UPDATE: [American] Toward a Minor American Literature (ACLA 2009-Please Submit By Nov 3, 2008)

full name / name of organization: 
Esra Atamer
contact email: 

D. H. Lawrence once stated that it is hard to hear a new voice, as hard as
it is to listen to an unknown language. It is precisely around this analogy
that Lawrence’s claim becomes political. What is it that makes the spoken
word unintelligible? It is not simply a matter of speaking in a language
unknown to others. Rather, the problem lies in not being understood or
heard despite shared language. Deleuze’s notion of minor literature becomes
the aegis for such thinking. Posited as a practice of politics, minor
literature seeks the conditions of possibility of becoming a nomad in
relation to one’s own language. This nomadic relation to the major language
marks the beginnings of American literature as Lawrence conceives it. His
rigorous reading of earlier American literature is based on the notion of a
radical departure of a people from an established order. Lawrence regards
this departure as an escape from the authority of Europe. For Deleuze, this
line of flight inherent in American literature initiates a process of
This panel asks: What made American Literature a center of attention for
Deleuze? How can this radically altered concept of “minor” be read in
contemporary American literature? What enables the condition of possibility
of a collective enunciation in American literature? How does writing appear
as a revolutionary practice within both early and contemporary American
literature? What is the status of “It” in both Lawrence and Deleuze’s
writings? And where do we situate infinitive-becomings, which are
subject-less and yet designate the “It” of the event in literature?

Please submit a 250-word abstract to esraataner_at_yahoo.com or to
Deadline: Nov 3, 2008.

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Received on Tue Oct 28 2008 - 16:46:16 EST