Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts national meeting to be held at Eckerd

October 8, 2014

Eckerd College will host the national conference of the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts this weekend, Oct. 10-12, featuring more than 30 panel discussions on the theme of nuance.

About 120 scholars from across the country are expected to attend the 40th Annual Meeting of the SCLA, along with two scholars from Brazil, one from Slovenia, and another from Australia. Their areas of expertise include English and foreign literatures, film studies, classics and media studies. Three Eckerd faculty will be among those presenting their research: Christina Petersen, assistant professor of film studies; Jing Shen, professor of Chinese language and literature; and Daniel Spoth, professor of literature.

The conference is organized by Jared Stark, Ph.D., associate professor of literature and comparative literature; and David Eubanks, Ph.D., associate dean of faculty for institutional research and assessment.

A highlight of the conference will be a keynote address by Wayne Koestenbaum, distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and prolific author, including My 1980s & Other Essays, Humiliation, The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire and other works. He speaks Saturday at 5:30 in Fox Hall.

Koestenbaum has examined nuance in literature and suggested that it appears as “a trace, like dust on plush, [that] resuscitates a lost instant when someone…raptly concentrated on a stray interpretive detail.” The conference will examine questions surrounding nuance in literature, including the question of how attention to nuance might allow us to appreciate aspects of our world and our experience that are often overlooked, suppressed, or marginalized.

Presentations will focus on a wide range of topics, from Chinese aesthetics to the ethics of Breaking Bad. The conference will also feature research presentations by several undergraduate students presentations, including one by Eckerd student Luke McKinnon ’15 on the Caribbean novelist George Lamming.

“It is an honor to host this conference and to welcome so many comparative literature scholars to Eckerd College,” said Stark. “We are particularly excited to host Wayne Koestenbaum, a poet, critic and scholar of the first order.”

More details, including the program, is available here.

Conference participants will be able to view “Hidden Treasures and Recent Acquisitions II,” selected works from the Eckerd permanent art collection, at Cobb Gallery, which will have special hours on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.