Constellations: Of Comparative Literature and the New Humanities--October 16-18, 2009

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Emory Comparative Literature
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Constellations: Of Comparative Literature and the New Humanities

October 16-18, 2009
Hosted By:
The Department of Comparative Literature
Emory University

With a Two Day Roundtable Featuring:
Geoffrey Bennington, Eduardo Cadava, Cathy Caruth, Peggy Kamuf, Thomas Keenan, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

What does it mean to practice comparative literature? When we speak of a discipline that is intrinsically interdisciplinary, how do we understand its limits, articulate its purpose, and constitute its objects? These very questions apply to the humanities in general—itself a heterogeneous constellation of disciplines, each representing not only its own knowledge but its own way of asking questions. From what position can this multiplicity of knowledges comprising the humanities ask the increasingly urgent question of its self-definition?
"Constellations" aims to negotiate this critical task of self-definition by bringing the questions of comparative literature and the humanities together. We hope to produce well-informed perspectives on comparative literature within the broader context of the humanities. But we also hope to ask the question of the humanities from within the fold of comparative literature itself—not only because it is one of several loci in the humanities where interdisciplinary work is done, but because its emphasis on language has produced strategies for negotiating between opposed, even irreducible forms of thought and knowledge.
This call for papers invites all who have a stake in these questions to report on their projects and participate in the on-going conversation about what comparative literature and the humanities are or should be. Of course, we also welcome the arrival of unexpected guests.

Abstract Submission Deadline:
May 15, 2009

Email submissions to Armando Mastrogiovanni,

Abstract submissions may pertain to the following:
• Comparative Literary History and Historicism
• World Literature and Globalization
• Philology and Translation
• Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures
• Deconstruction and its Legacy
• The History of the Discipline and Interdisciplinarity
• Hermeneutics
• Philosophy
• Religion
• Psychoanalysis, Trauma and Testimony
• Visual Arts and Architecture
• Technology, Media, Audio-Visual Culture
• Sociology, Anthropology, and Political Economy
• Geography, Geology, and Ecology