Pardis Dabashi on "Cultures of Argument" Thursday, March 8, 5:30 pm)
This is a pre-read session. To receive a copy of Prof. Dabashi's paper before the workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pardis Dabashi's essay “The Loose Garments of Argument” introduces the “Cultures of Argument” special feature she edited and organized for the October 2020 issue of PMLA. Dabashi examines literary-critical argumentation from material and epistemological standpoints. First, she acknowledges the material conditions under which literary critical claims are made in the contemporary university. She is especially concerned with how the labor crisis in the academic humanities offers us an opportunity to further defamiliarize and decenter the “they say/I say” model of argumentation, which structures claims at the expense of other claims. Second, she suggests that disagreement may not be the epistemologically appropriate mode of engagement when it comes to arguing about art, nor the rhetorics of certainty that tend to characterize those disagreements.
Pardis Dabashi is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her areas of research include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European literature, as well as film studies, novel studies, and literary theory. She is the co-editor of The New William Faulkner Studies forthcoming from Cambridge UP in 2021, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PMLA, Modernism/modernity, MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, Textual Practice, Arizona Quarterly, Early Popular Visual Culture, Public Books, and elsewhere. Her current book project, “Losing the Plot: Film and Feeling in the Modernist Novel,” examines identification, ambivalence, and plot in the modernist novel and popular film.