The Use of Names March 9-11 2012 Claremont McKenna College

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Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers
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Moderator: Debra Fried, Cornell University
Gary Roberts, Tufts University

We seek papers on the use of names, conventions of naming, or changes of name, in Poetry and in Fiction, especially but not exclusively the use of personal names. Examples might include:

• Papers on the uses of names in dialogue, dramatic speech, literary conversations: what some of the effects of/motivations behind deploying names when someone is talking?

• Papers on names as elements of lexis or diction: names as words, words as names; the placement and poetics of names in various verse designs or prose textures.

• Papers on the ethics of naming name in literature.

• Anything that develops/applies Allen Grossman’s poetics, in particular the conservation of personhood. Theories of naming associated with other scholars of poetry, e.g. Christopher Ricks, Alastair Fowler or John Hollander.

• Papers discussing the history of printing and the use of names in literature.

• Papers representing the point of view of a card-carrying philosopher of language who has an affinity and respect for literature and literary questions and would be able to outline for an audience of literary scholars some of the current philosophical work on proper names, and in particular how literary uses challenge semantic assumptions regarding reference and meaning.

• Anything that demonstrates how some literary uses of names are more interesting/successful/compelling/pleasing than others.

All participants – we hope for fifteen to twenty – will be from the call for papers. Please send proposals and abstracts (300 words) by December 15 to Professor Debra Fried, Department of English, 250 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853-3201

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