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GERMAN-CFP-L  August 2002

GERMAN-CFP-L August 2002

Subject:

CFP: Literature and the Right to Marriage (9/20/02; ACLA, 4/4/03-4/6/03)

From:

Stefani Engelstein <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

German Studies CFP Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 19 Aug 2002 11:41:21 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (75 lines)

>
>
>LITERATURE AND THE RIGHT TO MARRIAGE
>
>American Comparative Literature Association
>Cal State - San Marcos
>San Diego, April 4-6, 2003
>
>The purpose of this panel will be to take up the complex question of the
>right to marriage in response to at least two recent (and apparently
>contradictory) phenomena: the initiative to claim marriage as a universal
>right that extends to both gay and straight couples, and the advent in
>certain countries of civil pacts that grant a juridical status to the
>domestic arrangement of couples who "live together" but are not married and
>do not want to marry. On the one hand, the civil pact would seem to be a
>relevant accomodation of juridical standards to the way in which people
>really live, that is, to the increasing relegation of marriage to the status
>of a local custom, one way of "living together" among others, perhaps
>characteristic of certain regions, religious traditions, ethnicities, social
>classes. On the other hand, the claim upon a universal right to marriage
>would at once contest the identification of marriage itself with the
>vicissitudes of its empirical practice and would base this contestation upon
>a shift of the domus away from its investment by traditional kinship
>structures.
>
>Is marriage in the process of being phased out or does it remain an
>essential right? Does the statistical change in the cultural practice of
>marriage also transform the place of marriage within the philosophy of
>right? Or  on the contrary  does the fact that people do marry less and
>less often constitute the massive neglect of a right as essential to the
>life of the city as the right to free speech? What is the difference between
>marriage and living together? What are we talking about when we talk about
>marriage?
>
>Taking up the challenge of the claim to marriage as a universal right, the
>panel will seek to explore  not only what marriage "is"  but also the
>untimely question of what _remains_, even today, irreducible and
>irreplaceable about marriage. Such concerns arise within the context of
>literary studies because the minimal fact of marriage  the exchange of vows
>or oaths  is the best known, over-represented, public, but also "literary"
>or "performative" dimension of its festivity. For example, Hegel considered
>the public exchange of marriage vows to be the indispensable point at which
>love becomes ethical (distinct from seduction) and ethics become political
>(distinct from morality, inseparable from family, civil society, and the
>state); and thus the point at which the model for "ethical love" becomes the
>sanctioned love between a man and a woman rather than the priestly love of
>the neighbor.
>
>If what remains of marriage is its literature, what is the relation between
>this literature and the right to marriage? Does the literary dimension of
>the vow somehow underlie the claim that marriage is a _universal_ right? How
>would the exchange of vows between a man and a man or a woman and a woman,
>rather than between a man and a woman, yet again transform the definition of
>"ethical love"?
>
>To approach such questions and others, it might not only be useful to
>examine various representations of marriage and coupling (in both literature
>and visual media), political treatises on marriage (from Proudhon to
>Dinesen), legal and political debates surrounding the current initiatives to
>legalize same-sex marriage, the anthropology of kinship structures, the
>sociology of the conjugal family and the welfare state, and the
>determination of marriage in the philosophy of right, but also to engage the
>rich tradition of philosophy crossing literature at precisely the point
>where it asks about the "aesthetic validity of marriage" (from Schlegel and
>Goethe to Kierkegaard, to Benjamin, Klossowski, Blanchot, and Derrida).
>
>
>Please send abstracts via email to Sara Guyer <[log in to unmask]> or Steven
>Miller <[log in to unmask]>.
>
>Deadline: September 20, 2002.
>
>
>
>

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