[UPDATE: Deadline Extended] CFP: Sustainability through an Interdisciplinary Lens

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SAMLA: Graduate Students Forum in English
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South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference 86: "Sustainability and the Humanities."

Atlanta, GA, November 7-9, 2014

Michael Clune begins his book, Writing Against Time (2013), with a question: "Is art different from life?" He observes that "according to an emerging consensus, our experience of a description of a house, person, or landscape in a novel or poem, and our experience of an actual house, person, or landscape, are not essentially different." Interdisciplinary approaches are not new. In fact, as Alan Richardson asserts in "Literature and the Cognitive Revolution," Poetics Today 23:1 (Spring 2002), "cognitive scientists . . . have been borrowing freely from literary studies for some time, often adopting key terms from rhetoric and literary criticism." Distinctions between disciplinary approaches are capable of informing one another in ways which expand meaning and engage different audiences—a communication which leads to broader perspectives on the relationship between art and life.

This panel seeks to explore new ways of seeing by examining the connections between literary scholarship and interdisciplinary research. For the purposes of this panel and in the spirit of both acknowledging and questioning disciplinary boundaries, what constitutes "interdisciplinary" is not limited to defined "disciplines" but includes approaches such as (but not limited to), psychology, cultural studies, gender studies, cognition, film studies, and so forth. Proposals should consider how interdisciplinary research helps us to (re)examine our understanding of texts. What is the role (or potential role) of interdisciplinary studies in extending the meaning of texts beyond literary studies, and how might this (re)positioning redefine literary significance? Also, when we examine texts through a "new" lens, how do we preserve the integrity of the text? Should we continue to differentiate between interdisciplinary and literary studies, or is this distinction becoming increasingly unnecessary?

Please send abstracts (300 words) to Heather Fox at heatherfox@mail.usf.edu by June 1, 2014.