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Spenser and the Human - Special Issue of Spenser Studies - Abstracts DUE 15 April 2014
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CALL FOR PAPERS
SPENSER AND “THE HUMAN”
SPECIAL ISSUE OF SPENSER STUDIES
This call for papers welcomes submissions for a special issue of Spenser Studies on the topic of Spenser and “The Human.” Over the past few decades, posthumanist studies have questioned the validity and ethics of understanding “the human” as a distinct ontological category, stressing the porousness of boundaries between human and other forms of life. While such studies have focused especially on the effects of modern science, technology, ecology, and animal rights discourse on definitions of humanity, their line of inquiry is hardly new: classical, medieval, and early modern philosophers and theologians had long pondered the question of what distinguishes human beings from the natural and supernatural worlds that surround them. Recognizing the centrality of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries to this problem, scholars of the early modern period have shown that an uncertainty about how to define the category of the human was in fact fundamental to the period’s literary and cultural debates. Animals, machines, corpses, ghosts, angels, subjects of conquest and colonization, and corporations (particularly in the form of the joint-stock company) could be both distinguished from and assimilated into the category of the human for polemical, economic, or experimental purposes, rendering the category productively ambiguous and malleable.
Please submit proposed title, along with an abstract of no more than 500 words, to Ayesha Ramachandran (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Melissa Sanchez (email@example.com) by April 15, 2014. Authors will be notified of selection by April 30, 2014. If selected, final essays will be due February 1, 2015.