College Cultures, Academic Tribes: Literary Study as "Local Culture" Within Global Universities
Submission deadline Monday 11/3/08, 9pm Pacific time (12am 11/4/08 Eastern time)
The local cultures of literary study have recently seen their interactions with larger university systems both widen and narrow. The growth of programs in previously less-studied languages, literatures, and media; greater cultural capital accruing to literature and narrative; and heightened interest in heritage and ethnology have invited greater attention to literary scholarship from inside and outside the universities. Conversely, increasing corporatization of universities and career-related pragmatism of students; resource limitations within campus budgets; and difficulty of adapting calls for accountability and measurability to the qualitative pursuits of the humanities have arguably narrowed and caricatured the conceptions and roles of literature departments.
This seminar invites inquiries into the multiply fraught yet potentially fertile interchange created by considering questions of literary value in relation to the rapidly shifting conditions of reception within universities and related public communities. As institutional changes have altered and possibly foreshortened the roles of the languages and literatures, in what kinds of interesting ways has literary study adapted in response?
Possible approaches include:
* New and evolving models of value: comparative canons; choosing from widening arrays of quality texts and traditions; alternate conceptions of the literary
* Pedagogy as “translation”: explaining functions and values of literature to nonspecialists; literary value revealed through teaching
* Expanding ranges of comparison: adapting scholarship and teaching to encompass greater breadths of history, culture, form, genre
* Creative writing/creative nonfiction: using writing of literary journalism, poetry, or fiction for better perspective reading literature
* Transdepartmental relations: comparative literature partaking in larger interdisciplinary formations of inquiry
ACLA 2009 will be in Cambridge, Massachusetts from Thursday 3/26/09 -- Sunday 3/29/09 (the panels start Friday 3/27/09). The deadline for 250-word paper proposals is Monday 11/3/08 at 9pm Pacific time, and you can find the proposal form at -- be sure to select the title of this seminar in the scroll-down menu marked "Select the seminar for which you are submitting the paper."
If you have any questions about the panel, please contact Yi-Zhou Liu, Department of English, University of California, Irvine, at -- and if there's anyone you know who might be interested, feel free to forward this CFP.
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