Call for Papers:
GSA Conference, October 8-11, 2009, Washington D.C.

Graphs? Maps? Trees? New Directions in the Sociology of Literature

Does literary sociology have a future? This panel invites contributions
that investigate recent trends in sociological research and their
relevance for the study of literature. Topics that might be addressed
include the continuing evolution of systems theory, new developments in
complexity theory, the application of Latour’s actor-network theory to
literary studies, and the quantitative macro-analyses of Franco Moretti.
To what extent can these approaches open up new avenues of inquiry, new
possibilities for collaborative research, and even new ways of thinking
about how we present our findings (say, in the form of graphs, maps, or
trees)? I am particularly eager to receive proposals that engage with the
work of Moretti, whose interest in macro-patterns and “distant reading”
has the potential to move us beyond our still overwhelmingly author- and
work-centered analyses even as it challenges some of our most basic
assumptions about teaching and research in the humanities.

While the panel is conceived as a forum for methodological reflection, I
also welcome proposals for papers that incorporate recent sociological
theories into the analysis of specific literary texts, genres, periods, or
institutions. Papers that address sociological approaches from a skeptical
perspective are also encouraged.

1-page abstract by 1 February to Matt Erlin ([log in to unmask])

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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