Alien invasion, viral outbreak, nuclear holocaust, the rise of the machines, the flood, the second coming, the second ice age—these are just a few of the ways human beings have imagined their "end of days." And someone's Armageddon clock is always ticking—we just dodged Harold Camping's rapture on May 21st of this year, and the Mayan-predicted doomsday of 2012 is just around the corner. In the end, what do we reveal about ourselves when we dream of the apocalypse? What are the social and political functions of these narratives in any given historical period? How do different cultures imagine the apocalypse, and what do these differences reveal? What is particular to the narratological design and content of apocalyptic texts?
Even though critics have worked hard to expand and democratize the canon of modernist American literature, it is the major authors, major texts, and major characters who, predictably, continue to hog the scholarly attention. But their minor counterparts are important not only because they are significant cultural products of their era but also because they speak to us about the formation of the American literary canon in the twentieth century. This panel, which will meet as a special topics session at the 22nd annual English Graduate Student Association Mardi Gras Conference at Louisiana State University, interrogates the relation of the minor to the major in pre-WWII American literature.
This special session will take place at the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan (May 10-13, 2012).
CFP: MOB/RIOT CULTURE & PUBLIC PROTEST IN THE 21st CENT.
New technologies, new ways of communication, and, in some cases, new approaches to old problems and debates have emerged with the new millennium. With these changes, old tensions resurface and new conflicts arise. The past decade, and more recently in these past months, we have witnessed how these tensions create a variety of public protests and riots. This proposed collection aims to examine these acts (comparatively or individually): how and why they were initiated; how they have impacted their respective local, national, or even global communities; and how individual citizens, various groups and organizations, the media, and even governments have responded to these acts.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Conference website: http://www.digitalcrossroads.nl
Deadline for abstract submission and panel proposals: January 10, 2012
Conference chair: Sandra Ponzanesi
Conference coordinator: Fadi Hirzalla
Because of the disjunctive and unstable interplay of commerce, media, national policies, and consumer fantasies, ethnicity, once a genie contained in the bottle of some sort of locality (however large), has now become a global force, forever slipping in and through the cracks between states and borders
– Appadurai 1996, p. 41, Modernity at Large
In his work "The Meaning of the Body" philosopher Mark Johnson argues that aesthetics is not just art theory. Rather, it should be considered to be the study of everything that goes into the human capacity to make and experience the bodily pre-linguistic cognitive, emotional and sensory-perceptual conditions of meaning constitution having its origins in the organic activities of living creatures and in their organism-environment transactions. In this way he rejects both the Kantian view of aesthetics according to which aesthetics is nonconceptual and incapable of giving rise to knowledge and the mind/body dichotomy that underlies it. Johnson introduces the embodied mind thesis into aesthetics.
Advancing scholarship about women and mythology involves the evolution and refinement of scholarly methods. Suggested topics for this symposium might include, but are not limited to, the following:
What are new paths for the field of women's spirituality? What new models and methods support scholarly inquiry? How shall new methods be evaluated? What are criteria for solid scholarship using these new models? What are the complexities around issues of cultural appropriation? How can scholars understand and address the tensions around rootedness and local culture on the one hand, and issues of lineage and history on the other?
Panel on "Victorian Energy Crises"
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)—March 15-18, 2012—Rochester, New York, Hyatt Rochester http://www.nemla.org/convention/2012/cfp.html
This panel will consider the ways energy, broadly conceived, was theorized, understood, and represented in Victorian literature, science, and material culture.
Recent events like the austerity and cost-of-living protests in Greece, Israel, and the UK and food protests in several North African countries invite renewed attention to the relationship between violence and economics. Media coverage of these events tends to focus our attention on the violence of the protesters or of autocratic regimes but ignores the economic violence that sparked these protests. During times of economic crises, the violence that always simmers below the surface of capitalism—the violence of dispossession, accumulation, and systematic impoverishment—surges to the surface.
Liminality is a state of being that is neither in nor out, neither belonging to or excluded from, neither conscious nor unconscious, neither full nor empty; but, liminality holds within that in-between existence great power for effecting change. How does liminality intersect and clash with the concept of extremities – the fringes of society, religion, politics, ideology, and literature that threaten to pull us apart. Can liminality (the in-between) and extremity (the outer edge) inhabit the same space? Can they be one and the same at times, or are they always at odds with each other? Can we navigate and inhabit the borders and boundaries of our world - the ambiguous space between two other spaces - and not lose ourselves or our identities?