Professor Jenny Davidson, Oliver Smithies Lecturer and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in the City of New York, will give the following Oliver Smithies Lectures:
Monday 28 November at 5.15pm in the Old Common Room, Balliol College
How do we use writing to create a self-autobiographical writing, confessional writing, writing for self-improvement and self-criticism? This lecture tells the story of writing as a tool for self-management in the modern era, from 18th-century writers like James Boswell and Benjamin Franklin to contemporary memoirists including Sarah Manguso, touching down on a wide range of other striving selves along the way.
Thursday 1 December at 5.15pm in the Old Common Room, Balliol College
The authorial footnote as a creative medium for various 18th-century British writers: divided and multiple voices, authorial control, tools of intimacy and distancing. Some general thoughts from the Scriblerians to Richardson, followed by a closer examination of self-annotation in the footnotes of Thomas Gray and Edward Gibbon.
To be followed by a drinks reception.
The Oliver Smithies Lectures are funded by a generous benefaction from Professor Oliver Smithies, which enables Balliol to bring distinguished visitors to the University of Oxford.