CFP: The Face and/in World Literature

Together with Professor Anca Parvulescu from Washington University in St. Louis, we are delighted to put together a co-hosted seminar proposal for next year’s American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) conference.

We currently seek paper proposals for a seminar on ‘The Face and/in World Literature.’

Beginning October 1 (and due October 31) interested individuals may submit a paper proposal to ONE seminar of their choice. Potential seminar organizers will then have the opportunity to select the papers they would like to include in their seminar and submit a complete seminar to the ACLA for approval.

Please see the ACLA call page here to submit a paper proposal. We look forward to hearing from you!

Our proposed seminar brings together scholars working in a range of fields to frame a comparative literary history of the face. From Chaucer through to the contemporary global novel, the seminar considers changing literary and textual discourses about the human face alongside the cultural history of face reading. Working across literary geographies, genres and historical periods, papers and conversations will consider a range of imaginative representations of the face and the conventions that frame such representations. Adjacent fields through which an analysis of the face might be engaged include philosophy, sociology, linguistics, cultural theory, art history, and the history of science. The seminar aims to illuminate the relationship between literature and the long history of social and cultural understandings of the face and allow us to better understand contemporary transformations at the intersection of physiognomy, affect, and, increasingly, technology. We hope this history will offer new perspectives on recent developments in facial recognition surveillance and affect detection technologies, social media practices, and the way in which we increasingly use the face as a social commodity.

Possible topics include:

–literary histories of prosopopoeia

–the portrait and its conventions

–histories of the mask and the veil

–emotion/affect and the face

–physiognomy around the world

–race and the face

–disability and the face

–technologies of facialization 

–theories of interface

–aesthetics and/of the face

–formalisms of the face

–the history of cosmetics and cosmetic surgery

–the face in digital cultures 

–ethics of the face

–comparatism and the face



Cite this blog post
Guy Webster (2022, October 3). CFP: The Face and/in World Literature. Literature the Face: A Critical History. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/oo8p

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