Hayden White is the first literature scholar who lives in the Spui-apartment. His participation proves the wide scope of the Amsterdam residency programme. An academic audience had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the SPUI25 venue on Tuesday May 27, 2008, on May 26 at a seminar at the Utrecht University and on May 29 the University Leiden organises the interview ‘History & Utopia: A Public Conversation with Hayden White’.
Hayden White is Professor Emeritus of the History of Ideas at University of California, Santa Cruz, and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Hayden White’s most well-known book is Metahistory (1973). It brought White a reputation as a critical historian with a linguistic orientation. Metahistory’s contributions to the fields of literature as well as its reception in the seventies and eighties have been crucial. White’s reflections on history and historiography are deeply influenced by modernism (Woolf, Proust). Key texts in Figural Realism (1999) deal with key problems in his work: e.g., representation, figuration and the concept of realism / mimesis, all approached as specifically ‘modern’.