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Caroline Levine, Cornell University: „In Praise of Happy Endings: Precarity, Sustainability, and the Novel“

Jun 03, 2022 | 10:15 AM


A lecture of the series "WissensFragen. Der SFB 980 im Gespräch mit ..."


What do scholars of literature and the arts have to offer in response to the climate crisis? The aesthetic humanities have long traditions of insisting on open-endedness, negation, and inaction. I will argue that in this moment of rapid and destabilizing change, this tradition has reached its political limit. I will make a case for the particular value of formalist methods in rebuilding and remaking our social world. Form has never been an exclusively aesthetic term. A vast range of objects, from sounds to neighborhoods to coral reefs, can be analyzed for their structures and patterns, and in this respect, formalism belongs to all fields, or to none. But for this reason, formalism also has the potential to be a useful meta-disciplinary method, capable of moving between politics and art, between sonnets and public transportation systems. This talk will analyze sustainability in formal terms and focus specifically on the forms of sustainable infrastructure in contemporary cities, including Houston, Barcelona, and the Brazilian cities of Belo Horizonte and Curitiba.


Time & Location

Jun 03, 2022 | 10:15 AM

03.06.2022 | 10:15

Freie Universität Berlin
Villa of the SFB Episteme in Motion
Schwendenerstraße 8
14195 Berlin-Dahlem

Further Information

The lecture is likely to take place as a hybrid event. If you are not a SFB member, please register at info@sfb-episteme.de and you will then receive an access link.