English and Film Studies

The Edmund Kemper Broadus Lectures



In 1971-72, Professor Chris Drummond delivered a series of lectures that, the following year, officially gave rise to an annual departmental lecture series known as the Edmund Kemper Broadus lectures. The format has varied: in 1987, Chair Linda Woodbridge defined it as 4 lectures of no more than 50 minutes duration each, but most in the series since then have consisted of only 2 or 3 lectures. Some of the lecture series titles do not survive; it is possible that some of the series did not have an overarching title. Also, Newsbulletins of the day did not always include mention of the year’s Broadus lectures, so it is impossible to be certain how many lectures in the series were given in some of the years; thus the official list given below is less than complete.


Pleasure for Pleasure's Sake? On Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's "Pornocracy" Today

Professor Karyn Ball  

October 3 & 7, 2016
Humanities Centre L-3
3:30 - 5:00 PM


Professor Karyn Ball will be delivering public lectures on the theme Pleasure for Pleasure's Sake? On Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's "Pornocracy" Today. In Pornocracy, or Women in Modern Times, the nineteenth-century father of mutualism, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, defines an ideal marriage as “the union of force and beauty,” which embraces “an absolute pact of devotion” that allegedly “immunizes” men and women “against all crime and felony.” In contrast, he argues that to prioritize pleasure, independence, and utility in relationships is to degrade male virility and female beauty as the respective virtues safeguarded by marital devotion. While a neo-traditional view of marriage may seem contradictory for the author of What Is Property?, Proudhon dramatizes a fantasy that aligns female circulation and the authority granted magistrates to arrange marriages with the bankers’ power to commoditize debt and profit through financial speculation, thus promoting the “promiscuity” of value he lambasts under the rubric of bankocracy. Keeping in mind how quickly the nineteenth-century moralist would be dismissed today, Professor Ball will revisit Proudhon’s pornocracy as an anxious fantasy that reflects the contradictions in contemporary situations where sexual economies reflect, threaten, or resist prevailing political-economic rationalities.

The first lecture, “The Duty of the Tyrant, or Proudhon with Sade,” is Monday October 3, and the second lecture, “The Enjoyment of the Emperor, is Friday October 7.  Both talks take place at 3:30 pm in Lecture Theatre 1 of the Humanities Centre, University of Alberta. 

A reception in the Department of English and Film Studies, Humanities Centre Third Floor, follows the lecture on Friday.  Everyone is welcome to these talks, which are aimed at the general public.  

Karyn Ball completed a BA in English with an emphasis on creative writing at Pomona College in Claremont, California; an MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University; and an MA and PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She was awarded a DAAD Fellow from 1995-1996 and a Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship in Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in 1997.