Feeling and Distance: Sympathy, Violence, and Spectatorship (NeMLA 2019)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Joshua Gooch, D'Youville College
contact email: 

NeMLA Convention, March 21-24, 2019 in Washington, DC.

What does it mean to feel--or not feel--with another? Nearly twenty years ago, in books like Boltanski's Distant Suffering, critics turned to studies of sentiment, histories of emotion, and other notions of public feeling to address the Yugoslav wars and 9/11, and linked the rise of anti-sentimental literature with literature focused on unexpected or illicit interests in witnessing suffering. This panel will consider the ways in which literary studies now has returned to this question anew to deal think about displaced peoples, economic crises, and the rise of racist extremists across the globe through cultural texts. How can literary studies use theoretical reshapings of sympathy by Judith Butler, Brian Massumi, or Sara Ahmed? How may the history of sentimentality and suffering inform contemporary issues shaped by problems of spectatorship and violence?

Submit abstracts to https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/17431.