Critical Semantics: New Transnational Keywords

This Colloquy arises from a 2018 MLA Convention session I organized on behalf of the Forum on Comparative Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. The original call for papers read simply: "Extend and critique Five Words: Critical Semantics in the Age of Shakespeare and Cervantes, Roland Greene's 2013 reorientation of early modern studies. What does Greene miss?

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Color
By
John Casey
Essay
Despite or perhaps because of the metaphysical problems of color, early modern writing traffics constantly in it.     
Graft(ing)
By
Vin Nardizzi
Essay
The logic of grafting animal, human, or plant tissue is, in fact, combinatory; its promise is the fantasy of infinite variety. 
Utopian
By
Debapriya Sarkar
Essay
I explore how utopian was an extraordinary word that became ordinary, a particular term that became general, and a reference to a physical place that became an idea.
Common
By
Crystal Bartolovich
Essay
I, like Greene, will engage in what he calls a “critical semantics” here, but I will confront human meanings and purposes with challenges to them posed by the Capitalocene.

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