CFP: Who are the Post-Southern 'Men of Letters?' (12/7/06; EGSA, 2/16/07-2/17/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Landers
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LSU EGSA Mardi Gras Conference on Language and Literature.
Feb. 16-17, 2007
Lod Cook Alumni Center
Baton Rouge, LA

Members Only: Gatekeepers and the Future of Literary Studies

Keynote Speaker: Timothy Brennan, Professor of Comparative Literature,
Cultural Studies, and English, The University of Minnesota.
Selected Publications: Wars of Position: Cultural Politics of Left and
Right (2005), Ed. Music in Cuba (2001), At Home in the World:
Cosmopolitanism Now (1997).

"Who are the Post-Southern 'Men of Letters?'"

In his address to Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Minnesota in
1952, Allen Tate argued that the "invention of standards . . . is a
moral obligation of the literary man." For Tate modernity meant
widespread cultural dehumanization and presented a threat to the
existence of literature itself. The position of the man of letters was
to cultivate the language of "communion," of self-knowledge, a
language set against the technological, controlling power-language of
"communication." To this end men and women of letters had a specific
purpose: "To keep alive the knowledge of ourselves with which the
literary arts continue to enlighten the more ignorant portion of
mankind (among whom one includes oneself), to separate them from other
indispensable modes of knowledge, and to define their limits, is the
intellectual and thus the social function of the writer. Here the man
of letters is a critic."

Tate spoke to his audience as a Southerner of a classical-Christian
tradition whose coherence was still largely accepted. In this panel,
we wish to consider the environment many critics have labeled the
"Post-South," an environment of seemingly interminable conflict. This
panel asks: what is the current position of the man of letters? Is it
still possible to cultivate a language of communion to "forward the
ends proper to man?"

A detailed 250-word abstract should be submitted by December 7, 2007,
to Matthew Landers <>. Papers should be 15
minutes in length. Please submit your abstract in the body of your
email. No attachments, please.

In case you were wondering, the Mardi Gras conference takes place
during the weekend of Mardi Gras. Baton Rouge is 50 minutes from New
Orleans, by car.

--Matthew LandersPhD. CandidateLouisiana State University ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Wed Nov 08 2006 - 12:14:55 EST