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>Literature and Social Capital (MLA '04; December 2004)
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>A proposed special section for the 2004 MLA convention in Philadelphia,
>27-30 December.
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>Much sociological theory is concerned with the perceived anomie and a lost
>sense of community in contemporary social formations of various kinds from
>nations and cities, to corporate organizations and neighborhoods.  Informed
>by the tradition of continental philosophy, the work of Pierre Bordieu and
>Michel De Certeau has richly interrogated this problem from a theoretical
>perspective while Anglo-American commentators have taken a more pragmatic
>and discursive approach as represented in the work of Richard Sennett and,
>more recently, Robert Putnam and Michael Walzer, to name only a few.
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>Although literary scholars have proven eager to deploy this useful array of
>theory, analyses of this problem from a uniquely literary perspective have
>been less cogent and have failed to address the signal role that literature
>has played (or might play) in redressing this historical dilemma.
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>How do literary productions comment on and contribute to social capital and
>meaningful community formation in various periods?  How might literary
>scholarship usefully be enlisted in this important and evolving body of
>social theory?  Papers on any aspect of social capital in literary studies
>or applied to literature of any genre, nation, or historical period are
>welcome.
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>Abstracts and vita by 1 March.  Mark Bayer.  [log in to unmask]
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