#7 Modernist Portraiture: Literature and Film

Maria DiBattista, Ph.D. is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. In 1994 she received the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award and in 1999 the Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities. Her research interests include modern literature and film. Her recent works include Fast Talking Dames, a study of woman and classic film comedy, Imagining Virginia Woolf: An Experiment in Critical Biography, and Novel Characters: A Genealogy.

February 1 and 15, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Maria DiBattista, Ph.D., Department of English and Comparative Literature

These two seminars will focus on literary and cinematic portraits that identify or distinguish themselves as recognizably, sometimes defiantly “modern.” We will be particularly concerned with analyzing how a radical shift in the way a novel or a film “frames” and depicts its central subject depended on corresponding stylistic revolutions in painting and photography.

Our first seminar will focus on ambivalent portraits of imposing male figures, our second on the attempt to “capture” an elusive and increasingly spectral female subject. Participants will be asked to read the assigned literary work and screen the film version before each session.

Day 1:

•    F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
•    Orson Welles, Citizen Kane

Day 2:

•    Richard Brilliant, “Introduction,” Portraiture
•    Willa Cather, A Lost Lady
•    Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo