We are seeking proposals for chapter-length contributions (7000-8000 words)
to the following proposed collection of essays:

Call for Papers: abstracts July 15 2019, completed essays January 15 2020.

*The Inexhaustible Gathering: Assembly and its Other in German Romantic
Literature, Science, and Society*

The very first page of Kant’s *Critique of Pure Reason* harbors the stakes
and rationale of a collection of essays dealing with the topic of “assembly
and its other” in German romantic literature, science, and society. There,
Kant cautions the remark that “it is quite possible that our empirical
knowledge is an assemblage [*ein Zusammengesetztes*] of that which we
receive through impressions and that which the faculty of cognition
supplies from itself” (Kant, *Critique of Pure Reason*, trans. Meiklejohn,
1). A startling prospect frequently sheltered under the umbrella-term
“Kant’s Copernican Revolution,” the idea that experience has always already
comingled with the subject’s cognitive abilities leaves in its wake an
uneasy mixture of creative exhilaration and what Lukács would call
“transcendental homelessness” (Lukács, *Theory of the Novel*, trans.
Bostock, 41, 61) It is indeed the creative imagination that would be called
upon to straddle the divide between experience and cognition; and since no
praxis, however creative, can be assured of its meaning without a theory to
place it into a dialectic of theory and praxis, aesthetics—the discourse
charged with the task of mediating between sense perception and meaning—is
itself assembled and made to comingle with the artistic production that, in
the wake of Kant, is commonly referred to as “romantic.” The space of
imaginative production opened up by Kant is not, however, limited to a
domain insulated from scientific and social concerns. Indeed, aesthetics,
following Marc Redfield, “has relatively little to do with, for instance,
technical aspects of literary composition, and everything to do with such
large protopolitical matters as the definition of the human, the
possibility of judgment without rule, or the perception of psychic,
natural, social, and cosmic harmony” (*Politics of Aesthetics*, 11-12). We
welcome contributors with the interest of elucidating the establishment,
mapping, and interrogation of this multivalent, and by necessity
interdisciplinary, “harmony.”

 “Assembly and its other” is irreducible to a rigidly dichotomous
relationship. The “other” of assembly is not simply its antonym; it is
rather the principle of disarticulation that must accompany all
attempts—whether artistic, philosophical, social, or scientific—to
construct the porous and provisional discursive and aesthetic objects that
both respond to and reflect an ever more contingent historical horizon. The
inflection points of such (dis)assembly are copious. Whether it is Novalis’
attempt to write a romantic encyclopedia, Friedrich’s Schlegel’s expansive
ideal of universal progressive poetry, the emergence of the novel as an
assemblage of discursive forms, the German appropriation and refashioning
of ancient Greece, the construction and theorization of subjectivity or
psychic life, the inexhaustible nature of such a list betrays the
contingent, arbitrary, and therefore *historical* nature of romantic

In the wake of the International Conference on Romanticism at Clemson
University in 2018, we welcome proposals for papers on any aspect of
"romantic assembly" and/or its other. Please send inquiries and proposals
of 300 words by July 15, 2019 to Robert Mottram ([log in to unmask]) and
Christopher Clason ([log in to unmask]).

Christopher R. Clason, Ph.D.
Professor of German (retired)
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
372 O'Dowd Hall
Oakland University
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4486
[log in to unmask]

"Et si male nunc, non olim sic erit" (Though things are bad now, they will
not always be so).

--- Horace, *Odes*, ii. 10

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