CFP: Literary Representations of Cognitive Impairment (9/1/07; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
David Bolt

Literary scholars are invited to submit an article for the third special
issue of the Journal of Literary Disability (JLd), which will be entitled
The Representation of Cognitive Impairment.

Giorgio Agamben's concept of bare life, embodied in the figure of homo
sacer, as the life that can be killed without the commission of a crime - is
frequently cited in contemporary accounts of the politically excluded - the
refugee, the interned at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Yet his argument is
founded upon an analysis of the collusion of biomedical discourse with the
biopolitical imperatives of the modern state, citing the euthanasia
programmes of disabled people in pre-war Germany as an exemplary instance of
the production of bare lives. Those deemed to be cognitively impaired
(although this term is itself subject to debate) often fall outside received
definitions of the human. Theoretical models that assume certain fundamental
attributes, for instance, full participation in a language community, the
capacity to engage in rational discourse, or particular forms of
self-awareness, implicitly exclude people without those cognitive abilities.
Equally, discourses of 'access' and 'visibility' with their emphasis upon
physicality may be inadequate to the task of addressing forms of cognitive
difference. This special issue of JLD asks scholars to consider the
problems - political, ethical and aesthetic - at stake in literary
representations of cognitive impairment. The issue will include articles
that explore literary works, as well as those that consider and critique
contemporary theoretical models.

The issue will be edited by Dr. Lucy Burke and Dr. David Bolt. The deadline
for manuscripts is not until 1 September 2007, but you are urged to send
your proposal to David as soon as possible:

To find out more about submitting an article to JLD, visit:

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Fri Jan 19 2007 - 20:24:43 EST