Thursday, June 11, 2015

CFP: Lost Libraries and Imagined Archives

The conference will be held 9-11 October at the University of Toronto. Here's a link to the conference CFP:
And here's the info on the session on LOST LIBRARIES AND IMAGINED ARCHIVES
Organizer: Lisa Weston (California State University, Fresno)

Proposals to:

Books that do not exist — some that may have existed once and others that may never existed at all, but might or should have — can intrigue and seduce as much as those that do. So what of the libraries that might have held such treasures? What was lost in the cinders of Alexandria? What unrecorded tablets, scrolls, and manuscripts have been lost to natural disaster, to war, to collapse of civilization, to religious or political extremism? Some libraries, like that of Herculaneum’s Vesuvius-scorched scrolls, may one day be recovered. What libraries might be conjured from among the as yet unreadable texts of Mohenjo-Daro? Or undeciphered Linear A or Cretan hieroglyphic texts? Are there other archives, as yet un-catalogued or even un-excavated, that might even now be perishing? What of those we can only imagine? What if it were possible to recover the lost “literatures” of a Cahokia or Skara Brae? And then there are those libraries and archives that exist not in physical reality but only in the popular imagination, like the Miskatonic University Library’s unspeakable (and yet frequently spoken of) collection of forbidden texts. What is the connection between what we commemorate/mourn as lost and what we imagine — in desire or fear — might be or have been?

This session welcomes presentations/performances that seek to invoke the phantoms of such libraries, whether fully lost or still to be sought through scholarship and/or the imagination, engaging them in the form of short academic presentations, fictions, poetry, and/or other visual or aural formats. While focusing—as discussion of things lost will tend to do — on the past, it is to be hoped that this engagement will also to some measure address the perils of the present and future: the dangers of cultural conflict and censorship, the failure of institutional or corporate support, the fragility of e-texts and their personal and public repositories.

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