Skip to Content


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.

Cli(mate) Fi(ction) post-2016

Organizer: patricia merivale

Where is our Orwell when we need him? It is not easy to establish a core of literary works centered on our realization of the speed, power, and urgency of anthropogenic climate change, especially... 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

Transcendentalism and Performance

Organizer: Alice Clapie

In the arts, performance is an act of staging or presenting. It is the process of carrying an action, the process of accomplishing something and sometimes the process of accomplishing oneself.... 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

From Bibliotherapy to Bibliotrauma

Organizer: Thomas Beebee

This seminar returns to the Platonic/Aristotelian question of how literature affects its audience: as with drugs, this can be for good or for ill. Or, both simultaneously or in alternation. The... more