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The Artist is Present

Literatures of Modernity Distinguished Speaker Series Hosts Lorraine York
November 17, 2017

On November 14, Lorraine York delivered her guest talk “The Artist is Present: Ethical Liveliness and the Academic Study of Contemporary Artists.” Faculty, staff, and students in the Literatures of Modernity program were honoured to welcome Dr. York, who is Distinguished University Professor and Senator William McMaster Chair in Canadian Literature and Culture in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton. A prolific scholar, she is the author of Literary Celebrity in Canada (University of Toronto Press 2007), Margaret Atwood and the Labour of Literary Celebrity (University of Toronto 2013), and Celebrity Cultures in Canada, co-edited with Katja Lee (Wilfrid Laurier University Press 2016), among other books

At an intimate gathering at Ryerson’s Oakham House, Dr. York spoke about her work on celebrity in both the entertainment industries and the literary sphere. She then turned to a consideration of three interconnected recent issues of contention in the Canadian arts world—the "UBC Accountable" open letter in support of writer Stephen Galloway, the Joseph Boyden identity question, and the Hal Niedzviecki “Appropriation Prize” controversy, which she acknowledges as “complicating” some of her previous research on literary celebrity in Canada.

Following the talk, over wine and cheese Dr. York conversed enthusiastically with her audience, including LitMod student Claire Buttery (pictured with Dr. York, above right). We thank Dr. York for her most stimulating and relevant presentation, and for her personable energy!