17th Nov 2014 5:00pm-6:30pm
C218 Checkland Building, Falmer Campus
Literature Seminar Series 2014-15
Lecture by Prof Janet Wilson, University of Northampton.
This talk proposes a speculative reading of Katherine Mansfield’s work in relation to the medieval concept of anima mundi (world soul), that is, the belief in an animistic universe in which the earth is revivified through a spiritus mundi (spirit of the world). Although no explicit link can be made, I suggest that Mansfield had affinities with medieval cosmology which fostered a more participatory relationship between the human subject and the created world than the post-Cartesian world view does. I also suggest that this relationship between the self and the ‘other’ is marked by her commitment to artifice in art leading her to locate such relationships within a ‘decentring’ modernist aesthetic that represents them as odd, disturbing or disruptive.
Janet Wilson is Director of Research in the School of Arts at the University of Northampton and also Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies. She is one of the editors of Rerouting the Postcolonial: New Directions for the New Millennium (2010) and has also co-edited the volumes, Katherine Mansfield and Literary Modernism (2011), Celebrating Katherine Mansfield: A Centenary Volume of Essays (2011) and Katherine Mansfield and the (Post)colonial (2013). She has taught in the UK and New Zealand, and was external examiner for the BA in English Literature at Brighton from 2009-14. She is currently working on concepts of liminality in the postcolonial and is planning a monograph on Katherine Mansfield as a diasporic modernist writer.