Novelist/Critic to Present Tanner Lectures at Yale

Marina Warner will deliver Yale University’s 1999 Tanner Lectures on “Spirit Visions” on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and Thursday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center auditorium, 53 Wall St.

The first talk, “The Inner Eye: Figuring the Invisible,” will be followed by a reception. The second talk is titled “Ectoplasm: Materializing the Impalpable.” Both lectures will be discussed on Friday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m. by Warner; Terry Castle, professor of English at Stanford University; and Esther da Costa Meyer, assistant professor of art and archaeology at Princeton. The lectures and the round table discussion are free and open to the public.

Warner is a novelist and critic whose books cover subjects as diverse as fairy tales, popular culture, cinema, the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc. “Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary” (1976) examines the religious and social significance of Mary in different historical periods. It remains one of her best-known works of cultural analysis.

Warner’s other works of criticism include “Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism” (1981) and “From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers” (1994). This study places popular fairy tales within the social context from which they arose, offering a culturally specific interpretation of their recurrent patterns and familiar characters.

Warner has likewise distinguished herself as a novelist, winning the Regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Macmillan Silver Pen Award for “The Lost Father” (1988). Her critically praised novels include “In a Dark Wood” (1977) and “The Skating Party” (1982). More recently, “Indigo, or Mapping the Waters” (1992) explored issues related to colonialism.

Warner has been a Visiting Fellow at the British Film Institute, the 1994 Reith Lecturer for the BBC, and has taught at Cambridge University.

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