CFP: Literature and Propaganda (grad) (6/9/06; 9/22/06-9/23/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Jessica Langston
contact email: 

Second Annual University of Ottawa English Graduate
Propaganda and its Discontents

Power, according to Michel Foucault, is productive,
simultaneously producing and produced by discourse.
This may, in fact, be one way of understanding
propaganda: a discursive promotion of the interests
and agenda of an overarching or specific power regime.
If, as Foucault and many other theorists argue, power
always already resides in every discourse via
language, can propaganda only be seen as a site of
expressive power? Or is there room for a propaganda of
resistance? From the state propaganda of Virgil's
writings to the pamphleteers of the Puritan Revolution
to the Soviet cultural project to the current 'War on
Terror,' propaganda has long been an important motive
and motivator in the production of cultural texts.
Likewise, culture has been equally integral to the
dissemination of propaganda. We would like to consider
texts (film, music, art, literature) as propaganda
both for and against political, religious and social
power. How is power expressed in these texts? How does
resistance make itself heard? How do we re-read,
recuperate and revise the propaganda of previous
historical periods? Is there an outside of propaganda?
How do we evaluate propaganda – through causes,
motives, and effects, or is it possible to examine
these texts as autonomous aesthetic artifacts?

Possible topics for consideration include:
 literary genres and their adaptability for
propaganda (for example, Lukàcs' touting of realism
over naturalism)
 library and museum collections: archiving and
curatorial selection, cataloguing and ordering as
discursive acts
 religion and the Medieval pageant play
 Tory and Whig literature of the 18th-century
 fascist film making
 Brecht's alienation effect
 the war poster
 news media, the 'War on Terror,' and other
contemporary socio-political issues
 Abolitionist literature (for example, Stowe's
Uncle Tom's Cabin)

The conference will take place September 22 and 23,
2006 at the University of Ottawa.
Send 250-300-word abstracts to by June 9, 2006.


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Received on Mon Feb 27 2006 - 12:19:28 EST