CFP: [General] Un/Likely Bedfellows: Visual Studies and Literary Studies [ACLA, April 24-27, 2008]

full name / name of organization: 
Shayna Kessel
contact email: 

Call for Papers
American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting
Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
April 24-27, 2008

Seminar: Un/Likely Bedfellows: Visual Studies and Literary Studies

Abstracts due (250 words): November 15, 2007

This seminar arises from the modest proposal that literature and visual
texts are no longer unlikely bedfellows â€" or are they? The work of W. G.
Sebald in particular exemplifies the vitality of the relation between the
image and language and the possibilities of such hybrid texts. Across
Sebald’s novels and poetry, it would be violence to separate the texts into
photographs and language; these works destabilize the boundaries of genre
and invite us to revise our reading practices. Where literary studies once
seemed firmly entrenched in language and literature, the arrival of visual
studies continues to change the face of literary studies and departments of
literature. Literary studies, however, has a solid idea of what it is, and
visual studies is far less certain. This seminar seeks to think about
visual studies and its implications for literature; the discipline of
literary studies; those who identify with departments of literature,
especially interdisciplinary departments; the shape of literature
departments themselves; the ways in which scholars of theory and literature
think about visual texts; and the pursuit of questions that embrace both
literary and visual texts. Papers that think about visuality, perception,
the image, visual texts, language, and literature in productive ways;
papers that consider the disciplinary and institutional implications of the
rise of visual studies and interdisciplinary work; and any other forays
into the ambiguous and amorphous territory that has emerged out of the
combination of visual and literary studies are all welcome.

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Received on Fri Oct 19 2007 - 14:55:28 EDT