News Release| Department of English; Cal State L.A.

May 2, 2012

English professor, literary scholar discusses ‘The Vortex of Celebrity’

2012 Kubal Lecture at Cal State L.A. Thursday, May 17

Los Angeles, CA – This year’s David L. Kubal Memorial Lecture at Cal State L.A. will be delivered by Douglas Mao, chair of and professor in the Department of English at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Mao’s talk, “The Vortex of Celebrity,” begins with Wyndham Lewis’s transformation from literary celebrity to soldier in World War I and goes on to consider relationships between war and the fantasies of celebrity life in multiple 19th- and 20th-century contexts.

The lecture, which is free to public, will take place Thursday, May 17, 6:15 p.m., in the University-Student Union, Los Angeles Room, on the CSULA campus.

Mao received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1993 and taught in the English departments at Princeton, Harvard, and Cornell before heading to JHU in 2007.

A specialist in modernist fiction and poetry of Britain, Ireland, and the United States, Mao is author of Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production (Princeton, 1998) and Fateful Beauty: Aesthetic Environments, Juvenile Development, and Literature 1860-1960 (Princeton, 2008). He is also the co-editor, with Rebecca Walkowitz, of Bad Modernisms (Duke, 2006) and the editor of the Longman Cultural Edition of E. M. Forster's Howards End (2009).

Mao has been president of the Modernist Studies Association and held a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He currently serves on the faculty editorial board of JHU Press and on the editorial board of Textual Practice. His courses have treated a range of topics in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature, from gender in modern writing to the aftermath of literary naturalism, from narratives of utopia to authority in modern poetry.

Honoring the late David L. Kubal, a member of the Cal State L.A. English Department faculty from 1968 to 1981, the lecture series brings distinguished writers, scholars and critics to the CSULA campus. Past lecturers included Renaissance scholar Arthur F. Kinney, cognitive scientist and linguist Mark Turner, literary theorist J. Hillis Miller, culture critic Geoffrey Hartman, and literary editor Adolf Wood. For more about the David L. Kubal Memorial Lecture Series at Cal State L.A., go to /academic/english/dkubal.php

What & Who:

The 30th Annual David L. Kubal Memorial Lecture Series at Cal State L.A. will present The Vortex of Celebrityby Douglas Mao, chair and professor of Department of English at Johns Hopkins University.


Thursday, May 17, 2011, 6:15 – 8 p.m.

(A reception will follow immediately after the lecture.)


Los Angeles Room, University-Student Union, on the CSULA campus. The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino (I-10) Freeway, at the interchange of 10 and 710 Freeways. Public permit dispenser parking is available in Lot 5 or upper level Parking Structure C.


Free to the public. For more information, call the CSULA English Department at (323) 343-4140.

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