary scholars do. Along with associated terms like literacy and
interpretation, reading has been a touchstone for formulating disciplinary identity, community, and expertise throughout the
modern history of literary study in the academy. The series will bring distinguished scholars to UCLA, each of whom pursues
a different articulation of literature’s critical purchase and expands the parameters of literary discourse to include new and
unexpected engagements with cultural, archival, and historical materials. The series hopes to foster lively, wide-ranging, and
enduring discussions about the future of English as a discipline in the humanities.