CFP: “Poe and Feeling”
A Conference Panel and Special Feature for Poe Studies: History, Theory, Interpretation
Deadline: 30 September 2018
According to poet Frances Osgood, her friend Edgar Allan Poe finds his best voice in genres hospitable to the warmth of human intercourse: “It was in his conversations and his letters, far more than in his published poetry and prose writings, that the genius of Poe was most gloriously revealed” (xxxviii). For Poe’s literary executor R. W. Griswold, in sharp contrast, the author is a brilliant, half-mad misanthrope akin to his darkest characters. Setting aesthetics and feeling uneasily at odds, Griswold writes in a famously savage memoir: “[Poe’s] poems are constructed with wonderful ingenuity, and finished with consummate art. . . . But they evince little genuine feeling, and less of that spontaneous ecstacy which gives its freedom, smoothness and naturalness to immortal verse.” These two Poes resist reconciliation—and feeling in Poe often does push toward extremities—but recent literary criticism and biography have significantly unflattened our views of the artist’s sociability and moved beyond it to explore affect in other registers.
Inspired by the sense that there is much more to say on this subject, the coeditors of Poe Studies invite proposals for a 2019 conference session and special journal feature concerned with Poe and feeling, broadly construed. We welcome a range of approaches and methodologies: literary critical, biographical, generic, archival, and/or interdisciplinary, whether propelled by recent developments in both soft and hard sciences (psychology, sociology, cognitive science, neuroscience); by under-utilized branches of affect studies; or by new turns on such familiar topics as sensation, sentimentality, ratiocination, gothicism, and material culture.
Reversing the usual sequence, full-length papers will be due first in order to allow time for editorial preparation of the 2019 special feature. Shorter presentations for a proposed session at the American Literature Association in May 2019 (Boston) will be drawn from these papers.
Deadline for submission of abstracts (500 to 800 words): 30 September 2018. We will inform submitters of our selections by 15 October.
Projected deadline for well-developed drafts of full-length essays (6,000-8,000 words), which will be sent out for constructive peer review: 1 February 2019.