CFP: Literary Perversions: Reconfiguring the Limits of the Human (11/30/05; ACLA, 3/23/06-3/26/06)

full name / name of organization: 
David Sigler
contact email:

Call for Papers:

I am looking for papers for a seminar called "Literary Perversions:
Reconfiguring the Limits of the Human".

The seminar is to be part of the American Comparative Literature Association
(ACLA) Conference. Princeton University, March 23-26, 2006.

Seminar Organizer: David Sigler, University of Virginia

This seminar aims to explore how the category of the "human" can come to be
reformulated through the structure of perversion, especially in the readings
of literary texts. The comparative study of literatures has been
instrumental in forming the category of "perversion," as writers such as
Petrarch, Sade, and Sacher-Masoch have, in their international receptions,
helped to shape what counts as "perverse" in relation to the properly human.
Lacan’s formula for perversion, a<>$, suggests that the pervert can present
him or herself in such a way that would radically restructure relations
between the human and its other: in becoming the "other" for a subject’s
enjoyment, the pervert can test, contest, and reconfigure the limits of
subjectivity. Freud, on the other hand, in insisting upon the perversity
infused into the very constitution of the "normal" human subject,
destabilized any sharp division that might be made between the properly
human and its perverse "others." Moreover, Deleuze's work on sadism and
masochism suggests that perverse discourses emerge in and through aesthetic
categories that separate them from the properly "human." A good example of
the ramifications of this analysis would be Deleuze and Guattari's
investigation of the masochistic "Equus eroticus" in _A Thousand Plateaus_.
 So too would be Little Hans's fixation upon white horses as a marker upon a
perverse relation with his father. This seminar welcomes papers that
explore the connection between the perverse and the human in literary texts.
Papers from diverse theoretical perspectives, and from any period and
national tradition, are welcome insofar as they focus on the relation
between the perversity of the relation between the human and its others.

Papers are to be no longer than 15-20 minutes.

250-word abstracts should be submitted directly to the ACLA website.
Link to follow to submit your abstract:

Seminar members will have to join the ACLA and register for the conference.

Conference website:

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Received on Mon Oct 24 2005 - 00:13:01 EDT

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