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States of Comparison

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Organizer: Waïl Hassan

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CFP: States of Comparison (2024 ACLA conference, Montreal)

The ACLA Board is sponsoring a number of sessions on the upcoming State of the Discipline Report for the 2020s. Comparatists at all stages of their careers are invited to address any topic related to the state of the discipline over the past ten years, including but not limited to the following themes:

Institutions, pedagogy, employment

How have the working conditions of comparatists changed over the past decade? What new challenges present themselves? Where have student enrollments declined or increased? What teaching strategies have continued, emerged, or changed to meet the challenges of the past decade? What are the implications of the ongoing job crisis for graduate programs in Comparative Literature? How should we be preparing students for career both within and without the academy? How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted compartists?

Power, justice, ethics

In what old and new ways have colonialism, indigeneity, race, ethnicity, gender, class, and other forms of hegemony impacted Comparative Literature over the past decade? How has the discipline responded (or not)? What forms of ethical engagement in scholarship, teaching, and public outreach are available to comparatists today?

Theories, paradigms, methods, keywords

What new ideas, approaches, and concepts emerged in the past decade? How have existing theories, methods, and paradigms evolved? Which have emerged, or reemerged? How is Comparative Literature today informed by disciplinary, interdisciplinary, philological, postcolonial, digital, environmental, medical, social science, and other methodologies?

Worlds, regions, minorities, geopolitics

How have the categories of World Literature, area studies, minorities, diaspora, migration, and refugees challenged or critiqued the idea of national literature? Which scales of comparison have gained purchase over the past decade? How do they intersect with, nest within, reinforce, contest, or cancel one another? How does geopolitics shape the space and the priorities of Comparative Literature?

Languages, grounds, translation

How has multilingualism fared in the past decade? What is the sphere of comparison now? Which languages have newly emerged within the purview of Comparative Literature, which remain central or marginal, and which have dropped out? How are the grounds for comparison among linguistic traditions being established? What kinds of relations continue to be relevant? Which ones are being formed? Which have become problematic, and why? What role has translation played in literary scholarship and pedagogy?

Histories, temporalities, periodization

What historical categories and/or temporal paradigms are newly relevant to Comparative Literature? Which have been questioned, modified, or bypassed in the last decade? Which periods, and which geo-cultural temporalities, have come to the attention of comparatists recently? How is the tension between historicism and presentism being negotiated? What histories of the present, and of presentism, inform comparative practices today?

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