Imagined Others, Invented Voices (ACLA, Toronto, April 4-7, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Melissa White, Alma College
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This seminar seeks papers on instances where specific language suggests, but does not clearly articulate or locate, the voice of "the other." The difficulty of locating or voicing the other can represent itself in the untranslated and untranslatable, borrowed words and imagery, nonsense and puns, or formal strategies that create circular logic and blocked or slipped signification.

Authors have regularly invoked the voice of an absent other as a productive force in their literary work, and critics have been right to point out the violation inherent in such appropriation. Following Rita Felski's call to explore critical avenues beyond the hermeneutics of suspicion, this panel seeks to explore the productive possibilities of texts that risk appropriating the voice of the other in pursuit of ethical engagements with the other.

How do texts deploy voices of others that remain inarticulate, untranslated, or misunderstood? What opportunities are opened up by linguistic invention, approximation, appropriation, or misprision? How are certain "others" used to express yet "other" ones? What complications do authors present when they invoke an other's voice to access the concerns of yet another other?

Please submit a 250-word proposal by the November 15th deadline via the conference's website: