Although the fields of literary studies and philosophy often operate in relative isolation, working on their own independent disciplinary concerns, they do so in each other’s ever-present shadow. Literary studies cannot read texts without raising (at least implicitly) philosophical questions. And philosophy cannot address its own questions without (at least implicitly) producing narratives. Comparative literature—the wandering child of these married but sometimes warring disciplines—is always situated within this tension, making it ideally suited to investigating and destabilizing the literature-philosophy binary. The purpose of this panel is to carefully examine the complex, varied, and changing relationships between literature and philosophy and to develop strategies for strengthening their already extant interdisciplinarity.
This task is not a matter of discovering clear relationships between well-defined fields—what differentiates literature and philosophy is nebulous at best. Our work is rather to draw parallels, explore relations, and produce interactions that bring these disciplines into productive dialogue. Thus, countless interdisciplinary perspectives can be produced by filling in the title relation of “Literature (?) Philosophy” or “Philosophy (?) Literature” with myriad relations—and, or, of, through, in, with, without, over, about, into, as, in spite of, etc.
Applicants are encouraged to explore any aspect(s) of these relations. All manner of proposals from across the disciplines are welcome, including comparative analyses of texts or methods, analyses of the binary in marginalized contexts, interdisciplinary close readings, discussions of interdisciplinary history or theory, meditations on the state of comparative literature.
Contact: Jonathan Rey Lee, UC Riverside