CFP: [General] (Re)Constructions of Subjectivity in Contemporary Literature and Culture

full name / name of organization:, Stefanie
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Call for Papers

“Hello, I Say, It’s Me”: (Re)Constructions of Subjectivity in Contemporary
Literature and Culture (April 04-05, 2008; Heinrich-Heine-Universität

After the subject has been challenged, marginalized, fragmented,
deconstructed, and pluralized in many postmodern modes of expression and
thinking, there now seems to be a growing interest in reconceptualizing the
relevance of subjectivity as a constitutive element in cultural production
and in theoretical discourses. In contemporary literature, North American
writers such as Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Franzen and Richard Powers have
begun to seek a “reengagement with the world’s living concepts” (Powers) by
reintroducing the subject as an essential factor of textual production and
reception. Furthermore, works of up-and-coming authors such as Jonathan
Safran Foer, Marisha Pessl and Jeffrey Eugenides share a focus on matters
of fictional autobiography and a vital concern for the self. In literary
criticism, this shift is paralleled by a turn to subject-based ethical
questions originating from both philosophy and poststructuralist thought
(Hale 2007). In contemporary media culture, New Media technologies offer a
variety of possibilities for articulating and constructing subjectivity in
virtual spaces, a fact to which the abundance of personal pronouns in
generic product names â€" from ego-shooters to iPods, from MySpace to YouTube
â€" attests. Finally, contemporary material culture continues to provide
ample space for performances of subjectivity, reaching from fashion to
advertising and beyond.
The conference seeks to explore these sites of contemporary cultural
production with a focus on literature, literary criticism, and cultural
theory, but also inviting contributions from scholars working in the fields
of media studies, art history, and material culture. Central to the
conference are the following inquiries: Where and how are subjectivities
(re)constructed in contemporary culture? How might these (re)constructions
be assessed in the context of current debates in literary theory, cultural
studies, philosophy, etc.?

The conference particularly welcomes papers suitable for the following
thematic sections: literature, criticism, arts, contemporary media culture,
material culture, and critical theory.

For a more detailed version of the “Call for Papers” including possible
fields of inquiry and descriptions of the respective sections, please
contact us at .

Papers should focus on specific literary and cultural practices and draw
theoretical implications from there. The conference language is English.
Please send proposals (no more than 300 words) and a speaker biography to

Please paste your proposal into the body of your message. Attachments will
not be opened.
Deadline for Proposals: Nov. 05, 2007

Jan D. Kucharzewski, M.A. (Universität Düsseldorf), Stefanie Schäfer, M.A.
(Universität Heidelberg), Dr. des. Lutz Schowalter (Universität Trier)

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Received on Mon Sep 17 2007 - 07:52:44 EDT