We’re excited to announce the 2022 TORCH/Princeton Lectures in European Culture, which will be delivered November 1st, 3rd, and 8th by William Marx. Marx, Professor of Comparative Literature at the Collège de France, will speak about “Libraries of the Mind”, exploring how the concept influences our knowledge and enjoyment of literature.
“Minds are libraries. We never read texts in a vacuum, but rather draw on other texts on our mental shelves, which contextualize, sort, and steer our understanding of the ones we hold in our hands. These mental shelves go by different names: the canon, heritage, patrimony, tradition…. These shelves might appear to be invisible, but they are in truth inseparable from the material and visible libraries which exist in our real world, and with which they share an intertwined history.”
The TORCH Lecture Series, happening for the second time this year, is a collaboration between Princeton University Press—whose European headquarters have, since 2021, been in Oxford at 99 Banbury Road—and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), a hub for intellectual collaboration and cross disciplinary research based in the Humanities at the University of Oxford.
The inaugural 2019 lectures were delivered by Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and a prize-winning author. This three-part series—Literature for a Changing Planet—addressed why we must learn to tell new stories about our relationship with the earth if we are to avoid climate catastrophe. A subsequent book of the same name was published by PUP in 2022.
The 2022 lectures will be held at Trinity College, University of Oxford. For more information, including details on how to register, please visit the TORCH webpage for the event: https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/2022-princeton-university-press-lectures-1-libraries-of-the-mind