Canadian Comparative Literature Association

Association #38
Canadian Comparative Literature Association (CCLA )
Conference dates: 
Sunday, June 2, 2019 to Tuesday, June 4, 2019
To attend this conference, register for Congress and add CCLA #38 in Section 3 of the registration form.
Registration is required for all conference attendees, including speakers, presenters, panelists, organizers and those chairing or attending a session.
From June 2-5, 2019, As part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the Canadian Comparative Literature Association (CCLA) invites scholars to celebrate its 50th year by developing circles of conversation around issues facing comparative literature into the future. In an article titled "In the Wake of Cultural Studies: Globalization, Theory, and the University" (2001), Tilottama Rajan outlines a genealogy of encyclopedic thought in which she notes the root of the word, enkyklios paideia, denotes a "circle of learning. "Rajan then traces the encyclopedic impulse through the philosophical and literary systems of Romanticism, and into the present-day conditions for knowledge production, which are dominated, according to her, by culturalism. To what extent must the comparative literary training contend with multiple and overlapping circles of knowledge production? Undoubtedly, contemporaneous conditions within the university inspires ever-new versions of totalization, governmentality, rationality, and logic systems, especially considering the mediations that define, if not dominate, our cultural moment: from the circulation of networked (visual) culture, to the infrastructures that govern patterns of information, to the densification of our media ecologies, and so on. In addition to these discussions on the contemporary cultural moment, the circle is an important marker of power as the existence of boundaries, centers and peripheries, exclusions, and forms of inequality. Building on theories of political sovereignty, Giorgio Agamben (1995) writes that the very concept of sovereignty derives from an assertion of one's exceptionality to the rule-of-becoming of maker of circles. Given this, how can the circle be mobilized otherwise as a rhetorical aid in challenging its association with exceptional power and the boundaries that its very existence depends upon? Indeed, circles have aesthetic qualities. Circles become spheres. They unfold dimensions of space, develop concentric formations, and accommodate themselves to immersion, layering, rupture, incompletion. It is through the aesthetic dimension that circles create vectors, establish ties and elicit conversations. Circles enlarge; They bring disparate elements from the outside to the inside, and they engage in a process of enrichment through dialogue. What, then, are the aesthetic and imaginative dimensions of the circle when it comes to practicing comparative literature in this expanded field? Proposals for pre-arranged panels, roundtables, and innovative formats are strongly encouraged. Joint sessions with other organizations are also very welcome. Keynote speaker: Professor David Palumbo-Liu, Hewlett Nixon Professor, and Comparative Literature Professor, Stanford University, and President of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA).
Open events: 
Date & time Event Hosted by Series
Jun 2 -
13:30 - 15:00
Genocide in the 21st Century: The Failures and Promises of Digital Trauma Culture (Keynote Address) Canadian Association of University Teachers of German, Canadian Comparative Literature Association Association events
Jun 3 -
10:30 - 12:00
Ethics Before Comparison Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, Canadian Comparative Literature Association Association events
Call-for-papers deadline: 
December 15, 2018
President's Reception: 
June 2, 2019
Program Chairs: 

Joshua Synenko, Trent University

Local Arrangement Coordinators: 

Mostafa Abedinifard, The University of British Columbia


For more information, contact the association directly. Please note that conference registration fees are separate from the association's membership fees.