Giorgio Agamben is one of the most compelling contemporary theorists of literature. Yet despite ever intensifying interest in Agamben’s work, his studies of literature and poetics remain a less explored dimension of his corpus. This seminar seeks spirited contributions that engage with Agamben’s reflections on literary texts, as well as those mobilising the concepts and interests of his aesthetics into new readings. Papers addressing the connections between literature and other aspects of Agamben’s thought (such as sovereignty and biopolitics) are welcome, as are explorations of his writing’s intellectual and historical contexts – including its affinities with the work of thinkers such as Benjamin, Blanchot, Foucault, Derrida, de Man and Hamacher.
Clerks, bureaucrats, copyists, scriveners, archivists, bookkeepers – they are, along with the repositories of written facts they work and sometimes live in, organs of the greater corpus of the archive. This human machinery of archons (Derrida) is hidden in full display, at once peripheral and essential to the archive, managing its material flows, embodying the Law, maintaining and guarding the archive’s very possibility of existence.
Since the nineteenth century to the present, fragmentary writing has been widely deployed in literature and philosophy (i.e. Ernst Bloch, Schlegel, Mallarmé, Adorno, Maurice Blanchot, Kafka, Beckett etc.) as a strategy to disrupt the idea of totality by and through writing. Fragmentary writing as an incomplete totality, bears absent voices and traces and alludes to a whole.
The Material Turn in Comparative Literature: The Old and the New, A Conversation
By the turn of the twentieth century, the ‘new astronomy’ had developed into a proper scientific discipline, with its own sets of instruments, its own journals, its own jargon, and its own interpretative authority. With the acceleration of new discoveries and insights into stellar phenomena, the emerging mass media ensured that this astronomical knowledge fascinated an even wider audience in the late 19th and early 20th century. At the same time, literature across Europe responded to the fascinating astronomical developments in a variety of modes, styles, and genres.
CFP: Brandeis Novel Symposium
Friday April 24, 2020
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Deadline for submissions: November 1, 2019
The fourth annual Brandeis Novel Symposium examines the genre’s relation to issues of settler colonialism, land, and indigeneity. The focal text is Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House (1925). As in previous years, we invite papers that explore these larger questions from diverse theoretical, historical and formal angles, taking Cather’s novel either as focus or simply as a point of departure.
With the invention of photography in the mid-19th century, reality no longer depended on the autonomous interpretation of the subject's view, but was instead objectively perceived and recognizable. Contrary to painting, photography fueled changes in perception and perceived reality by realistically reproducing the object as it exists. Now, the 21st century stands under the aegis of the image, a culture dominated by pictures, visual simulations, illusions, copies, and reproductions—creating an inflection point where visual paradigms compete with and even threaten traditional practices.
“No Kind of Place”: Location, Migration, and Imagination
The International Flannery O’Connor Conference
St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Canada,
June 18-21, 2020
Call for Papers
NeMLA, Boston, MA. March 5-8
In a 2011 Economist Prospero blog entitled "After the Unthinkable," the effects of 9/11 on literature was compared to those of World War II in that it "will continue to be a marking point." As we approach the twentieth anniversary of September 11, 2001, this panel seeks to move beyond representations of the day itself to explore the various nuances of post-9/11 literature by looking at how the long political and cultural aftermath have left their mark on literary and visual culture.
The International Lawrence Durrell Society requests proposals for 20-minute presentations on fictional, dramatic, or poetic cycles from the modernist era. Such cycles may include explicit trilogies (tetralogies, etc.) or works connected in more implicit ways. Potential subjects include: