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Guest Lecture Dr. Glitz

May 22, 2023 @ 17:00 - 18:00

Dear all, It is once again time to get to know our staff a little bit better. This time Dr. Rudolph Glitz will be hosting a guest lecture on ‘Youth, Adulthood, and Old Age: The Three Stages of Life in Literature and Culture.’ Come find us on monday the 22nd of May at 17:00 in order to learn together! Exact location will be announced asap.


According to, respectively, George Bernard Shaw and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, youth ‘is wasted on the young’ and ‘comes but once in a lifetime’. But then what about Muhammed Ali’s view that ‘you are as old as you feel’ or Joan Collins’s famous claim that ‘age is only a number’? What we make of these seemingly contradictory commonplaces clearly depends on what exactly we mean by youth and age in the first place, and this, in turn, depends very much on our cultural frame of reference. In my upcoming lecture, I will draw attention to how European culture and history have contributed to the frames of reference available to most of us when it comes to conceptualizing the different stages of our lives. I will do so by presenting and discussing what I consider three momentous shifts in the cultural history of age. These are, firstly, the shift towards youth as an autonomous life phase in the time of Shakespeare and the Reformation; secondly, the relative devaluation of middle and old age in the Romantic period following Rousseau; and, thirdly, the apparent disappearance of middle age in the Modernist twentieth century.


May 22, 2023
17:00 - 18:00
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