Organizer: Ariel Lawrence
Co-Organizer: Tyler TennantContact the Seminar Organizers
Hermeneutics—a term historically associated with biblical and/or philosophical exegesis—contends with the theory, method, and practice of interpretation regarding all manner of language, literature, and utterances of thought. The root of this term is connected, in part, to Hermes, son of Zeus and messenger to the gods. Hermes, ever the trickster, was the transporter and conveyer of messages between and beyond divine realms, and as such, he also served as translator of the divine. In the spirit of interpretation, translation, and the ever-shifting search for meaning, we solicit papers that consider not only the theory and methodology of interpretation within the fields of literature, language, and linguistics but also seek to question and interrogate how we come to find meaning in a given text, object, or field. We seek papers that cover a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives regarding the act of interpretation including theoretical examinations, disciplinary critiques (playful polemics also accepted), literary exegeses, or digital humanities and/or new media projects. We also desire to discuss the ways that hermeneutical theories have been deployed, impacted, or radically changed, by black, queer, indigenous, immigrant, disabled, and other underrepresented communities. In creating an open-ended and constructive conversation around hermeneutical revision, we ask the following questions: What are the metrics, concepts, and tools by which we interpret objects within a given field? How have those practices been dulled and or honed over time? How might practices of interpretation be interrogated in relation to language and literature? Can we revise, or look again, at these practices to cultivate new ways of excavating meaning within our respective disciplines?