CFP: “Exquisite Shame”: Ethics and Affects in Alice Munro (Deadline: Oct. 31, 2015)

“Exquisite Shame”: Ethics and Affects in Alice Munro

A Collection of Essays Edited by

Amelia DeFalco and Lorraine York

McMaster University

Hamilton, ON Canada

In 2013 Alice Munro became the first Canadian author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Munro’s win makes this the ideal time to return to and update the study of her work, in particular to probe the literary and philosophical richness of her work in the light of recent theoretical developments such as the “affective turn,” and the “turn to ethics” in cultural studies. Earlier Munro scholarship focused on the role of gender in her fiction (Ailsa Cox, Coral Ann Howells, Beverly Rasporich, Magdalene Redekop), as well as on her cunning narrative style, her deft use of metanarrative, her thematic and stylistic deployment of tricks, jokes, and play (Ajay Heble), along with her transformation of the ordinary and the everyday (James Carscallen, W.R. Martin). We invite new essays that seek to expand this discussion of Munro’s work to consider the powerful implications of the representation of embodied ethics and affects throughout her oeuvre.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to, the ethical and/or affective aspects of:

  • Illness and disability
  • Death
  • Maternity
  • Sex & Gender
  • Animals
  • Touch/haptic intimacy
  • Trauma & witnessing
  • Care
  • Gender
  • Violence
  • Vulnerability & responsibility
  • Commitment & Transgression: infidelity, abandonment
  • Gifts
  • Forgiveness
  • Shame, humiliation & guilt
  • Scandal
  • Disgust
  • Anger & resentment
  • Reluctance & refusal
  • Love & care
  • the so-called “negative” affects associated with marginalized populations, particularly shame, humiliation, and disgust
  • the exploration of such affects in relation to issues of aging, illness and impairment
  • the powerful, often negative affects relating to aging and embodiment
  • false dichotomies between “positive” and “negative” affects
  • Munro’s disruption of the organizing categories of positive and negative, young and old, healthy and ill, public and private

Proposals for essays should be 300 words long, sent to Lorraine York ( or Amelia DeFalco ( by October 31, 2015.


Categories: Non ACCUTE CFPs

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