The Second Annual 'Brian Merrilees Lecture'

Event date: Monday, November 21, 2016, at 4:00 PM
Location: Alumni Hall, Old Vic

The Northrop Frye Centre Presents:

The Second Annual Brian Merrilees Lecture
"Another Pre-Modern North: Navigating with Inuit Cultures"

Brian Merrilees Lecture 2016

Together with the generous support of the Department of French and the Centre for Medieval Studies

RSVP HERE: NFC RSVP

Monday, November 21, 2016
Prof. Helen Solterer (Duke University)
4:00 PM (Reception to Follow)
Alumni Hall, Old Victoria College Building
(91 Charles Street West)

The Anglo-Norman Voyage of Brendan, a fantastical travel narrative edited by Brian Merrilees, offers a timely challenge to go farther and widen perspectives on the pre-modern North.  What happens when we depart not from Brendan’s European coordinates, but from Arctic ones?  In this paper, Prof. Solterer explores the North from the horizon of indigenous Inuit peoples, tracking what makes their cultures distinctive, pre-modern ones. Incorporating elements of material culture and styles of graphic narration, Solterer tests the case of Inuit aesthetics and our conceptions of pre-modern literary and visual arts.

Helen Solterer is Professor in Romance Studies, Duke University, working on pre-modern literature and culture, and its interplay with contemporary thought. She is the author of Medieval Roles for Modern Times: Theatre and the Battle for the French Republic (Penn State Press: 2010) and The Master and Minerva: Disputing Women in French Medieval Culture (Berkeley: 1995). Her current book, Timely Fictions (forthcoming), a set of pictorial essays, investigates the multiple ‘lives’ of pre-modern poetry, drama, narrative.  As Director of The Centre for French and Francophone Studies at Duke University, she curates the Francophone Digital Humanities project, Making Medieval Poetry, working with collaborators in France, Tunisia, and North America.


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