Pericles Lewis, an expert on literary modernism at Yale University, will give a free, public talk titled “Burial of the Dead in Modern Fiction,” on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 4:30 p.m. in Rehm Library, Smith Hall at the College of the Holy Cross.
Lewis will explore the treatment of death rituals in the work of authors such as James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, and William Faulkner. Rethinking the secularization thesis as it has been applied to modern fiction, he will explore the fascination with Pagan and especially Homeric accounts of death as an alternative to Christianity, and the awareness of the potential of the novel form for ironic treatment of rites surrounding death.
Lewis, formerly professor of comparative literature at Yale University, has been named founding president and professor of humanities at Yale-NUS, a new liberal arts college opening in Singapore, in partnership with Yale University and the National University of Singapore. He has published three books: “Modernism, Nationalism, and the Novel” (Cambridge University Press, 2000), “The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism” (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and “Religious Experience and the Modernist Novel” (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to European Modernism (2011) and 20th-century editor for new editions of the Norton Anthology of World Literature (2012) and the Norton Anthology of Western Literature (2013).
Lewis’s talk, presented by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at Holy Cross, is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity. To learn more about McFarland Center events and to find lectures online, visit www.holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter.
About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:
Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope. The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.