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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.

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

The Other #MeToos

Organizer: Iqra Shagufta

Ever since the inception of #MeToo, conversations have largely circled around the movement as it evolved and exists in the United States. Despite multiple sessions on #MeToo at multiple conferences,... more

Creation Narratives: Ancient and Modern

Organizer: Eric Dodson-Robinson

Where did we come from? What is our place in the cosmos, and what is the meaning and purpose of life? This seminar invites comparative readings of creation narratives (broadly conceived)—ancient and/... 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

Ubu: Grotesquery in Political Theory

Organizer: Brendan McGillicuddy

Michel Foucault opened his 1974 seminars at the Collège de France - published as "Abnormal" - with a series of comments that link his theory of “governmentality” to the aesthetic category of the... more

Cinema as an instrument of social change

Organizer: Anwesha Arya

Human rights, gender and cinema intersect at the point of social responsibility. Does cinema have a role to play in how social responsibility grows and stands today in the twenty-first century. In a... 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