[UPDATE] Intention and Intentionality: NEMLA, April 7-11, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Josh Gang / Department of English, Rutgers University
contact email: 

Intention and Intentionality (NEMLA, April 7-11, 2011)

Sixty years after the publication of Wimsatt and Beardsley's 'The
Intentional Fallacy,' the problem of intention continues to
haunt literary criticism. Authorial intention exists--but as literary critics, we don't generally talk about it. Looking to recent work in the history of criticism, literary theory, philosophy, and the history of ideas, this panel asks why this is the case. The theoretical justifications for discounting authorial intention--whether from Wimsatt and Beardsley, Barthes, Foucault, or de Man--have slowly faded into history. But as a practice of criticism and as a practice of teaching literature, that attitude towards intention remains
nearly as strong as it ever did. How did the intentional fallacy come to have so much critical traction? If we wanted to talk about authorial intention, how would we go about it? As critics, what might we gain or lose?

This panel seeks papers on these problems and questions. Papers need not focus on Wimsatt and Beardsley, the New Criticism or twentieth-century literary theory. Instead, they are encouraged to look at how authorial intention has been understood during different periods (early modern to present) and to bring these intellectual histories into conversation with contemporary critical practice. Papers that look at these problems in the contexts of other disciplines (such as philosophy).

Submit 250 words abstracts to jsgang@rutgers.edu by September 15 2010.

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 42nd Annual Convention will feature approximately 360 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2011 Convention will be posted in June: www.nemla.org.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. Do not accept a slot if you may cancel to present on another session.