CFP: Literary Tropes and Molecular Biology (11/30/06; ACLA, 3/23/06-3/26/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Priya Venkatesan
contact email:

Proposed Seminar at the American Comparative Literature Association 2006 =
March 23-26, 2006 at Princeton University

Literary Tropes and Molecular Biology in the Postmodern Era

Seminar Organizer(s): Priya Venkatesan, Dartmouth Medical School

Biotechnology, a technological corollary of molecular biology and the =
Human Genome Project, is continually redefining what it means to be =
human in the context of the natural world. Genetic engineering is =
producing animal clones, enhancing human traits and even creating new =
species. However, unresolved questions remain as to how these novel =
constructs will affect the idea of the human and its relationship with =
them. Papers that address insights into the "othering" mechanisms of =
biotechnology generated in the realm of literature are especially =
welcome. From Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow to Butler's Dawn, the effects =
of technology on human subjectivity in the postmodern era are brought to =
light in fictional manner. The themes of these novels resonate with =
readers on how the human has been shaped by science. This seminar is =
devoted to coming up with new understandings of humanity in the face of =
novel biotechnologies that seem directed at dominating nature rather =
than evoking new paradigms in which we as humans can live more =
congruently with the ecosystem. In this postmodern era of technology =
evolving at lightening speed, it is ever more imperative that society =
can conceive of biotechnology through the lens of narrative fiction.=20

Suggested topics include postmodernism and the Human Genome Project, =
subjectivity and the new science of genomics and literature dealing =
specifically with technoscientific expansion.=20

Please submit paper proposals to the conference website = and select "Literary Tropes and Molecular =
Biology in the Postmodern Era." Proposals are due November 30, 2005.=20


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Received on Wed Nov 16 2005 - 10:26:37 EST

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