Please see the CFP, below, for a session at the 2008 MLA in San Francisco sponsored by the Division on Literature and Science. Abstracts for 20-minute papers or 10-minute roundtable statements welcome by March 25th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond Representation: New Work in Literature and Science
To what degree is the notion of "representation" inadequate to describe problems of form, interpretation, information, communication, system, etc. encountered in science studies? At a moment when much literary criticism remains stuck in an implicitly linguistic or textualist paradigm and when emergent fields such as Visual Studies, Performance Studies, or New Media are all, in different ways, evolving in response to the limitations of traditional notions of representation, can we find in scientific practice resources for thinking "beyond representation"? What do we really do when we "close read" and what is the analogue or the equivalent operation in a laboratory, where information-rich materials are "handled," translated, or given form according to a variety of techniques, where the relationship between evidence and argument is often very open-ended and provisional, where the problem of "meaning" or of "artifice" and even "fiction" arises in provocative ways?