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NYU Cultures of War and the Postwar is delighted to welcome Dena Fehrenbacher (UC Berkeley) and Chad Hegelmeyer (New York University) for "Tone of War," a conversation about their works in progress on U.S. war and multiethnic fictions.
“Tone” can be a somewhat maligned or forgotten term of literary criticism, too slippery to define or analyze and too narrow in its focus on particular contexts or the interiority and intentions of individual speakers. But Dena Fehrenbacher suggests that it is precisely these qualities that make tone a powerful index of the social relations that are most difficult to narrate. An analysis of tone, she argues, can reveal social relations that are in excess of semantic content or obscured by operations of power. In this panel discussion, Fehrenbacher will present in-progress work from her manuscript, The Problem of Tone, focusing on a distinction between “sympathetic” and “remonstrative” tone in twentieth-century U.S. multiethnic fiction and its extension to questions of transnational conflict in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer.
Chad Hegelmeyer will respond with a presentation of work on “war heteroglossia” in several recent works of fiction written by veterans of the Iraq War. Since Fehrenbacher and Hegelmeyer are both working on their first book proposals, they will also speak about the process of moving research from the dissertation to scholarly monograph.
A period of audience Q&A will follow.
This event is free and open to the public.
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Dena Fehrenbacher is a John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Fellow in the English Department at UC Berkeley, where she teaches American literature. Her scholarly work focuses on the intersection of aesthetics and politics, with a particular attention to African diasporic fiction. She received her PhD in English from Harvard University in 2019.
Chad Hegelmeyer is a postdoctoral fellow in the English department of NYU, where he completed his 2020 dissertation, “Reading for Accuracy: Fact-Checking and Contemporary American Literature.” He studies institutional practices of fact-checking alongside literary forms that have been animated by a particular concern with factual fidelity, including literary journalism, memoir, and war literature.
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For more details on any of the above, please contact Emily Foister (firstname.lastname@example.org), Peter Krause (email@example.com) or Patrick Deer (firstname.lastname@example.org)