Working group on the novel

Please join us for next meeting of the Working Group on the Novel, which will take place on Wednesday, May 23 from 6:30-8:30 pm.Max Suechting (PhD candidate, MTL) will present a chapter of his dissertation, titled “An Eluant Transfer: Sonic Opacity in Delany’s Dhalgren and Mackey’s Bass Cathedral.” Gabriela Salvidea (PhD candidate, English) will serve as Max’s respondent. Here’s what Max has to say about his chapter:

The depiction of musical sound has played an important role in the work of many African-American authors, including Ralph Ellison, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ishmael Reed, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Jean Toomer. This chapter discusses the role of music in the work of two African-American authors, Samuel Delany and Nathaniel Mackey, whose novels repeatedly probe what Roland Barthes described as the “fringe of contact” between text and sound, often in confusing or impenetrable ways. Focusing on Mackey’s ongoing epistolary series, From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, and two of Delany’s 1960s works, Nova and Dhalgren, I consider the narrative uses to which music is put as well as the influence of music on their poetics, suggesting that both authors make deliberate use of sound to create an experience of opacity for readers of their texts. By inserting musical sound into their texts, Mackey and Delay demonstrate the limits of language’s ability to index and describe a world, critique critique the limits of language as a representational medium, and interrogate the ideological connection between language and subjectivity.

Dinner and drinks will be provided. We hope to see many of you there!


spring 2018

Chelsea Davis Ph.D. candidate, English Scaling the Early American Soldier 6:00pm to 8:00pm Terrace
Max Suechting &
Gabriela Salvidea
PhD candidate, MTL &
PhD candidate, English
An Eluant Transfer: Sonic Opacity in Delany’s Dhalgren and Mackey’s Bass Cathedral 6:00pm to 8:00pm Terrace

winter 2018

Natalie Deam and Victoria Googasian French & Italian Caves, Fossil Men, and Ferromagnetics 6:00pm to 8:00pm Terrace
Mark Taylor and
Mark Algee-Hewitt
English The Many Men, So Beautiful: The Victorian Political Novel and the Politics of Representation 6:00pm to 8:00pm Terrace