Reading Over Time (MLA 2016, Austin 01/07-01/10; deadline 3/15/15)

full name / name of organization: 
Peter Rabinowitz and Cynthia Port / MLA 2016

"No story is the same to us after a lapse of time," George Eliot writes in Adam Bede, "or rather, we who read it are no longer the same interpreters." For a proposed MLA 2016 special session, we seek papers on reencountering texts at different moments in the life course. Given debates about the perception of "late style" in the work of artists and writers nearing the end of their lives, might there be cause to postulate a "late" (or "early") style among readers or viewers? What differences emerge with age and experience? How do political and cultural developments, shifts in aesthetic fashion, emerging critical perspectives, technological innovations, or the vicissitudes of personal history contribute to the renewal of a text over time? Please send a 300-word proposal and brief c.v. by 3/15/15 to Peter Rabinowitz (prabinow@hamilton.edu) and Cynthia Port (cport@coastal.edu).