CFP: [Theory] The Arrival of Enigma: Letters

full name / name of organization: 
Jillian St. Jacques

Call for Papersâ€"The Arrival of Enigma: Letters
Panel for the American Comparative Literature Association 2008 Conference
April 24-27, 2008
Westin Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Organizer: Jillian Saint Jacques, Jan van Eyck Academie

Abstracts of 250 words in length should be submitted to the ACLA official website at http://, or as e-mail attachments to


This panel, “The Arrival of Enigma: Letters,” welcomes papers from a variety of disciplines that
critically investigate the deployment of correspondence and letters as tools for “reading into”
literature, theory, and other bodies of work (art, religion, the law). Until recently, the letter, and
even the broader notion of correspondence, has occupied an ambiguous location within literary
and cultural analysis. On the one hand, an author’s correspondence might lure critical
interpretations into the perceived security of biographical intentionality. On the other hand,
poststructuralist theory has challenged such readings of intentionality in favor of probing
narratological constructions of agency. The panel particularly welcomes papers that probe the
variety of intertextual outcomes letters might have when they arrive at multiple destinations, as
time changes the cultural viewpoint(s) of a letter’s recipients, the significance of the letter, and
the ways in which letters are “read” as cultural objects and theoretical metaphors. More details
available on the official ACLA website at the URL listed above.

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Received on Sun Oct 21 2007 - 23:27:56 EDT