Options for Teaching Emotions in World Literature – CFP

Voici que nous transmettons ici un appel à articles :

Andreea Marculescu (Oklahoma) and myself (Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier, Vermont) are preparing an MLA volume on « Options for Teaching Emotions in World Literature. » We are interested in any language, any approach. 350–400-word abstract and a short biography (100–150 words) due by 15 April 2020 to both Andreea Marculescu (andreea.marculescu@ou.edu) and Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier (cmorandm@uvm.eduPlease share it with your friends and colleagues! The call for papers is attached (https://www.mla.org/Publications/MLA-Book-Publications/Contribute-to-a-Book-in-Development/Emotions-in-World-Literature)

Emotions in World Literature
Long limited to the social sciences, the study of emotions has gradually picked up in the humanities and in literary studies. A good instance of this focus is the special topic issue of PMLA entitled Emotions. Moreover, numerous panels devoted to emotion studies have become increasingly visible in major conferences, including the MLA convention.

Literature, film, media, and languages play a crucial role in the dissemination and representation of emotions. The depiction of emotions cannot be dissociated from the cultural grammars and narrative frameworks disseminated by cultural works. The emotion known as love, for instance, presents the advantage of being a concept that is largely understood throughout languages, cultures, and centuries, as everybody can approximate its meaning. Its interpretation and representation, however, vary widely across culture and centuries and offer various multilayered narratives that can be the loci of scholarly focus. Love in an eighteenth-century romance, in a twentieth-century Urdu tragedy, or from the point of view of an ASL practitioner may carry the same input yet would not share the same emotional charge. Indeed, emotions cannot be separated from social, historical, cultural, and linguistic practices. How an emotion is performed at a linguistic and cultural level is contingent upon a network of societal conventions that allow for individual and collective modes of adherence or, on the contrary, contestation of such norms.

Although it can be argued that the study of emotions in cultural works can be traced back to antiquity (for instance, the works of Aristotle), recent pathbreaking theorizations of emotions by historians and cultural critics enable us to conceptualize emotion studies as a distinctive field of knowledge. Historians such as Barbara Rosenwein and William Reddy have referred to emotions as speech acts that follow particular social scripts and translate personal or group reactions to a wide range of external stimuli. Therefore, emotions are real identity makers that allow divergent socioeconomic categories to perform their identity by belonging to what Rosenwein calls “emotional communities.” Literary historians, in turn, complicated this model while retaining the idea that emotions are performed through social scripts. The latter, as Sarah McNamer has recently pointed out, lead to a “performance of feelings.” At the core of this performance is the existence of what McNamer calls an “affective stylistics,” a set of formal textual features that generate a certain range of emotions in the audience. Cultural theorists such as Sianne Ngai and Sara Ahmed have linked emotions to everyday modes of production, circulation, and consumption. Emotions, underscores Ahmed, are circumscribed on the surface of the bodies, and they “stick,” They circulate between the bodies and, thus, produce subjectivities that disrupt or reconfigure a certain status quo. Moreover, as Ngai underlines, such circulation of emotions is symptomatic of social dynamics and of modes of personal and collective forms of vulnerability and agency.  

Building on the signposts of scholarship on emotions mentioned above, this volume invites contributions that look at emotions in their literariness, as identity makers, or as embedded in different affective circuits of productions and consumption. Because emotions are experienced corporeally and performed culturally, their study allows bridging traditionally disparate fields and domains of study ranging from neurosciences and social sciences to the humanities. Moreover, the ingrained interdisciplinarity of emotion studies calls for approaches than can make teaching and research accessible to an audience that might not have been otherwise aware of how their own pedagogic and scholarly interests could properly be housed in traditional humanistic disciplines. As of late, diverse fields such as natural sciences, business, and engineering have become places that have welcomed new fields of studies for the humanities and, particularly, languages, where disciplines like professional languages have garnered a diversity of approaches.

Such heuristic flexibility makes emotion studies potent pedagogic tools adaptable to a curriculum that must be academically rigorous and, at the same time, ethically compatible to the needs of a diverse student population. The aim of this volume is, therefore, to translate the theoretical and interdisciplinary perspectives enumerated above to the space of an inclusive classroom.

We invite papers that engage one or several of the suggested approaches:

• Different emotional vocabularies that lead to the formation of “emotional communities” in an upper-division literature class, for instance, as opposed to an instructional class in the target language or a composition class designed for first-year students.
• Possible pedagogical techniques and sources that allow students to identify and analyze a certain “affective stylistics” embedded in a canonic or lesser-known text.
• Sources that expose students to transhistorical and diachronic definitions of emotions: from the Stoic passio and Christian affectus to modern emotions.
• Case studies of analyzing particular emotions or emotional conglomerates (hate, fear, joy, compassion, happiness, etc.) in lower- and upper-division and graduate classes taught in English or the target language.
• Types of methodological approaches in the study of emotions and modalities of tackling them in different types of classes ranging from graduate seminars and upper-division classes in the field of literary, visual, or media studies to TESOL and second language acquisition and expository writing classes.
• Emotional lexicons that allow students and instructors from diverse socioeconomic, sexual, and racial backgrounds to articulate certain identity questions and to influence the teaching of particular emotional practices. How can the study of emotions help students gain a sense of community? How can these activities develop a stronger bond between students and faculty members and their environment and type of institutional affiliation?
• Emotional scripts in nonwritten languages such as ASL.
• Presentation of interdisciplinary projects and digital archives for the study of emotions. 

Please submit a 350–400-word abstract and a short biography (100–150 words) to both Andreea Marculescu (andreea.marculescu@ou.edu) and Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier (cmorandm@uvm.edu) by 15 April 2020.
Thank you for sharing!