Comet Calendar

Please mark your calendars for this Graduate Student Speaker Series event.

On Thursday, October 12 at 12 p.m. we welcome Jonathan Sonnier.

The title of his presentation is: Ethics and Estrangement in American Fiction: How the Novels of William Faulkner and Toni Morrison Engage with Questions of Morality.

Connections between ethics and form in literary works are at least as old as ancient Greece. Such a topic is massive, even for a dissertation, and requires narrowing. Dorothy J. Hale, Martha Nussbaum, and others propose that the cultural and social relevance of the novel rests with its value as an ethical project. Ethics is inseparable from the novel's form, from the holistic to the particular. The most powerful and beautiful examples emerge from early and late modernist authors because of their formal experimentation. Rather than focusing on alterity or moral philosophy, this study examines the novels of Faulkner and Morrison as works of ethics. In Love's Knowledge, Nussbaum asserts: "The claim is that only the style of a certain sort of narrative artist…can adequately state certain important truths about the world, embodying them in its shape and setting up in the reader the activities that are appropriate for grasping them".

Jonathan is a PhD student in Literature. 

Erik Jonsson Academic Center (JO), JO 4.122
800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75080-3021

Harry W. Bass Jr. School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology
AHT Grad

UTD strives to create inclusive and accessible events in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator (listed above) at least 10 business days prior to the event. If you have any additional questions, please email and the AccessAbility Resource Center at

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