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A New Literary History Conference
September 18, Nau Hall Auditorium
Rita Felski, Opening Remarks
Stephen Muecke, “Technologies and Narratives of the Environmental
Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Reading Latour in the Anthropocene”
Michael Witmore, “How to Exhaust Your Object”
Barbara Herrnstein Smith, “Anthropotheology: Latour, Knowledge, and Belief”
Rita Felski, “Doing the Humanities”
Nigel Thrift, “The University of Life”
Bruno Latour, “A Shot at Defining Scientific Humanities”
New Literary History gratefully acknowledges the support of the Clay Foundation and the Center of
Global Inquiry and Innovation in making this conference possible.
Dipesh Chakrabarty is Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History,
South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College, University of Chicago, where he is
also affiliated Faculty of English and Resource Faculty of Cinema and Media Studies and
Comparative Literature. Chakrabarty was named the recipient of the 2014 Toynbee Prize in
recognition of his contributions to global history. He is the author of Rethinking Working-Class
History: Bengal 1890-1940; Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical
Difference; Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies; and the
forthcoming The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth, c. 1900–
Bruno Latour is a professor of Sciences Po in Paris and has published extensively in the domain
of science studies and more generally on the anthropology of modernism. He is the author of We
Have Never Been Modern; Iconoclash; Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into
Democracy; Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy; Reassembling the Social: An
Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory; On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods, and An Inquiry
into Modes of Existence.
Stephen Muecke is Professor of Ethnography at the University of New South Wales, Australia,
and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Faculty member, Global Center
for Advanced Studies, Switzerland. He has written extensively on indigenous Australia,
especially in the Kimberley, and on the Indian Ocean. He is the author of Ancient and Modern:
Time, Culture, and Indigenous Philosophy; and Joe in the Andamans and Other Fictocritical
Stories and coeditor of Rogue Flows: Trans-asian Cultural Traffic.
Barbara Herrnstein Smith is Braxton Craven Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and
English at Duke University. Smith's research is concerned with literary theory, poetry and
poetics, ideas of value and judgment, and intellectual controversies over science and knowledge.
She is the author of Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory; Belief
and Resistance: Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy; and Scandalous
Knowledge: Science, Truth and the Human; and Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the
Nexus of Science and Religion.
Nigel Thrift is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick. He joined Warwick from the
University of Oxford where he was made Head of the Division of Life and Environmental
Sciences in 2003 before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2005. Described as one
of the world’s leading human geographers and social scientists, his books include Spatial
Formations, Knowing Capitalism, and Non-Representational Theory.
Michael Witmore is the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Previously, he was
Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin. His books include Culture of Accidents:
Unexpected Knowledges in Early Modern England; Pretty Creatures: Children and Fiction in
the English Renaissance; Shakespearean Metaphysics; and Landscapes of the Passing Strange:
Reflections from Shakespeare (with Rosamond Purcell).
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