Inarticulacy: An Interdisciplinary Early Modern Conference

full name / name of organization: 
University of California Berkeley, Early Modern Working Group
contact email: 
BerkeleyEarlyModern@gmail.com

Inarticulacy: An Interdisciplinary Early Modern Conference
University of California, Berkeley
November 12 - 13, 2011

When Cordelia responds to Lear with “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave/My heart into my mouth” she both does and does not follow her own resolution to “Love, and be silent.” Like Hamlet before her, Cordelia has “that within which passeth show,” however, as a character on the stage, she is bound by literary convention to speak. Yet broader conventions, perhaps even necessity, compel human expression to manifest in human voice. As some philosophers have argued, to see and to be seen is not the only activity that provides the objective reality to subjective experience, but also to hear and to be heard. But what happens when words do not seem to suffice? And how can a scholarship dependent on reconstructed 'presence' interpret such absences, silences, and imprecisions in literary texts, the historical record, and visual media?

This conference concerns such moments at the intersection of speech, silence, and wordless expression, inviting papers of eight to ten pages (approximately 2,000 words) on the topic of inarticulacy in the Early Modern period. Aspects to consider include:

Gaps and silences in written records
The visual arts

Translation and its attendant anxieties
Material historicism
Reading or staging silence
The role of material objects or landscape
Religious writing and the limits of human knowledge
Incorporating others’ words (intertextuality)
Ekphrasis
Quantification and taxonomy
Stage history
Protestant logocentrism and its discontents
The inexpressibility topos
Representations of grief and trauma
Censorship and surveillance
Unfinished works

Please submit paper titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words to BerkeleyEarlyModern@gmail.com by September 1, 2011. If you have any questions feel free to contact the conference organizers at the same address. We’ll look forward to reading your submissions!

Stephanie Bahr
Rebecca Munson
Stephanie Moore
Trudy Obi
Jane Raisch
Jason Rozumalski

cfp categories: 
bibliography_and_history_of_the_book
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
eighteenth_century
interdisciplinary
international_conferences
poetry
renaissance
theatre
theory