Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil

Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 9:30am - 10:30am
Event Presenter/Author: 
Deborah Nelson

We hear a lot these days about how important empathy is not only in national politics but also in the workplace and school, between friends and strangers. But what if we are wrong? What if empathy isn’t what we need, but unsentimentality? This talk draws from my new book, which explores the unsentimental aesthetic, political, and ethical practices developed and defended by some of the late 20th century’s most influential women writers. 

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Deborah Nelson is a scholar of late twentieth-century United States culture and politics, with specific interests in American literature (including poetry, novels, essays, and plays), gender and sexuality studies, autobiography and confessional writing, and Cold War history. A founding member of the Post45 collective, which publishes an online journal and a book series with Stanford University Press, her latest book is Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil (2017). Nelson is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637