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  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

FBH 401

“London and the Postmodern Occult”

This talk will explore the postmodern afterlives of the great eighteenth-century English architect Nicholas Hawksmoor.  Many of Hawksmoor’s London churches—including Christ Church, Spitalfields and St. Anne’s, Limehouse—had fallen into disrepair and neglect by the early twentieth century, only to be revived as cultural objects and sites of memory by such works as Iain Sinclair’s Lud Heat, Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor and Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s graphic novel From Hell.  The talk will explore the lineages tying the postmodern revival of Hawksmoor to cultural, religious and political contexts of his London churches and their heritage in later times.


Saree Makdisi is Professor of English and Chair of the department at UCLA. His teaching and research are situated at the crossroads of several different fields, including British Romanticism, imperial culture, colonial and postcolonial theory and criticism, and the cultures of urban modernity, particularly the revision and contestation of charged urban spaces, including London, Beirut and Jerusalem. He has also written extensively on the afterlives of colonialism in the contemporary Arab world, and, in addition to his scholarly articles, has also contributed pieces on current events to a number of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and n+1.

Prof. Makdisi's most recent book is Tolerance is a Wasteland: Palestine and the Culture of Denial (University of California Press, 2022). He is also the author of Reading William Blake (Cambridge University Press, 2015); Making England Western: Occidentalism, Race, and Imperial Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2014); Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (Norton, 2010); William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (University of Chicago Press, 2003); and Romantic Imperialism (Cambridge University Press, 1998). He is presently working on a new book project, London’s Modernities, on the mapping and unmapping of London from the nineteenth century to the present.