Events Listing


CCA Pragmatism - Elisa Tamarkin and Steven Meyer

When:  Monday, March 27, 2023, 03:30pm

Where:  Online

Category:  Center for Cultural Analysis

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A conversation with Elisa Tamarkin and Steven Meyer (facilitated by Nick Gaskill)


In Spring 2023, the Pragmatism Working Group will be hosting series of conversations with old friends of the group to talk about new work in the field from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. As one might expect given shared interests, there is remarkable overlap in topics covered by our guests, and yet there is also something of a structural hole between disciplines. The idea behind the conversation series is to try to creatively bridge that gap. How do these new studies register across fields? What are the common threads of interest? What lines of resistance or continuity develop when cutting between them? Where might interesting new strands of conversation lead?

Steven Meyer, University of Washington, St. Louis, co-directed the Pragmatism Working Group from 2019 to 2021, during which time we undertook a survey of the work of Alfred North Whitehead. In addition to his writings on Emerson, James, Stein, Whitehead and Wittgenstein, Meyer is the recent editor of The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Science (2018), and he is at work on books on the James and Whitehead, as well as on the poetry of Jay Wright.


Brad Evans, a co-founder of the CCA Pragmatism Working Group in 2016, is a specialist in 19th and 20th century American literature with a background in the history of anthropology. In his recent book, Ephemeral Bibelots: How an International Fad Buried American Modernism, he uncovered the relational predilections of a diverse cadre of writers and artists who played a role in a largely forgotten and strangely unpredictable craze for proto-modernist little magazines in the U.S. at the end of 1800s.

Elisa Tamarkin, Berkeley, English, has agreed to co-conduct the year’s activities. We will be discussing her second book, Apropos of Something: A History of Irrelevance and Relevance, out last July with the University of Chicago Press. She is now turning to Melville and questions of "questions of visibility and consciousness in literature, art, and life."