Call for Papers: MLA 2020 (Seattle, Washington, 9 to 12 January 2020)

The Samuel Beckett Society seeks panelists engaging with these three different aspects of the question of ‘being human’ in Beckett:

  1. The politics of humanism. Samuel Beckett’s works have inspired scholars to reflect upon the ineffable questions brought on by historical atrocities. His radio commentary, The Capital of the Ruins, culminates in a vision of “humanity in ruins” – a vision of the citizens of Saint Lô who were determined to “go on” despite the devastating bombing they endured. Beckett Studies continues to respond to Beckett’s work in the light of his involvements with the Resistance and the Irish Red Cross, but the field is now beyond both the humanist philosophy characterizing the early reception of Beckett and the more recent post-human turn. What to do with the human in Beckett now?
  2. The human and technology. Many of Beckett’s works incorporate technologies that beat the human down as witnessed by spotlight in Play and camera in Film and Eh Joe. But technology is not simply the enemy in Beckett. How can we rethink ideas of obsolescence, futurity, and mechanisation in relation to the oeuvre?
  3. The human and the non-human. How to rethink in the 21st century the role of the non-human in Beckett? Submissions on the role of the animal, inanimate objects, and nature, but also de-humanising practices in Beckett are welcome under this category.

We aim to assemble a panel that reflects the diversity of the society’s membership, and actively encourage as many candidates from as varied a background as possible to apply.Submit your abstract of no more than 250 words and brief bio to Katherine Weiss (weisk01@etsu.edu) by 15 March 2019.

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Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. He is the author of Beckett's Late Stage (2018), and his work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals. He holds a BA, MA, and a PhD in English Literature. His website RhysTranter.com is a personal journal offering commentary and analysis across literature, film, music, and the arts.

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