CFP: Tracing Debt in Literature and Culture (grad) (12/31/06; 3/29/07-3/31/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Katharina Natalia Piechocki

This is an announcement for the NYU Comparative Literature department's
annual graduate student conference, which will be take place between
March 29 (Thurs.) to March 31 (Sat.), 2007. The CFP is posted below. If
you have any questions please contact the organizers at

Foreclosure and Forgiveness: Tracing Debt in Literature and Culture

A Graduate Student Conference
Sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature
New York University
March Thurs. 29 - Sat.31, 2007

Call for Papers

Debt is a central concept of social and cultural life and a defining
characteristic of contemporary experience. Its prevalence raises the
question of what happens when debt itself undergoes inflation: does debt
lose its meaning when so much is owed? This conference seeks to
critically engage with the ubiquity of debt in a variety of disciplines
and to explore the transactional basis of social and cultural exchange.
A conspicuous presence from Plato's Republic to the current state of
international relations, debt is equally salient in literary,
psychoanalytic, philosophical, and political discourses.
Debt is, to invoke Roland Barthes, a free-floating signifier appropriate
for the age of the floating exchange rate, a topos of judgment that is
translatable into any discursive field. This conference will map the
costs of foreclosure and the value of forgiveness in an effort to think
relationships beyond rhetorical recourse to the "balance of payments."

Proposals may address, but are not restricted to, the following topics:

- Influence, tradition, and intellectual debt
- Debt and civic participation
- Translation and debt
- Debt and the gift
- Responsibility, restitution, reconciliation, revenge
- Debt as a category of relation to an other
- Debt and the national imaginary
- Remembering, memorializing, and monumentalizing debt
- Debt and inheritance
- Exchange, interest, and accumulation
- Debt and class
- The ethics of the loan
- Debt and historiography
- Queering debt
- Licensing, permission, and intellectual property
- Debt and the State/the State of the Debt
- Monitoring debt: justice and forgiveness
- Debt and the (academic) institution

Papers should be 20 minutes long. Please send abstracts (300 words) with
full name, paper title, and institution (use "Tracing Debt" in the
subject line) to by December 31, 2006. Selected
participants will be notified by February 2, 2007.

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Received on Sun Nov 12 2006 - 23:14:38 EST