Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Literature Conference CFP

ALSCW (Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers)

I'm going to be presenting a paper on Heidegger and Buddhism (see below).


Eighteenth Annual Conference
March 9–11 2012 at Claremont McKenna College


Call For Papers

With the compliments of the Program Committee for the 2012 Convention:


Giuseppe Mazzotta, Yale University
Eleanor Cook,  University of Toronto
Elisabeth Samet,  U. S. Military Academy
Tim Peltason, Wellesley College
John Burt, Brandeis University
Michael Putnam, Brown University
Robert Hanning,  Columbia University
David Powelstock , Brandeis University


The call for papers for each session is given below; the practice is that at least one participant at each session should derive from this call, and that all of the participants in the concurrent seminars will do so.  Please note: Everybody who participates must be a current member.  The 2012 introductory rate for new members is $37 and renewals are $74.

The seven panels will be:

1. ROMAN ELEGY
Moderator: Alison Keith, University of Toronto
Paul Allen Miller, University of South Carolina
Vincent Katz, School of Visual Arts, New York

We invite papers on any aspect of the Roman Elegy: fragments of Ennius, erotic lyrics of Catullus, poetry of Tibullus or Propertius, Ovid, Cornelius Gallus, or Sulpicia, including their reception in Martial and Statius.

Proposals (300 words) should be sent by November 20 to Professor Alison Keith, Department of Classics , University of Toronto, Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen's Park,
Toronto ON M5S 2C7, Canada,  (or akeith@chass.utoronto.ca).

2. LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF THE STALIN ERA
 Moderator: Steven Cassedy, University of California, San Diego
Conor Klamann, Northwestern University
Anna Razumnaya, Boston University

Texts and works of art produced during the Stalin Era or by survivors of  it. Subjects might include fiction of Grossman, Platonov, or Bulgakov,  poetry of Mandelshtam, Pasternak, Akhmatova or Tsvetaeva, music of  Shostakovich or Prokoviev, the condition of Soviet Jewry under Stalin.

Proposals (300 words) should be sent by November 20 to Professor Steven Cassedy, Office of Graduate Studies, University of California at San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive # 0003, La Jolla, CA 92093-0003 (or scassedy@ucsd.edu).


3. ARIOSTO
Moderator: Gordon Teskey, Harvard University
Ronald Martinez, Brown University
Kasey Evans, Northwestern University
Michael Murrin, University of Chicago

We invite papers on any aspect of Ariosto's work, on his relationship to  Renaissance or Classical epic, his use of material from The Song of Roland  and other sources, his influence on English poets, his presence in  later Italian poetry.

Proposals (300 words) should be sent by November 20 to both Professor Gordon Teskey, Department of English, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (or gordon.teskey@gmail.com) and Professor John Burt, Department of English MS023, Brandeis University, Waltham MA 02454 (or burt@brandeis.edu).


4. LINCOLN AND NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE
Moderator: John Channing Briggs, University of California, Riverside
Harry Jaffa, Claremont Institute
Daniel Walker Howe, University of California, Los Angeles

Lincoln is a writer and speaker whose legacy includes the perpetuation of an idea and practice of eloquence that overlaps with statesmanship, practical politics, and literary accomplishment.  His prose reminds us that certain kinds of non-fiction were welcomed into the literary canon, as it was broadly understood, until the disciplinary specializations of the twentieth century tended to separate them from works that could be studied as literature for their own sakes, sometimes exclusive of their authors’ philosophical or historical preoccupations.  Today a trend in the opposite direction has also ignored the tradition of eloquence by radically politicizing and historicizing the study of literature, to the point that many scholars have abandoned the humanities while claiming to serve them.  Some scholars in the social sciences no doubt sense a similar problem in their fields.  As do many journalists, many scholars in both fields are now long in the habit of reducing eloquent texts to mechanisms for winning advantage or as symptoms of impersonal forces.  As we discuss the meaning of what he wrote and said, what do we learn from Lincoln about the inadequacy of our current disciplinary preoccupations in political science, history, and the study of literature?  In particular, what do we learn about Lincoln’s eloquence and about literature more broadly understood? 

In celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation,  we invite papers on any aspect of Lincoln's Life and Work. Papers might  consider his great public speeches, the Gettysburg and Second Inaugural  Addresses; early works such as the Lyceum and Temperance Addresses; his  correspondence with Joshua Speed and others; his poetry, prose satire, or fiction; his debates with Stephen  Douglas; the run-up to and aftermath of the Emancipation Proclamation; his  development of Whig ideas and his anticipations (or contrasts with)  Republican ones; his ideas about democracy, equality, and race. Papers may  consider how others responded to Lincoln (Melville, Frederick Douglass,  Whitman) but should not lose sight of what Lincoln actually said and did.

Proposals (300 words) should be sent by November 20 to Professor John Channing Briggs, University Writing Program, HUMANITIES SOCSCI, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (or john.briggs@ucr.edu).


5. THOUGHT AND LITERARY FORM
Moderator: Mark Payne, University of Chicago
Timothy Morton, University of California, Davis
Oren Izenberg, University of Illinois-Chicago

“There is a well-established variance between philosophy and creative practice” (Plato, Republic, 607b).  To translate Socrates’ words this way is not to claim that Plato does not mean to posit an “ancient quarrel” between poetry and philosophy, but rather to indicate that this disagreement is identified, in the first instance, at the level of practice.  We therefore invite papers that investigate the variance at the level of procedure: how should we think about literature and philosophy when they seem to do the same things (invent persons and worlds; stage imaginary conversations; metaphorize; hymn and disenchant)?

Proposals (300 words) should be sent by November 20 to Professor Mark Payne, Department of Classics, the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, The University of Chicago, 1115 E. 58th St. Chicago, IL  60637 (or mpayne@uchicago.edu).
Department of Classics | Division of the Humanities
1115 E. 58th Street Chicago, IL 60637
6. THE LITERATURE OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND, 1100-1500: QUESTING FOR PERFECTION,  CONFRONTING IMPERFECTION

Moderator: John Fyler, Tufts University

It seems that two equally strong impulses lie behind much of the secular and religious literature produced during the high and late medieval centuries in England.  One is toward perfection, or transcendence, or structures of completeness and symmetry; the other is toward the acknowledgment, analysis, and comprehension of imperfection, in the form of sinfulness, failure, or inescapable incompleteness.

We invite papers exploring some aspect of this Icarus-like trajectory of aspiration and shortfall.  Texts discussed can be in poetry or prose; in Middle English, Anglo-Latin, or the French of England.

While taking account of the hypothesized "trajectory," papers can focus primarily on either of its "impulses."  A few possible areas for exploration: quests chivalric or religious; love as ideal, desire as experienced; literary structures as imagined, proposed, and executed; insights promised but denied in dreams and other visions.

Proposals (300 words) should be sent by November 20 to Professor John Fyler, Department of English, 210 East Hall, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155 (or john.fyler@tufts.edu).

7. LITERATURE OF CALIFORNIA
Moderator: Robert Mezey, Pomona College
B. H. Fairchild, Claremont Graduate University
Timothy Steele, California State University, Los Angeles

California boasts a complex history and a rich array of distinctive authors and literary traditions.  Papers might address such topics as the different literary cultures of Los Angeles and San Francisco; particular California poets such as Edgar Bowers, Kenneth Rexroth, Henri Coulette, Yvor Winters, Virginia Hamilton Adair or Thom Gunn; fiction writers such as Jack Kerouac, Janet Lewis, David Foster Wallace, Raymond Chandler; Movements such as the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beats or the Activists; representations of nineteenth century California; California ecological literature; or recent writers of the Asian-American experience in California.

Proposals (300 words) should be sent by November 20 to both Professor Robert Mezey, Department of English, Pomona Collage, 140 West Sixth Street Claremont, CA 91711-6335 (or Robert.Mezey@pomona.edu and to Professor John Burt, Department of English MS023, Brandeis University, Waltham MA 02454 (or burt@brandeis.edu).


The four seminars will be

1. STEPHEN J. MERINGOFF SEMINAR ON RALPH ELLISON
Moderator: Adam Bradley, University of Colorado

We seek papers from high school and college teachers, graduate students, and independent scholars on any aspect of Ralph Ellison's career: his early stories, Invisible Man, Shadow and Act, Going to the Territory, his writing on music, his relationships with other authors (Richard Wright, Saul Bellow, etc.), his reception history, Juneteenth, and Three Days Before the Shooting.

All participants – we hope for fifteen to twenty – will be from the call
for papers.  Proposals for papers should be sent by November 20 to Professor Adam Bradley, Department of English, University of Colorado at Boulder, 226 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0226  (or Adam.Bradley@Colorado.edu) and Professor John Burt, Department of English MS023, Brandeis University, Waltham MA 02454 (or burt@brandeis.edu).

2.  THE RULES OF THE WRITING GAME: HISTORY AND FICTION FROM VERGIL THROUGH GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH AND THE ARTHURIAN VULGATE CYCLE, TO GIBBON AND CARLYLE
Moderator: Nancy Partner, McGill University

We take this as our premise for this session: "Both historiography and fiction are genres of writing, not bundles of fact or nonfact in verbal shape.  In either case, then, it all boils down to the rules of the writing game."

History has always been a literary form, whatever other functions it fulfills, and has shared common ground with fictional narrative genres such as epic, romance and tragedy, most evidently in earlier ages.  Even under the strict requirements of professional practice, narrative remains central to historical writing, and history and fiction share concerns with character, motive, conflict, and the relation of particular event to expanded realms of meaning.  The writer/reader contract operates within every literary culture to signal how texts are produced and how they are to be received, but we are now often hard pressed to understand the implicit codes for history and fiction in premodern societies.  We seek papers dealing with any aspect of the history/fiction relationship, from any literary or historical period, and especially those foregrounding theory and "the rules of the writing game." 

Opening remarks from Nancy Partner:  “Fiction and History: Patrolling the Borders

All participants – we hope for fifteen to twenty – will be from the call for papers.  Please send proposals and abstracts (300 words) by November  20 to  Professor Nancy Partner, History and Classical Studies Leacock, Rm 635, Department of History, 855 Sherbrooke, West Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7 (or nancy.partner@mcgill.ca) and Professor John Burt, Department of English MS023, Brandeis University, Waltham MA 02454 (or burt@brandeis.edu)..


3. THE USE OF NAMES
Moderator: Debra Fried, Cornell University
Gary Roberts, Tufts University

We seek papers on the use of names, conventions of naming, or changes of name, in Poetry and in Fiction, especially but not exclusively the use of personal names. Examples might include:

•  Papers on the uses of names in dialogue, dramatic speech, literary conversations: what some of the effects of/motivations behind deploying names when someone is talking?

•  Papers on names as elements of lexis or diction: names as words, words as names; the placement and poetics of names in various verse designs or prose textures.

•  Papers on the ethics of naming name in literature.

•  Anything that develops/applies Allen Grossman’s poetics, in particular the conservation of personhood. Theories of naming associated with other scholars of poetry, e.g. Christopher Ricks, Alastair Fowler or John Hollander.

•  Papers discussing the history of printing and the use of names in literature.

•  Papers representing the point of view of a card-carrying philosopher of language who has an affinity and respect for literature and literary questions and would be able to outline for an audience of literary scholars some of the current philosophical work on proper names, and in particular how literary uses challenge semantic assumptions regarding reference and meaning.

•  Anything that demonstrates how some literary uses of names are more interesting/successful/compelling/pleasing than others.

All participants – we hope for fifteen to twenty – will be from the call for papers.  Please send proposals and abstracts (300 words) by November  20 to Professor Debra Fried, Department of English, 250 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853-3201
(or df18@cornell.edu).

4. CRITICAL EDITIONS IN SCHOLARSHIP AND IN THE CLASSROOM
Moderator: Archie Burnett, Boston University

Critical editions are difficult to edit and expensive to publish, yet without critical editions scholars and students are bound to catch many “soiled fish of the sea,'' to construct fanciful readings which turn on what turn out to be typographical errors.  The decisions editors make are often fraught ones.  When Edward Connery Lathem added a comma to Frost's “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,'' for what he thought of as grammatical reasons, changing “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,'' to “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,'' he made those lines refer to three parallel attributes of the woods (loveliness, darkness, and depth), rather than treating the last two words as elaborating the meaning of “lovely.''  The change emptied the word “lovely'' of its seductive promise of dissolution, so that the speaker was merely whimsical, no longer half in love with easeful death.  We invite papers that consider any aspect of the problem of critical editing: the philosophical premises about authorship and texts that underlie its main practices,  specific problems of copy text and multiple versions, online editions, or the use of critical editions in the classroom.

All participants – we hope for fifteen to twenty – will be from the call for papers.  Please send proposals and abstracts (300 words) by November  20 to Professor Archie Burnett, Editorial Institute, Boston University, 143 Bay State Road.  Boston, MA 02215
(or burnetta@bu.edu).

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