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Nineteenth Century Theology Unit and Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Call for Proposals

Academic Rivalry in the Modern Age: Thinking with Girard and Beyond
For a joint session with the Nineteenth Century Theology Unit and the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, we invite proposals that explore academic rivalries in the nineteenth century. Almost no leading figure in the period was free from the entanglements of academic rivalry. Various social and political factors, e.g. war, territorial realignment, nationalism, the proliferation of learned journals, the restructuring of universities, and more, created a rich soil for rivalries to grow. The mimetic theory of René Girard offers an interesting interpretive lens for understanding rivalry. Girard not only identifies rivalry, but attempts to explain its roots through his mimetic theory: rivalry stems as much for similarity as from difference; if unchecked, it will escalate and often end in bloodshed. Proposals might: (1) Revisit famous academic disputes by attending to similarity and mirroring between disputants; (2) Analyze failed mentor-student relationships through a mimetic lens; (3) Excavate forgotten rivalries; or (4) Assess Girard’s theological readings of rivalries in his final book, Battling to the End (2009), among others.



Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection