Theorist Cathy Caruth popularized literary trauma theory in the mid-1990s, arguing that in the event of psychic trauma, “while the images of traumatic reenactment remain absolutely accurate and precise, they are largely inaccessible to conscious recall and control” (Caruth 151). Objections to Caruthian trauma theory often take one of two forms; scholars either object to the underlying theory of psychic trauma, or they object because of the limitations of psychic trauma.
CALL FOR PAPERS
for a topical issue of Open Theology
Phenomenology of Religious Experience V: (Ir)Rationality and Religiosity During Pandemics
Olga Louchakova-Schwartz (UC Davis and Graduate Theological Union)
Jason Alvis (University of Vienna)
Michael Staudigl (University of Vienna)
No event since the recent millennium, itself an “event” only in the sense created by expectationalism, with Y2K being a paradigmatic “non-event,” has activated apocalyptic sensibilities to the extent that COVID-19 has done. Its impact has been global, multifarious, and multivalent. In many places, it has impacted every area of life, and there are very few places where it has not spread: as of June 4, 2020, the only nations reporting no COVID-19 cases were various Pacific islands, Turkmenistan, and North Korea. In distinction to previous pandemics with cultural impact, the most recent of any significance being the HIV/AIDS pandemic, COVID-19 has been swift and pervasive, without immediate association to any specific sub-population or vectors beyond the
“Experiment,” suggests Joan Retallack, “is a reaching out to experience things that cannot be grasped merely by examining the state of our own minds.” Here, Retallack is working toward an incisive description of experimental writing’s relationship to scientific experiments. Experimental poetry and science share, according to Retallack, a tendency to engage diverse forms of change, what she calls “an interrogative dynamic.” For this roundtable, we draw a third component into this confabulation by citing moments of crisis as potentially homologous engagements with interrogative dynamics. Within the folds of crisis, past experiences can become a palimpsest and subjects must traverse the unknown.
A combination of global transformations within cultural and political perspectives have germinated fresh theoretical approaches to all fields of inquiry. Moving into the third decade of the Twenty-First Century, how does a controversial author like Henry Miller (1891-1980) fit into our current conversations? We could ask some of the following questions: in the era of #MeToo does Miller’s literature and personae alter significantly? How might we approach Miller’s extensive published and/or archival correspondences in terms of Life Writing or the Archival Turn? Miller received copious amounts of fan mail over numerous decades; how do fan mail studies help reveal Miller’s impact on American (and global) readers?
Creating Texts, Breaking the Rules: Galdosian Narratives (at SAMLA 92)
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Julia Ward Howe’s Saturday Morning Club, a one-day symposium on Howe’s legacy will be held at Boston University’s College of General Studies on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Professor Megan Marshall will deliver a keynote address Friday evening, June 11, 2021 at a dinner to open the festivities. Topics on any aspect of Julia Ward Howe’s legacy may include, but are not limited to: Social Reform in 19th Century Feminism; Women Writing Hymns and Poetry; Transatlantic Social Movements; Gender and Identity; Literary Celebrity; Women’s Suffrage; Howe and Material Culture in the Gilded Age; Howe, Abolition, and Race; Ladies’ Clubs, Then and Now; The Domestic Sphere; 19th Century Women’s Travel Writing; Writing Women’s Biography
“The interactions that make us sick also constitute us as a community. Disease emergence dramatizes the dilemma that inspires the most basic human narratives: the necessity and danger of human contact.” Priscilla Ward, Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative. Duke UP, 2008.
Dream-Chasers: Children and Success in Asia