Calls for Papers for the Joseph Conrad Society of America Panels
at MLA 2024, Philadelphia 4-7 January 2024
Splendid Difficulty: Teaching Conrad
Conrad's works feature linguistic sophistication, narrative complexity, psychological nuance, subtle irony, political contestation, and historical challenge. While some might seek to avoid difficulty, this panel instead embraces difficulty and considers how precisely the most challenging aspects of Conrad's art can empower students and cultivate subtlety, humanistic and historical breadth, and even humility. This panel invites papers that consider how the multivalent difficulty of Conrad’s works — syntactic, psychological, political, or aesthetic — offers pedagogical opportunity. Comparative approaches are welcome.
Send 250-word proposals to Debra Romanick Baldwin firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2023.
Melville, Conrad, and Life
Both Melville and Conrad appeal to the concept of life allied with their artistic activities. Moby Dick is pervaded by appeals to the appeal to life, as in the description of a whale skeleton become a chapel: "Life folded Death; Death trellised Life; the grim god wived with youthful Life, and begat him curly-headed glories." Conrad, too describes the action of art in fruitful tension with the kinetics of life, as when in his 1897 preface, he connects art with seizing a fragment "from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life." But how exactly do these writers understand and see their relation to "life" -- vegetative, human, physical, spiritual, ethical? This panel invites papers that consider metaphysical, aesthetic, ethical, linguistic, biological, or cultural approaches to the concept of life, including its potential tragi-comic polarities, in Melville and/or Conrad. How do these authors use the concept to challenge ethical or cultural assumptions, or to innovate and animate their own art?
Send 250 word proposals to Mark Deggan email@example.com & Meredith Farmer firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2023.