[Msa-discuss] CFP: Poetry and Forgiveness Seminar at ACLA 2016 (Thomas Berenato)

Thomas Berenato tab3cz at virginia.edu
Tue Sep 8 13:24:50 EDT 2015

Please consider proposing a paper to the ACLA 2016 seminar on poetry and

See details below and at http://www.acla.org/seminar/poetry-and-forgiveness.

*Seminar:* Poetry and Forgiveness

Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association

Harvard U., Cambridge, MA, 17-20 March, 2016

Abstracts due September 23, midnight PST; submit through the ACLA online
portal: http://www.acla.org/node/add/paper.

Organizer: Thomas Berenato, University of Virginia (tab3cz at virginia.edu)

Co-Organizer: Kathleen Henderson Staudt, Wesley Theological Seminary and
Virginia Theological Seminary

Co-Organizer: Paul Robichaud, Albertus Magnus College

W. H. Auden: “Every beautiful poem presents an analogy to the forgiveness
of sins.” Geoffrey Hill: “the technical perfecting of a poem is an act of
atonement, in the radical etymological sense—an act of at-one-ment, a
setting at one, a bringing into concord, a reconciling, a uniting in
harmony.” Seamus Heaney: “poetic imagination seeks to redress whatever is
wrong or exacerbating in the prevailing conditions.”

Modern and post-modern poetics have long struggled to define the
relationship of poetry to ethically challenging situations and actions,
often framing this relationship in terms of religion, theology, politics,
or the broader humanist tradition. This panel seeks to renew and refine the
discussion. In what sense can we speak of art in terms of “forgiveness”
today? Why does Auden raise the specter of forgiveness only to resort to
its “analogy”?  Is it more appropriate to talk instead, as some do, of
“reconciliation,” “atonement,” “redress,” “pardon”? And while we’re at it,
how about the poem as “retribution”—or “redemption”?

We welcome abstracts on poetry and poetics of any period and language.
Modern thinkers we might bring to bear on the conversation include:
Nietzsche, Benjamin, Adorno, Arendt, Heidegger, Ricoeur, Jankélévitch,
Améry, Derrida, Wolterstorff, Nussbaum, Volf.
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