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Macksey Lecture 2024: Merve Emre at JHU and 555 Penn

March 7 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Event Series Event Series (See All)
Poster Emre talks on March 7 and March 8, with QR code.

The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute’s Annual Richard A. Macksey Lecture (2024)

We are delighted to announce Dr. Merve Emre as our next Macksey lecturer! Dr. Emre will join us for TWO dates in 2024—first, at JHU’s Homewood campus, on March 7th; and then, inaugurating AGHI’s Macksey series in JHU’s new space at 555 Pennsylvania Ave in DC, the next day (March 8th).

Register now for either (or both!) of Emre’s talks [free and open to the public]: Register Here.


Merve Emre is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing and Criticism at Wesleyan University and the Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing and Criticism. Her books include Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America (U. Chicago Press, 2017), The Personality Brokers (selected as one of the best books of 2018 by the New York Times, The Economist, NPR, and The Spectator), The Ferrante Letters (winner of the 2021 PROSE award for literature), and The Annotated Mrs. Dalloway (2021). She has been awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize, the Robert B. Silvers Prize for Literary Criticism, and the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle. She is a contributing writer at The New Yorker.

Talk #1—March 7:

  • “Too Close Reading: On American Miniaturism”
  • Location: Glass Pavilion (JHU campus, Baltimore)
  • Time: 5:30pm
About this talk:

This talk argues that miniaturism, as represented by contemporary forms like “flash fiction” or “the short-short story,” emerges as the primary aesthetic strategy for foregrounding the study and the structures of grammar over figuration. In the fiction of Lydia Davis, Diane Williams, and Garielle Lutz, grammar is inseparable from gender, and gender is inseparable from the performance of literary work that is trivialized, devalued, and rendered invisible–for instance, translating, editing, fact checking, transcribing, and type-setting. Through its promotion of too close reading, or reading at the smallest scale possible, miniaturism reveals the unappreciated relationship between grammar, interpretation, and knowledge.

Talk #2—March 8:

  • “Why I Feel Bad for Men, or Reading ‘A Room of One’s Own’ with Pierre Bourdieu”
  • Location: 555 Penn Ave NW (JHU Bloomberg Center, DC)
  • Time: 5:30pm

Learn more about the Macksey Lecture series and our past speakers here.

Merve Emre headshot


Glass Pavilion, JHU Homewood Campus
3400 N. Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218 United States
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