>From: Mary-Catherine Harrison <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: CFP: Empathy and Nation (3/25/07; MLA '07)
>CFP: Empathy and Nation (3/25/07; MLA 2007) MLA 2007, Chicago, IL
>This panel will explore the relationship between empathy, reading, and
>Over the past twenty years, empathy has emerged as a central category
>in the analysis of intersubjective relationships, or relationships
>between self and other. Empathyˇ-the ability to imagine oneself in
>anotherÝs place and so understand or ýshareţ her cognitive, affective,
>and volitional statesˇ-is critical, research has shown, to our ability
>to understand and interact with other people. Theorizing empathy is an
>interdisciplinary effort, with important research emerging in cognitive
>science, social, developmental, and clinical psychology, philosophy of
>mind, philosophy of social science, animal ethology, and anthropology.
>While a small number of philosophers, psychologists, and literary
>critics have turned their attention to the mechanics and ramifications
>of empathy with art and with literary characters, the critical
>potential of this social, psychological, and aesthetic category is
>still unrealized. Starting from Benedict AndersonÝs seminal account
>of nations as imagined communities and nationality as a cultural
>artifact, this panel proposes to examine how authors and texts might
>employ empathy in the service of creating or challenging ideas of
>citizenship. By connecting the well-established study of nationalism
>and literature with the emerging category of empathy, this panel hopes
>to bring together theories of reading and identity construction in
>combinations that will provoke further inquiry.
>We will consider the relationship between empathy and the construction
>of national identity across a range of time periods, cultural contexts,
>Questions papers might address include:
>-How do authors ýinstructţ readers in practices of empathetic reading?
>-How does empathetic reading work to construct ideas of national identity?
>-How does empathy help readers understand concepts of ýselfţ and
>ýotherţ in a national or international context?
>-How do theories of empathy transform our understanding of the creation
>and maintenance of national literature(s)?
>Papers addressing any time period and/or genre are welcome.
>Please submit 1 page abstracts with a brief C.V. by email to
>Mary-Catherine Harrison ([log in to unmask]) by March 25th, 2007.
>Panelists must be or become MLA members by April 7, 2007.
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor: Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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