Leonard Hastings Schoff Memorial Lecture Series

2017

EDWARD MENDELSON

MEDICINE, EMPIRE, LOVE: THE INNER LIFE OF MRS DALLOWAY

I. MEDICINE
Monday, November 13, 2017, 8 PM

II. EMPIRE

Monday, November 20, 2017, 8 PM

III. LOVE
Monday, November 27, 2017, 8 PM

All lectures are held in Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive | Lectures are free and open to the public


Virginia Woolf’s fourth novel Mrs. Dalloway (1925) records the thoughts and acts of a half-dozen unexceptional people in the course of a single day. Yet, through the intensity of its focus, the book also portrays vast panoramas of history and civilization and profound emotional complexities and moral depths. These talks focus on three aspects of this endlessly illuminating book. The first, “Medicine,” explores Virginia Woolf’s understanding of bodily and mental illness and well-being. The second, “Empire,” concerns her understanding of the power of large impersonal forces over individual lives. The third, “Love,” is about the real and possible relations that her characters experience with themselves and with others.


Edward Mendelson is the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia and the Literary Executor of the Estate of W. H. Auden. His books include Early Auden, Later Auden: A Critical Biography; The Things that Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say about the Stages of Life; and Moral Agents: Eight Twentieth-Century American Writers. He has edited eight volumes of The Complete Works of W. H. Auden and many other selected and collected editions of Auden’s writings. He has also edited novels by Anthony Trollope, George Meredith, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, and Arnold Bennett. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, TLS, The London Review of Books, The New Republic, and other publications. He has been a Contributing Editor at PC Magazine since 1987. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Association.


PAST LECTURES

2016
Robert G. O’Meally
“Fancy Sticks”: The Action-Art of Toni Morrison, Romare Bearden, and Jazz

2015
Robert E. Remez
The Good Listener: Behavioral Neuroscience Considers the Perception of Speech

2014
Annette Insdorf
Coherence and Resonance: How To Read Film Openings

2013
Paige West
Accumulation by Dispossession?: Loss, Change, and the Future of the Melanesian Pacific

2012
Herbert Terrace

Why Two Minds are Better than One: The Evolution of Words

2011
Robert L. Belknap
Plot

2010
Jean Howard
Staging History; Imagining the Nation

2009
Philip Kitcher

Deaths in Venice:
The Case(s) of Gustav (von) Aschenbach

2007
Douglas Chalmers

Representative Government Without Representatives: Seven Reasons to Think Beyond Electing Executives and Lawmakers

2006
Boris Gasparov

The Early Romantic Roots of Theoretical Linguistics: Friedrich Shchlegel, Novalis, and Ferdinand De Saussure on Sign and Meaning

2005
Robert W. Hanning

Serious Play: Crises of Desire and Authority in the Poetry of Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto

2004
Lesley A. Sharp

Bodies, Commodities, Biotechnologies

2003
George Rupp

Globilization Challenged: Conviction, Conflict, Community

2002
David Rosand
The Invention of Painting in America

2001
Partha Chatterjee

The Politics of the Governed

2000
Lisa Anderson

The Scholar and the Practitioner: Perspectives
on Social Science and Public Policy

1999
Robert Pollack

The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith

1998
Carol Gluck
Past Obsessions: War and Memory in the Twentieth Century

1997
Ira Katznelson

Political Knowledge After the Holocaust, Totalitarianism, and Total War

1996
Kenneth T. Jackson
Gentleman’s Agreement: Political Balkanization and Social Inequality in America

1995
Saskia Sassen

Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization

1994
Charles E. Larmore
The Romantic Legacy

1993
David N. Cannadine

The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain, 1700–2000