Churchill Lecture: The Divine Delusion: Dreaming American Literature in Europe

September 25, 2015 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Third Annual Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Lecture
6pm drinks reception, 6.45pm lecture

Sarah Churchwell’s lecture will explore the role Europe played in the invention of American literature in the first decades of the twentieth century.  She will examine the major novels of Americans abroad by Henry James (including Portrait of a Lady and The Ambassadors) and Edith Wharton (The Custom of the Country and The Age of Innocence), the role of journalism by influential but largely forgotten American critics including Paul Rosenfeld (from whose The Port of New York the phrase “the divine delusion” comes) and Burton Rascoe, as well as the renowned expatriate fiction of the 1920s, culminating in the great American novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night) and Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms), which cemented the claim of America to have achieved a literature of its own at last.

Professor Sarah Churchwell is an author, journalist, literary prize judge, and prominent academic known for her work in the field of 20th-21st century and contemporary American literature. She received her BA from Vassar College and MA and PhD from Princeton University. Professor Churchwell is currently professor of American Literature and public understanding of the humanities at the University of East Anglia, where she has taught since 1999. She has recently been appointed as the University of London’s School of Advanced Study’s first chair in public understanding of the humanities, a post she takes up in October.

Sir Winston Churchill, the son of a British father and an American mother, delivered his first political address at Claverton Manor, now the home of the American Museum, in 1897.

£10 (£8 Museum members) To register, phone 01225 820866 or use our contact form.

All participants must register to take part in courses, workshops, talks, and some children’s workshops.