CFP: Contraband in the Americas (11/15/07; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
contact email:


_Contraband in the Americas_
Deadline: November 15, 2007

We invite chapter proposals for an edited volume that will focus on the
representation of contraband in the Americas. We are primarily
interested in the illegal movement of goods across borders or other
frontiers, and how this contraband economy changes the way the Americas
are imagined. This project responds to an emerging body of literary and
cultural criticism on the topic of informal/illegal economies and secret
commerce. Our volume seeks to show that these individual studies form a
new field in the cultural history of the Americas.

Central to this project will be a theorization of the way the multiple
cultures and nations of the Americas have been formed in relation to
illegal economies and the illicit crossing of borders of all kinds. As
such, this volume invites papers that deal with contraband not only
between the various countries of the Americas, but also in transatlantic
and transpacific exchanges. At the same time, this volume proposes a
broad historical scope: from colonial discussions concerning the
mercantile system, to 18th- and 19th-century debates on the free market,
to more contemporary representations of the trafficking of music, drugs,
humans, organs, and sex in and throughout the Americas. We are
therefore interested in different forms of contraband and welcome a
variety of approaches and methodologies.

The aim of _Contraband in the Americas_ will be to explore the role of the
black market, broadly defined, in literature and culture across the
Americas. The volume will ask: Does the smuggler interrupt the
development of a nation, or is this figure a necessary part of any kind
of imagined community? What are the different forms of contraband and
how have these forms changed in different economic and political
systems? How is the notion of a contraband economy important for
rethinking political narrative? How is the notion of a secret economy
used as a figure for political movements? How can smuggling be
theorized not only as a motif in literary and cultural texts, but also
as a figure for the act of writing in the Americas? In the end, is the
history of the Americas also a history of contraband?

Possible themes include, but are not limited to:
- Literary and cultural representations of contraband
- The figure of the contrabandist, the pirate, the privateer, the filibusterer
- Contraband and the imagined community
- Contraband as a form of politico-economic resistance
- Contraband as a form of politico-economic hegemony
- Illicit trade and trade routes
- Illegal border crossings
- The counterfeiting of metals and moneys
- Smuggling as gendered space
- Contraband and race
- Contraband and the commodification of the human
- Writing as a form of contraband
- Contraband as a model for political storytelling

Send inquiries, 2-page abstracts, or completed essays by November 15, 2007 to
Jeremy Paden,, or David Kelman,, or mail to Jeremy Paden, Assistant
Professor, Modern and Classical Languages, Georgia State University, P.O. Box
Atlanta, GA 30302-3970.

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Fri Apr 13 2007 - 16:23:10 EDT

cfp categories: