CFP: [Romantic] Call for Papers for 2009 Romance Studies Colloquium: Social Theory & Fiction

full name / name of organization: 
David Del Principe



PANEL TOPIC: Social Theory and Fiction

I am organizing a panel for the 2009 Romance Studies Colloquium on "Storytelling" hosted by
Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, October 1-3, 2009.

This panel examines the relationship between 19th-century social theory and fiction of all types.
What are the differences or similarities between telling social, empirical, or scientific stories and
fictional ones? The panel investigates both how the social theory of Thomas Malthus (population,
reproduction), William Godwin (social optimism, utopianism), and Charles Darwin (evolution)
influenced 19th-century fiction as allegory, as well as the less-studied relationship between
social theory and fiction in the works of authors who engaged in both types of writing. While
social theory had an widespread influence on literature in general taking up residence, for
example, in Gothic novels as allegories for the monstrous and the dystopian, some social texts
were written by authors who, although they were budding (or repressed) social theorists
themselves, gained popularity only for their works of fiction. For example, can the fictional works
of Italian authors Carlo Collodi and Ugo Tarchetti, The Adventures of Pinocchio and Fosca, be
read as conversant with their little-regarded, social commentary about hunger and famine?

Papers may focus on literature of the Romance languages of the 18th and 19th centuries. Various
critical and theoretical approaches and methodologies, including cross-cultural viewpoints, as
well as readings of noncanonical texts, are welcomed. Conference papers must be presented in

Proposals for individual twenty-minute papers (300 words in English) should be sent in
electronic form by February, 15, 2009 to:

David Del Principe
Please indicate your audio-visual requirements.

A selection of peer-reviewed essays (c. 6,000 words) based on papers given at the colloquium
will be published in the journal Romance Studies. [
Please note that abstracts and conference papers must be presented in English, but submissions
for publication may be written in English, French, Italian or Spanish.

The 2009 Romance Studies Colloquium will take place from October 1-3, 2009 in a spectacular
setting on the Hudson River overlooking New York City. The colloquium will address issues
related to storytelling across the Romance languages and may include ethical, sociological,
anthropological, linguistic, political, literary, or theoretical aspects. Comparative and
interdisciplinary approaches (painting, architecture, film, performance, photography, theory,
cultural studies, and media) are actively encouraged. Papers may focus on any time and place in
Romance Studies. Professor Peter Brooks (Mellon Visiting Professor in the Department of
Comparative Literature and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University) will
present the plenary lecture.

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Received on Sat Dec 13 2008 - 20:20:32 EST