CFP: Novel Discoveries After Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory (10/16/06; SSNL, 3/15/07-3/18/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Packer

Society for the Study of Narrative Literature
International Conference on Narrative
Washington, DC, March 15-18, 2007

Papers are invited for a panel on the innovations and discoveries of
the contemporary novel, especially in relation to Rene Girard's theory
of mimetic desire. For Girard, the great achievement of the novel,
concentrated largely in the 19th century, has been the revelation of
mimetic desire. Many novelists have aspired to emulate the example of,
say, Dostoyevsky, Proust and Joyce; some have arrived at the same
ultimate problem Girard identifies in _Deceit, Desire, and the Novel_.
But what innovations, from the late-twentieth century on, have they
made? What about the contemporary novel is genuinely new? Has
novelistic art actually emerged in a new medium other than extended
prose fiction, as McLuhan predicted? Most importantly, in our present,
accelerated, copy-troubled culture -- of remakes, intellectual
"piracy," mirror-like violence, and threat of cloning -- how have
novelists been dealing with imitative desire, rivalry and its

Presentations might discuss an author's treatment or exploration of a
mimetic problem in a single novel (like Jose Saramago's examination of
rival clones in The Double) or look at an author's evolving subject
matter through the course of their career (how, for example, do the
epiphanies of Don DeLillo contribute to mimetic anthropology?) Related
sorts of topics are welcome.

Please send titled abstracts of 200-300 words, along with institutional
affiliation, mailing address, phone and fax numbers, email address, and
a brief CV (2 pages), plus any queries, to Dr. Matthew Packer at by October 16, 2006.

Note: participants must be members of the Society for the Study of
Narrative Literature at the time of the conference. For more on the
meeting and the SSNL, visit For information on
Rene Girard and mimetic theory go to For
articles and other writings on Eric Gans and mimetic, generative
anthropology visit

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Received on Wed Aug 16 2006 - 19:57:40 EDT