ICLA Panel: Talking About Literature, Scientifically

full name / name of organization: 
Christine A. Knoop & Keyvan Sarkhosh

Claims that literary studies and the sciences are incompatible have long been recognized as obsolete. Numerous scholarly endeavours bring together researchers, theories, and methods from literary studies and the sciences, e.g., cognitive poetics, empirical aesthetics, computational literary analysis, evolutionary approaches, and meta-analyses of historical scientific discourses in literature. Yet not only have attempts at an integration of the two fields been contested; the issue of mutual incomprehension remains unsettled as well. This is largely due to both sides having different notions of what constitutes scholarly language. The group section will debate the extent to which scientific methods and tools can contribute to literary studies, and particularly the role of scientific terminology as a new dictionary with the potential to transgress the boundaries of academic disciplines and individual languages. Topics for our session of brief talks plus in-depth discussions may include:

- The language of science: What constitutes "the sound of science"? How can we critically evaluate the particularities of scientific language and its ability to achieve terminological precision and clarity?

- Identifying the scope: Under which circumstances is it justifiable to extend scientific terminology to the study of literature? The scientific vocabulary is tied to specific methods/ theories; its application to literary studies raises issues of complexity and integration.

- Creating added value: Does scientific language as a meta-dictionary in the field of literary studies add to terminological clarity? If so, it might prove useful for Comparative Literature to converge seemingly irreconcilable phenomena.

- The struggle for authority: Taking recourse to scientific terminology further strengthens the role of English. What are the implications for Comparative Literature?

We invite proposals for 20-minute talks, followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

Please note that ALL PROPOSALS must be submitted through the online submission form of the ICLA conference site: https://icla2016.univie.ac.at/abstract-submission/online-submission/. During the submission process you will be asked to indicate the sequence number of the group session (the number preceding the title, in our case 16309).

The abstract should be no longer than 2.000 characters (incl. spaces) and should be submitted in English.

The deadline for proposals is midnight (GMT +2) August 31st, 2015. Decisions will be announced no later than December 31st, 2015.

Regrettably, travel and accommodation expenses cannot be refunded. Also, there are no exemptions from the registration fee.

For further information on the conference, the registration process as well as special accommodation and travel conditions available from selected partner please visit the conference website: https://icla2016.univie.ac.at/home/