>From: Caroline Brooks Giordano <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: CFP: Character and Characterization in
>Narrative Literature (9/15/06; NEMLA,
>Call for Papers
>Panel Title: Character and Characterization in Narrative Literature
>38th Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
>March 1-4, 2007
>This panel will re-examine the status of character across a wide range
>of genres and time periods in narrative literature. Despite the
>obvious prominence of characters themselves within narrative texts,
>there are few studies of what the concept of character itself might
>entail. This relative scarcity of literary-critical work on character
>is due in part to the way that characters straddle a conceptual divide
>between semantic constructions and human beings: as Mieke Bal notes,
>ýthe character is not a human being, but it resembles one.ţ In other
>words, we as readers of narrative often treat characters as
>psychological essences rather than as configurations of words on a
>page. Or, by entering what cognitive scientist Richard Gerrig has
>called ýnarrative worlds,ţ many of us experience characters as
>humanlike creatures at the same time that we realize and appreciate the
>formal techniques that mark their constructedness. Recent works of
>literary criticismˇmost notably Alex WolochÝs The One vs. The Manyˇare
>beginning to discuss characterÝs seemingly contradictory valences in
>detail. Such works show us that an increased understanding of how
>character operates is vital to studies not only of narrative, but of
>psychology (ýcharacter developmentţ), literary representations of moral
>systems and ýmoral character,ţ and the history of literary
>genres/forms. Accordingly, this panel proposes to explore the many
>meanings and uses of character by soliciting papers that consider
>and/or utilize character as a conceptual focus. Papers may present new
>theoretical models of character, or they may analyze the construction
>of character and/or methods of characterization in particular narrative
>texts. Questions that might be addressed include:
>´ How might we begin to define character, and how might such a
>definition contribute to literary/narrative studies?
>´ What do we mean by ýcharacter developmentţ?
>´ What are the historical/cultural implications of
>character/characterization within particular texts?
>´ How does character operate differently
>within different narrative genres?
>´ How does the ýformalţ definition of narrative character relate to
>characterization as a moral system?
>´ How might psychology and cognitive science help us explain our often
>powerful reactions to literary characters?
>Papers from any time period and on any genre of literary narrative are
>welcome. Please submit abstracts of approximately 300 words (or
>queries about the panel) to Caroline Giordano ([log in to unmask]).
>Deadline: September 15, 2006
>Please include with your abstract:
>Name and Affiliation Email address Postal address Telephone number
>A/V requirements (if any)
>For the complete Call for Papers for the 2007 Convention, please visit:
>www.nemla.org. Interested participants may submit abstracts to more
>than one NeMLA panel; however panelists can only present one paper.
>Convention participants may present at a paper session panel and also
>present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.
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