CFP: The Insistence of Spinoza (3/27/06; MLA '06)

full name / name of organization: 
Audrey Wasser
contact email: 

Now is the time of Spinoza. A surge of interest in the work of
Benedict Spinoza surfaced in the second half of the twentieth
century. In disciplines spanning the humanities scholars continue to
turn their attention to the writings of this seventeenth-century
philosopher for insights into current problematics in such areas as
cultural studies, political philosophy, social theory, literary
theory and criticism, and feminist theory. Spinoza's ontology is
absolutely singular in the history of philosophy. Additionally, his
epistemology and ethics outlined in The Ethics, his hermeneutics and
prescient proto-semiotics offered in The Theologico-Political
Treatise, and the strikingly antinomian reflections in his collected
letters have a greater and more far-reaching currency today than
could ever have been foreseen during the time of their original

Our proposed MLA 2006 Conference Special Session on Spinoza seeks to
understand the unique contexts and hybrid utilizations of Spinoza in
our era. The title of the session is "The Insistence of Spinoza."
The objective of our session is to bring together interdisciplinary
applications and productive extensions of Spinozist philosophy. We
are especially interested Spinoza's ontology of immanence and in
extensions that look to the interaction between this ontology and
practices of interpretation or knowledge that surface in his oeuvre.
Suggested topics include:

-Textual and practical bridges between Spinoza and contemporary
theory (especially Deleuze, Macherey, Hardt and Negri)
-Immanence (in knowledge, in production, in nature, in writing and
-Materiality, Sign and Knowledge (the role of the body as "extension"
vis-=E0-vis thought, the order and connection of ideas which the mind
follows like a kind of "spiritual automaton"; the three kinds of
knowledge; the role of imagination; the function of common notions)
-Better Living through Joy (Affect, conatus)

Please send 300 word abstracts to Susan Shin Hee Park
<> or Audrey Wasser <> by March 27,

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Received on Wed Mar 15 2006 - 08:28:59 EST