UPDATE: [American] Extended Deadline for Genius in the 19th Century Panel (10/5/07; NEMLA, 4/10/08-4/13/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Kelly Ross
contact email: 

*Deadline extended to October 5, 2007*

Call for Papers

Genius in the 19th Century
39th Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 10-13, 2008
Buffalo, New York

The meaning of the term genius shifted over the course of the 19th
century from a "proto-anthropological notion of a collective essence"
to "an increasingly detailed, psychologized, and sexualized notion of
the individual genius: the genius as pathological subject," Gustavus
Stadler notes in _Troubling Minds_ (2006). The turn toward identifying
genius with an unusual, or even pathological, individual who is
outside the norm of society suggests a pessimistic view of the
potential for cooperation and intersubjectivity--at least on the level
of exceptional minds. There has been a great deal of excellent
scholarship recently on 19th-century views of the possibilities and
limitations of exchange and communication among minds. Working in the
vein of Stadler, Christopher Castiglia, Eliza Richards, Barbara Will,
and others, this panel will examine the potential of the category of
genius to address these questions of alterity and intersubjectivity.
Does the category of genius offer a productive way to think about the
changing relationship between individual and collective in the 19th
century? How do individual 19th-century figures claim, aspire to, or
resist the label of genius? What was at stake when influential critics
such as William Dean Howells awarded the title of "genius" to a writer
or performer? How did the label affect an audience's expectations of a
writer or performer? Did readers and spectators understand the genius
as conduit or stand-in for themselves? Could this identification cross
lines of race, class, gender, etc.? How does genre constrain or
facilitate the display of genius? Papers that treat genius in a
trans-Atlantic or international context are especially encouraged.

Email 250-500 word abstracts to Kelly Ross, UNC-Chapel Hill
Department of English: kbross_at_email.unc.edu

Extended Deadline: October 5, 2007

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any)

The complete Call for Papers for the 2008 Convention will be posted in
June: www.nemla.org.
Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA
panel; however panelists can only present one paper. Convention
participants may present at a paper session panel and also present at
a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

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Received on Wed Sep 12 2007 - 12:34:21 EDT