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Sentimental Literature: Directing the Flows of Sympathy in Enlightenment and Francophone Texts

April 5, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

Portrait image of Stephanie Spadaro in front of book shelves with shoulder-length curly hair wearing a black shirt and white-and-black scarf

Monday Seminar:

Stephanie Spadaro

Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellow (2009-2010)

French and Italian, UW-Madison


In this presentation, I will examine the ways that certain philosophical notions of sympathy and various literary portrayals of sympathy define the human in eighteenth-century French slave narratives and contemporary Caribbean novels. I will also discuss methodological questions raised in my comparison of the two periods: Is a sympathetic approach appropriate to the study of postcolonial literature? On what grounds can one draw scholarly conclusions when comparing literary works that arise from radically different epistemological traditions?


Stephanie Spadaro is a graduate student in the French department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include Enlightenment philosophy and literature, Caribbean studies, cosmopolitanism, theories of language and pain, and narratology. Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University in 2003 with a BA in comparative literature.


April 5, 2010
3:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States