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Analogical Modernism (MSA 14)

Analogy has a long history as a figure of rhetoric and logic. In his 1951 essay, "Effects of Analogy," Wallace Stevens makes this figure central to poetics, writing, "Poetry is incredibly one of the effects of analogy." This term, in Steven's understanding, encompasses various procedures of saying the same thing another way such that the restatement illustrates and gives definition to the thing stated. Poetry is a kind of rhetoric in which "the feeling of one man is communicated to another in words of the exquisite appositeness that takes away all their verbality."

This panel invites papers (on poetry, novels, philosophy, visual arts) that consider the ways in which modernism mobilizes analogical resources (including simile, metaphor, and example), for instance, as a way of making available certain kinds of experiences (not least of which includes, as Stevens suggests, feeling). A key operation of analogy is the creation of images, through which emotion is communicated. How does the image function in modernist texts? How are emotions or feelings pictured?

Analogy can draw illuminating parallels between disparate phenomena, as well as imagine states of affairs that do not exist. Is there an ethical dimension to be located in analogy (broadly construed) as a means by which aesthetics stages possibility? What does it mean to think one thing as another? What is at at stake in the formulation "as if"?

Topics may include but are by no means limited to:

- The modernist recuperation of ancient rhetorical figures, such as the epic or Homeric simile
- Analogy as a term in logic
- The relation of logic to literature
- The epistemological uses of metaphors and models (as theorized, for instance, by Paul Ricoeur)
- Image-making in verbal arts and visual arts
- The logic of the exemplification and exemplarity
- Wittgenstein and seeing aspects

Please send abstracts of 300 words as well as a brief scholarly bio by April 1, 2012 to

Conference Location: Las Vegas, USA
Conference Starts: October 18, 2012
Conference Ends: October 21, 2012

CFP Submission Deadline: April 01, 2012

For more information, contact: Dora Zhang

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