CFP: [Graduate] Anatomy of Passions

full name / name of organization: 
Bassel Atallah

Concordia University - Department of English - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sixth Annual Graduate Colloquium
March 28 & 29, 2008
Theme: Anatomy of Passions

In recent years, many critics in the humanities have turned their
attention to affect and emotion. As Brian Massumi tells us, "affect is
central to an understanding of our information- and image-based late
capitalist culture." But how do we account for affect's putative
centrality in contemporary culture? How is the value of emotion
figured in other historical periods? Literature and the arts offer the
most nuanced and sophisticated articulation of these issues: how do
art objects anatomize emotions and the complicated force they take on
in our lives?

The 6th annual Concordia Graduate Colloquium, hosted by
the English Department, invites papers that engage the question of
affect in its philosophical, aesthetic, and political guises. Our
cultural history may be read as a repository of claims about emotion's
origin, expression, and purpose, ranging from classical notions of
Eros and catharsis to claims about the current "waning of affect"
(Jameson). We invite emerging critics to engage this vital field of
aesthetic and cultural inquiry. Papers may be inspired by but are not
limited to the following:

• "Empty" states: dread, anxiety, apathy, acedia
• Second-order emotions and minor emotional categories
• Subjectivity/Objectivity; Passivity/Activity
• Moral Sentiments
• Allegories and symbols of feeling
• Propaganda, group mentalities, theories of audience
• Libertinism and aestheticism
• Privileged and underprivileged emotions
• Volition, Agency, and Responsibility
• Consuming passions: commodities, technologies, and substances

Please send a 200-300 word abstract by Monday, January 7, 2008:
By e-mail:

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Received on Mon Oct 22 2007 - 21:42:04 EDT