Ritual and Representation in East Asian Literature
We are inviting proposals for papers featuring ritual as a theme or structuring device in East Asian (including diasporic) literature in relation to belief, kinship, and/or community. This will be a collaborative session between the TC Anthropology and Literature and TC Religion and Literature Forums of the MLA. The parameters for the session are being drawn as widely as possible, but ideally papers should engage anthropological theory in some way. Ritual can be thought of as sacred or non-sacred language and practice. Papers could, for example, examine works in which religious practice is foregrounded in the narrative. They could look at major religions or systems of belief in East Asia, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, Shinto, Shamanism, Islam, or more recent additions such as Christianity. Connecting with (an)other belief system(s) is fine too. On the other hand, papers could cover secular subject matter as long as they engage the theme of ritual in some substantive way. Papers should focus on one or more of the three major East Asian languages: Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Comparative papers that bring together readings of works in more than one East Asian language are also acceptable. As long as the primary sphere is on works in one of these languages, there is no geographical restriction. Papers either in whole or part on writers in the diaspora or whose work is set in the diaspora are welcome. The Presidential Theme for MLA 2022 is “Multilingualism US,” understood broadly. We are especially interested in papers that will fit well within a session proposal that engages with the Presidential Theme. There is no restriction as to historical epoch or literary era, and papers may center on a particular work or works in one era, premodern or modern, or they may be more thematic and diachronic in approach. Please send titles and abstracts of a minimum 300 words to Christopher Lupke <firstname.lastname@example.org> by 7 March 2021 along with a biography of a similar length. The biography should describe how your work, current and previous, as well as your academic experience and plans suit this topic. A committee comprising representatives from the two Forums and from East Asian literature will begin reviewing proposals on 7 March, in a spirit that supports the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of this session.
Christopher Lupke, Ph. D. 陸敬思
Professor and Chair, Department of East Asian Studies
University of Alberta