CFP: [Graduate] Cornell Romance Studies Conference: The Literary Animal

full name / name of organization: 
Cory Browning
contact email: 

The Literary Animal

Romance Studies Graduate Student Conference
Cornell University; Feb. 8-9, 2008
Keynote Addresses: Peggy Kamuf (USC) on Hélène Cixous,
Eugenio Bolongaro (McGill) on Italo Calvino,
Richard Klein (Cornell) on Bullfights

        Encounters between the human and animal have left their imprints
upon stone, skin, and time, and through them we can track the question:
if there is a difference between human and animal, how do we articulate
it? Or does this question lead us astray â€" have we already marked the
territory with too coarse a measuring stick? How alive are these
categories, and how do they shape political, economic, social, and
aesthetic orders? From the walls of Lascaux to Romulus and Remus and the
spinning of the world wide web; from the angel's descent in the sacrifice
of Isaac to Darwin's Descent of Man to “Wolf Man;” from Quetzalcoatl
to “The Birds” and from the Gorgon to Ganesh, beastly and beastial
encounters run from the utopian to the dystopian and manifest humankind’s
often narcissistic obsession with its relation to the animal. They also
expose how homo theoreticus reflects upon itself, whether in a blissfully
bare state of harmony or the laced accoutrements of a social contract,
and lay bare conflicting desires to get back to nature and get beyond it.
Literature, whether as civilizing institution or barbarous document, has
supported the founding and defense of human and animal rights as well as
their most grievous abuses. It can be an instrument of insurrection
through which those “reduced to animals” make themselves heard or create
alternatives to phallic, colonial, and epistemic codes of domination. We
seek original work that explores the interface between the animal and the
literary across disciplines and fields, which may address, but is not
limited to:

-Classifying literature, classifying animals, naming, genres;
-Predators, prey, parasites. Literature as predator, prey, parasite;
-Fantastic animals, fantastic literature, occult sciences, occult
-Incarnations of humans or gods as animals, metamorphoses, hybridity;
-Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphophobia;
-Human and animal consciousness, memory and forgetting;
-Music and performance, animal representation, imitation and use;
-Mimicry and imitation, “monkey see, monkey do,” Pavlov's dog;
-Filmic/cinematographic animal, documentaries, animated movies, snuff
-Rituals, sacrifice, sacred animals/bodies, sacred text/literature;
-Gregarious and solitary humans/animals;
-The political animal, biopower, biopolitics, creaturely life, hawks and
-Animal trade, human trade, slavery, exploitation;
-Branding, scarring, mutilation, circumcision;
-Taming, domesticating, disciplining, torturing, caging, and imprisoning;
-Unleashing, freeing, self-binding, bondage;
-Bread and circus, carnivalesque, bull-fighting, hunting, boxing,
-Zoophilia, bestiality, incest;
-Nude/clothed/veiled humans and animals, fashion, cosmetics,
exhibitionism and modesty;
-Parchment, writing on the body, pillow books;
-Burro y burrada, bête et bêtise, the animal and stupidity;
-Feasting, symposium, cannibalism, butchering;

Please submit an anonymous abstract of 250 words or less by December 1,
2007 to María Fernanda Negrete at Abstracts must
include a cover letter indicating the title, author’s name, affiliation,
telephone number and e-mail address. Presentations are to last 20 minutes
and must be in English. Submissions are accepted from graduate students

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Received on Thu Nov 08 2007 - 21:16:49 EST