>From: "Mark A Pettus" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: CFP: The Future/Ends of Narrative/Theory (5/1/06; MMLA,
>The Future/Ends of Narrative/Theory
>MMLA 2006 Comparative Literature Panel
>9-12 November 2006, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago IL
>contact: Mark Pettus ([log in to unmask]), University of Wisconsin-Madison
>Faced with practice, theory often turns its gaze toward the future, casting
>predictions from a symptomatic present. Out of the present, theory often
>prophesies the end of a movement or its continued progress.
>Kant, for instance, read the French Revolution as a sign of mankind=B9s
>progress and Prussia=B9s peace with the revolutionary government of France as
>portending perpetual peace between all nations. Earlier in =B3Idea for
>Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose=B2 (1784), Kant claimed that the
>philosophical effort of writing such a history=8Bone which seemingly could
>only come from a novel=8Bitself would participate in the progressive
>achievement of man=B9s nature.
>In proclaiming the ends of history and art, Hegel symptomatically read his
>own present more in accordance with eschatology than utopia. In the 20th
>century, Koj=E8ve (end of man) and Fukayama (end of history) take up similar
>dialectical predictions while anti-dialectical thinkers (Heidegger and the
>end of metaphysics, Foucault and the end of man, etc.) show the same
>penchant for making prophesy of the present.
> >From Jameson=B9s utopic reading practice in The Political
>Unconscious to Hard=
>and Negri's celebration of the revolutionary potential of global capitalism
>in Empire, even Marxist critics have found signs of future progress in
>apparently ideological fields. In the end, very little seems to be capable
>of binding predictive theory.
>This panel examines how both theory and narrative form predictions and
>prophecy out of moments of the present, particularly how the modes of theor=
>and narrative interact in predictions of historical progress or closure.
>Questions and topics to consider:
>- in prediction, what is the economy of history, theory and narrative?
>- how does predictive theory make use of narrative?
>- how does prediction depend on figuration and tropes?
>- how do predictive theories travel (e.g. Thomas Friedman's use of
>Malcolm Gladwell's notion of the tipping point in diagnosing the prospects
>for democracy in the Middle East)?
>- how do predictive theories based on cyclical views of history differ
>from ones based on linear historical models?
>- how do predictions perform or participate in their theoretical
>- what sort of attitudes toward the present are entailed by predictive
>All genres and periods are welcome. Please submit abstracts of 250 words or
>less by 1 May 2006.
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