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The Neglected Pillar: Comedy in Literature and Culture (November 28-29, 2014), abstract deadline: August 15, 2014
full name / name of organization:
4th International Conference on Literary and Cultural Studies, The Department of English, National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan
Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. -- Old Theater Adage (Edmund Kean)
Despite being the subject of Aristotle’s second major work on poetics, an essential element of psychoanalysis’s understanding of the unconscious, and getting the final word in Hegel’s history of aesthetics, Comedy nonetheless remains somewhat neglected and ever in the shadow of Tragedy. Comedy is less theorized, less acclaimed, and in many periods much less respected. (Even Chaucer, its greatest early practitioner in English, apologizes for and retracts from the genre in the end.) Yet Comedy is one of the central pillars of Western aesthetics, which Tragedy alone cannot sustain. This conference will explore the nature, history, and structure of the comic in its varied manifestations across time and aesthetic genres and academic disciplines. One question is how the comic balances, escapes from, problematizes, refutes or rephrases the values and principles of the tragic. We want to examine Comedy’s social, aesthetic, and philosophical place (e.g. Bakhtin, Baudelaire, Bergson, Freud) in our culture in the present and in the past.
Theorizing the comic: comedy and critical theory
Jeremy Tambling is a writer and critic. He retired at the end of 2013 as Professor of Literature at Manchester University. Before that, he was Professor of Comparative Literature in the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of several books, the latest being Hölderlin and the Poetry of Tragedy: Readings in Sophocles, Shakespeare, Nietzsche and Benjamin (Sussex Academic Press, 2014).
Leland de la Durantaye is Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College in California, and before that, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of English at Harvard University. He is the author of Style is Matter: The Moral Art of Vladimir Nabokov (Cornell University Press, 2007) and Giorgio Agamben: A Critical Introduction (Stanford University Press, 2009), and is the translator of Jacques Jouet's Upstaged (Dalkey Archive, 2011). In addition to his academic work he has written on literature, philosophy and the visual arts for The New York Times, The London Review of Books, The Village Voice, Bookforum, The Believer, Cabinet, The Harvard Review and other newspapers and magazines.
Please email 250-300 word abstracts by August 15, 2014 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstracts should include name and affiliation, email address, postal address, and telephone number. Participants will be notified by September 15. The deadline for the submission of the completed papers is October 30.
Submission Deadline: August 15, 2014