In Padua for ”Mobilities of/in the book” (27th September 2019), a mobility and the humanities seminar series, DiSSGeA, Centre for Advanced Studies in Mobility and the Humanities, University of Padova.
I will be speaking on the subject of ”Syncopated City: Mobilizing and Immobilizing Dynamics in Twentieth-Century Literature of New York”, with a specific interest in how particular urban spaces and modes of transportation appear as mobilizing and/or immobilizing protagonists and plot dynamics in twentieth century literature of New York. How do particular forms of mobility, and of transport infrastructure, structure urban experiences in literary fiction? And what happens to such experiences when transport network breaks down, as happens in strikes or in the case of natural disaster? I will look at a range of novels, including Wharton’s House of Mirth; Howells’s A Hazard of new fortunes; Dreiser’s Sister Carrie; Plath’s The Bell Jar; Robinson’s new York 2140; Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow; Lethem’s Chronic City; Lerner’s 10:04.
Many thanks to Tania Rossetto and her colleagues at the University of Padua for organizing the seminar and for inviting me to Padua!
This afternoon, we will also have the Association for Literary Urban Studies symposium Mobilities of/in Urban Narratives. Thanks to Giada Peterle for organizing the symposium. It’s the first ALUS symposium in Italy, and a great opportunity to take forward existing collaboration in the field of literary urban studies with scholars from Italy and beyond.