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Literatures of the African Diaspora and the Other Arts

updated: 
Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 11:16am
full name / name of organization: 
MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States) – at SAMLA Conference, November 12-15, 2015
contact email: 

Award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has just been nominated for a Grammy. Yes, a music award. A sample from her Ted Talk "We Should All Be Feminists" is featured in Beyoncé's hit song "Flawless." Adichie's nomination, a first for a Nigerian writer, is an exciting demonstration of contemporary intersections of the literature of the African Diaspora and other arts. Adichie first gave her talk to a live audience, it later "went viral" on the video sharing platform Youtube (where Beyoncé accessed the work so inspirational to her developing feminist identification), it was initially published via Kindle, and is forthcoming as a paperback.

Call for Papers, Spring/Summer 2015: "Excitable Speech? Radical Discourse and the Limits of Freedom"

updated: 
Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 11:15am
full name / name of organization: 
The Postcolonialist

It is assumed that in today's mass media, "free speech" is everywhere. We have access to an endless stream of images, words, thoughts and ideas on a daily basis. However, these opinions and pieces of news are filtered through official media outlets (trained journalists, career academics) or independently available through social media, without the benefit—or the detriment, perhaps—of professional vetting, thus raising questions about how "free" our access to information actually is. This means that the framing of news stories is all too often problematic, as a single event may be portrayed in irreconcilable ways by ideologically-motivated purveyors of information.

23rd Annual Conference of the English and American Literature Association (extended deadline2/25)

updated: 
Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 9:52am
full name / name of organization: 
English and American Literature Association of the Republic of China (EALA, Taiwan) &National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Originating from old Latin se- ("apart") and cernere ("sift"), "secret" means "hidden, concealed, and private," thereby signifying the distinction between the true and the false, the light and the dark, the self and the other, and the private and the public. This definition has its history and origin, and yet it is questioned and challenged nowadays by post-modernism and post-structuralism, as when Derrida considers in "Literature in Secret," "Pardon for keeping the secret, and the secret of a secret . . . of not meaning at all." If the secret one keeps is a secret "of not meaning at all," unveiling the secret simply reveals its nothingness. And yet, without the endeavor to unveil the secret, how can one know that there is nothing behind it?

The future in Comics - Stockholm 3-5 September 2015

updated: 
Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 7:59am
full name / name of organization: 
Francesco-Alessio Ursini

This conference aims to investigate ways in which comics explore the idea of "future." Its goal is to gather scholars from the field of comic studies and related fields, such as linguistics, philosophy, literary studies, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, film studies as well as others that can discover a conceptual connection to the rigorous study of comics. Given our broad and yet specific purpose, we aim to discuss work on comics originating from all major traditions: French bande desineé, American and British comics, Italian fumetti, Japanese manga, and so on.

Through Opposition and Commonality: The Role and Depiction of the Arts and Sciences in Young Adult Literature

updated: 
Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 8:35pm
full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Modern Language Association /Columbus, OH/ 12-15 Nov. 2015
contact email: 

Young Adult Literature
Permanent Section
Session Coordinator: Dr. Amberyl Malkovich
Dept. of English, Concord University
amalkovich@concord.edu

"Through Opposition and Commonality: The Role and Depiction of the Arts and Sciences in Young Adult Literature"

[UPDATE: Deadline Extended to 2/20] (Re)presentaion: Problematizing Authenticity St. John's University Grad Conference 3/28/15

updated: 
Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 1:21pm
full name / name of organization: 
St. John's University English Department

With an increasing interest for a globalized and diverse society, the quest for an authentic self is more readily apparent and therefore further conflates the problem of representation. Globalization expands beyond social media and encroaches on the realms of the public and private spheres. However, the process of authenticity only further stabilizes potentially harmful ideologies that promote illusions of truth. In some instances, language (literature), film, and art, because of their figurative element, expose the artificiality of representation and engage the issue of authenticity. How are certain claims to truth (authenticity/referentiality) formulated, regulated, and destabilized through representation in literature, film, and art?

MLA Special Session—A Radical New Vision: Popular Visual Culture and African-American Self-Fashioning—Abstracts due by March 9th

updated: 
Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 7:50am
full name / name of organization: 
Stacie McCormick and Kya Mangrum

We are inviting proposals for a possible special session that asks how African-American writers and artists—from the end of the U.S. Civil war through the end of World War I—revised, re-mixed, and rejected popular images of Blackness in their struggle to shape alternative modes of seeing and being seen.

Indeed, the ubiquity of visual images representing Black people and Black life that followed the rise of mechanically reproducible visual technologies—from the lithographic print to the stereographic view—created a contesting set of visual archives that both reified and rejected the types of denigrating images made popular on the minstrel stage and in the uneven visual representations of the anti-slavery movement.

Silence and Documentation - July 10-11

updated: 
Friday, February 13, 2015 - 6:07pm
full name / name of organization: 
Simon Fraser University English Graduate Student Caucus, Vancouver BC

"In a world where language and naming are power, silence is oppression, is violence."
― Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

"When we (as readers) fill in the gaps that the writer has peppered throughout the book, we form a meaningful bond with the book. We are not just pulling information from it; we're participating in a reciprocal relationship, creating and deriving meaning in an extravaganza of interpretation."
— Wolfgang Iser, Prospecting: From Reader Response to Literary Anthropology

New Criticisms on the Works of Ernest J. Gaines

updated: 
Friday, February 13, 2015 - 3:41pm
full name / name of organization: 
Lillie Anne Brown, Ph.D., Department of English and Modern Languages, Florida A&M University
contact email: 

Studies in the Literary Imagination (SLI), a publication of the Department of English, Georgia State University, is accepting "Special Topic" proposals for future issues of the journal. I wish to submit a proposal for a Special Topics issue on the literary works of Ernest J. Gaines. As you know, Gaines, at age 82, is a literary icon, still writing and living in the great state of Louisiana. From his first published short story, "The Turtles" (1956), to the 2006 publication of "Mozart and Leadbelly," he has not wavered from his love of all things "Point Coupee" and the memory of life on the plantation of his birth in 1933.

The American Hobo, MLA 2016, 1/7-1/10

updated: 
Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:19pm
full name / name of organization: 
MLA Special Session

Kerouac proclaims in his 1960 essay "The Vanishing Hobo" that cultural practices have made the American landscape inhospitable to the long-cherished tramp in literature and life. Despite this claim, the hobo continues to exhibit a cultural unconscious onto American narratives well into the present. This session aims to explore the hobo as 'he' becomes a special kind of subject in the twentieth century, breaking apart from early-century labor politics to become a transitional figure of individualistic and opportunistic strategies.

Edwidge Danticat Society Panel- MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the U.S.) April 9-12, 2015 in Athens, GA [UPDATE].

updated: 
Friday, February 13, 2015 - 11:30am
full name / name of organization: 
Megan Feifer/ Edwidge Danticat Society
contact email: 

[EXTENDED DEADLINE- 2/28/15]

The MELUS conference (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the U.S.) will be held April 9-12, 2015 in Athens, GA.

The Edwidge Danticat Society invites papers for its inaugural panel at the 29th Annual MELUS Conference. In keeping with the theme of this year's conference, "Arrivals and Departures in U.S. Multi-Ethnic Literatures" we welcome papers that analyze Edwidge Danticat's work (activist, fiction, film, non-fiction) in relationship to immigration arrivals and departures, including presentations that seek to address, but are not limited to: citizenship rulings, detention, mobility, and transportation. The Edwidge Danticat Society invites proposals for 15 -minute presentations, possible topics include:

Politics of Friendship in American Literature

updated: 
Friday, February 13, 2015 - 11:23am
full name / name of organization: 
Modern Language Association Annual Convention, January 7-10, 2016, Austin, TX
contact email: 

MLA Convention, January 7-10, 2016, Austin, TX

Politics of Friendship in American Literature

Papers might engage with critical race studies, queer studies, children's and YA literature, and/ or issues of public authorship and collaboration. 250-word abstracts; short bios by 8 March 2015; Kristen Proehl (kproehl_at_brockport.edu)

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