Empathy, Sympathy, and Other Minds (MLA 2012, proposal deadline 3/6/11)

full name / name of organization: 
Meghan Hammond / New York University
contact email: 
mmh340@nyu.edu

This is a proposed special session for the 2012 MLA convention in Seattle. Empathy and sympathy are capacious terms that have rich and overlapping conceptual histories in philosophy, psychology, aesthetics, and political thought. This panel will explore the ties between empathy/sympathy and the epistemological concerns of literature. What solutions, and problems, do empathy and sympathy introduce to the production of knowledge of the world (especially knowledge of other minds)? What do empathy and sympathy have to do with representational difficulty? How do they influence narrative or poetic innovation? Proposals for papers on any literary period or genre are welcome. Interdisciplinary and cognitive approaches are particularly welcome.

Please send a 250-word abstract and CV (Word or pdf) by March 6 to Meghan Hammond at mmh340@nyu.edu. Presenters must be MLA members by April 7, 2011.

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
eighteenth_century
ethnicity_and_national_identity
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
medieval
modernist studies
poetry
postcolonial
renaissance
romantic
science_and_culture
theatre
theory
travel_writing
twentieth_century_and_beyond
victorian