CfP: ACLA-Panel 2017: "Towards an Anatomy of Injury: The Figure of the Wound in Literature, Art and Theory"

Type: Call for Papers
Date: September 1, 2016 to September 23, 2016
Location: Netherlands
Subject Fields: Humanities, German History / Studies, Philosophy, Literature, Cultural History / Studies
ACLA 2017 Panel Proposal:
Towards an Anatomy of Injury: The Figure of the Wound in Literature, Art and Theory
American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands, July 6-9, 2017
Panel Organizers: Ian Fleishman (University of Pennsylvania), Nicole Sütterlin (Harvard University)

Call for Papers:
This seminar will investigate the figure of the wound in literature, film, art, philosophy and theory. From medieval traditions of stigmata to the graphic depictions of violence in postmodern cinema, the topos of the wound has always challenged the very limits of representation. Our seminar intends to interrogate both the formal and thematic stakes of the wound—and the crucial role that it has played for literary, artistic and philosophical paradigms from the Middle Ages to the present day. 
We propose to pursue questions such as the following: Can the wound, as corporeal inscription, be interpreted as a master metaphor for text? What literary, filmic or philosophical forms does it take — and what questions does it raise about fragmentation, censorship, textual omission and the obscene? How does an injurious aesthetic reconfigure our understanding of the relationship between an artwork and its audience?
We are particularly interested in observing the evolution of this figure throughout cultural and intellectual history: from holy wounds as gifts in the Christian tradition; to psychoanalysis’s emphasis on psychic wounds as a fundamental aspect of modern subjectivity; to poststructuralism’s focus on ruptures, rifts and holes; to bio-political arguments concerning the (auto-)immunitarian structure of modern bodies and societies.
Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
  • The wound and/as textual form (e.g. fragments, aphorisms, cut-ups, Fontana’s slashes).
  • Performance art, body art, piercings, tattoos, scars.
  • The erotics of injury (e.g. Theresa of Ávila, Sade, Bataille, Jelinek, Easton Ellis, Dennis Cooper).
  • The dramaturgy of injury (e.g. 17th-century tragédies sanglantes, Artaud’s theater of cruelty, New French Extremity).
  • Wounds in/of philosophy and theory (e.g. Bakhtin’s grotesque bodies, Cixous’s escaping texts, trauma theory, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, Haraway’s vulnerable postmodern/biopolitical bodies, Butler’s emphasis on vulnerability and mourning, Esposito’s immunology).
  • Recent studies on violence (e.g. Seltzer’s ‘culture of wounds’, Abel’s ‘violent affect’, Bartl’s Fleischwerdung der Literatur [literary incarnation]).
Please submit an abstract of approximately 300 words to the ACLA website ( between 1 and 23 September, 2016. I