Adaptation studies was originally established with the intent to study the manner in which cinematic texts altered their literary sources. However, this concept has since expanded to engage with broader ideas of how adaptation functions and the manner in which it has come to interface with not only specific genres of literature, film, theatre, media, and the digital, but also the narratives that underlie these in a broader social, political, and historical sense (Raw and Gurr, 2013). In fact, it is now maintained that the field is broad enough to be conceptualised as an active determining process that affects almost every aspect of our lives as we engage with the world around us.
The Aesthetics and Theory of Repair
ACLA Seminar @ UCLA, 3/28-4/1/2018
Organizer: Michael Dango (University of Chicago)
In 1984, Diacritics published a “Colloquium on Nuclear Criticism,” exploring the need for a new subsection of theory addressing the nuclear age. Critics understood this age to have begun in 1945 but to have accelerated in the 1980s when stockpiles of nuclear weapons were at their peak and rhetoric between the US and the Soviet Union grew increasingly hostile. Total nuclear war was the main concern of this nuclear criticism. General audiences used the term “unthinkable” to emphasize the magnitude of nuclear war between the superpowers banking on the deterrence value of aiming as many warheads as possible at the enemy.
Decolonization and globalization have made us conscious of the fact that not only is literature no longer national and autonomous, but it never was. Indeed one can only understand any national literature by comparing it with others…or by comparing it with a non-national or a transnational literature. For these reasons the field of comparative literature is more urgent than it ever was.
This seminar seeks to examine diasporic literature in a comparative context. Taking as our literary frame Southeast Asian literature in the diaspora, we invite proposals that address the diaspora as the “dispersion” into many and multiple places. Whereas U.S. and French mainstream cultural productions have relegated the past to the Others (Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large 1996: 31), Southeast Asian diasporic cultural productions often work creatively against the dominant cultures in which they operate. Southeast Asian diasporic formations, while multiple in their origins, can be deterritorialized sites of robust critical thought about the legacy of the devastating Asian Pacific theater of the global Cold War.
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).