CFP: Archimedean Points / Positions of Self and Limits of Theory in Modernity

American Comparative Literature Association
Toronto, April 4th ? 7th, 2013

Archimedes said ? so the legend goes ? that a firm resting place was  
all he needed to dislodge the world from its axes. As much as this  
assertion is based upon mechanical law, it also questions the  
conditions of such an ideal position or theoretical perspective in the  
first place. Over time, the Archimedean point has come to stand for  
the seemingly paradoxical situation of acting both within and  
extraneously to a given context. Copernicus? ?displacement? of the  
earth in favor of a heliocentric system is just one well-known  
example. After the Renaissance, literary, philosophical, political and  
scientific thinking has conjured the Archimedean point both naively  
and with skepticism, but always at those moments when a subject seems  
poised to claim an ideal theoretical standpoint. Under what conditions  
do we see such thinkers as Descartes, the German and British  
Romantics, and, in the twentieth century, Arendt, Blumenberg, Luhmann,  
and Latour, summoning the figure of Archimedes and the Archimedean  
point? To what degree does this point have a cultural and political  
history? Or, more generally, under what conditions do we see theories,  
figures and observations of ?the whole? called into question?

This panel invites a wide range of submissions. Papers which take up  
the problem of the Archimedean point or the figure of Archimedes  
directly are welcome, as are those which deal with any related issue  
(such as themes of observation, system-building, self-implication,  
figures of the whole, and the limits of theoretical and practical  
?advantage,? to name just a few).

Seminar organizer: Jocelyn Holland (Associate Professor, German and  
Comparative Literature, UC Santa Barbara)
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ACLA seminars are organized in workshop formats where groups of  
approximately six ? twelve people convene each day. Participants  
should plan to attend each seminar meeting.

You can submit a paper proposal directly to the ACLA website (paper  
proposals may be submitted via the website

The deadline for paper submissions to the ACLA website is November 1st.

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