American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting
Long Beach, California, April 24-27, 2008.
Call for Papers
Seminar title: Communities and Collectivities: Old Questions, New Contours
Two questions lie at the heart of any thinking of community or collectivity: “Who are we?” and “How many are we?” These questions are borrowed from Derrida’s Politics of Friendship and Spivak’s Death of a Discipline but different iterations can be found in the work of others: Bataille, Blanchot, Deleuze, Nancy. If a consideration of community and collectivity has to start necessarily by asking about the identity of its members and by calculating their number, the answers to these questions are, on the other hand, far from evident, bound as they are to assumptions particularly prone to metaleptic reasoning. What must be assumed in order to speak about communities and collectivities? What rhetorical and epistemological forms do these discourses take? Much interesting work has been done on the genealogical and etymological implications of the concept-network associated with the common, the commune, the co-immune, and so on. Yet, the community remains a question that returns in unanticipated ways.
This seminar takes up the question of communities and collectivities, whether as political or social ventures, secular or ecumenical institutions, or even as cosmopolitan or planetary undertakings. What kinds of tensions and contestations take place in any expression of community or collectivity? Is community necessarily determined by a certain notion of kinship? Or can it be wholly elective? Is life legible outside of its communal and collective forms? Does democracy, associated traditionally with equality and inclusiveness, allow a thinking of collectivity beyond a fraternal model? We invite papers that explore these questions from a variety of perspectives: literary, philosophical, historical, and scientific.
Please submit paper proposals before November 15, 2007 through the ACLA website at http://www.acla.org/submit/
If you have any questions, contact Elana Commisso (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bishupal Limbu(email@example.com)
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