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CFP: Future of Literary Studies
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When: 12/10/2010
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The Future of Literary Studies, 1500-1800 (UCSB)

The Early Modern Center of the University of California at Santa Barbara invites paper proposals for our tenth annual Conference, "The Future of Literary Studies, 1500-1800." The conference will take place on March 11-12, 2011 at UCSB.

The idea of "the new” has been powerful in early modern literary studies, mobilizing critical innovation and reshaping research practices. Consider for example the New Historicism, as framed by Stephen Greenblatt and the late Richard Helgerson, or the 1987 collection The New Eighteenth Century, edited by Felicity Nussbaum and Laura Brown. More recently, exciting work has emerged from perspectives as different as the New Economic Studies or the New Formalism. The question we propose for this conference is simple: where is early modern studies headed? What’s next? Does the future lie in advancing or revisiting existing approaches, such as still newer historicism, or something different altogether? In addition to theoretical explorations of new approaches, we are also interested in papers that apply these approaches.

This two-day conference will consist of panel discussions, as well keynote talks followed by a roundtable discussion that will allow participants to engage and reflect on the issues raised throughout the conference. In addition to panels, roundtable, and papers, the conference will include an evening of dramatic performance celebrating the tenth anniversary of UCSB’s Early Modern Center!

We invite proposals for papers that broadly speak to "The Future of Literary Studies, 1500-1800” as well as those that put new approaches into practice. We hope to include papers from a range of critical and disciplinary contexts, and invite papers that draw from literatures that cross ethnic, regional, and national boundaries. Possible directions, approaches and topics may include, but are not limited to, the following: the canon, new formalism, ecocriticism, affect theory, cognitive approaches, religion, politics, transatlantic/global studies, Middle Eastern/Mediterranean studies, popular culture (ballads, pamphlets, broadsides, etc), digital humanities, repertory studies, material history/history of the book, pedagogy.

Please send abstracts, 250-500 words in length, to by December 10, 2010. Feel free to contact Theresa Russ at with specific questions.

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