Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX English professor invited to deliver prestigious Rheney Lecture at Vanderbilt University

November 7th, 2017

StFX English professor Dr. Mathias Nilges was recently invited to deliver a prestigious series of lectures and workshops at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee as the university’s 2017 Rheney Lecturer.

The annual Rheney Lecture is a series of events organized by the graduate students. The intention of the endowed lecture is to enable students to invite a prominent, early-career scholar, who can not only talk about his/her research, but also advise graduate students about career development.

Each year, EGSA nominates a slate of two to three potential Rheney lecturers, and after consulting with the Chair and DGS as well as other faculty, proffers an invitation. The Rheney speakers typically visit for two days, give a public lecture on their current research, and conduct one to two additional smaller sessions with graduate students on a range of subjects concerning professionalization and career, in addition to attending various social occasions with the students.

“The lecture, workshops, and the overall event went extremely well, and it was a very enjoyable and productive visit,” says Dr. Nilges whose lecture focused on “The Novel of the Long Now.”  

“The days I spent at Vanderbilt provided me with a wonderful opportunity to share my research with their graduate students and faculty, to learn about Vanderbilt’s doctoral students’ own exciting research projects, to discuss strategies for publishing and professionalization with them, and I also had a fantastic, energetic discussion during a colloquium that focused on one of my recent articles.”

Along with delivering the Rheney Lecture, Dr. Nilges also led workshops on academic publishing, professionalization for young academics, and a colloquium in which he and the doctoral students discussed one of his recent articles called “Critical Theory and Literary Theory.” In the Rheney Lecture itself he presented an account of the novel’s historical relationship to our ability to imagine and to “tell” time (as narrative), which led up to an argument for the importance of the novel as both an artform and a form of thought in our time.

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