March 28, 2014 - Impression and Object: a Conference on Critical Theory - Deadline Extended to February 14 2014

full name / name of organization: 
CUNY Graduate Center Department of Comparative Literature
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Impression and Object
A Conference on Critical Theory

Keynote Speaker:
Joshua Landy (Stanford University)

All experiences are moral experiences, even in the realm of sense perception. - Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Please note that the deadline has been extended to February 14, 2014.

The students of the Department of Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center present the third annual interdisciplinary conference on literary and critical theory to be held Friday, March 28, 2014. This conference is being given in celebration of the launch of the CUNY Graduate Center's Certificate for Critical Theory, dedicated to the study of literary and critical theory.

This conference aims to explore and interrogate questions regarding the effects of conceptualizations of Mind, from the psychological to the metaphysical, on perception, expression, and selfhood. Specifically, it will focus on cognitive interactions between subject and object and aesthetic representations of these interactions, as well as the influence that these questions, interactions, and representations have had on literary and critical theory.

We invite papers from all disciplines centering upon any individual theorist, period, or school of critical theory that explore questions of perception, reasoning, and its ethics and aesthetics, as well as the effects that these have on self-fashioning, especially as they pertain to literary and critical theory. We welcome comparisons of various theoretical approaches, including, but not limited to, literary theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy, gender studies, psychology, and political theory. Some of the questions this conference seeks to answer include, but are not limited to:

  • How does reading and/or the experience of aesthetics affect us, whether morally, interpersonally, politically, or relating to questions of self-awareness, etc.?
  • How has the representation of mind changed throughout history and across disciplines?
  • In what ways does art inform our own experience of our minds and the way we perceive the minds of others? Is selfhood a product of aesthetic experience? What are the problems inherent in theoretical frameworks that present it as such?
  • How do specific processes of cognition, such as pattern recognition or memory recall, relate to creative processes, such as metaphor or prolepsis?
  • What are the consequences of different perceptions of mind between cultures? How have conceptualizations of mind informed relations of power in imperialist and post-colonial cultures?
  • In attributing certain beliefs and thoughts to others, how do we shape our perceptions of reality and ourselves? What happens when we doubt or lack faith in these attributions?
  • How does the interpretative impulse affect one's experiences of art and literature?
  • How does mind govern space, and space govern mind?
  • How have conceptualizations of so-called mental disturbances (schizophrenia, hysteria, etc.) influenced critical methodologies?

Please submit a 300-word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by February 14, 2014 to Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter's name, institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests. We also welcome panel proposals of three to four papers.

For more information visit:

This conference is co-sponsored by:
The Writers' Institute, The Doctoral Students' Council, and the Office of the Provost