“The Migrant Novel: On Becoming What We Are Not”

Wednesday, March 20 at 5:00pm to 6:30pm

This is a past event.

Taper Hall (THH), 420
3501 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

After rendering migrant populations all but invisible for nearly three centuries, novels have recently promoted the migrant to a major player in a world where the traditional opposition between home and workplace has collapsed. Where most novels do so by reconciling a migrant population to the same social system that ruled it out of bounds, a distinct minority--J. M. Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K (1983) and Colson Whitehead’s Zone One among them—use patterns of migration to imagine a world without reproductive and productive labor—without, that is, work and sex.

Nancy Armstrong is Gilbert, Louis, and Edward Lehrman Professor of Trinity College, Duke University, and editor of the journal Novel: A Forum on Fiction. Her books include Desire and Domestic Fiction (1986), Fiction in the Age of Photography (1999), How Novels Think (2005), and Novels in the Time of Democratic Writing (2017), with Leonard Tennenhouse. She is now heading up a collaborative project on the contemporary “global” novel.

Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop


University Park Campus

American Studies and Ethnicity
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