CFP: MLA 2009 Proposed Special Session Translating Identity: Early Modern Cultural Studies (3/20/09)

by Jessica C. Murphy

One of the intellectual preoccupations of the early modern world was the construction of identity in all of its disparate forms: religious, racial, sexual, and political. At the same time, however, early modern Europeans were expanding beyond their continental borders on both mercantile and colonial missions. Such forays necessitated the creation of discursive practices that made the “new” and “foreign” knowable and sought to analyze that difference in connection with their own identity concerns. In this proposes special session for the 2009 MLA, we seek papers that explore the
theme of translation in the various contexts identified by MLA President Catherine Porter, which include, but are not limited to “decoding, paraphrase, interpretation, and explanation.” We seek papers that explore early modern attempts at translation as well as modern translations of early modern texts. We are especially interested in papers that examine identity in relation to zones of contact—east and west—and travel, race, religion, and sexuality. Please send a 200 word abstract and C.V. to by March 20, 2009.