Agnotology in Literature, Culture, and the Arts

deadline for submissions: 
March 20, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Amit Ray/Rochester Institute of Technology
contact email: 

This a a call for a Special Topics Panel to be held at the Modern Language Association Conference in New Orleans, January 9-12, 2025.

Agnotology, the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, has emerged as a critical lens through which to examine the production, dissemination, and contestation of knowledge within various spheres of human expression. This interdisciplinary panel seeks to investigate the intersections of agnotology with literature, culture, and the arts, and to explore how these fields both reflect and contribute to the construction of ignorance and uncertainty.

We welcome proposals for papers that engage with the following topics (but are not limited to):

  1. The representation of ignorance, misinformation, and epistemic uncertainty in literary texts, visual arts, film, and other cultural artifacts.
  2. Historical and contemporary instances of agnotology and its effects on social, political, and environmental discourse.
  3. The role of language, rhetoric, and narrative in the construction and perpetuation of ignorance and doubt.
  4. Counter-narratives, resistance, and strategies for challenging or subverting agnotological forces.
  5. The relationship between agnotology and power dynamics, including issues of race, gender, class, and colonialism.
  6. Agnotology in digital and virtual spaces, including social media, online communities, and digital archives.
  7. Pedagogical approaches to teaching agnotology and critical media literacy in educational contexts.

Proposals should include a title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, a brief biographical statement, and any audiovisual or technical requirements.