CFP: [Graduate] Doing Comparative Literature: Ways of Seeing

full name / name of organization: 
Monica Filimon
contact email: 

Ways of Seeing
In Our Conference Series “Doing Comparative Literature”

A One-Day Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference
February 6, 2009
Program in Comparative Literature
Rutgers University

Submission deadline: November 1, 2008

It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we
explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we
are surrounded by it. The relationship between what we see and what we
know is never settled.
--John Berger, Ways of Seeing

For John Berger, the visual both positions the subject in the world and
confers on it its historicity. Reading and interpretation practices are
inevitably imbued with the ideology of the moment and rarely divorced
from a final goal, be it political, social, or aesthetic. In its turn,
the written word conjures up a parallel world to that of perceptions and
yet in permanent dialogue with it. This interdisciplinary graduate
conference invites students to investigate the intersection between the
visual and the written as well as their contribution to the construction
of the self.

• How do literary and visual studies intersect? How can this
intersection be conceptualized and represented?
• How productive are the “translations” between the different modes
of visual and written representation (adaptation, ekphrasis, etc.)? What
role do infidelities play in this case? How are genres redefined by
such “translations”?
• How do the politics of representation change in eras dominated by
violence and the indifference to the other? Can a theory of the visual
dismantle the manipulation of the image for
political/economic/rhetoric,etc. purposes?
• How have the different media contributed to a new era of identity
• How can a comparative investigation open up new readings of
literature, film, photography, painting, etc.?
• How have the new technologies of reproduction redefined the
• What role do Comparative Literature programs play in fostering
dialogues among different media?

We invite students from various fields to submit proposals for 20-minute
papers which explore any of the above issues. We especially encourage
submissions with a comparative perspective. We welcome abstracts of 300
words accompanied by a brief biographical note. Papers presented at the
conference will be considered for publication in our 2009 issue of Exit
9, The Rutgers Journal of Comparative Literature. Please send the papers
to Monica Filimon,

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Received on Thu Jul 10 2008 - 04:17:22 EDT