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Poetics of Erasure (MLA 2015 Special Session)

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:36pm
full name / name of organization: 
Modern Language Association

Can erasure enable artistic and cultural production? The poetics—and politics—of extinction, invisibility, ephemerality, forgetting, or obscurity across genres (e.g., literature, non-fiction, film, or visual art).

Send 500-word max abstracts and CV to Michael Nicholson at nicholsonm@ucla.edu or Amy Wong at amyrwong@ucla.edu by 15 March 2014.

[UPDATE] Academic Novels: Beyond the Canon? (Special Session Proposal, MLA 2015 Vancouver, January 8-11)

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:15pm
full name / name of organization: 
Ian Butcher, Duquesne University
contact email: 

What constitutes the canon of academic novels? Discussion of the genre has tended to focus on a limited number of novels. On the British side, C. P. Snow's The Masters, Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim, David Lodge's campus trilogy (Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work), and A. S. Byatt's Possession dominate. For American academe, a similarly small number have dominion over the field: Mary McCarthy's The Groves of Academe, Randall Jarrell's Pictures from an Institution, Vladimir Nabokov's Pnin, Bernard Malamud's A New Life, Jane Smiley's Moo, Richard Russo's Straight Man, and Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys. If these novels are taken to constitute the academic novel canon, as it were, what picture of academe emerges from them?

Memory Economies

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 5:09pm
full name / name of organization: 
MLA 2015, Vancouver (January 8-11)

What is the relationship between memory and multiple economies: cultural, social, somatic, transnational, capitalist, environmental? The OED defines "economy" as "the way in which something is managed; the management of resources." This seminar is interested in the way memories are managed in a cultural, socio-political, and economic sense. It seeks to explore how and for whom memory constitutes a resource that exists in, as well as independently of various economies and what this means for individuals, societies, and global or transnational communities.

CFP: Modernism and Climate Change (MSA 16) Deadline April 25, 2014.

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 3:23pm
full name / name of organization: 
John McIntyre
contact email: 

This is a CFP for the upcoming MSA 16 conference in Pittsburgh for a panel called "Modernism and Climate Change." This panel will examine modernist representations of climate and climatic events, particularly as they explore both the individual's relationship to climate and the ways in which climatic events are understood, represented, and responded to across modernist literature and culture. Paper proposals are welcome that address any of the following issues: how are the climate and climatic events and effects—such as heat waves, floods, droughts, and extreme meteorological events-- represented in specific modernist texts? How do individuals respond to and understand such events? How are modernist subjects implicated in and shaped by climate?

"Immigration and Comics": MLA, Vancouver (January 8-11, 2015)

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 3:12pm
full name / name of organization: 
Jointly sponsored by MLA Division on European Literary Relations and the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives

Recently, the Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration in Paris staged an exhibition "Albums-Bande dessinée et immigration: 1913-2013" (October 16, 2013 – April 27, 2014) which brought together comics sketches and magazines from 1913 to the present that depict the immigrant experience and how immigrants on the fringes of society are attracted to the comics medium. According to the exhibit's Curator Hélène Bouillon, "every comic about immigration is a story about an individual, and every comic about this theme wants to show… a story about humanity…a universal story." In fact, from Richard F.

"Modernist Studies and the 'Angloworld': Confluence or Division?" MSA 16, Pittsburgh, PA, November 6-9, 2014

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 3:00pm
full name / name of organization: 
Maxwell Uphaus, Columbia University
contact email: 

Historical debate about the "British world" has recently been galvanized by James Belich's ambitious Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld, 1783-1939 (2009). For Belich, the "Angloworld" is the decentralized but interconnected unit formed by Great Britain; its settler colonies in Canada, South Africa, and Australasia; and the United States. He argues that US and British expansion in the long nineteenth century share a common history as parts of a general "Anglo divergence," a massive surge in Anglophone settlement that far surpassed that of other Europeans.

Modernist Studies Association Conference, 6-9 November 2014; "Modernity, Contingency, Community" panel

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 2:38pm
full name / name of organization: 
Steph Brown/University of Arizona; Thomas Claviez/University of Bern
contact email: 

The Confluence and Division website poses the question "How can modernist practices, aesthetics, and formations be situated within or in relation to modernity's energies, imagined as layers, structures, and figures of confluence and division?" We suggest that modernist representations of contingency afford unique ways of situating these energies in a variety of aesthetic, political, and philosophical contexts. Our panel proposes to examine texts, artifacts, and modernist contexts in which communities are constructed in relation to, and make productive use of, a phenomenon that has been identified as one of the key characteristics of modernity: that of contingency.

American Literature after 1900 panel - 2014 RMMLA

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 12:59pm
full name / name of organization: 
Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (RMMLA)

American Literature after 1900

We welcome paper proposals on a wide variety of topics spanning the 20th and 21st centuries, including but certainly not limited to:

American Modernism
American Realism, Naturalism
Regionalism
Southern Gothic
Women's Studies
LGBTQ Studies
Marxism
Psychoanalytic Theory
Minority Literatures
Postmodernism
American Capitalism
Violence and Trauma Studies
Novel Studies
Poetry Studies
Short Fiction Studies

Cliché - Issue 18, FORUM Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts. 20 March 2014

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:32am
full name / name of organization: 
FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts
contact email: 

FORUM JOURNAL ISSUE 18: CLICHÉ

As writers and academics we fear having our work criticised as cliché; yet, we continue to repeat and overwork certain ideas to the brink. If we are to believe Marshall McLuhan, "it is the worn out cliché that reveals the creative or archetypal processes in language as in all other processes and artifacts" (Cliché to Archetype 127). The pursuit of newness requires us to label precursors as old and eventually worn out, thereby rendering them cliché. At the same time, a phrase, symbol, or trope would not be used to the point of cliché if it did not continue to strike a chord with so many artists or thinkers. Clichés are cultural relics reread and relocated as benchmarks for new art and interpretation.

MLA 2015: No Strings Attached: The MacArthur Fellows Program and Contemporary American Literature

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 12:21am
full name / name of organization: 
Marcy J. Dinius
contact email: 

This proposed special session at the 2015 MLA Convention in Vancouver will consider the influence of the so-called MacArthur "Genius Grants" on contemporary American literature. Since 1981, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation annually has bestowed substantial "no strings attached" grants to American writers as an "investment" in their "originality, insight, and potential." Especially welcome are papers assessing any aspect of the literary "returns" on these "investments"; how the grants interact with--or challenge--the dynamics of the traditional literary marketplace; and the grants situated within a long view of American writers' means of support (patronage, editing, teaching, other day jobs, prize collecting).

ROBERT FROST REVIEW CFP SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 6:34pm
full name / name of organization: 
Robert Frost Review

The Robert Frost Review is planning a special double issue to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of both A Boy's Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914). The Robert Frost Review welcomes all articles on any aspect of the poems, history, or reception of either or both books. Please send electronic attachments of manuscripts no longer than 5,000 words in MLA style before July 2014 to jonathan.barron@usm.edu for full consideration.

Sustainability and Population

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 3:41pm
full name / name of organization: 
MLA 2015
contact email: 

"Sustainability and Population," MLA 2015, Special Session

This panel invites papers that examine the intersections of "sustainability" and "population" in literature. Papers may consider how race, demography, biopolitics, fertility, economics, agriculture, and spatial distribution help clarify, illuminate, and evaluate "sustainability"---what literary critics have deemed a thorny and vague concept in the past few years. Papers from any time period are welcome. Please send 250-word abstracts to Abby Goode (alg9@rice.edu) by 15 March 2014.

Celebrity Encounters: Transatlantic Fame in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America, July 4-5, 2014

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 2:01pm
full name / name of organization: 
University of Portsmouth
contact email: 

Building on recent scholarship that has demonstrated that the discourses, practices and conditions associated with twentieth- and twenty-first-century celebrity culture were already in place in America and Europe by the end of the eighteenth century, this conference explores the transatlantic dimensions of nineteenth-century constructions of fame and fandom. It considers the ways transatlantic celebrity affected relationships between, and the identities of, celebrities and fans, and facilitated a questioning of geographically located notions of identity, race, gender and class.

Sustainable Work, Invisible Class, Unpaid Labor, and Forgotten Culture in American Literature (DUE 6.1.14)

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:28pm
full name / name of organization: 
SAMLA (SOUTH ATLANTIC MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION)
contact email: 

In keeping with this year's SAMLA theme of Sustainability and the Humanities, this panel will investigate the difficulties with sustainable representations of work, class, and labor in American literature. As the predominant American myth of success states that class is but a transitory state, making work, labor, and social class an important part of the literary and academic conversation remains a struggle for scholars interested in these issues. The questions we are interested in posing in this session are: How can scholars emphasize a focus on issues of class, work, and labor in American literature? How can this emphasis be sustained as part of a larger conversation with American literary scholarship?

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