This seminar will explore the uses and limits of dialectical thinking as a critical tool for contemporary humanistic inquiry. Engaging with a literary and philosophical tradition that is nothing else if not comparative, we argue for the persistent value in understanding textual oppositions, contradictions, and self-negations not as conceptual limitations, but as sites of productive restlessness.
Susan Glaspell's one-act play, "Trifles," premiered in Provincetown in 1916, during an era of historic upheaval in American gender relations. That same year, Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control center in the United States and Jeanette Rankin became the first woman elected to the US House of Representatives. The Nineteenth Amendment, of course, would be passed within three years. In the intervening century, the position of women in American society has evolved dramatically – 2016 may see the election of the first woman president – and yet the depiction of gender relations portrayed in "Trifles" remains trenchantly familiar to twenty-first-century readers.
Queer Intimacies, Queer Spaces, & Scales of Desire
This panel is searching for papers that address how LGBTQ* texts of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries construct varieties of queer intimacy and attempt to anatomize the epistemological, formal, and affective structures that make such intimacies possible—whether in public or private. We are looking for papers that discuss the ways queerness operates in a variety of spaces: city streets, forest clearings, parks, gardens, restrooms, bedrooms, manor homes, and apartment buildings.
Showrunners in the Classroom: Teaching Strategies for Composition & Literature Courses
In the last two decades, there has been a steady rise in our pop culture's awareness of the role writers, producers, and directors play in developing television series both from a commercial and critical context. With the advent of social media, fans are able to hear directly from the source on the fandoms that they hold so dear. This panel looks to investigate lesson plans and courses that are based on using the work of television auteurs in composition and literature classrooms. How are instructors using television episodes to construct critical thinking and writing skills?
The Rise and Development of Dystopia in YA Literature
Young Adult (YA) Literature has always featured a variety of sub-genres working in conjunction with familiar tropes (beauty, sexuality, identity, etc.). In the last decade, there has been a steady rise in popularity of the dystopia sub-genre (e.g., Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Selection, Uglies), particularly in the emergence of strong female heroines. While each series has its own distinctive features and developments, a question remains when we look closely at the genre: is there any originality left when we know the pattern of events and characters? This roundtable looks to examine the rise and development of the dystopia sub-genre from its origins to the current climate.
This panel seeks papers that confront the multifarious nature of empathy, as both connection and appropriation, in literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Is there room for competing narratives of empathy? Considering literature of various genres and cultural contexts, this panel asks to what extent empathy itself is in a position of crisis.
Submit abstracts (300 words maximum) by September 30, 2015 to https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15656
Concentrate! A Symposium on Attention and Distraction in Medicine and Culture
30th October 2015
Birkbeck, University of London
"Though it is in the first place a faculty of individual minds, it is clear that attention has also become an acute collective problem of modern life—a cultural problem." -- Matthew B. Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (2015)
This session will present new work from scholars in an emerging line of inquiry: post-medieval outlaw narratives and the textual and cultural relevance of feasting and eating. This session purposefully reaches beyond the Middle Ages to demonstrate that outlawry is a global phenomenon, one that is not only present in a variety of literatures, languages, and cultures, but also one that is inherently intertwined with food and feast. While outlawry has its formal origins in the Middle Ages, the outlaw is a figure and trope present in many post-medieval texts: several Renaissance dramas, and especially American, Native American, African American, and Australian outlaw narratives.
In an age when technology and digitalization continue to redefine how we think about and explore African American literature, this panel invites considerations of the critical yet ever-evolving relationship between the archive and African American literary production. While possible papers might explore the role of traditional institutional collections in informing us about particular writers and periods, the panel also welcomes broad and open interpretation of the term "archive." How do texts, bodies, and performances function as archives? How does collecting, cataloguing, and curating impact modern racial formation? What is the relationship between the archive and pedagogy? How does the archive relate to contemporary discussions of post-blackness?
This panel calls for papers that stake a claim in the cultural significance of representing alcohol or alcohol consumption. How do these representations relate to alcoholism as a disease and the alcoholic as an identity category? Does the text evaluate alcohol abuse morally or politically? Do communities organized around alcohol consumption facilitate social movements based on class, race, sexuality, or gender?