[DEADLINE EXTENDED] Friendship and States of Debt in Early Modern English Literature (Midwest MLA 2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Kranzman / Michigan State University
contact email: 

This panel examines how discourses of friendship intersect with 'states of debt' in early modern literature and culture. The valence of the term 'state' invokes an array of social relations, conditions, and practices that are doubly compounded through the addition of the term 'debt.' For instance, while 'state' may refer to community, nation, condition, or communicative practices, 'debt' conjures notions of obligation, affective and/or economic bonds, social contracts, oaths, and acts of incorporation or release. Likewise, the connotative richness of 'friend'/'friendship' underscores a variety of intimate, social, and political relationships and responsibilities situated in overlapping networks of kinship, community, and nation.

Though far from exhaustive, papers are most welcome that consider how English humanism's indebtedness to classical, Christian, and continental friendship materials inform and/or problematize an array of social relations such as civic and communal identities, secular and religious authority, neighborliness, brotherhood, charity, or service.

Please send 200-250 word abstracts by July 1st, 2012, to Andrew Kranzman, Michigan State University, kranzman@msu.edu.

The convention will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 8-11, 2012. For more information, visit the MMLA website: http://www.luc.edu/mmla/index.html.