The link(s) between academia and activism are nothing if not complex. In many ways, the academy rewards activist scholarship that challenges systemic inequality. Yet, as recent articles and testimonies in the Chronicle demonstrate, some scholars – especially those who make their activism public – are punished by their institutions and shamed by public audiences. In light of these potential consequences, how and where do 21st century scholar-activists pursue their activism? Why do they participate in public activism, and should they?
Taking place for the first time in a non-Southern venue, SSSL's conference next year in Boston will focus on challenges to and reconfigurations of North/South binaries in regional, national, hemispheric, and transatlantic literary and cultural studies. The foundation of traditional US Southern literary studies on domestic regional difference and distinctiveness has been expanded over recent decades to encompass broader study of Southernness within national and global rubrics.
Panel 15980: Religious Authority in American Literature
As the historian Thomas Schlereth noted in an essay from which this panel takes its name, the memory and image of Christopher Columbus were appropriated by citizens of the United States for a wide variety of purposes during the long nineteenth century. A feminine personification of the new republic signifying liberty and progress was named Columbia in his honor; the exploits of a newly recovered historical Columbus were invoked in support of western expansionism and Manifest Destiny; and the naturalization of various ethnic groups was a process of Columbianism, whereby the Admiral's status as an immigrant to the New World rhetorically sanctioned the integration of Italians, Jews, and other groups into the American body politic.
Negotiating identity has become more complex in this era of globalization than ever before. As cultural norms dictate what is considered acceptable, worthy, and ideal in all areas of life, academics considered "other" have historically had to fight their way in to the university, first as students and then as faculty to gain tenure and promotion. Specifically, being of color warrants a difficult environment as racial profiling extends across campus. The university's security guards constantly require us to show our identification badges.
India is one of the few countries in the world to have a film censor board. And one of its recent casualties is a lesbian film significantly titled "Unfreedom." The current government has upped the ante by extending the ban culture of censorship from the aesthetic realm to the realm of everyday consumption with the ban on beef. The ban on Jafar Panahi, the Iranian filmmaker, continues and he continues to express himself in his art form in house arrest. The recent Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris has put the limelight back on censorship.
The quint's twenty eighth issue is issuing a call for theoretically informed and historically grounded submissions of scholarly interest—as well as creative writing, original art, interviews, and reviews of books.
The deadline for this call is 15th August 2015—but please note that we accept manu/digi-scripts at any time.
All contributions accompanied by a short biography will be forwarded to a member of the editorial board.
Theorizing Feminist Media and Comedy
From suffragette caricaturists lampooning the British Parliament, to Amy Schumer's scathing parody of 12 Angry Men (on what The Atlantic has declared to be "the most feminist show on television"), women have long used media comedy as a platform for raising serious questions about feminist politics. Papers on this panel will explore the dialectic between comedic representation and feminist political activism-- as well as what feminist theory might have to offer to the analysis of comedy, and vice versa. What does it mean to theorize humor as a gendered form? What is the status of comedy in feminist theory?