• A
  • A
  • A
Follow us on
Department of English, Stanford University
Novel Theory Beyond Democracy

Why do critics persistently seek the politics of fiction in novels about anything but politics? This talk argues that the novel of politics has been sidelined in theories of the novel because novels about political action foreground the limits of the novel’s ability to treat literary mimesis as a model of representative democracy. Rather than focus on the ways novels represent a more capacious vision of society, novels of politics foreground a politics of action instead of representation or vision. They ask us to think not of the better world we might desire, but of the compromised, difficult means available to get us there.


Dr. Michaela Bronstein is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Stanford University. She works on modernism and 20th-century fiction more broadly in American, British, and African contexts. Her first book, Out of Context (Oxford), was shortlisted for the MSA first book prize. Articles by her have appeared in Novel, PMLA, American Literary History, the Journal of Modern Literature, Modern Language Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her book in progress examines novels about acts of revolutionary violence.

Zoom Details

Zoom link: https://hku.zoom.us/j/96357063374?pwd=MFhoc3FUL2p0VjNQaHJUT1U0c2l0UT09 

Meeting ID: 963 5706 3374 
Password: 607408

In view of the current pandemic situation, all face-to-face events or activities shall be suspended in accordance to the notice issued by Task Force. As a matter of fact, the upcoming seminar will be shifted from hybrid mode to online mode only.