Sianne Ngai Presents “Theory of the Gimmick” for 5th Annual Literature and Cultural Theory Lecture

What are capitalist subjects saying when we call something a “gimmick,” regardless of the varying objects to which the evaluation is applied and varying identities of those applying it? What about our shared world is being registered, often without the speaker entirely knowing she is registering it, in this aesthetic judgment?

Sianne Ngai’s talk explores these questions by focusing on the gimmick as both form and speech act, and on its relation to comedy in particular.

“Theory of the Gimmick” | Thursday, April 28, at 2 p.m. in Curtin 368
Brown Bag Lunch | Friday, April 29, at 12 p.m. in Curtin 939

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Sianne Ngai is professor of English at Stanford. She is the author of Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting (Harvard, 2012) and Ugly Feelings (Harvard, 2005).