From: Christine Lehleiter <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: CFP: Novel as Meta-System (04/22/05; SLSA 2005, 11/10-13/05)

"Emergent Systems, Cognitive Environments:" Annual Conference of SLSA, Chicago, IL, November 10-13, 2005
Call for Papers:
The Emergence of the Novel as a Critical Meta-System
In Models of Value, James Thompson has argued that novels are “a kind of cultural laboratory/imaginary in which various forms of social evaluation can be modeled and tested.” Following Thompson’s lead, this panel wants to consider the novel as a meta-system that has emerged to answer the challenges that new scientific discourses have posed since the eighteenth century. We would like to elicit the reasons and forces behind the scene that have made the novel the most successful genre in the modern age and that are frequently elaborated by novels themselves.
Due to the specialization and “differentiation of systems” (Luhmann), the scientific world has become subdivided into autonomous disciplines that lack communication with each other as well as with the world of everyday life. Nevertheless, new disciplines, such as evolutionary biology or organic chemistry as well as technological transformations of labor or the media, had and still have an enormous impact on our lives. Fiction alone, in particular the genre of the novel, has provided an artificial space in which the complexities and intricacies of modern reality can be represented. As such, the novel is itself genuinely experimental because it simulates and confronts discourses with each other that are otherwise separated. It has the capability to model virtual worlds and by doing so it challenges and critics the real world.
We are inviting papers that consider the novel as a meta-system and papers that want to challenge this notion. Proposals from all time periods are welcome. Please submit abstracts of 500-words or less by April 22, 2005 to: Christian Weber and Christine Lehleiter, Department of Germanic Studies, Indiana University, e-mail: [log in to unmask]" >[log in to unmask] or [log in to unmask]" >[log in to unmask] (Please paste your text into the body of the message, rather than using an attachment.)

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