EVENT Mar 07
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Insignificant Notations: Thinking Surplus with the New York School (NeMLA)

Boston, MA
Organization: NeMLA
Event: NeMLA
Categories: American, Genre & Form, Literary Theory, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-10 Abstract Due: 2023-09-30

This panel invites papers that theorize the surplus of a literary object as something accidentally produced by that object. What is the substance and effect of this surplus? How is surplus figured in poetry, especially in poetics in or working in relation to the New York School? Following Stephen Best's assertion that "beauty is a force of erasure," papers might contribute theories of beauty in or as surplus. If art implies a frame but beauty can also erase that frame, papers might theorize framing in poetry and consider poetics that both constitute and move to exceed a frame. What else might constitute or figure surplus in poetry? Do New York School poetics figure a surplus of discourse or perhaps of thought? Does the doubling and tripling of Ashbery's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror create a surplus of meaning? Is there a surplus of subjectivity in Ashbery's ekphrasis? Papers might take up Roland Barthes' discussion of "insignificant notations," description, meaning, and reality in his essay "The Reality Effect" and consider this essay on narrative and aesthetic theory in contexts of mid-Century politics and poetry. Papers may also but are not required to draw terms from Barthes' punctum, Derrida's parergon, Steven Best's "epiphanic shimmer," or Rei Terada's "phenomenophilia." Papers on literary objects beyond the New York School, as well as theoretical papers, are welcome.



Katherine Preston