Much like Italian premier Mario Monti did at the beginning of December, politicians are increasingly calling on citizens to make sacrifices for the future of their countries. Such public invocations of sacrifice place politicians and their constituents in a state of tension at least partly because of the difficult and often contradictory connotations of sacrifice. Sacrifice, a concept of religious provenance deeply embedded in European culture, can mean to offer for destruction and to make amends, to hurt and to heal, make whole, or sacred. Such oppositions at the heart of sacrifice make it a dangerous and much-fraught concept, as well as a fruitful and powerful one in numerous spheres of culture.
CFP: Hitchcock's Children, edited collection
Keynote Speaker: Lee Edelman (Tufts)
Roundtable Speakers: Judith Roof (Rice), Joseph Campana (Rice), Colleen Lamos (Rice), Timothy Morton (Rice), Renee Hoogland (Wayne State)
Rice University English Symposium
Sept. 14-15, 2012
After Queer, After Humanism
1st Global Conference
Tuesday 13th November – Thursday 15th November 2012
Call for Presentations:
We are seeking proposals for the Comparative Literature regular session at this year's South Atlantic Modern Language Association meeting in Durham, NC from November 9 to 11.
Beyond the Pleasure Principle?
As Lionel Trilling once noted, justifying art by the pleasures it gives has fallen into disrepute since the 18th century. Wordsworth already registers this defensive posture in his Lyrical Ballads preface when he asks that the "necessity of producing immediate pleasure [not] be considered as a degradation of the Poet's art," but rather that artists pay "homage … to the grand elementary principle of pleasure, by which [man] knows, and feels, and lives, and moves."
Why Comparative Literature?
The loose boundaries of comparative literature have continuously raised questions about the scholarly value and practical use of the field. This seminar proposes to explore the significance of comparative literature as academic discipline where the worth of global literatures in the field of humanities is persistently challenged by the pragmatic orientation of public opinion.
Friday 12 October 2012
Institute of English Studies, London University
When Brave New World first appeared in 1932 it caused a sensation. It was obvious that Aldous Huxley was intent on testing the boundaries of propriety (sailing especially close to the wind in terms of sexual and religious obscenity), but what kind of novel had he published? A satire, like his earlier novels; a horrified warning of things to come, or a vision of how things might be, for better or for worse, following a number of scientific, political and social adjustments to the Britain of his day?
Writing in 1899, Frederick Dolman argued in an article titled "Four-Footed Actors: About Some Well-Known Animals that Appear in the London and Provincial Stage" that the "growth of variety theatres and the decay of comic songs" had developed in "several kinds of diversion, not the least of which is furnished by the art of the animal-trainer" (The English Illustrated Magazine, Sep. 1899, 192, p. 521). Dolman was describing the large-scale entertainments starring animals that had taken over traditional spectator recreations for the last century in a manner not unlike the success of music-halls and professional sport.
In keeping with the theme of "Debt" for the 2012 Midwestern MLA conference, this panel is interested in the class implications that contemporary African American literature offers its readership. Since the first letters written in African American literature, money has had a central place in claims for independence, subjectivity, and resistance. How has this understanding of subjectivity and resistance changed in a late twentieth/ twenty-first century context? To what extent is contemporary African American literature invested in the American dream of financial well being that characterized earlier writing?