Epistemes and Economies of Expertise

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American Comparative Literature Association, 2013 (NYU)
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Epistemes and Economies of Expertise

Seminar Organizer(s):
Jennifer Rhee (Virginia Commonwealth University), Lindsey Andrews (Vanderbilt University)
The twentieth-century has seen multiple formulations of the relation between literature and science: from fractured (C. P. Snow's The Two Cultures), parodic and oppositional (the Science Wars), unified (the One Culture model), to co-constitutive (N. Katherine Hayles' work in literature and science). This seminar will explore conversations between literary and scientific discourses, focusing specifically on questions of expertise and temporality. We will examine the different ways literature and science construct time and expertise, as well as how these discourses respond to, rebel against, emulate, and shape each other across the twentieth-century. We invite papers that explore these relations, engaging such topics as the temporality of scientific thought and practices; the production of scientific expertise through popularization; and the production of scientific expertise through secrecy.
We also welcome discussions about methodology, particularly from perspectives of Science and Technology Studies (STS), history of science, and literature and science. How do we, as literary scholars, approach the time of scientific knowledge production? How do we understand the relation between scientific temporalities and literary periodizations? How do we account for the different temporalities by which knowledge is constituted?
SEMINAR KEYWORDS: literature and science, comparative, periodization, temporality, epistemes, expertise