Cal State LA Department of English presents the David L. Kubal Memorial Lecture, featuring Dr. Sianne Ngai

Monday, October 4, 6 p.m. PST

(on Zoom; register for free here:  The David L. Kubal Memorial Lecture)

Cal State LA’s Department of English welcomes Dr. Sianne Ngai (University of Chicago) as the 2021 presenter in our long-running Kubal Lecture series.  Dr. Ngai’s talk, “The Gimmick as Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form,” considers the “gimmick” as an aesthetic device that, both repulsive and yet strangely attractive, can be found virtually everywhere in capitalism.  Above all, she argues, gimmicks provoke questions about value bound to labor and time—misgivings that indicate broader anxieties about the measurement of wealth in capitalism. The theory of the gimmick represents a crucial contribution to aesthetic theory from a thinker lauded by The Chronicle of Higher Education as the “most influential literary theorist of her generation.”   The event is free and open to all; you can register for it by clicking here.

(About the Kubal Lecture:  The Kubal Lecture honors David L. Kubal, who taught in the English Department at Cal State LA until his untimely death in 1982, publishing his Outside the Whale: George Orwell’s Art and Politics in 1972 and devoting himself to the graduate program in English. His essay collection, The Consoling Intelligence: Responses to Literary Modernism, was published posthumously in 1982. In his teaching, in his scholarship, in his friendships with students and colleagues, in the daily responsibilities of his professional life, David L. Kubal embodied the highest academic ideas. In January of 1983, Dr. Peter Brier established the annual lecture series as a memorial tribute to his exemplary colleague.)