Günter Leypoldt, Universität Heidelberg | Newberry

Günter Leypoldt, Universität Heidelberg

Thursday, September 25, 2014

5-7 pm

Towner Fellows’ Lounge

Center for American History and Culture Programs
American Literature Seminar

“Institutional Charisma”
Günter Leypoldt, Universität Heidelberg

This paper explores the cultural authority of literary institutions. I will explore ways in which our attraction to literary artefacts hinges less on the traditional functions of literature (delivering pleasure, knowledge, wisdom, catharsis, epiphany, moral growth, political instruction, etc.) but on a socially-embedded sense of “charismatic trust” (the sense that an artefact puts us in touch with a consecrated space of strong values).

This paper will discuss, among others, Oprah Winfrey, Toni Morrison, Jonathan Franzen, and more briefly, Ben Lerner, Theodore Dreiser, R.M. Rilke, and Joshua Reynolds.

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org.  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.