This is posted on behalf of Jay Twomey:
Second Comings and Strange Goings (On): Versions of the Messianic
* Seminar Organizer: Jay Twomey, U of Cincinnati, W. David Hall, Centre College
In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples, on the eve of his crucifixion, “if I do not go away, the Paraclete will not come to you” (16:7). This nexus of arrival and departure, of a future coming at the expense of the departing present and its specific pasts, is characteristic of the messianic in a variety of its manifestations — in religious texts, in writers like Nicanor Parra, Gore Vidal, Pier Paolo Pasolini, in theorists like Walter Benjamin and his interlocutors, in theologians like Catherine Keller, in films or television shows like the new Battlestar Galactica, and so on. Taking up the theme of the 2008 American Comparative Literature Association meeting in Long Beach, CA, “Arrivals and Departures,” this panel seeks to engage scholars from across the humanities in a series of discussions on the messianic. What is it? What is it not? How does it work? Where can we find it? And most importantly: is it good for us? Prospective panelists whose work draws upon relevant scholarship in religious studies and/or recent work by theorists such as Giorgio Agamben will be given highest priority. Most ACLA panels function as two- and three-day seminars. We are proposing a three-day panel, for which we will only consider participants who can commit to staying for the duration of the conference (April 24-27, 2008).
Please go to the ACLA conference Web site for information on submitting paper proposals.