The opening session of La métaphore du labyrinthe, an interdisciplinary seminar organized by Roland Barthes during 1978 and 1979, reached two principal conclusions: first, that despite the apparent chaos always linked to its semantics, the notion of 'labyrinth' actually implies "a factor of intentional and systematic construction"; second, that the labyrinthine structures have essentially a hermeneutic function. The wear and tear of the labyrinth as a metaphoric trope drove Barthes to conclude that maybe the labyrinth is but a "pseudo" metaphor, where the letter is richer than the symbol and thus, the labyrinth would engender narratives rather than images.
This seminar seeks to draw on the growing body of work oriented toward the transnational and global turn in American Studies to trace connections between the Indian subcontinent and the United States in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We invite papers that examine the traffic (of ideas, texts, people, commodities) between India and the U.S. to provide a window into the ways in which India was part of the cultural landscape and imaginary of the U.S. from its inception, and performed important ideological work in domestic conversations such as those surrounding race, nation, religion, gender, and trade.
The Evidence of Realism
[For the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association at Harvard University, March 17-20 2016]
How do texts--and especially realist texts--and their plots use or complicate the idea of evidence? What sort of evidence do such texts seem to assume readers require in order to encounter the "effect of the real"? And how do contemporaneous ideas of evidence from philosophy, legal theory, or science provide context for the consideration of evidence in literary works?
With dynamic individual superhero/superhuman characters populating a world of complex, interwoven mythologies and origin stories, the films and television series of Marvel Comics Studios present an experiment with long-form transmedia storytelling that is at once both commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Given the ongoing debate in film criticism and media studies surrounding the degree to which analyzing films as literature is useful (or not), that such a commercially popular phenomenon also emphasizes artistic elements (e.g.
Deadline for abstract submissions: September 30th 2015
In worlds full of superhuman heroes, mythological imaginary creatures and battle narratives of epic scope, what is the role of the domestic? In the recently released film _Avengers: Age of Ultron_, the titular superheroes hide away not in a high-tech secured stronghold but in a farmhouse belonging to the archer Hawkeye, his wife, and their young children. Barton's presence as the film's only parent with a seemingly stable domestic lifestyle provides a temporary shelter for our heroes, illustrating how the domestic can function as a stable ground for the superhero narrative to withstand its otherwise fantastic, explosive elements.
This seminar will explore how national identities have been forged through the manipulation and deployment of animals and animality. How have animals, and ideas associated with such animals, been used to construct imagined communities? How have these constructions helped to strengthen or weaken national borders? How have assertions of imagined community, as expressed via relations with animals, overlapped with racial/ethnic identities?
Foundational texts, events, and people influence our cultural and national personas. In the United States, for example, people may look to the Constitution and patriotic songs or even the bible as foundational texts--texts that define (and limit?) national identity. We often see events such as the Salem Witch Trials, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement as critical moments of national formation, while people such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. represent quintessential "Americans.". These foundational texts, events, and people work their way into literature and pop culture in myriad ways as authors, writers, poets, filmmakers and playwrights incorporate, reify, or challenge them through their works.
The quint's twenty eigth issue is issuing a call for theoretically informed and historically grounded submissions of scholarly interest—as well as creative writing, original art, interviews, and reviews of books. The deadline for this call is 31st August 2015—but please note that we accept manu/digi-scripts at any time.
All contributions accompanied by a short biography will be forwarded to a member of the editorial board. Manuscripts must not be previously published or submitted for publication elsewhere while being reviewed by the quint's editors or outside readers.
Hard copies of manuscripts should be sent to Dr. Sue Matheson at the quint, University College of the North, P.O. Box 3000, The Pas, Manitoba, Canada, R9A 1M7.
Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'Historia regum Britanniae' was one of the most popular versions of insular 'British' history in the medieval and early modern Britain. Over 200 extant manuscripts of the 'Historia' survive today (Crick, 1989), and there were also a number of re-writings of Geoffrey's text in a variety of languages, including Latin, Anglo-Norman, Middle Welsh, Middle English, and Old Scots.
Literary studies finds itself today at a double crossroads: as trans-formative digital humanities practice becomes increasingly accepted and visible in our research and curricula, so, even in more traditional methods of inquiry, has the unit of the "trans-" gained traction. Transnational, transatlantic, trans-periodic, transgender, and translational issues, to name but a few, increasingly structure and energize our readings and re-readings of literary texts. With this panel, we seek to move beyond a ruptural understanding of DH, with its underlying anxiety about disciplinary change, and to explore instead the potential continuities between humanities computing and existing methods.