Cornell Professor To Be Keynote Speaker

April 18th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

Jonathan Culler

Noted literary critic and theorist Jonathan Culler will be the keynote speaker for SUNY Oneonta’s fourth annual New Critics Undergraduate Literature and Composition Conference on Saturday, April 20.

The conference will feature 28 student presentations on literary topics such as “Forests and Forgiveness in Morrison’s ‘Beloved’” and “The Circus: Appearance and Reality in ‘Huckleberry Finn’” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Culler will give the keynote address, titled “Theory of the Lyric,” at 4:30 p.m. in Craven Lounge of the college’s Morris Conference Center. Admission is free, and members of the community are invited to attend Culler’s talk and the student presentations.

Culler received his doctorate in Modern Languages from Oxford. He taught at Cambridge, Oxford and Yale before arriving at Cornell, where he is the 1916 Professor of English and Com¬parative Literature. A former president of both the American Com¬parative Literature Association and the Semiotic Society of America, Culler is the author of many books on French litera¬ture and on literary theory, including the highly influential “Structural Poetics,” which won the James Russell Low¬ell Prize. His numerous awards and achievements include a Rhodes Scholarship, National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, as well as fellow¬ships at the American Philosophical Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Organized by the college’s Parnassus English club, the conference is “a rare and important forum to showcase undergraduate research,” said Associate Professor of English Bianca Tredennick . “We started New Critics four years ago and have seen it grow into a major event that includes not only the many fine contributions of our own students, but also draws participants from all over New York state and even from as far away as Tennessee and Louisiana,” she said.

Student presenters will read their critical papers during eight student-chaired panels encompassing topics including “Renaissance Drama,” “Constructing Identities” and “Kafka and Poe.” Each panel will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

More information about this event is available from Dr. Bianca Tredennick of the SUNY Oneonta Department of English at (607) 436-2395 or A conference schedule is available on the English Department website.