Dominick LaCapra discusses the work of J. M. Coetzee, a renowned novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize. He focuses on two of Coetzee's most important works: Elizabeth Costello and Disgrace. He explores the intricate problem of the relation between history and literature in the novels, each of which has as a protagonist a writer in a postcolonial context. He also critically examines the role of the "postsecular," and especially the sacrificial, in Coetzee.

LaCapra is Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor of Humanistic Studies and member of the History and Comparative Literature Departments at Cornell. The event was sponsored by the School of Criticism and Theory.