Inarticulacy: An Interdisciplinary Early Modern Conference
Inarticulacy: An Interdisciplinary Early Modern Conference University of California, Berkeley November 12 - 13, 2011
When Cordelia responds to Lear with “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave/My heart into my mouth” she both does and does not follow her own resolution to “Love, and be silent.” Like Hamlet before her, Cordelia has “that within which passeth show,” however, as a character on the stage, she is bound by literary convention to speak. Yet broader conventions, perhaps even necessity, compel human expression to manifest in human voice. As some philosophers have argued, to see and to be seen is not the only activity that provides the objective reality to subjective experience, but also to hear and to be heard. But what happens when words do not seem to suffice? And how can a scholarship dependent on reconstructed 'presence' interpret such absences, silences, and imprecisions in literary texts, the historical record, and visual media?
This conference concerns such moments at the intersection of speech, silence, and wordless expression, inviting papers of eight to ten pages (approximately 2,000 words) on the topic of inarticulacy in the Early Modern period. Aspects to consider include:
Gaps and silences in written records The visual arts
Translation and its attendant anxieties Material historicism Reading or staging silence The role of material objects or landscape Religious writing and the limits of human knowledge Incorporating others’ words (intertextuality) Ekphrasis Quantification and taxonomy Stage history Protestant logocentrism and its discontents The inexpressibility topos Representations of grief and trauma Censorship and surveillance Unfinished works
Please submit paper titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words toBerkeleyEarlyModern@gmail.com by September 1, 2011. If you have any questions feel free to contact the conference organizers at the same address. We’ll look forward to reading your submissions!
Stephanie Bahr Rebecca Munson Stephanie Moore Trudy Obi Jane Raisch Jason Rozumalski