[Marxism] mlg-ics : MLA - The Romanticism of a Return to Communism

george snedekerg snedekerg at verizon.net
Thu Feb 7 15:21:52 MST 2013

Call for Papers:
The Romanticism of a Return to Communism Proposed Panel for 2014 MLA Conference (January 9-12) Submission Deadline: March 15, 2013 “Romanticism” and “Marxism” are terms that are usually combined only when a critique is leveled against Marx’s “pre-scientific” thought, in order to privilege the writing that comes after his early humanism and utopian delusions. Within Romantic criticism proper, the little work that suggests anything like an affinity between Marx and the Romantic writers ends up affirming historical materialism only to value a work of art by its resistance to commodification or its depiction of class-consciousness. But is there a relation to be thought between these two worldviews that is more than a negative valuation? That is, is there a way to think Marx’s philosophy and Romantic aesthetics beyond a critique of industrialization and commodification, humanism and speciesm, and the general tragedy of capitalism’s effects in order to locate a new horizon of radical poetics? Is it possible to say that conditions like the unparalleled dualism of ecological and economic catastrophes and the sharp rise in the affective, immaterial status of social relations suggests a productive convergence between the Romantic’s and Marx’s thought? It could be said that the “return” of Marx’s thought in the form of recent theories of communism has already provoked this possibility by recuperating certain terms, such as love, immanence, subjectivity, community, and plenitude, that hint at a decidedly Romantic genealogy. As if gesturing towards this affiliation in the late 1990s, the editors of Marxism Beyond Marxism began their introduction of that text, which challenged the “end of communism” at a decisive moment, by quoting William Blake’s Jerusalem as their sole epigram. This panel takes their gesture as a starting point by which to ask how we might begin to reformulate the relation between Marx and Romanticism, particularly by considering recent, non-economist philosophies of communism, “being-in-common,” and the commons. It makes what Derrida called, in his own reflections on Marx, a “spectral injunction,” one that provokes an errant inheritance shared between disparate modes of thought. In following this “disjointed” approach, it seeks to move beyond the limits of existing Marxist criticism and towards the production, rather than the recovery or possession, of a relation in common. 250-300 word abstracts should be submitted to Lenora Hanson (lahanson3 at gmail.com) by March 15. Please include your name, institution affiliation, and research interests. We would welcome presentations addressing, but not limited to, the following topics: --Economic and credit crises during the Romantic period --Concepts of the commons, common land, commonality in Romanticism and Marxism --The intellectual history of Romantic criticism --Conflict between deconstruction and Marxism in Romantic criticism --Deconstruction and the figural politics of Romanticism --Shelley and Socialism --Blake and the multitude --Gift economies and the nineteenth century --Liberalism and radicalism in the nineteenth century --Zizek and “impossible” politics --Romantic politics and its limit-form --Becoming “common” of capital --Female romantics, domestic poetry, and unpaid labor --Affective and immaterial dimensions of Romantic poetics --The “politics of aesthetics” and Marxist critique

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