We are seeking proposals for two edited collections on human rights and literature, one focusing on pedagogical and the other on theoretical approaches. As evidenced by scholarly production, major conferences, and course offerings, the interdisciplinary pairing of human rights and literature has gained necessary momentum since 2001. Still there are few book-length studies to accompany and help define this growing field and none that fully address the foundational issues of theory and pedagogy. We have had initial interest from publishers and are seeking essays to develop full book proposals for these presses.
If there is a danger that, in Upendra Baxi’s words, “human rights…is a moral language (like those of ‘social justice’, ‘equality’, and ‘redistribution’) that is simply exhausted,” how might literary discourses reinvigorate it? And if “education in the Humanities attempts to be an uncoercive rearrangement of desires” (Spivak), what are we teaching (for) when we teach literature and/of human rights?
Possible questions to consider may include: How do we define “human rights” as an approach to global literary production? How do we negotiate, theoretically or pedagogically, the relationship between the literary subject and the subject who bears rights? How are human rights and literary narratologies related? How do we incorporate critiques of human rights and its link to Western imperialism into our approaches? How are the material conditions of the production and circulation of global literatures and rights related? What are the practical questions we must address to make this disciplinary pairing work in scholarship and in the classroom? Why and how is this theoretical and methodological approach significant in our contemporary historical moment? Topics might include considerations of ethics, historicization, genre, critical methodology, and central texts.
Please send a 500-word proposal and c.v. to both editors by May 1, 2008. Specify the volume to which you are submitting; multiple submissions and general inquiries are also welcome.
Contact: Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, Babson College (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Alexandra Schultheis, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (email@example.com)
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