Feeling in Place (ACLA 2014, March 20-23, NYU)

full name / name of organization: 
Lily Cui / American Comparative Literature Association
contact email: 

What does it mean to feel in place? This panel proceeds from the premise that feeling's aesthetic and rhetorical modalities, conditions of ethical engagement, and world-making vocation are predicated on the "places" that enable feeling's emergence, transmutation, and deployment toward particular political agendas or aesthetic regimes. To feel in place thus carries two discursive dimensions. On the one hand, it may designate the ways in which "uncontrollable" feelings, as in the disruptive re-sentiments against colonial discourses, or "out-of-place" feelings amongst the racialized Other, are put "in place" through various means of formalization, such as the closure of subjectivity or objectification through appeals to the discourses of law and science. On the other hand, it may designate emotive dispersal, when feelings have gone astray from a traceable experiencing subject; the result might be a textualization of feelings that must continuously drift about in place of a subject, as in the lover's discourse where a lover can speak only when he is, as Roland Barthes writes, disfigured into "one huge tongue."

We seek papers that are thus aware of feeling's political, rhetorical, and aesthetic dimensions. Panel participants might approach literary and historical texts through diverse theoretical frameworks such as poststructuralism, postcolonialism, material history, science, law, and cultural studies, exploring feeling not only in its textural and narrative specificity, but also in its uneven distribution and prioritization across different sites and different bodies, and in the varying possibilities of fixity, transformation, and resistance that feeling introduces within subject formation and socio-political imaginaries.

Please submit proposals of 250 words or fewer to http://www.acla.org/submit/, seminar selection "Feeling in Place." Proposals must be received by November 1.