CFP: Deviant Realism(s) seminar, ACLA conference, March 20-23, New York University

full name / name of organization: 
Nicola Behrmann, Emma Lieber/Rutgers University

Deviant Realism(s)

ACLA: American Comparative Literature Association

Annual Meeting

March 20-23, 2014, New York University

organizers: Nicola Berhrmann, Rutgers U
Emma Lieber, Rutgers U

Realism is concerned with the question of property. It is about the
criteria of what properly belongs to a corpus and hence about that which frames and limits a system, a network, or a discourse. If realism is to be understood as a narrative which reconciles the "truth of life" with a "beautiful illusion", then the question of the essential and the inessential, the conscious and the unconscious, the work (ergon) and the embellishment (parergon), the subject and the abject of a text becomes the touchstone of the economy of realism as such.

This seminar invites discussions of realism (particularly, though not
exclusively, in specific national incarnations) as it relates to questions
of deviance: the relation of what seems to be redundant, excessive,
perverse, or hysterical to the "proper" economy or metabolism of realist narration. What does the "realist" confrontation between normativity and abnormality, discipline and deviance entail? How do marginal national realisms conceive themselves against, imitate, and deviate from more "hegemonic" national realisms? What is the economy of a deviant realism? What happens to the reality principle in a deviant realism? What kind of cultural capital is involved in these negotiations, and how do they dovetail with or contribute to thematic treatments of deviance within the texts: sexual deviance, social, and political deviance?

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

- Sexuality, perversion, or fetish
- Economic models in realism
- Metabolisms of realism (consumption, digestion, waste, production)
- Derrida's "Economimesis"
- Discipline
- Realism's bodies
- Queering realism
- Political radicalism, revolution

For further information see:

Please submit your paper proposal (300-500 words) by 11/15/13 at: and designate the "Deviant Realism(s)" seminar. If you are submitting after the deadline please send an email to ACLA at