The question of the relation of language to voice traces back to Aristotle’s De interpretatione, with its definition of speech as the sign of thought, and writing the sign of speech. In Jacques Derrida’s account of this phonologocentric model, voice is the ligature of “phōnē and logos,” securing their essential proximity. But if voice is only a mediation, then, as Barbara Johnson writes, voice is no longer “self-identity but self-difference.” Paradoxically, the voice marks the singular but is itself plural, sweeping the self up into an ever-ramifying play of differentiation. As David Lawton proposes, “voice is both a signature, ‘I,’ singularity, and a clear marker of difference, ‘not I,’ multiplicity”.
Recent work in the field of disability studies by scholars like Ato Quayson (2007), Tobin Siebers (2010), Maren Linett (2016), and Suzannah Biernoff (2017) has considered modernism’s appropriation of disabled bodies. This seminar thus seeks to better understand the role of disability in modernist literary and visual aesthetics. In particular, we encourage papers that consider how writers and artists borrowed from, mimicked, or otherwise recast disability as uniquely modernist literary and artistic subjects. Secondly, this seminar is interested in the ways modernism was cast as disabled in varied attacks on its aesthetic projects.
“Post-Political Critique and Literary Studies”
Call for Papers for ACLA 2020 Seminar (Chicago, 19-22 March 2020)
This seminar seeks papers that reflect on the analytical bridges that might exist between post- political theory and literary studies. The main question the seminar aims to answer is the following: Decades after everything was declared to be political, what are the affordances, triumphs, and pitfalls of a post-political theory of literature?
Following the success of previous ACLA seminars, “The Story of Memory: Remembering, Forgetting, and Unreliable Narrators” and “The Story of Remembrance: The Future of Memory and Memories of the Future” in 2018 & 2019, this seminar invites paper proposals to discuss the relationship between memory and photography and its representation in literature and film.
The American Comparative Literature Association's 2020 Annual Meeting will take place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago, March 19th-22nd, 2020.
Organizer: Desmond Harding
Co-Organizer: Nicole Sparling Barco
Emerging Subjects: Transnational Modernism and the Urban Imaginary
The Carson McCullers Society is pleased to announce an open call for panel papers on any topic related to the life and works of Carson McCullers for one of two guaranteed panels at the American Literature Association (ALA) conference in San Diego, California, on May 21-24, 2020. Papers that approach McCullers’ works from interdisciplinary, comparative, and disability or gender studies perspectives are especially sought; however, all topics will be considered.
Pulp magazines were a series of mostly English-language, predominantly American, magazines printed on rough pulp paper. They were often illustrated with highly stylized, full-page cover art and numerous line art illustrations of the fictional content. They were sold at a price the working classes could afford, though they were popular with all classes, including president Woodrow Wilson. The earlier magazines, such as All-Story, were general fiction magazines, though later they diversified and helped solidify many of the genres we are familiar with today, including western, detective, science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance and sports fiction.
Giorgio Agamben is one of the most compelling contemporary theorists of literature. Yet despite ever intensifying interest in Agamben’s work, his studies of literature and poetics remain a less explored dimension of his corpus. This seminar seeks spirited contributions that engage with Agamben’s reflections on literary texts, as well as those mobilising the concepts and interests of his aesthetics into new readings. Papers addressing the connections between literature and other aspects of Agamben’s thought (such as sovereignty and biopolitics) are welcome, as are explorations of his writing’s intellectual and historical contexts – including its affinities with the work of thinkers such as Benjamin, Blanchot, Foucault, Derrida, de Man and Hamacher.
Clerks, bureaucrats, copyists, scriveners, archivists, bookkeepers – they are, along with the repositories of written facts they work and sometimes live in, organs of the greater corpus of the archive. This human machinery of archons (Derrida) is hidden in full display, at once peripheral and essential to the archive, managing its material flows, embodying the Law, maintaining and guarding the archive’s very possibility of existence.