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Dr. Michael Collins (University of Kent)

“Like Lava in a Coffee Cup: Class and Culture in the American Gilded Age”

This talk compares the aesthetic responses of two major postbellum authors, the American W.D. Howells and the Cuban José Martí, to the civil disorder and subsequent trial that followed the Haymarket riot in Chicago on May 4th 1886. Using a combination of close readings of Howells’s letters in defence of the Haymarket “anarchists”, his novel A Hazard of New Fortunes and Martí’s reportage of the events for La Nacíon newspaper, Dr. Collins explores the ways in which these two writers respond to the Haymarket affair as symptomatic of a larger crisis of sympathy and sentimental connection in Gilded Age America.

Philosophicum, P 103

Thursday, 4th May 2017 4 p.m. (c.t.)

(Dr. Collins is visiting Mainz as part of the Erasmus+ Programme and Inter-institutional Agreement)