“As from a Dark and Troubled Sea”: the problems of memory in Victorian Culture

19 febbraio 2019
Versione stampabile

Ore 18:00
Dove: Collegio Bernardo Clesio, via S. Margherita,13 - Trento - Aula Seminari.

This seminar will investigate the literary and medical representations of memory to be found in the reflections of some leading Victorian theorists and writers.

In particular, following the developments of Victorian mental sciences, we will focus on the important epistemological shift that affects the perception of memory in Victorian culture, transforming it into a potential source of pathology and disruption.

The seminar will address the most important metaphors and imagery that help authors describe and make sense of the mental workings of memory, showing how the process of remembering appears increasingly entangled with the problematic existence of the hardly controllable self inhabiting the rational mind and presiding over automatic mental activity.

By examining some works by mental physiologists as well as by novelists such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot, we will reflect on the importance of concepts like ‘agency’, ‘will’ and ‘unconscious cerebration’.

At the same time, we will consider how authors come to terms with the risks that memory poses but also with its creative possibilities. 

By adopting a methodology that combines the discourses of literature and science, the seminar aims to show how the study of Victorian culture may prove useful to investigate not only the representations of memory in our own culture, but also some contemporary debates about the separateness or the affinities between the ‘two cultures’ of the humanities and the sciences.

  • Greta Perletti è Assistant Professor of English Literature, Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia, Università degli Studi di Trento.

È richiesta la prenotazione online entro il 18 febbraio 2019.

La conferenza, inserita nel programma culturale organizzato a favore degli Allievi del Collegio Bernardo Clesio, si terrà in lingua inglese ed è aperta all’intera comunità universitaria e cittadina.

Ingresso libero fino a esaurimento posti. Capienza: 40 persone.