112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Critical Theory I: Reading after de Man

Session Chair: 
John Namjun Kim, UC Riverside
Session 1: Friday 9:00-10:30am
RCC Meeting Room 6
Topic Area: 


  1. Alexis Briley, Colgate University
    This paper examines the curious interaction between de Man’s reading of particular texts and the operation of reading, itself, both of which might be described in terms of an encounter with “obstacle.”
  2. John Hicks, Getty Research Institute
    The paper examines the pervasive literary critical preference for the term "reading" over more descriptive methodological terms like exegesis, interpretation, or hermeneutics. In what ways are both close readings and distant readings still considered to be readings, and why the reluctance to use more sharply defined terms for these methodologies such as exegesis vs. data mining?
  3. Aaron Hodges, Pennsylvania State University
    My paper will address the relation between apathy and materialism in the "radical formalism" that de Man finds in Kant's philosophical aesthetics. 
  4. Ani Maitra, Colgate University
    In this paper, I reflect on the work that “semiology” does in Paul de Man’s theory of reading, particularly in his theorization of the rhetorical basis of language and the “deflection" that is crucial to his definition of what constitutes “the literary.” I juxtapose de Man’s anti-humanist reading of semiotics  against a post-colonial social semiotics that urges us to see the production as well as the undecidability of meaning as an embodied, relational, and multiply mediated process.
Session Cancelled: