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American Literature after 1900 panel - 2014 RMMLA

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 12:59pm
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
Southern Gothic
Women's Studies
LGBTQ Studies
Psychoanalytic Theory
Minority Literatures
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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:32am
FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts


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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 12:21am
Marcy J. Dinius

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).


Monday, February 17, 2014 - 6:34pm
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 for full consideration.

Sustainability and Population

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 3:41pm
MLA 2015

"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 ( by 15 March 2014.

[UPDATE] Modernism, Weather, and Climate (SCMLA Panel; Abstracts due 2/22

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 3:33pm
Dan Colson

This panel seeks papers about the significance of weather and/or climate in modern literature. Open to a wide range of topics (including American, British, and world literatures) and approaches. Submissions might address (but certainly are not limited to):

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

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 2:01pm
University of Portsmouth

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)

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:28pm

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?


Monday, February 17, 2014 - 10:22am
Joseph P. Fisher (The George Washington University); Brian Flota (James Madison University)

Popular music's relationship with incarceration has been a long and complicated one. The musician Lead Belly spent long stretches in prison for murder and other crimes but was eventually turned into a musical legend by folklorists John and Alan Lomax. In 1957, Elvis Presley had a number one hit with the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller composition "Jailhouse Rock," further developing the threat he posed to the mainstream at the time. Country musician Merle Haggard spent two years in San Quentin Prison for an attempted robbery, later to become one of the best-selling country artists of the 20th Century. Johnny Cash performed numerous concerts in prisons, drawing attention the humanity of the prisoners in his audience.

Extremist Latinos/as (MLA Vancouver, January 8-11)

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 8:09am
Modern Languages Association Annual Conference

In liberal democracies, it is commonly assumed that because extreme, radical, and marginal politics fall outside of the confines and vocabulary of the political center they, therefore, demonstrate a deficient capacity for rational deliberation. Although this distinction becomes murkier in the spheres of minority politics, the Latina/o political center might be thought of as a demand for cultural affirmation, in response to periods of psychological degradation and institutionalized discrimination. Within Latina/o criticism, some theorists go so far as to represent "Latinidad" as an exemplary political "center" for its perpetual mediation between ethnicities, cultures, geopolitical orders, and forms of life.

MLA 2015 Performing the aging memory (3/15/14)

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:36am
Age Studies Discussion Group, Valerie Lipscomb

In light of the 2015 MLA theme, Negotiating Sites of Memory, the Age Studies Discussion Group will propose a special session that considers the intersection of age, performance, and memory. How is remembering-or not remembering–performed or performative? How is the aging self defined by the ability to remember? How is the aging body performed as a site of memory? Consideration of any genre is welcome: memory plays, memoir, film, etc. Send 300-word abstract and CV by March 15 to Valerie Lipscomb, Panelists must be MLA members by April 1.

Kathy Acker in the Classroom (MLA 2015, January 8-11, Vancouver BC)

Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 1:44pm
Kevin L. Ferguson / Modern Language Association

This proposed special session will center on the problems and pleasures of teaching Kathy Acker.

Sample topics: pornography, plagiarism/appropriation, visual literature, narrative, childhood, autobiography.

500 word abstract & 150-200 word bio by 15 March 2014.

Participation requires MLA membership by April 1, 2014.

Amiri Baraka and the African American Essay (MLA panel; 3/15/14)

Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 12:40pm
MLA divisions on Black American Literature and Culture & Nonfiction Prose

Critical reassessments of Baraka as essayist. Appraisals of individual works or overall career welcome, especially in African American essay tradition. 300-word abstract and brief bio by March 15 to

Cosponsored by the MLA divisions on Black American Literature and Culture & Nonfiction Prose.

MLA 15: Narrating Madness and Autism

Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 12:13pm
Jonathan Gagas

This non-guaranteed special session invites papers addressing how narratives of psychosis, mood disorders, or autism (in any medium, genre, or period) change our understanding of the ethics and phenomenology of reading, viewing, or listening. I welcome disability studies critiques of concepts of madness or autism, histories of medical or psychological narratives, and philosophy of psychology and psychiatry analyses of cognition, affect, volition, or hermeneutics in narratives of madness or autism conceptualized as real experiences of distress, impairment, and different mental structures. Please submit 350-word abstracts and CVs to Jonathan Gagas, Temple University ( by March 15, 2014.