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HHGR with Prof. Erica Fretwell - HHIVE Lab

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HHGR with Prof. Erica Fretwell

January 26, 2021 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

American Science and Literature Series and Health Humanities Grand Rounds Present Dr. Erica Fretwell

Jan. 26, 2021 @ 3:30

Towards a Craft Epistemology

This talk focuses on Helen Keller’s experiments in elaborating the multiple selves of tactile experience – the double consciousness that arrives immanently in what Merleau-Ponty would later call “double sensation” – and its implications for W.E.B. Du Bois’s formulation of African American “second sight.” The centrality of touch to the composition, thematic content, and conceptual contributions of Keller’s autobiographies provides the outlines of a new set of beliefs about and practices involving handicraft in the nineteenth century, at the intersection of aesthetics, empire, and epistemology.

About the speaker:

Erica Fretwell is an Associate Professor of English at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Sensory Experiments: Psychophysics, Race, and the Aesthetics of Feeling (Duke UP, 2020), and recently coedited – as a member of the Triangle Collective – The Palgrave Handbook of Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Literature and Science (2020). Her essays have appeared in the journals American Literary History and J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, as well as in the volumes Timelines of American Literature (Johns Hopkins, 2019), The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Food (2020), and The New Walt Whitman Studies (Cambridge, 2020). Essays are forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to American Literature and the Body and Keywords for Health Humanities (NYU). She is currently undertaking a short project on “sentimental anaesthetics” and a book-length project on the emergence of handicraft as an aesthetic valuation and epistemological project in the nineteenth century.

Watch Recording Here:


January 26, 2021
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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