CFP: The Poetics of Literary Recovery (MLA 2013 Special Session) - Deadline March 30

full name / name of organization: 
Corinna K. Lee and Jacob Brogan

We are seeking additional papers for a proposed special session on literary recovery for the forthcoming MLA 2013 in Boston, MA.

Recent scholarship has all but consigned recovery projects to the dusty sections of the literary historical past. Countless literary histories now pay a respectful homage to the significance and contributions of projects that recover marginal literatures, while declaring, often in the same breath, the need to "move beyond" recovery. The very idea of recovery, it would seem, has become an embarrassment. Discard it we cannot, but literary recovery has become old-fashioned—a sentimentality too gauche for our current critical parlor. While literary recovery may have become exhausted as a scholarly enterprise, it has yet to be examined critically as a literary practice. Focusing on writers who engage in acts of "auto" or "self"-recovery, which is to say, the self-reflexive citation, quotation, and artifactualization of their earlier writings in their later work, this special session seeks to provide a forum for examining the poetics of recovery.

A poetics of recovery would strive to negotiate the intersection of the formal and literary conditions of recovery with the political and theoretical rationales that supposedly motivate it. That is, it would entail an attempt to work through what might be literary about literary recovery. Such an endeavor inevitably raises a number of important questions: How do recovery projects encode interpretative models into the texts they rescue from the past? To what extent does recovery transform its objects, even as it lays claim to their historical authority? How do certain works, engaged in a poetics of recovery, complicate existing models of literary historical periodization? And how might the embrace of recovery inspire new social and political possibilities?

Please send 300 word abstracts and a 3-5 sentence bio as a Word attachment to
Corinna K. Lee
Jacob Brogan

Please note: This CFP is for a proposed panel, and is therefore not a guaranteed session. The panel must first meet approval by the MLA; this selection process occurs after the MLA receives panel proposals on April 1, 2012. In accordance with the MLA policy as listed on the website, "All participants in convention sessions must be MLA members by 7 April 2012."