Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: ACLA 2016 seminar “Serial Forms” (9/23/2015; 3/17-20/2016)

American Comparative Literature Association 2016 Meeting
Harvard University, March 17-20, 2016

CFP: Serial Forms seminar
Please address any inquiries to Anna Gibson, (gibsona@duq.edu). The panel is designed to span multiple periods, but more Victorianists would be most welcome.

In response to an echoing call for a renewed attention to form, this seminar will examine a particularly rich formal classification: the serial. Conceiving of serial form broadly to encompass a variety of sequential and collected narratives, from installments and episodes to versions, revisions, witnesses, releases, copies, variations, collections, and cycles, we will ask how narratives in parts challenge and invigorate our critical approaches to narrative form. While criticism of serial form tends to center on Charles Dickens and look
forward to twentieth-century radio and television, the formal conventions of seriality – the sequence and collection of narratives – extends far beyond this fictional field. We find seriality across literary periods and genres, from The Arabian Nights to the comic strip, from medieval manuscripts to contemporary poetry collections, from broadsides to blogs, from The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron to the Serial podcast and House of Cards. How, then, do we draw formal connections between such varied instantiations of seriality? And how does attention to seriality require us to move beyond conventional approaches to literary form, which have tended to sidestep or elide narrative temporality, authorial process and publication, reading, and

At the heart of this seminar will be the relationship between form and sequence. Questions for consideration include: What challenges does the extension of production and reception in parts over time pose to our understanding of the “whole” text? Do we have to choose between treating a serial text as parts within a whole (many within one) or as the succession or progression of a series (one after another after another)? Does each new part revise or extend previous parts? And what can attention to seriality teach us about narrative form in general?

Papers will examine serial form within or across any literary period(s), place(s), or genre(s), and might consider the following topics, as well as others not listed:

  • Connected versus disconnected narratives
  • Progression, revision, extension
  • Versions and variations
  • Parts and wholes
  • Instances and responses
  • Sequence and collection
  • Serial temporality and spatiality
  • The production, circulation, and reception of serial texts
  • (manuscripts, printed texts, audio or visual media)
  • Teaching serially; teaching serial texts

More information and submissions at: http://www.acla.org/seminar/serial-forms

Proposals Deadline: September 23, 2015

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