I really, really don’t want to talk about genre, because I always really want to, and nerd-whines are boring. But a detente between litfic and its others is real. It’s a cliché to point out that generic tropes are infecting the mainstream, with a piling-up of various apocalypses by those guilty of literature. But on the other side, say, an extensive interview with Yinka Tutuola, son of the legendary Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola, about his father’s work, is online not at any traditional outlet of the literati but at Weird Fiction Review, a fabulous site that emerges, with brilliance and polymath gusto, out of genre traditions.
(I actually found the opposite, namely that I had expected a lot of those works and left disappointed. But that was more about expectations, and Yusuff makes a great case.)
The Sixth Annual Comparative Literature Graduate Conference Binghamton University (SUNY)
Literature, Politics, and Aesthetics: The Production of Knowledge and the Future of the University
March 8th-9th, 2013
Keynote: Dr. Alberto Moreiras
Neoliberal policies have restructured the university, disciplinary
knowledge, and the disciplines themselves. With the formation of the
‘for-profit’ university, profit-bearing disciplines are valorized,
student loans increase drastically, and humanities departments are
pressured to redefine themselves in the face of intrusive economic
demands. But where does this leave the humanities? What is the status
of knowledge production given economic deregulation and privatization
shaping the present and future of the university?
These transformations have manifested in the dissolution and
elimination of departments in the humanities, and thereby the loss of
certain types of knowledge from the university. Perhaps because, or in
spite of, these very same processes, spaces for new knowledges open
up. For instance, humanities centers are formed to house conversations
between traditional disciplines as interdisciplinary programs are
dissolved. These transformations refer to but also move beyond
questions as they appear in Jacques Derrida’s “The University Without
Condition,” Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s Death of a Discipline, or
Edu-factory’s Toward a Global Autonomous University.
We seek papers that address the following questions:
What trends and approaches exist in literary criticism today? Are
they connected to the broader restructurings mentioned? If so, how?
For instance, how do feminist, postcolonial, queer, and other
approaches to literature address questions concerning the production
What political problems do neoliberal policies pose at the university
level, the disciplinary level, and beyond the university?
How do we define research today within comparative literature,
language departments, visual studies, media studies, cultural studies,
and other interdisciplinary programs? What methods and theories can
legitimately be used within the disciplinary purview of today’s
What does this mean for disciplinary boundaries themselves?
Ultimately, is literary criticism still relevant to knowledge
production within the university? How does the analysis of a specific
literary movement, period, or narrative reflect these broader
Please send your 300-500 word abstract to Isabella To at
firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31st, 2013.
This could spell some trouble for many philosophy departments, which rely on pre-law majors to keep afloat upper-level courses:
Now comes word that applications in this admissions cycle appear to be in something like free fall. As of December 7th, they are down 24.6% from the same time last year, while the total number of applicants has declined by 22.4% year over year.
Via the NYT: The circle of debt goes round and round: Universities borrow money to attract students who themselves go into debt to borrow more for the university’s construction bill: Colleges’ Debt Falls on Students After Construction Binges – NYTimes.com.