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Evan Kindley: Student Bodies: Poet-Critics and Academic Charisma

Department: Humanities Commons

Date and Time: October 16, 2017 - 2:00 PM

Event Location: HG1341

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In his new book Poet-Critics and the Administration of Culture, Evan Kindley argues that modernist poet-critics responded to the decline of private patronage by affiliating themselves with various forms of bureaucratic institutions, including government agencies, universities, and philanthropic foundations. In this talk, “Student Bodies: Poet-Critics and Academic Charisma,” he discusses the role that academia played in this process at two key historical moments: the mid-1920s, when the cult of modernism among undergraduates at elite universities like Oxford and Cambridge was at its height, and the late 1940s, when poet-critics were increasingly taking on official academic positions and founding programs within such institutions. Focusing on the specific cases of T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, and R. P. Blackmur, Kindley traces the transatlantic path of Anglo-American modernist charisma, with particular attention to the crucial role played by students, both undergraduate and graduate, in its development.

Evan Kindley is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of two books: Questionnaire (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Poet-Critics and the Administration of Culture (Harvard University Press, 2017). He is also a senior editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books, and his writing has appeared in Critical Inquiry, English Literary History, The New Republic, The Nation, the London Review of Books, and many other publications.

Kindley Talk