ACLA Montreal 2024: Between Deleuze and Literature: Imagining Literature’s Images of Thought
Deleuze notes in Negotiations that he did not have the chance to write “the book [he’d] like to have done about literature” (143) as he had done for other artforms like cinema and painting. Following Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of great thinkers who “lay out a new plane of immanence” and “draw up a new image of thought” to “change how we think” (What Is Philosophy 51), this seminar takes up Deleuze’s desire for new images of thought focused explicitly on literature. This seminar invites participants to consider the relation between Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy and commentary on art (e.g., painting, cinema, and literature) and a variety of literary writers to establish new ways of thinking and navigating within literature. If Deleuze locates in his writing on art an invention of concepts, such as Lewis Carroll’s “paradoxes of senses,” Kafka’s innovative concept of law, and Modern cinema’s creation of the time-image, to what extent can we examine the existence of these and other concepts in literary works on which, and authors on whom, Deleuze and Guattari have not explicitly commented? Likewise, how can we use concepts found in Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy, like difference in-itself, the rhizome, impersonal desire, and (de)territorialization to critically examine literature? How might we use Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy and commentary on art as paradigms by which literature can be reimagined, deterritorialized, and newly encountered?
Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
-The extent to which aesthetic tracts (e.g., A Defence of Poetry, Biographia Literaria, Wilde’s “The Critic as Artist,” Pound’s Imagisme) unsettle themselves, and instead rhizomatically reorganize and reform new images of thought.
-Topics that extend the existence of concepts found in Deleuze’s writing on art like painting, cinema, and literature (Logic of Sense, Francis Bacon:, Cinema1&2etc) to literature.
Topics that extend the existence of concepts found in Deleuze’s writing on philosophy (A Thousand Plateaus, Difference and Repetition, etc) to literature.
- Topics that explore how literature is (de)territorialized or creates lines of flights as a way of generating new approaches to literary texts. How do concepts from Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy and commentary on art create resistances to literature’s own settlement and unity? Is literature resistant or attracted to its unity, territorialization, and/or organization as a body?
-The relationship between Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalysis, especially their notion of a productive desire, and literature.
-Topics that examine Deleuze and Guattari’s “minor literature” in literature that emphasizes a socio-political, historical, capitalist, racist and/or (post)colonial context rather than the agency of individual characters.
-Topics that concern Romantic mythologies and (de)territorialization (e.g., Blake’s fractured mythology, Shelley’s Prometheus, and Keats’ Hyperion).
Please submit papers directly to ACLA (Between Deleuze and Literature: Imagining Literature’s Images of Thought | American Comparative Literature Association (acla.org)