Northwestern University

Thu 5:00 PM

The Long Nineteenth Century Colloquium: Prof. Ivan Kreilkamp, “Meat, Flesh, Skin: Conrad’s The Secret Agent and ‘The Meat of Chicago’”

When: Thursday, March 1, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM  

Where: University Hall, UH 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Kathy Daniels   847.491.7294

Group: English Department

Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Dr. Ivan Kreilkamp of Indiana University will be giving a talk entitled, “Meat, Flesh, Skin: the Carnality of The Secret Agent.” 

Abstract: This paper reads Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent (1907) in constellation with several other texts – including Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), and Conrad’s own story “Falk” (1903) – in order to consider the novel’s preoccupation with cannibalism and other perversions or taboo forms of the usual human relation to food, animal flesh, and eating. A fantasy image of a nightmarish cannibal feast recurs, I’ll suggest, in several forms in Conrad’s novel, crystallizing a set of concerns regarding the integrity or wholeness of the human body, its susceptibility to reduction to meat or flesh, its vulnerability to violence, and that human body’s differentiation or non-differentiation from that of a nonhuman animal.

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