In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James informs us that the mystical state operates in an ineffable realm and, as such, language remains incapable of accurately narrating or textualizing the mystical experience. And yet, mystical literature has attempted to find expression for what, ostensibly, can be described as an absence, a lack, a debt within the normative structures of communicative and discursive language. If the mystical experience inhabits a landscape beyond the limits and borders of language, how do writers find the words to describe the ineffable? How do form, word-play, negative dialectics and deconstructive tendencies help structure, out of an absence, a mystic analysis or language of unity?
The Wide Net, the country's first journal of exclusively Master's level research in English and cultural studies invites submissions for its summer issue: Bread and Circuses.
"Bread and Circuses": the possible catchphrase of all politics. The Romans used it in its most literal sense, yet our tribunes and senators still defer to its symbolic significance. While we constantly worry about our bread in these depressed economic times, we are also constantly subjected to a 24-hour view of the gladiatorial arena of our cultural circus. For our second issue we want to examine the contemporary cultural relevance of the phrase.
In the recent anthology Shakesqueer (2011), Madhavi Menon claims, "Reading Shakespeare as queer rather than queered challenges the rule of chronology and identity that has thus far kept his poems and plays from exercising queer agency." This panel takes up Menon's urge to reconsider the relationship between queer theory and the early modern, welcoming papers that read early modern literature, both Shakespeare and beyond, as a body of queer texts, rather than historically distant productions at which we might look through a contemporary queer lens.
The book responds to the vivid development of hip-hop culture in the Eastern and Central and Eastern European states and shows how a universal model of hip-hop serves as a contextually situated platform of cultural exchange with a number of meaningful and important functions and implications. The volume takes up the challenge of showing how hip-hop became an intrinsic element of urban environments in this part of the world, what impact it has on the mainstream culture and what functions it serves in different contexts. The book's content, besides tracking hip-hop's development, exhibits and explains hip-hop's functions and receptions of hip-hop in the national cultures in the spheres such as lifestyles, social structure, politics or consumer trends.
At the end of the World War II, the British and the French territorial control over the colonies began to crumble and a new global condition emerged in which erstwhile colonies transformed into newly independent or created nation-states. The former colonial masters, having relinquished territorial occupation, devised cultural and economic models of control that divided the world into developed and developing parts, similar to the division into the civilized and the savage parts in the colonial era. Originally literary and cultural theorists favoured violence as a necessary part of decolonization and freedom.
CFP Women's Studies at MAPACA
Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association Conference
November 1-3, 2012
Women's Studies as a discipline acknowledges the interdisciplinary approaches to discussing issues that affect women. The Women's Studies area of MAPACA seeks papers, panels and roundtables that investigate and discuss any of the many overlaps between gender and popular culture. Topics for this area include, but certainly are not limited to:
Jacques Derrida argues that the dead other can speak and remain "in us." Additionally, he argues that to keep one alive is the ultimate sign of fidelity that is accomplished through acts of mourning that necessitate the interiorization of the dead other. In a way, then, Derrida suggests that the living owe a debt to the dead: we must keep them alive, we must keep them "in us." This particular panel seeks papers that attempt to formulate and read the gift of death and the living's debt to the dead in literature. How has literature reckoned with death? Can literature do the work of mourning? How has literature represented the livings' debt to the dead? These are some of the questions this panel seeks to investigate.
CFP: Urban Culture Area, MAPACA, 11/1-11/3/2012, Pittsburgh, PA (June 15th, 2012, deadline for proposals)
Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action
Call for papers for Issue #6: "Challenging the rhetoric of non-State
actors, political violence and 'terrorism'"
Debts to the Moor: Influences, Adaptations, and Citations of Shakepeare's Othello
This panel invites theoretical inquiry and/or performance analyses of appropriations of William Shakespeare's Othello in film, popular culture and/or foreign non-English adaptations. Some questions to consider are: What methodologies are employed when considering the expectations of local audiences producing and consuming the adaptation? What contextual influences inform the reiteration of Othello in a range of performance venues? What literary debts are acknowledged when Othello is cited in popular culture, in widely distributed English films, and/or in foreign performances for non-English speaking audiences?