NeMLA Seminar: Identity, Politics, and Universals in Literary Theory and Beyond (30/9/2014: 30-3/4-5/2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
contact email: 
arnab.roy@uconn.edu

In recent years, the position that argues that human actions are guided by certain Universals (biological, cognitive, emotive, and moral) that are common to all humanity has been contested. Literary traditions such as poststructuralist thought represented by the views of thinkers like Michael Foucault have seen human identity exclusively as a product of class struggle. However, alternate views represented by Martha Nussbaum and several others have challenged this by claiming that human identity is guided by certain non-coercive universals that determine how human beings identify and respond to society. These scholars have shown that through such universal identifications, human identity could transcend exclusionary limitations of society, nation, class and religion, to connect with a larger collectivity of human existence. These questions are a part of recent studies in Humanities and Social Sciences that examine how human responses to different social situations (individual and group identifications) address larger concerns of Human Rights and Justice, empathy, welfare of society and ecology. Issues of Identity and Universals have been addressed by prominent contemporary philosophers like Marc Hauser (Moral Minds: The Nature of Right and Wrong), Martha Nussbaum (Upheavals of Thought), cultural theorists like Patrick Hogan (Mind and its Stories: Narrative Universals and Human Emotions), Human Rights scholars like Jack Donnelly (’The Relative Universality of Human Rights’)


This seminar seeks to examine how literatures both at regional and global levels are invested in the production of certain ethical, political and geo-historical universals. Consequently, the aim is also to attend to the specificity of certain western/ non-Western social, political, and intellectual formations that challenge traditional assumptions regarding identity construction, human empathy, and social existence. More precisely, this seminar seeks to address the studies of literatures and theory that defend or challenge the views that foreground ‘identity’ as a part of certain universals of human existence.

Submit your Abstract:
Please go to https://nemla.org/convention/2015/cfp.html#cfp15337 and follow the instructions there to create a user account and submit your abstract directly to our session.

This year, NeMLA has implemented a user-based system to accept and track abstract submissions. In order to submit an abstract using the button for a CFP entry, you must sign up with NeMLA and log in. Using this new system, you can manage your personal information and review and update your abstract following submission. Signing up is free, and you only have to do it once.
If you have questions about signing up, or if you encounter difficulties using the site, email websupport@nemla.org for assistance.

Deadline: September 30, 2014

The Northeast Modern Language Association will meet in Toronto, Ontario, for its 46th annual convention. Toronto is Canada’s hub of international arts and culture, known for its diverse culinary scene and multicultural urban vitality. NeMLA convention delegates can explore galleries and museums, shop at historic markets, and discover vibrant international villages—all within a short commute of the convention hotel, the famous Fairmont Royal York, in the heart of downtown Toronto. More information is available at the convention 2015 page, and via email at support@nemla.org.
We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Best regards,

Arnab Roy
arnab.roy@uconn.edu
Department of Literatures, Languages and Cultures,
University of Connecticut

cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
humanities_computing_and_the_internet
interdisciplinary
modernist studies
postcolonial
religion
science_and_culture
theatre
theory
travel_writing
twentieth_century_and_beyond