HCCW: The Work of Interpretation

David Pan
European Languages and Studies
UC Irvine

This project brought together theories of interpretation with theories of work in order to explain both the kind of work that interpretation represents and the causal power of interpretation for material activity. By analyzing the specific way in which work, representation, and ethics are depicted in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister novels, this project attempted to explain the way in which the interpretive work of the humanities does not stand aloof from the kind of productive labor associated with the natural and social sciences but rather sets the interpretive and value-oriented framework within which the work of these other activities is situated.