The Evidence of Literature (ACLA, 6-9 July 2017, Utrecht, deadline 23 Sept. 2016)

deadline for submissions: 
September 23, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Geoffrey Baker / Yale-NUS College

How do literary texts use, produce, or complicate the idea of evidence? How do ideas of evidence from other disciplines or fields—from philosophical, legal, or scientific disciplines, for example—provide context for the emergence and treatment of evidence in literary works? How do different forms or standards of evidence, inflected into literary texts, amplify or complicate apparent national, ethnic, sexual, or gender differences? How do texts perform evidentiary inquiry, and how do these modes of inquiry impact the form of the narrative, characterization, and so forth?

Through a sustained investigation and discussion of the role of evidence and of debates over the nature of evidence in literary texts (as well as in their composition and reception), this proposed seminar for the 2017 American Comparative Literature Association meeting in Utrecht aims to engage and contribute to the last few decades’ compelling body of scholarly work on epistemology and literature, especially in relation to science, philosophy, and the law (both in the depiction of courtroom proceedings and the project of detection). We welcome proposals for papers that address the idea of evidence or of evidentiary inquiry in any literatures, periods, and genres.

Proposals must be submitted to the ACLA's portal at by 23 September, 2016, and those proposing will be notified promptly.