CFP: [Medieval] CFP: ACLA 08 Narrative Death

full name / name of organization: 
Amy Johnson
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Death is an arrival and a departure for the deceased, as well as for those left behind â€" who leave
one kind of life and arrive, like the dead, in uncharted territory. Culturally, we are awash in stories
of the dead, which signifies the desire to come to terms with death and loss as well as the refusal to
do so. We propose a seminar to investigate the various manifestations of death in narrative, from
corpses to caesuras, the death of the author to Diana Fuss’s conception of “last words,” and
surrealism’s exquisite corpses.
We are looking for submissions which address death and the bodily changes that accompany it from
as many angles as possible â€" political, humorous, formal, narratorial and so on. How are death and
the dead objectified in different forms â€" poetry, prose, film? What is the perspective of the dead?
How do we make sense of narratives about dead bodies or narratives from the perspective of a dead
creature? How might we explain, for instance, the current cycle of horror films and television series
focusing on zombies and vampires? How and why are these contemporary creatures different from
their literary ancestors? Why are stories of the dead so compelling even while discomfiting us? Have
narratives of the dead changed over time (from Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year to Ondaatje’s
Anil’s Ghost, for example)? What do narratives of death and the dead share across cultures? Where
do they differ?
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Received on Sat Nov 03 2007 - 01:27:26 EST