2014 Annual Meeting Theme
The 2014 ACLA meeting in New York City offers a singular opportunity to address the city’s tenuous reputation as a global capital—and, more broadly, the notion that governance, finance, or culture can (still) be located in capital, in a capital, or in capitals. In what sense do we speak of capitals (and capital) at all? The difficulty of these questions is rooted in the semantic density of the term ‘capital’ itself.
Unpacking these diverse valences, in turn, allows us to understand the capital importance of the term for the critical projects in which Comparative Literature is engaged. In ‘Capital’ and elsewhere in his writing, Marx pointed to the hegemonic configurations that emerge around capital. We may now ask other questions as well: are there other forms of capital, many capitals, at work today? What configurations of power and privilege emerge around capitals? What constitutes (a) capital? What institutes a capital? How does capital move? How do we move a capital? How do we spend (political, economic, cultural) capital? How do we accumulate it? How do we understand the fragmentation of capitals and capital? How do competing capitals negotiate their spheres of influence or dominance? What happens when we shift from a local to a global sense of capital, and vice versa? How can we trace effects of the movement from a local to a global sense of capital and vice versa? Is there a time of capitals, as there is of capital? A pre- or post-capitals-istic temporality? Can modernity be indexed, not just to capital, but to capitals? What is the relation between Comparative Literature and capital(s)?
Possible topics falling under this heading include, but are not limited to: Typography; Geography; The Metropolis and the Metropole; Empire and the (post)colonies; Cultural capitals; Capitalization; the Genealogy of Capital(s); the Persistence of Capital; Economy of Translations; the Center and the Periphery; Canons and Capital and The Capital and the Corporeal.
Seminars related to the above theme will be especially welcome, although the conference will be open to comparative seminars on other topics.
Seminar Proposal Deadline: October 1, 2013
Deadline for Paper Proposals: Extended to November 15, 2013