University of Chicago professor to examine ‘object worlds’ in KU lecture
November 07, 2008
1314 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045
Press release contact information
Janet Sharistanian, Department of English, (785) 864-2500, email@example.com
LAWRENCE - Bill Brown, a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago and author, will speak on "Objects and Subjects, circa 1960 (A Note on Philip K. Dick)" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas.
Brown will deliver the 2008-09 Richard W. Gunn Memorial Lecture, sponsored by KU's Department of English. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The lecture title parenthetically references Dick, the science fiction writer who died at age 53 in 1982 having published 44 novels, including the award-winning "The Man in the High Castle" and "Flow My Tears the Policeman Said." Brown's talk will focus on the object worlds that Dick presents in his fiction and locate these object worlds within the material history of America in the 1960s, including its cars, gadgets and appliances.
Brown is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the departments of English language and literature and visual arts at the University of Chicago. He also is a member of the university's committee on the history of culture.
He is a co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Critical Inquiry at the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago and organizer of the center's Objects Cultures Project. His research focuses on the intersection of literary, visual and material cultures. Brown examines how people transform the physical object world and how that world, in turn, transforms them. He previously researched popular literary genres, recreational forms and the ways that mass-cultural phenomena impress themselves on the literary imagination.
His publications include "A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature" (Chicago, 2003); "Things," a 2001 special issue of Critical Inquiry; "Reading the West: An Anthology of Dime Novels" (Bedford, 1997); "The Material Unconscious: American Amusement, Stephen Crane, and the Economics of Play" (Harvard, 1996); "The Dark Wood of Postmodernity" (PMLA May 2005); and "Science Fiction, the World's Fair, and the Prosthetics of Empire, 1910-1915" in "Cultures of U.S. Imperialism" (Duke, 1993). He also has written articles in major journals and edited volumes on Virginia Woolf, Theodore Dreiser, and Charles Johnson. Brown received his doctorate from Stanford in 1989 and has taught at Chicago since then.