CFP: Reconsidering AIDS Realism (2/15/07; MMLA, 11/8/07-11/11/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Bell, Christopher

Since 2004, the Midwest MLA has convened a series of panels examining filmic, literary, and personal responses to the AIDS crisis. The proposed session for the 2007 M/MLA in Cleveland is "Reconsidering AIDS Realism."


Writing in "Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies," Stuart Hall observes, "AIDS is one of the questions which urgently brings before us our marginality as critical intellectuals in making real effects in the world." How does work - whether ours or others' - about AIDS make the real effects Hall speaks of? How does this work crystallize and/or disrupt definitions of AIDS reality? Is there a singular, structuralist AIDS reality or are there multiple realities? Is the singular reality of AIDS static? Where are the spaces in which the multiple realities intersect? How do issues of identity politics complicate ideas of AIDS realism?


Possible ways participants might address AIDS realism in print texts, film, art, etc. include:


* AIDS as cultural, metaphysical, ontological, phenomenological, and philosophical reality


* AIDS as intervention into corporeal reality


* AIDS as theoretical reality


* AIDS as what Ross Chambers terms a "prophylactic practice" that inspires reading and writing about reality


* AIDS as textual impossibility. How, for instance, do critics address disconnects between "real" and textual accounts of AIDS subjects?


* AIDS as unreality


This list is suggestive, not exhaustive. All treatments of AIDS realism from any disciplinary category and intellectual framework are encouraged.


Please submit abstracts of no more than 200 words to Chris Bell at by 15 February 2007.


Participants must become members of the M/MLA and pay the convention registration fee by 1 June 2007 in order to present at the conference. Details about fees is available at

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Received on Tue Nov 28 2006 - 17:56:08 EST