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Please select a seminar for which you would like to propose a paper. Current ACLA guidelines specify that each ACLA member may submit only ONE PAPER for consideration. Abstracts must be received by Monday, September 23, 2019 at 9 a.m. EST.

The Exhaustion of Humanitarianism?

Organizer: Luis Fernando Restrepo

Although in Humanitarian Reason  Didier Fassin argued that humanitarianism is a defining element of the present era, articulating concerns for vulnerable populations worldwide, there are... more

Occasional Poetry in the World

Organizer: Elliott Colla

It is an understatement to say that most modern poets and critics have looked upon occasional poetry as a minor mode of expression, a petty or antiquated concern. For many, occasional poems come off... more

Affects, Violence and Memory in Latin America

Organizer: Ana Del Sarto

During the 1990s, feminist and queer cultural studies within the Anglo-Saxon academia, have been theorizing affects as a way out of the believed impasse generated by post-modern psychoanalytic and... more

Women in Theory

Organizer: Erin Graff Zivin

While the fields of gender, feminist, and queer studies receive limited institutional support within the academy, intellectual spaces in those fields—conferences, journals, books—allow for a... more

The World vs. The Global

Organizer: Sara Marzioli

Can we theorize World Literature as an intellectual and creative practice of resistance against the cultural imperialism embodied by the idea of the Global, the celebration of what Graham Hubbard... more


Organizer: Sangina Patnaik

Wailing, keening, rending: this seminar explores political, formal, and cultural expressions of despair.  From climate crises to the politics of fear, despair has become the dominant affect of... more

Collage and Montage in Literature and the Other Arts

Organizer: Magda Dragu

Collage and montage are prevalent terms in the life of the modern man. We use them daily, interchangeably, and profusely. However, this seminar proposes to investigate the relations between early... more

Voice to Noise, Medieval to Modern Iberia

Organizer: Henry Berlin

Voice to Noise, Medieval to Modern Iberia This seminar will explore notions of voice, inner and public, individual and common, in interdisciplinary fashion but centered on literary texts and... more

Giorgio Agamben and Literature

Organizer: Wayne Stables

Giorgio Agamben is one of the most compelling contemporary theorists of literature. Yet despite ever intensifying interest in Agamben’s work, his studies of literature and poetics remain a less... more

Aesthetics Unbound

Organizer: John Brenkman

The question of the scope of aesthetic categories and of the category of the aesthetic reaches from Kant to today. For Kant, the beautiful is manifest in art and nature, the sublime in nature and... more

The Long 60s: Age of Documentary

Organizer: Daniella Gitlin

The 50th anniversary of May ’68 inspired a wide array of readings of the events of that month and the years surrounding it, some of which confirmed Kristin Ross’ critique in May ’68 and its... more

China in World Literature: World Literature in China

Organizer: Yitzhak Lewis

China has long been a unique site of exploration, fascination, and exploitation in the imagination of writers and artists around the world. Whether as a symbol, a reference point, a poetic gesture,... more

Ab initio: On Openings, Incipits, & First Lines

Organizer: Kristina Mendicino

Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, Every poem an epitaph.     T.S. Eliot   “In the beginning”—“bereshit”—“en archê”—“im Anfang”—“en tête”—: each... more

Legibility, Materiality, and the Weather

Organizer: Jayme Collins

“Architecture, fashion – yes, even the weather—are, in the interior of the collective, what the sensoria of organs, the feeling of sickness or health, are in the individual…They stand in the cycle of... more

Censorship and Dissent in South Asia

Organizer: Preeti Singh

The history of censorship in modern South Asia goes back to the Registration of Books Act (1867), used to track anti-state sedition; and to the various indigenous and British non-governmental... more

Abstraction's Forms

Organizer: Sam Fallon

Abstraction has long been a dirty word for literary critics, who tend to valorize the particular, the singular, the concrete. But criticism depends on general categories nonetheless, precisely... more