Sustainable Forms: Routine, Infrastructure, Conservation” – Faculty Book Celebration 2018-19

February 21, 2019
12:00 am - 1:00 pm
Olin Library, Room 142

Literary and cultural studies

Literary and cultural studies have long prized moments of rupture and resistance. But as neoliberal economics undoes prospects of secure work, and as fossil fuels radically disrupt longstanding ecosystems, it seems increasingly clear that we need not more radical disruption but more stability. This talk asks how we might best support and sustain collective life over time. It turns to the tools of formalist analysis to sketch out some arrangements of space and time, some organizations of power and resources, some patterns of distribution and conservation, that are more supportive of the common good than others. It turns to forms we’ve often mistrusted or dismissed—forms of the everyday that keep life going over time and so have been called conservative — to articulate an aesthetics of building and making for a sustainable future.