“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wellek No More

Well. Without doubt that was the nicest, and the most inspiring thing I think I've ever done in my career so far. What an amazing format. You give three lectures over three days. So you can get to the point on day three of starting with “Hello, my shivering mates. And now, the real me!” and stuff like that.

I called my third one “Return to the Planet of the Apes” a lot of the magnificently humanities-centric middle of the Irvine campus was the SET OF A PLANET OF THE APES MOVIE. How much more amazing could it get? Well actually, quite a lot more, because it was beautifully designed and put together in the 60s. The center of campus is the humanities, and they have an arboretum that's also somehow smack in the middle. And sculptures of Lao Tzu.

The people and their questions, wow. These guys came all the way from Cal State Long Beach. Some people drove down specially, not scholars or students. I think there were probably about 200 people in the room at any one time.

So inspiring was it that I did five hours of office hours for whoever (faculty,  students) today. I basically did two two-hour seminars on either side of lunch, before my talk at 4pm. I took so many notes.

And my talks were okay, I think--I'm so touched they invited me and I'm so glad they liked them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for being so generous with your time! The talks were very interesting, and they've inspired me to dust off my blog: I intend to write something about them once I've had some time to process them / finals are over / I get a chance to check out your new book.