Papers are sought for a panel on the topic of “Literature Everywhere? Locating the Literary in other Forms and Media” at the Northeast Modern Language Association meeting in Toronto, 30 April-03 May 2015.
What are we teaching when we teach "literature"? The term "literature" is a prime example of what Ortega y Gassett calls our "not speaking seriously." This is because literary scholars are not interested in everything written, nor even primarily (pace Derrida) in the graphemic qualities of texts, which we consider instead at a level of immaterial abstraction. This level of abstraction means that at the other end of the spectrum, literary analysis is frequently applied to the unwritten, including: orature; various types of performance; cinema and television; and increasingly also to games. Cultural studies argues for an approach that crosses or combines media, but the question still remains as to whether we can acquire the tools to adequately understand these media, as well as to the translatability of literary qualities across forms. How would a study of the varieties of cultural expression of a particular time and place (e.g., France 1968, Germany 1932) translate between the various media operative during the event?
This panel will consist of papers that examine the concept of ‘the literary’ through its extension into other modes, forms, and media. Papers may take a broadly theoretical approach or argue from one or more study-examples, but should make it clear how they address this topic. Scholarship grounded in a variety of languages and cultures, or using comparative approaches will be most welcome. Papers based on pedagogy, as implied in the initial question, will also be considered.
Abstract and brief bio to Thomas O. Beebee (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30 September 2014.
Penn State University
231 Burrowes Bldg.
University Park, PA
814-863-8882 Email: email@example.com
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