023- Literary Resolutions and Ethical Conflicts


Organized by: ICLA Research Committee of Religion, Ethics, and Literature
Prof. Kitty Millet


This panel explores how literature both exhibits and resolves ethical conflicts in order to think about literary representation as a transformative mode of cognition. Implicitly, literature suggests that the textual externalization of a conflict—its literary representation—is already a form of reconciliation or resolution in that once a reader sees a conflict’s representation, detached from personal circumstances, the reader is free to imagine its solution or its non-solution. This process freights the removal of representation from a purely mimetic register as a necessary mode in the liberation of the imagination. The mind “frees” itself to imagine alternative modes of being-in-the-world through the processes of reading and writing. The committee invites papers that look at how literature transforms ethical problems across one or more literary traditions. We especially encourage scholars who work in traditions either beyond English or that contextualize English in relation to another literary tradition.