February 16, 2010

Call For Papers

From Elliott Visconti at Yale

Literary History and Constitutional Culture

For the MLA’s next conference in Los Angeles (January 2011), the Discussion Group on Law and Literature invites paper proposals that address the relationship, broadly understood, between constitutional change and literary history. Some general questions: what influence do constitutional decisions have on the path of literary history, and to what degree can such decisions or events be said to transform or deflect a literary tradition? Papers that take a theoretical approach to the question are welcome (e.g. can the literary be understood as a modality of popular constitutional interpretation?) as are papers addressed to a concrete moment/ event/watershed (e.g. LGBT literature after Lawrence v. Texas; LDS fiction in the wake of Reynolds v. United States, the literary history of slavery after Somersett’s case, African-American poetry after Brown v. Board, Franco-Islamic literature after the 2004 headscarf laws, etc.

Paper proposals from all legal and literary traditions are welcome. Please send abstract and cv to elliott.visconsi@yale.edu, by March 15 2010

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