Lauren Silvers

Core: Readings in World Literature

Lauren Silvers received her Ph.D. from The University of Chicago in Comparative Literature in 2010. Her areas of specialization are nineteenth-century French poetry and the history of science and psychology. Her work focuses on revising the ideas of modernity that typically inform literary studies of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her dissertation, “Psychological Subjectivity and the Aesthetics of Reading in the Symbolist Literary Era (1880-1905) examines the psycho-physiological underpinnings of French poets’ and hypnotists’ ideas about language and argues for their mutual influence in the emergence of literary modernism. In charting a shift in fin-de-siècle literary production from a poetics of communication to an aesthetics of communicability, this study offers an alternative account of literary modernity—not as voicing the traumas of urban experience, but as productive of knowledge and innovative ideas about the self, society, and the body. In addition to preparing her dissertation for publication, Lauren is currently working on several articles: one on physiological reading and performance at the fin-de-siècle, and another on the philosophy of habit in France and England in the nineteenth century. Lauren has taught for several years in the Media Aesthetics sequence of the College Core at the University of Chicago and has edited several books for fine artists to accompany exhibitions in New York. In her spare time she loves the state of Vermont from afar.