Systematized Objects: the other "world" literature [systems theory, ANT, OOO, posthumanism, etc.]; ACLA April 1-3; due Nov 12

full name / name of organization: 
Meredith Farmer and David Baker

Currently, a number of analysts are thinking about what constitutes, assembles, or traces "objects." While Bruno Latour (2005), Manuel DeLanda (2006), Andy Clark (2008), Graham Harman (2009), Cary Wolfe (2010), et al. might not agree on what objects "are," they're all interested in shifting away from the transcendental ego in ways that evade the "modern constitution" or the "bifurcation of nature." And we're interested in how this move -- and all its concomitant effects -- might influence not literary theory, but literary criticism.

Participants should be engaged in projects (at any stage of completion) that put ideas found in work ranging from systems theory and complex adaptive systems to Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) to work in conjunction with works of literature. We invite you to outline your project and then – just as importantly – to explain why you find work on systems or networks to be useful for literary criticism.

This will be a workshop. Presentations will be brief (12-15 minutes), and we'll plan to spend at least as much time developing ideas as listening to papers. Our goal is for each participant to get substantial feedback on developing, groundbreaking work. If something congeals, we may also consider producing a collaborative essay or a proposal for a collection.

Proposals must be submitted through the ACLA website ( by Nov. 12. Feel free to send questions to