PAL (Duke’s Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature) is delighted to announce its fifth Young Scholars Workshop, on March 22 and 23. The overarching topic for this year’s workshop is “Character: Identification, Ethics, Ontology.” The workshop seeks to explore the question of character in literary criticism and ethical debates from new angles. Our visiting speakers, and workshop leaders, are two of the most exciting literary critics in the United States today, namely Rita Felski (University of Virginia, Charlottesville) and Amanda Anderson (Brown University).


On Thursday March 22, Rita Felski and Amanda Anderson will give their public lectures, beginning at 4 p.m. These lectures are open to all. (You don’t have to be a member of the workshop to attend.) On Friday March 23, we will have a one-day workshop for invited participants only. The workshop will take up the whole day and evening. At the workshop, Toril Moi will give a paper on character. Three specially invited young scholars from other U.S. universities will respond. In the afternoon, Amanda Anderson and Rita Felski will each lead a workshop/seminar on texts of their choice. The texts will be made available in good time before the seminar. We will round off with a plenary session, followed by a delightful reception and dinner for participants only. PAL seeks to provide a forum for young scholars to exchange ideas with colleagues and outstanding senior scholars in productive ways. The aim is to help students grow as thinkers and intellectuals.

The workshop on Friday 23 is limited to a maximum of 18 students. We are happy to accept applications from specially interested undergraduates, as well as from graduate students across the disciplines. In the past, we have always had one or two participants from UNC as well as Duke. Please note that if we get too many applications, we will give preference to students registered for the PAL certificate, and to students who have particularly strong intellectual interests in the workshop’s topic.

The application deadline is 12 noon on Monday February 12. To apply, please send an email with the heading “YSW APPLICATION 2018” to Matia Guardasbascio: Your email should contain the following information, in this order:

  • Your full name
  • Your discipline (department), and your year. Example: 3rd year grad. student English.
  • If you are registered for the PAL Certificate, please say so.
  • One paragraph describing your reasons for wishing to attend the Young Scholars Workshop
  • Finally, a declaration of commitment: “If I am selected for the workshop, I hereby certify that I will be able to attend all the sessions of the workshop, beginning with the lectures at 4 p.m. on March 22nd, and ending with dinner on Friday 23rd

We are looking forward to hearing from you!