Thursday, July 16, 2015

Theory in Love: International Comparative Literature Association, 2016

Organisers: Brendon Wocke (Université de Perpignan), Francesca Manzari (Université d’Aix-Marseille), Apostolos Lampropoulos (Université de Bordeaux III)
International Comparative Literature Association
XXIst Congress: “The Many Languages of Comparative Literature” July 21 – July 27, 2016,
University of Vienna, Austria

This panel concerns theory speaking in terms of love, seeking to establish the relationship between “l’amour” and theory.
In The Politics of Friendship Derrida reflects on the question of the indecidable possibility, the “peut-être,” of love, of friendship, and of desire: “‘Je t'aime entends- tu?’; cette déclaration d'aimance hyperbolique ne pourrait donner sa chance à une politique de l'amitié que soumise à l'épreuve du peut-être, de l'indécidable” How then can we express a refusal, a no, without listening, without hearing? How can one express the divergent and differential possibilities opened by this phrase? And yet Derrida already has, in Envois, where he explores, theorizes and dramatizes a love affair, tracing the course of its refusal in the various postcards and letters which remain unsent, forever awaiting their destination.
What Derrida performs in Envois is effectively echoed by Lacan who, in Seminar XX, says: “people have done nothing but speak of love in analytic discourse. [...] What analytic discourse contributes - and perhaps that is, after all, the reason for its emergence at a certain point in scientific discourse - is that to speak of love is in itself a jouissance.”
If, as Lacan says, the troubadours understood that love is nothing other than form, we could perhaps establish a relationship between love’s discourse and theoretical discourse as bridging the gap between philosophy and literature.
Does love function as a theoretical paradigm? Or should we think of theory as an act of love? Or even as born out of love? Can one think of a polyamorous theory? And what would such a theory consist of, in the writhing phrases which intertwine like the honeysuckle of Tristan and Iseult.
We welcome contributions on the subject of love and its relation to theoretical writing.
Please submit your abstract online by August 31, 2015 via the conference website
You will need to create an account with the website and enter the seminar number 17327 into the “topic” field on the “add abstract” screen. The participants will be informed of their inclusion no later than December 31, 2015.
For further information contact 
Papers in either English or French will be accepted. 

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