We are organizing a seminar at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association that will meet in Montreal on March 14-17, 2024. This is the second seminar we are hosting with ACLA.
Here is our announcement text:
How do we orient ourselves to texts across time and technological advancements? How do texts orientate us; how do they transform us? How do texts shape the world that we orient ourselves in?
Since the invention of writing, fundamental reorientations of thinking have often occurred hand in hand with innovative forms of writing: Parmenides created didactic poetry of the divine in order to teach his doctrine of true being; Plato the dialogue in order to avoid all doctrines; and Montaigne the essay in order to seek truth via unbiased self-observation. This process of differentiation and innovation has continued up until today, for instance, via Nietzsche’s performances of masks, James Joyce’s experimental thoughtstream, Wittgenstein’s aphoristic album, and Derrida’s deconstruction. Our contemporary world has witnessed an explosion of manifold digital forms of writing, from social media to AI technologies, that have revolutionized how we communicate. New forms of communication can bring about radical reorientations; foundational reorientations often require new forms of writing to communicate them.
In this seminar, we seek to explore, via the concepts of the philosophy of orientation, how different forms of writing orient us in different ways and create different worlds of orientation across time and technological innovations. We welcome all orientation-philosophical explorations of (but not limited to):
- innovations of the forms of writing across time, including digital forms of communication and AI technologies
- how AI-generated texts inform the ways we think, communicate, and interact with each other
- the distinctions and connections between different genres of writing, such as philosophy, literature, digital texts, AI produced texts
- how different forms of writing shape different ways of thinking and orientation
- digital forms of writing
- differences of writing regarding cultures, classes, races, and ethnic groups
- the relationship between literary theories and texts
Find our seminar on the ACLA website here.