One legacy of literary studies’ long love affair with post-structuralism has been a continuing reluctance to engage the concept of totality except in order to contest or deconstruct it. Two exceptions that prove this general trend are capitalism and ecology, and one could argue that it is precisely because both are still arguably acceptable as totalizing concepts that they continue to serve as productive sites of inquiry. Beyond these two instances, however, totality seems to have gone the way of closely related relics of Western metaphysics such as universality, objectivity, and the absolute: a conceptual category to be taken seriously only by the naive, dogmatic, or otherwise insufficiently critical reader.
The World Literature area for the 2016 Northeast Popular/American Culture Association conference is accepting paper proposals from faculty and graduate students. NEPCA’s 2016 annual conference will be held from October 21-22, 2016 at Keene State College in Keene, NH.
CFP: Virginia Woolf Miscellany special topics issue: Virginia Woolf and Indigenous Literatures This issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany seeks essays that consider Woolf’s oeuvre in dialogue with works by Native American, First Nations, Australian, and New Zealander authors, among others. What kind of dialogic emerges when placing Woolf’s writings alongside those of indigenous writers? How might indigenous literatures enhance interpretations of Woolf’s modernist, feminist, and pacifist poetics? How might such comparisons affect or inform understandings of subjectivity in women’s lives and literature, and the interconnections between narrative innovation and socio-political activism?
This book project tries to produce an outline for the diversification of literature and political writings. The book covers many disciplines ranging from political literature, gender politics, identity politics, minority politics, to ideologized writing, censorship, rhetoric and aestheticism of politics, and gendered literature.
Concerns about futurity have long been at the center of queer and African studies. While the anti-relational turn in queer theory has celebrated a politics of failure, disrupting the idea of progressive futurity, African decolonization is understandably wedded to visions of a future unfettered by the past. This is not to say that the “no future” brand of queer studies is any less interested in futurity than are African nationalist discourses, but that this radical negativity is made possible by certain kinds of economic privilege. At the same time, science and speculative fiction offer African writers a tool to envision alternative futures set temporally beyond forms of social injustice that continue to exist in the present.
For a long time now, Canadian poets (most notably bpNichol, but there are many others) have been credited with making significant initiatory experiments in the fields we now call electronic literature and digital poetics, but there has been relatively little work done examining what precisely constitutes a Canadian digital poetics, what kinds of writing constitute the genre, and what new reading practices are invited by these new projects in digital poetics. This panel looks at the emerging field of Canadian digital poetics and asks two primary questions: what is the role of a national literature in the increasingly boundary-less world of electronic literature? and, how do Canadian digital poetics change the way that we read and engage with these texts?
In their essay “Surface Reading: An Introduction,” Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus famously trouble the premises of ideological critique. Far from enacting political revolution, Best and Marcus contend, critique’s generally “excessive emphasis on ideological demystification” tends to lose the very object it aims to interpret in a welter of theoretical argument that the literary object ultimately must serve. To recenter the literary object in scholarship, Best and Marcus suggest, among other strategies, a reconception of the role of critic à la sociologist Bruno Latour. For Latour, the critic “is not the one who debunks, but the one who assembles”—most powerfully through what he calls Actor-Network Theory. As opposed to plumbing the depths of a text, A
Borges once cheekily wrote, “Writing long books is a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness…A better procedure is to pretend that those books already exist and to offer …a commentary.” Indeed authors as varied as Borges, Lovecraft, Dick, Apollinaire, Lew, and Asimov placed completely fictional books at the center of their own literary universes. That would make a fascinating panel, but that is not this panel. Rather, what this panel seeks are academic-style works of literary theory and criticism which take as their primary texts completely fictional novels, stories, movements, authors, and films.
International Conference at the University of Zurich, 25-27 November 2016
This international conference responds to the recent return of phenomenological perspectives in literary and cultural criticism, and in the field of spatiality in particular. It aims to probe how a focus on sensory impressions and “the perspective of experience” (Yi-Fu Tuan) can enhance our understanding of literary and cultural spaces.
This panel seeks to investigate how we can (re)read classic American novels when analyzing them via secondary/minor characters. For example, how does the town of Maycomb change when read through Jack Finch? Does Jordan Baker give us insight into The Great Gatsby that no other character provides? Secondary characters are often overlooked when teaching and/or researching classic American novels, and this panel seeks to remedy that problem. By exhuming the often maligned supporting cast, we can see classic novels with fresh eyes, deepening our understanding of canonical stories while illuminating new ways of teaching these novels to our students.
This panel intends to explore the function and value of the environment, ecology and nature, and the relation of humans with it in Italian literature and culture, both in contemporary and past times, through the lenses of eco-criticism, environmental ethic, ecological adaptation, and current notions of sustainability.
Conference: WISE (Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement)
Host: Wake Forest University
Where: Winston-Salem, NC
When: February 8-10, 2017
Wide Screen, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal dedicated to the study of cinema, television, and new media, calls for papers for inclusion in a special issue on the cinematic production of space.
Representations of Language Attrition and Loss in Film, Literature, and Popular Culture