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22nd Annual Conference of the English and American Literature Association (November 1, 2014)
full name / name of organization:
English and American Literature Association of the Republic of China (EALA, Taiwan) & National Chengchi University, Taiwan
22nd Annual Conference of the English and American Literature Association
Theme: Literature and Emotions
Conference organizers: English and American Literature Association of the Republic of China (EALA, Taiwan) & National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Call for Papers
From antiquity to the twenty-first century, emotions have never ceased to play a constituent role in the writing and reading of literature. Greek tragedies invoked the audience’s pathos to cathartically transpose their fear and pity. In the Middle Ages, Margery Kempe transcribed her religious sentiments and delusions to focus on women’s bodily and emotional experience. Written in the Renaissance, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholyat once performed and analyzed in his characteristically humorous tone how melancholia manifested itself in not only everyday life but literature and culture par excellence—an important feat which then inspired succeeding generations of writers preoccupied with the work of writing and conceptualizing melancholia. Eighteenth-century sentimental literature and philosophy challenged Enlightenment Reason so substantially as to not only influence the development of eighteenth-century moral philosophy but set the tone for the Romantic cult of feelings and bodily sensations. From the Wordsworthian tranquil reminiscences, through the Coleridgian supernatural uncanny, to the Byronic hero’s suicidal bent revealed in his relentless pursuit of absolute individuality, romantic passions, despite a stunning variety of their modes of expression, were more often than not shaped and moved by an undercurrent of negative feelings. Reacting against Romanticism, Victorian literature nevertheless did not quite do away with its insidious ties with emotions’ dark negativities. As it turned out, one could witness the much acclaimed selfless compassion in George Eliot while the sensation novel and the Victorian Gothic were dismissed outright as vulgar or degrading. In contrast to the Victorian Period, modernism went so far as to throw into high relief such bad feelings as alienation, entrapment, and anxiety so as to register more closely how capitalism and the two World Wars had invidiously impacted modern people’s psychic experience. And from the mid-twentieth century onward, literary representations— including those known as post-modernist—have become increasingly critical of and incredulous toward the definition of happiness and its concomitant mode of narration, an issue which went hugely unquestioned in past literary works. Similarly, recent developments in literary and cultural theory have also sought to understand emotions, or rather, affect, from a wide array of critical perspectives. Critics such as Gilles Deleuze, Eve Sedgwick, and Judith Butler have drawn upon richly varied theoretical underpinnings to inquire into issues about shame, melancholia, or the bodily intensities of affect per se. This “affective turn” in theory has not only provided on a discursive level more nuanced ways of understanding affect, but, in so doing, has most of all broadened and diversified contemporary critics’ conception of its intelligible or unintelligible contours.
The official languages of the conference are English and Chinese. Interested scholars are invited to submit a 300-word abstract (including keywords) and a brief CV (including name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, and publication list) to email@example.com by May 11, 2014. Electronic acknowledgements of submission will be sent to all submitters upon receipt of the abstract. Those selected to participate will be advised by June 9, 2014 and will be required to submit full papers by September 12, 2014.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the conference administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org.