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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.

Aesthetic Education: A Twenty-First-Century Primer

Organizer: Kate Stanley

This seminar seeks to stimulate discussion about the aims and assumptions of aesthetic education. When we teach literature—when we encourage students to read in particular ways or to appreciate... more

Comparative Returns

Organizer: Tom Eyers

What does it mean to return – to someone, to a place, to an earlier critical moment? One thinks of Heraclitus’ canard that one cannot step into the same river twice; that, in other words, to return... more

Victorian Worlds: Form, System, Atmosphere

Organizer: Robert Ryan

We are living out a sort of afterlife of the nineteenth century. Climate catastrophe, mutant capital, planetary dispossession: these now too-familiar environs are but the late, baggy chapters to a... more

Reading in Theory

Organizer: Matthew Scully

Despite the proliferation of critical engagements with theories of reading by scholars of literary studies, it seems fair to say that relatively little has changed since Paul de Man claimed, “the... more

Forecasting: Scenarios for the Future

Organizer: Eva-Lynn Jagoe

The forecast is for 100-year storms and record-breaking temperatures to be the new norm. These daily and weekly predictions are microcosms of what is, in all likelihood, going to be a full-blown... more

Climate Change and Comparative Aesthetics

Organizer: Rebecca Oh

In 2016 Amitav Ghosh threw down a gauntlet: realism, he asserted, is not adequate to the task of representing climate change. As per the subtitle of The Great Derangement, it is “the unthinkable”... more

Ruins: Marvel, Horror, and Sublime


What do we mean by ‘ruins’ today? Would it possible to claim that we have entered a new phase in our rapport with what we used to approach as remnants of the past? One of the basic premises of this... more

Socialist Side of World Literature

Organizer: Yanli HE

This proposal invites scholars to address the connection between Socialist Realism(s) and world literatures within and beyond the Soviet Union and the Cold War. As I. Anisimov stated in 1959 that, in... more

Poetry's Exemplarity

Organizer: Walt Hunter

In this seminar, we invite participants to theorize poetry's exemplarity: what happens when we use a poem as an example in an argument? How are poems useful, felicitous/apposite,... more

Translation as Reading

Organizer: Junjie Luo

When Gayatri Spivak (1993) discusses “translation as reading,” she focuses on the relationship that a translator establishes with the original text and its translation. This seminar examines the role... more

Quantitative Aesthetics

Organizer: Joan Lubin

How does literature count? Language and number appear as radically divergent, if not mutually exclusive, modes of representation. Their strategic separation not only frames our most fundamental... more