2024 Conference

2024 Meeting of the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts

November 6-8, 2024
Embassy Suites Austin Central
Austin, TX


Keynote Speaker: Cary Wolfe

Cary Wolfe is the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University. His most recent projects are Ecological Poetics, or, Wallace Stevens’ Birds (Chicago, 2020), and a special issue of the journal Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, on “Ontogenesis Beyond Complexity” (2020), focused on the work of the multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional Ontogenetics Process Group, of which he is a member. His books and edited collections include Animal Rites: American Culture, The Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago, 2003), the edited collections Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minnesota, 2003), (with Branka Arsic) The Other Emerson (Minnesota, 2010), What Is Posthumanism? (Minnesota, 2010), and Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame (Chicago, 2012). He has also participated in two multi-authored philosophical collections: Philosophy and Animal Life (Columbia, 2008) with Cora Diamond, Ian Hacking, Stanley Cavell, and John McDowell and The Death of the Animal: A Dialogue (Columbia, 2009), with philosophers Paola Cavalieri, Peter Singer, Harlan Miller, Matthew Calarco, and novelist J. M. Coetzee. He is founding editor of the series “Posthumanities” at the University of Minnesota Press, which has published over fifty volumes to date, by noted authors such as Donna Haraway, Roberto Esposito, Isabelle Stengers, Michel Serres, Vilem Flusser, Jacques Derrida, and others.

Justice has been central to our political and philosophic culture from the beginning.  Plato’s Republic opens with the question: “what is justice?”  And yet, while almost everyone believes that justice is something real, that things actually are just or unjust, there is very little agreement on what justice is either in the abstract or whether a given act is just or unjust.  Rather we frequently feel wronged.  We cry out for justice.  In our narratives, our cultural productions, our discourse, the question of the just is then both central and often highly unstable.  In recognition of this centrality, and the pressing urgency of questions of justice under current conditions, the SCLA has elected to devote its next three conferences to this topic .

For our coming 2024 conference in Austin, Texas, we welcome contributions that examine the notion of justice in comparative studies and literary theory. How do we mobilize the idea of justice in the face of atrocities and abuses of power? What is justice? Who can claim it? And who is or has been excluded from its appeal? When we evoke “social justice,” “economic justice,” or “racial justice,” are we really talking about the same thing? And, finally, which forms or deployments of justice do existing systems of power find less or more threatening? With an eye for justice’s multiple meanings, and the divergent circumstances under which it emerges, this conference will consider justice’s relevance and force in the world. Topics of interest could include:

  • Justice and the philosophical tradition
  • Justice and posthumanism
  • Environmental justice
  • Justice and violence
  • Justice and politics
  • Law and justice
  • Justice in Palestine
  • Justice and terror
  • Indigenous sovereignty
  • Decolonization
  • Global Black Lives Matter
  • International law
  • Concepts of guilt and innocence
  • What is a just peace
  • Solidarity and justice
  • Queer justice
  • Class struggle
  • Prisons and justice
  • Restorative justice
  • Reparative justice

Selected papers from the conference will be included in a special issue of The Comparatist. Email: [email protected]

Panel and paper proposals related to the conference theme are especially encouraged, but all topics are welcome. Please submit panel proposals (500 words) and individual abstracts (250 words) by May 15, 2024. Please include in the body of the email your name, academic affiliation, status (faculty, grad student, etc.), and mailing address. For panel proposals, include the names, addresses, and affiliations for all participants.

Graduate students submitting a paper proposal may be eligible for an SCLA travel scholarship.

Hotel Information:

The conference will be held at Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North Interstate HWY 45, Austin, TX. The hotel is five miles from downtown Austin. The SCLA group rate is $165 dollars per night from November 5-9. Rooms must be reserved by September 15, 2024.

Reservation can be made here: [Hotel Reservation]

Our you can also call Hilton Central Reservations at 1-800-HILTONS (445-8667). Guests can refer to the Group Code CES906” or the Group Name “Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts.”


Before September 1, the pre-registration fee is $120 for faculty, $65 for graduate students, $35 for undergraduates. After September 15, the fee is $130 for faculty, $75 for graduate students, and $40 for undergraduates; on-site registration will be available at these increased rates, payable with a credit card. In addition to the registration fees, you must be a member of SCLA. Registration and/or membership fees should be made using these secure links:

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