Workshop: The Novel in a Postfictional Age

Timothy Bewes (Brown University)
Workshop: The Novel in a Postfictional Age with Timothy Bewes
© Franzus

This workshop engages with Prof. Bewes’s latest book, Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age (Columbia University Press, 2022), which shakes the grounds on which the theory of the novel has long been standing and offers new ways of seeing and engaging with literature.

In the works of writers such as J. M. Coetzee, Rachel Cusk, James Kelman, W. G. Sebald, and Zadie Smith, Timothy Bewes identifies a mode of thought that he calls “free indirect”, in which the novel’s refusal of prevailing ideologies can be found. It is not situated in a character or a narrator and does not take a subjective or perceptual form. Far from heralding the arrival of a new literary genre, this development represents the rediscovery of a quality that has been largely ignored by theorists: thought at the limits of form. Free Indirect contends that this self-awakening of contemporary fiction represents the most promising solution to the problem of thought today.


When? 16 June 2023, 10 PM - 3 PM
Where? English Department, Room 203 

program [PDF]

Timothy Bewes held teaching and research positions at University of Sussex, the University of North London, Liverpool John Moores University, and Brandeis. He held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Pembroke Center at Brown in 2003-04. He is the author of Cynicism and Postmodernity (Verso 1997); Reification, or The Anxiety of Late Capitalism (Verso 2002); The Event of Postcolonial Shame (Princeton UP, 2011), and Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age (Columbia UP, 2022). Today the Professor of English researches at Brown University.

This event is co-organized by Gulsin Ciftci and Anna Thiemann, in cooperation with the Graduate School Practices of Literature. Additionally, a lecture with Timothy Bewes titled The Freedom to be Wrong: Chris Kraus' I Love Dick with Teju Cole's Open City will take place on June 15, 2023. The lecture is part of the Guest Lectures in American Studies Münster, begins at 12 PM, and will take place in the English Department, Room 203. Those interested are welcome to attend and can register here.