Visiting Scholars


Professor Christopher Prendergast visits the campus of UCSB October 17th-21st as the Graduate Center for Literary Research's Distinguished Visiting Professor for 2016-2017. Prendergast is Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of King's College. He was formerly Distinguished Professor in French and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.


1) Public lecture, Thursday, October 20th, 5-7pm, Mosher Alumni House (open to all)

Title: Culture, Politics & Comparative Philology in the Nineteenth Century

Description: The harnessing of the developing discipline of comparative philology to various agendas centered on ethnicity, nation and race is well-known as one of the key junction points at which nineteenth-century intellectual and academic history connected with political ideology. Christopher Prendergast returns to that scene, but in order to bring into the foreground that yoking of the study of language to politics. He does so principally by way of the key figure of Michel Bréal, the first Professor of Comparative Grammar at the Collège de France.


2) Graduate seminar, Wednesday, October 19th, 4-6pm, Phelps 6206C (open to Graduate students)

Title: History and Periodization: The Invention of the Century

Description: One of the basic organizing principles of historical study is the division of historical time into units and periods, so basic indeed as to be effectively taken as a kind of intellectual second nature. On the other hand, historical periodization of history has its own history (as well as cross-cultural variations). Professor Prendergast takes the practice of ordering time into units of 100 years and discusses when, how and why this came about, focusing in particular on the history of the French term ‘siècle’.

3) Lunch with Christopher Prendergast, Tuesday, October 18th, 12:30pm, Phelps 6206C 

Faculty and graduate students are cordially invited to join Professor Prendergast for lunch and conversation.