The year 2016 marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of Nella Larsen. In spite of the modest size of her œuvre and her early departure from the scene, by all accounts she ranks as one of the leading writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Well regarded during her brief literary career and for a few years thereafter, her works—like their creator—nevertheless slipped into obscurity. In 1986, Deborah McDowell's publication of a new edition of Larsen's two novels was a key element in sparking a revival of interest that took hold in the 1990s and has continued to this day.
Call For Proposals: Sessions, Panels, Papers
DEADLINE: October 1, 2015
The Black Performing Arts Area provides a scholarly forum to share and disseminate research pertaining to the Black performing and visual arts. Broadly defined, the area focuses on all forms of performing and visual arts, including jazz, blues, gospel, hip hop, rhythm and blues, Caribbean music, dance, poetry, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and acting, in the mainstream marketplace.
Patricia Clough has recently identified what she calls an "affective turn" in fields across the humanities and social sciences, which reimagine the place of emotion and the body within the political, economic, and social. Affect is increasingly important to nineteenth-century American studies, as critics like Michael Millner and Christopher Castiglia work to understand how feelings such as sympathy and anxiety helped shape literature and popular culture, as well as our definitions of citizenship more broadly. In addition, this affective turn is present in the sciences: Raffi Khatchadourian's recent investigative piece, "We Know How you Feel: Computers are Learning Emotion and the Business World Can't Wait" in the New Yorker (19 Jan.
This seminar invites presentations on the liveliness, actual or apparent sentience, and uncanny autonomy of objects in Shakespeare's plays. The surge of new materialisms across disciplines, including thing theory, actor-network theory, speculative realism, and object-oriented ontology, opens up new possibilities for understanding the latent forcefulness of things—from stage props to statues to dead bodies to coastlines—and the social, economic, and ecological assemblages of human and non-human matter that collude in the creation of Shakespeare's theatrical worlds.
ACLA 2016 (Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA: March 17-20,2016)
Visual (Inter)Changes in the Mediterranean Basin: Medieval & Renaissance Western and Eastern Illuminated Manuscripts
"Yet does illustrating in a new way signify a new way of seeing?"
― Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
Placing Bilingualism: Bilingualism in Comparative Perspective
Seminar at ACLA Annual Meeting
March 17-20, Harvard University, Cambridge MA
Submission deadline: September 23
Bilingualism is a phenomenon that unites literary creation across geographic and temporal boundaries. Yet questions about the role of bilingual competencies in literature often remain overlooked. This panel seeks to bring together scholars across disciplines in exploring the place of bilingualism in literary production and the comparative potential of bilingualism in literary criticism.
Proposals are now being accepted for the NeMLA conference that will be held in Hartford, CT March 17th-20th 2016.
New Conference Dates: June 23 and 24, 2016
The Cultural Landscape of Teenagers
An international and multidisciplinary conference co-organized by Elisabeth Lamothe, Delphine Letort (University of Maine-Le Mans in France, 3L.AM) and Heather Braun (University of Akron, Ohio), with the support of the regional programme, EnJeu(x).
Université du Mans, June 23rd and 24th, 2016
Co-organizers: Jacquelyn Ardam, UCLA; Ronjaunee Chatterjee, CalArts
2015 marked the 30-year anniversary of the publication of Donna Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto," whose radical questioning of the divisions between human and machine, matter and meaning, and gendered and "postgendered" existence continues to animate our social reality. Recent discussions in the field of new materialism, which grapple with questions of embodiment and materiality, have opened up new avenues for theorizing femininity outside of conventional frameworks.
I have a last minute cancellation for the MMLA panel I am chairing, scheduled for Friday, November 13 at 4:00pm in Columbus, Ohio. The panel is titled Earth's "Human Layer" and Literary Modernism, and the conference theme is Arts and Sciences. In order to get the new presenter's name on the program by the time the book goes to press next week, I need an immediate response if anyone is interested in being on this panel. If interested, please contact me directly with a potential title and brief description of a paper even loosely related to the treatment of the human and/or Earth's systems in literary modernism. Ecocritical or interdisciplinary projects that speak to the conference's theme are also welcome.
Devils are everywhere in medieval literature, disturbing, challenging, and violating conventional spatio-temporal constraints as they move freely between worlds in order to torment the holy, spread disease, and tempt good Christians by making sin seem sweet. They appear as enchanters, tempters, playful tricksters, masked tormentors, terrifying beasts, mankind's lawyerly accusers, and on occasion, as sympathetic figures who happened to be on the losing side of a cosmic war. Although much has been written about how devils are staged, their appearance, and their interaction with those they torment, very little has been written about what devils actually say. How do devils represent themselves and their spaces of punishment?
In his long and distinguished career, Robert (Bob) Potter sought to expand and even explode the temporal and geographic boundaries of medieval drama in general and the morality play in particular. As critic, scholar, playwright, poet, and activist, Bob Potter chaffed against categories and boundaries while producing fine scholarship ranging from publications on Hildegard of Bingen to the English morality play to Mother Courage, with many other critical and scholarly forays along the way. This session will honor Bob Potter's myriad contributions to drama studies in a career that spanned five decades and embraced at least as many forms of creativity.
The state of exception, theorized by Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben, describes the state's ability to grant exemptions to the normative order of its own law, and in so doing to perform itself as a unified whole. But as this political encounter with the performative suggests, theatre too has a long history of engagement with states of exception, and with a capacity to disrupt and evade normative orders. For theorists and practitioners as wide-ranging as Bertolt Brecht, Harold Pinter, Valie Export, and Peggy Phelan, this rupture is one of performance's most insistent pleasures – and a source of its most trenchant social critique.
Seminar Proposal for ACLA 2016 (American Comparative Literature Association)
March 17-20, 2016
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Scholars have continued their efforts to make medieval drama accessible to modern audiences, producing several "classroom" texts and adapting or translating plays for performance. These efforts prompt several questions: How does the method of publication (print or electronic) affect the presentation of text and apparatus? How does the interpretive apparatus of stand-alone editions differ from those of thematic or period-based anthologies? How do performance goals affect the degree to which a production modifies the text? How do fixed or changing spaces, players, and audiences affect a play's production? The panel welcomes papers exploring these and other questions related to adapting medieval drama for modern audiences.