CFP (MLA ’16): Literary and Scientific Networks

I’ve just posted a call for papers for an MLA 2016 special session on “Literary and Scientific Networks,” in which I propose a discussion of:

How learned societies, coteries, school systems, or other networks (in any period) create interdisciplinary links; methods for researching/modeling a networked approach to literary history/disciplinary history. 300 word abstract by 15 March 2015; John Savarese (

My own research is currently turning to some connections of those sorts: specifically the overlap between learned networks that attended to local history, popular culture and ballads, and brain science. While that work is rooted in a long Romantic period, I’m hoping for a methodologically-focused conversation between scholars working in various periods, national traditions, and methodologies. I could imagine a compelling conversation about specific historical moments, poetic collaborations, learned societies, university systems, Dissenting academies, publishing houses, etc., alongside considerations like the way such studies engage “close” and “distant” reading, network theory/ANT, network modeling and visualization, databasing, etc. If you’re making plans for next year in Austin, please do consider submitting a proposal.