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>From: Lori Branch <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: CFP: Religion, Secularism & Literary Study (3/18/05; MLA '05)
>
>MLA 2005, December 27-30, Washington DC
>Proposed Special Session:
>
>Religion, Secularism, and Literary Study: New Approaches and Challenges
>
>In her 2003 Presidential Address to the Modern Language Association, Mary
>Louise Pratt proclaimed the urgency of the interdisciplinary study of
>religion in our literature departments.  "Who can doubt today," she asked,
>"the need to study secularism and religiosity from every viewpoint we can
>muster?"  As Stanley Fish has recently pointed out in <The Chronicle of
>Higher Education>, the distinctions between reason and faith, truth and
>belief, have been increasingly called into question in culture and
>academia, and religion promises, in his words, to "succeed high theory and
>the triumvirate of race, gender, and class as the center of intellectual
>energy in the academy," not least because epistemological questions of
>belief and knowledge are central to theory as well as identity and global
>politics.  Major recent interdisciplinary studies including Talal Asad's
><Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity> (Stanford,
>2003) and Graham Ward's <True Religion> (Blackwell, 2003) also point toward
>a burgeoning and vibrant engagement in the coming years with the historical
>study of the mutual transformation of religion and secularism in modernity.
>
>This proposed special session seeks to bring together the best
>meta-critical formulations of the particular difficulties in and
>methodologies for approaching religion and secularism in literary and
>cultural study, with the goal of generating fruitful, critical dialogue and
>making these formulations and discussions available to the widest range of
>scholars.  Papers ideally will be rooted in the presenter's field,
>particular theoretical orientation and ongoing scholarly work, while also
>extrapolating useful concepts for the larger MLA audience.  Please send a
>250-500 word abstract, CV, and statement regarding MLA membership status by
>March 18, by post or (preferably) e-mail, to
>
>Professor Lori Branch
>Department of English
>The University of Iowa
>308 English-Philosophy Bldg.
>Iowa City, IA 52242-1492
><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]

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