Divya Dwivedi, member of the ICLA theory committee, and Jérôme Lèbre, Shaj Mohan, Maël Montévil, and François Warin have organized the conference Jean-Luc Nancy : Anastasis de la pensée / Anastasis of Thinking. The conference is to take place from January 22–24 at Centre Pompidou, the ENS (both in Paris), and online. It will be a three-day celebration of Jean-Luc Nancy with the reading of texts by his friends, films about him, musical performances, and discussions exploring the themes which concerned Nancy throughout his life, including body, touch, world, sense, community, democracy, value, poetry, cinema, the arts, religion, technology, death, and time. Registration is required here.
Robert Stockhammer, Former and Honorary President of the ICLA Theory Committee, authored the book Reisen zwischen Abenteuer und Rasterung: mit James Cook und Herman Melville im Pazifik (Travel between Adventure and Resolution: In the Pacific with James Cook and Herman Melville). Published by Brill, Stockhammer’s book discusses the relation between adventure and resolution, noting that any clear delimitation should be met with doubt, just as Adventure Island and Resolution Island are joined by Doubtfull Island in James Cook’s cartography. Cook’s second voyage around the world (1772–75) and Herman Melville’s anti-Cookian Pacific voyage (1841–44) are approached with the help of texts as different as logbooks and novels.
ICLA theory committee member Alexandre Gefen is the author of L’idée de littérature : de l’art pour l’art aux écritures d’intervention (The Idea of Literature: From Art for Art’s Sake to Writing as Intervention). Published with Èditions Corti, the book argues that literature is an idea rather than anything possessing an essence. The book presents the history of this idea, from the appearance of the word and the birth of the concept in the early nineteenth century to their surprising metamorphoses in our time.
Alexandre Gefen, member of the ICLA theory committee, has co-edited, with Anne Dujin, the July-August 2021 issue of Esprit, titled Politiques de la littérature (The Many Politics of Literature). Organized into three thematic sections, “The Democracy of Letters,” “Literary Engagements,” and “The Question of Forms,” the issue includes articles by Jacques-Yves Bellay, François Bon, Sylvie Bressler, François Crémieux, Nicolas Léger, Michel Murat, Jean-Claude Pinson, Gisèle Sapiro, Felwine Sarr, Alice Zeniter, Cécilia Suzzoni, as well as the editors.
John Zilcosky, Former and Honorary President of the ICLA theory committee, is the author of The Language of Trauma: War and Technology in Hoffmann, Freud, and Kafka. Published by University of Toronto Press, the book makes the case that E.T.A. Hoffmann, Sigmund Freud, and Franz Kafka managed to find the language of trauma by, paradoxically, not attempting to name the trauma conclusively and instead allowing their writing to mimic the experience itself. Just as the victims’ symptoms seemed not to correspond to a physical cause, the writers’ words did not connect directly to the objects of the world. Zilcosky argues that this linguistic skepticism emerged together with the medical inability to name the experience of trauma.
Former member of the ICLA Theory Committee, Joep Leerssen, has edited Parnell and His Times, a collection of essays on the Irish national leader Charles Stewart Parnell (1846–1891). The contributors reassess Parnell’s impact on the Ireland of his time, its cultural, religious, political, and intellectual life, in order to trace his posthumous influence into the early twentieth century in fields such as political activism, memory culture, history-writing, and literature.
Committee member Alexandre Gefen has issued a call for papers for the biennial congress of SELF XX–XXI, the Society for the study of literature in French from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, of which he is the vice president. The congress, entitled “Expériences,” will take place in Paris from June 16–18, 2022. The deadline for abstracts is Sept. 1 , 2021; abstracts of 3,000–5,000 characters should be sent along with brief bioblurbs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendance fee is €50 for academics and €30 for students.
The work of Committee member Divya Dwivedi and her co-author Shaj Mohan has been featured in a recent special issue of Episteme dedicated to their book Gandhi and Philosophy: On Theological Anti-Politics. Guest-edited by Kamran Baradaran, the issue includes contributions by Robert Bernasconi, Farid Ghadami, Reghu Janardhana, Marguerite La Caze, Ivana Perica, Daniel J. Smith, and Benedetta Todaro, as well as a conversation between Rachel Adams and Shaj Mohan.
The AILC/ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory is proud to share the final program of its annual workshop for 2021, which will take place on 17–19 June on Zoom under the title “Theorizing Chance.” The workshop will be hosted by the University of Paris 3 and the ALEA network and chaired by Anne Duprat and Alexandre Gefen. Please email Sébastien Wit at sebastien.wit[at]u-picardie.fr to obtain the Zoom link for the event.