ACLA 2012 at Brown University (Mar. 29 – Apr. 1)

The American Comparative Literature Association’s 2012 Annual Meeting will take place at Brown University, Providence, RI from March 29th to April 1st, 2012. The ACLA website is now accepting proposals for seminars and papers. For more information about the Annual Meeting and a list of accepted seminars, please visit the ACLA 2012 Website.

The following is the CFP for a seminar that is being organized by two of my fellow blog editors:


Seminar Organizer(s):

Communities:  affective, moral, domestic, utopian, linguistic, political, national, diasporic, imagined, underground.  In recent decades, critical and philosophical reflection has focused on the possibilities, conditions, and dangers of various forms of human community.  From Strawson’s conception of “moral community” and Agamben’s notion of “coming community” to Nancy’s “inoperative community” and Canetti’s distance-annulling crowds, thinkers in the post-WWII period have increasingly imagined moral and social life through the category of community.

This panel will explore the idea and experience of community in various historical contexts and in diverse mediums and instantiations, from historical groups to communities imagined in literary or philosophical texts.  We welcome papers that discuss:

  • moral communities
  • linguistic communities
  • utopian / dystopian societies
  • “affective communities” (Gandhi)
  • the crowd
  • monastic communities
  • the university as a “theater of intelligence”, from the School of Athens to contemporary institutions
  • artistic communities:  Nietzsche’s community of artists, the pre-Raphaelites, the Bloomsbury group, Gruppe 47
  • communities “to come” (Derrida, Nancy, Agamben)
  • virtual communities (social media, networks, games)

We also hope to engage in further reflection on what binds a community together, and on non-oppressive ways of thinking the communal.  What practices, rituals, or principles enable the formation of a sustainable community? Possible topics include:

  • recognition
  • friendship
  • gift-exchange
  • moral emotions (blame, resentment, forgiveness)
  • dis/identification
  • hospitality
  • tact, delicacy, and love as moral or political categories

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