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The ICLA Research Committee on Religion, Ethics, and Literature


This site is updated periodically and concerns all information regarding the Research Committee and its related activities for the future. The title above, Fault Lines of Modernity, refers to the committee's inaugural conference hosted by SF State in 2014. All inquiries about the committee should be directed to Professor Kitty Millet ( For more information about the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA), visit their website.

This committee examines global literary phenomena as instances of subject formation in order to think new relationships between religion, ethics, and literature. It investigates the philosophical and theoretical roles of religion and ethics in literature, as well as explores the fraught relationship between secularism and post-secularism as these ideas emerge aesthetically. While the examination of religious imagery, symbolism, and the role of myth is not our purview, the signifiers of religion as they motivate "an ethical turn" remains a key concern.

The committee has had a busy three years. We have had events in the U.S,, India, Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. At each event, we've seen our membership increase to the extent that we can no longer post membership in one column on our front page. After our certification in 2014, the committee began actively to recruit new members from related disciplines outside of comparative literature. More than half of our membership are faculty and students at universities outside of the United States. We are a diverse cohort with members at every rank within higher education. To view membership, please follow the link in the Membership Information column.

The inaugural 2014 Conference Schedule is available still online. Events below reflect the immediate activities of the group. For a year by year summary, peruse the Year by Year column to the left.

2018 Events:

CFP for proposed seminar for ACLA at UCLA:

Fictional Testimonies, Comparative Confessions, and Literary Ethics, Sponsored Seminar of the ICLA Research Committee on Religion, Ethics, and Literature 

Organizer: Kitty Millet

In a continued discussion on Redemption and Literature at our previous seminars at ACLA and ICLA conferences, this panel invites comparative papers on the presence and absence of confession in testimonial, poetic, or prose texts. We especially hope for papers that examine aesthetic experience or judgment in relation to these kinds of texts, that analyze the seminar's themes either across a global field or within local, regional contexts. While we expect papers to be comparative, the concept is broadly conceived. Panelists do not have to be members of the research committee in order to participate. Remember, you can submit an abstract for this seminar between August 31 and September 21. All submissions have to go through the ACLA portal; they cannot be sent to me directly.

For more information, visit the ACLA website:

2017 Events:

The committee participates in the following conferences in 2017:

The Research Committee has two panels at the German Comparative Literature Association, June 7-9, 2017. Our theme is "Precarious and Minor Traditions in Religion and Literature." A pdf of the conference schedule is here.

We have two seminars for ACLA in Utrecht, July 6-9, 2017. The cfp for our seminars is available here. The schedule for the conference overall is available at the ACLA Utrecht website.






Publication Details for the Committee Research Volume:

The volume is in the final draft stage. The volume should be in press in 2018.

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