Penn Libraries Events & Exhibitions
Jonathan Swift in the 21st Century - 2018 Jay I. Kislak Symposium
Conference February 22-24, 2018

Jonathan Swift was a traveller, in his imagination as well as in life, regularly making his way, by ship and by foot, back and forth between Ireland and England during major periods of his life. Swift also travelled through genres and voices, among men and women, and between politics and religion. His works have travelled as well, through space and time, in numerous editions, along with translations, responses, adaptations, abridgements, continuations, and illustrated versions.

This conference seeks to reconsider Swift and his works through a contemporary lens, exploring how they have travelled across three centuries and around the world.

Thursday, February 22
5:30pm Exhibition and Conference Opening
  • Will Noel (Penn), Welcome

  • Lynne Farrington (Penn), Introduction and Exhibition Overview

  • James Woolley (Lafayette), Collecting as Scholarship: The Swift Collections at Penn
6:30-8pm Opening Reception
Friday, February 23
9:30-10am Registration and light breakfast

10-11:30am Welcome and Panel 1 – Swiftian Experiments
  • Chair: Michael Gamer (Penn)

  • Paula McDowell (NYU), From Grammatology to Acoustemology:
    What Can Swift's
    Tale of a Tub Teach Us About Sound and Voice?

  • David Alff (SUNY Buffalo), Lagado and the Hyperloop
11:30-Noon Break (coffee/tea)

Noon-1pm Engaging with the Collections at Penn
A Raging Wit exhibition tour and pop-up exhibition in Lea Library relating to symposium talks

1-2pm Lunch

2-3pm Panel 2 – Re-mediating Swift
  • Chair: John Pollack (Penn)

  • Ruth Menzies (Aix-Marseille Université), A Graphic 21st-Century Gulliver:
    Martin Rowson's Graphic Novel
    Gulliver's Travels (2012)

  • Jim Salvucci (Independent Scholar), Troll Level–Expert
3-3:30pm Break (coffee/tea)

3:30-4:30pm Panel 3 – Modes of Satire
  • Chair: Alice McGrath (Penn)

  • Barrett Kalter (U Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Swift and the Art of Disgust

  • Sharif Youssef (U Toronto), A Fiscal Theory of Satire
4:30-5:30pm Round-up and concluding remarks
  • Moderator: Suvir Kaul (Penn)

  • David LeBlanc (Penn State), Swiftian Experiments

  • Kirsten Lee (Penn), Re-mediating Swift

  • Kate Thorpe (Princeton), Modes of Satire

Saturday, February 24
9:30-10am Registration and light breakfast

10-11am Panel 4 – Secret Swift
  • Chair: Suvir Kaul (Penn)

  • Melinda Rabb (Brown), Swift and Secret History

  • Catherine Ingrassia (Virginia Commonwealth), Imaginative Travels with Dublin's "Female Triumfeminate"
11-11:30 Break (coffee/tea)

11:30-12:30pm Panel 5 – Printing and Publishing Swift
  • Chair: Daniel Traister (Penn)

  • Stephen Karian (U Missouri), Printed but not Published:
    Private Printing in the Early Eighteenth Century

  • Ian Gadd (Bath Spa), Editing Swift for the 21st Century
12:30-1:30pm Lunch

1:30-2:30pm Panel 6 – Comic Violence
  • Chair: Mitch Fraas (Penn)

  • Cecilia Feilla (Marymount Manhattan), Pathognomies of Laughter and National Identity:
    Swift Among the Black Humorists

  • Elizabeth Hedrick (U Texas, Austin), Form and Attack: Swift's Use of Cicero in A Modest Proposal
2:30-3pm Break (coffee/tea)

3-4pm Panel 7 – Swift: Our Contemporary
  • Chair: Toni Bowers (Penn)

  • John Havard (Binghamton), Swift, Sterne, and the Origins of American Politics: or, Scalia's Travels

  • Helen Deutsch (UCLA), Problems for the Future:
    Jonathan Swift, Edward Said, and Secular Criticism for the 21st Century
4:00-5:30pm Round-up and concluding remarks

  • Moderator: Michael Gamer (Penn)

  • Mayelin Perez (Penn), Secret Swift

  • Cassidy Holohan (Penn), Printing and Publishing Swift

  • Liandra Sy (Penn), Comic Violence

  • Christopher Chan (Penn), Swift: Our Contemporary

Frontispiece portrait of Jonathan Swift, from the Works of Jonathan Swift, Dublin, George Faulkner, 1735. Teerink Collection, Kislak Center;
This conference is co-sponsored by the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts and the Department of English, University of Pennsylvania, with support from the School of Arts and Sciences and the University Research Foundation.