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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

“Philip Roth’s Succès de Scandale”

Organizer: Maggie McKinley

The Philip Roth Society invites submissions for a seminar entitled “Philip Roth’s Succès de Scandale.” While the subject of “literature and scandal” seems to be an emerging trend within... more

Cold War Nostalgias: East and West

Organizer: Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy

In The New American Exceptionalism (2009), Donald Pease argues that the ideological binaries of the Cold War provided the U.S. with an external Other whose existence legitimized America’s growing... 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

Narratives of the 1990s

Organizer: Jeffrey Gonzalez

Critics such as Jeremy Gilbert and Jeffrey T. Nealon have posited the 1990s as marking the start of the contemporary, suggesting a sort of ideological and cultural stagnation in the midst of... 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

Ordinary Language Philosophy and Literary Studies

Organizer: Matthew Nelson

Lately, scholarly interest in Ordinary Language Philosophy (OLP) has been on the rise. From special issues of New Literary History (2015) and MLN (2015) to monographs (e.g., Moi 2017) and edited... 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

Emily Dickinson and the Anthropocene

Organizer: Keith Mikos

Scholars periodize Emily Dickinson’s poetry in several ways: of the American nineteenth century; as post-Puritan, post-Romantic, or pre-Modernist; of a secessionist moment. But how, we ask, does her... more