A century and a half after the abolition of slavery in the United States, the Underground Railroad, the formal and informal network of routes and people that helped fugitive slaves escape from the slaveholding South to freedom between the end of the 18th century and the Civil War, still draws considerable scholarly attention, whether it be through investigating its history or debating its many representations in public memory, literature and various art forms (Schulz, 2016). Considered “a model of democracy in action,” “the nation’s first great movement of civil disobedience since the American Revolution,” and “an epic of high drama” (Bordewich, 2005, p.
Call for papers — Edited Collection of Essays
Malaysian Ecocriticism: Contested Environments, Identities and the Politics of Nature
With the landmark establishment of the Southeast Asian chapter of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) in August 2016, it is both timely and crucial for member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to assess their literary and cultural artifacts from an ecocritical perspective.
In critiquing the efforts of new materialists (Bennett, Coole and Frost, and others) to develop a concept of agency that accounts for the emergent properties of matter, Hannes Bergthaller argues that the preoccupation with blurring boundaries between human and nonhuman matter has made it difficult to draw legitimate and necessary distinctions between subjects in the world. The danger, for Bergthaller, is a kind of ethico-fatalist surrender to the contingency of matter that leaves us with no reason to preserve any species, even human beings. Bergthaller thus proposes autopoiesis — the concept of a self-limiting and self-organizing system, borrowed from biology — as a solution to the problem of limitless materiality.
CFP: SSAWW Panel at the College Language Association Convention, April 2018
Hosted by DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois
“Rewrit[ing] the American Literary Landscape”:
Immigrant American Women Writers across the Diaspora and Tales of Black Metropolitan Life
In his recent work On Literary Worlds (2012), Eric Hayot examines how literature—through narration—gives shape and substance to worlds and ways of being in them. Literary worlds, Hayot argues,“[are] the diegetic totality constituted by the sum of all aspects of a single work, constellated into a structure or system that amounts to a whole” (44) and “they are always social and conceptual constructs, as well as formal and affective ones” (45).
In his contribution to an anthology of keywords for American cultural studies, Bruce Robbins registers an ambivalence at the heart of the term “public.” This ambivalence, Robbins writes, stems from the fact that the term’s “claim to represent the social whole has continued to bump up against evidence that large classes of people have been omitted from it.” Indeed, “public,” as a terminological category, requires universality. But in our contemporary historical situation – due to enduring social antagonisms, increasingly uneven distributions of resources and power, and ever-lengthening histories of exclusion and oppression – the fault lines of this never-universal are showing with renewed clarity, even as globalization continues to demand thinking
International Conference on “401 years after Shakespeare: Shifting Paradigms from the Shakespearean Human to the Post-human”
24th and 25th November 2017
Organized by The Heritage College (Department of English) in collaboration with the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India
Venue: The Heritage Campus
Regarding an ongoing research project at Columbia University, Barnard student Sabrina Singer reflected that when she walks around the campus, now, she wonders: “What else is history going to forget?” The research Singer and her colleagues are doing looks at the historical ties between the institution now educating them and the historical institution of slavery. We were prompted to similar reflections having visited Yale’s Peabody Museum and an exhibit there of Elihu Yale’s gemstones collection. Included in the display is a painting of Yale: he is pictured with a large unfinished diamond ring symbolizing Britain’s dominance over India.
Kimberly Drake, the editor of the proposed book Critical Insights: Literature of Inequality, a collection of scholarly essays (under contract with Grey House Publishing/EBSCO), seeks contributions on literature, music, and film/television dealing with inequality and social injustice.
Narrating History, Home, and Nation: Critical Essays on Edwidge Danticat