UPDATE: [Cultural-Historical] Radical Culture in the 21st Century

full name / name of organization: 
John Maerhofer
contact email: 

Call for Papers
(Re) Theorizing Revolution: Radical Culture in the Contemporary Period

40th Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Feb. 26-March 1, 2009
Hyatt Regency - Boston, Massachusetts

Stemming from what can be understood as an absence of and apathy toward
revolutionary politics in postmodernity, many critics have argued that the
committed artist is no longer able to generate politically conscious works
without being attacked for touting propaganda for a leftist agenda or for
being accused of what George Caffentzis calls revolutionary “wishful
thinking.” Indeed, contemporary Marxist critics like Fredric Jameson have
questioned the possibility of creating works which might overcome “A
fundamental structural and ideological limit on our Utopian imagination”
and could restructure the global project of radical culture while moving
beyond the conciliation of postmodernist ennui.

Considering the above characterization, this panel will focus on the
enduring necessity of historical materialism in literary and cultural
criticism and the possibility of rethinking collective responses to
the “new” imperialism, globalization, and neoliberal hegemony. More than
a simple inquiry into the particular responses to these issues by
contemporary authors, this panel invites theoretical examinations of wide-
ranging movements that have moved beyond the nihilism and localization of
postmodernism with the objective of confronting late capitalism
and “ensconced” ruling-class ideologies. Some of the fundamental
questions this panel intends to ask are: What does it mean to be
a “committed artist” in the contemporary period? How are global aesthetic
and political movements attempting to move beyond the “flexibility” of
postmodernity and the reification of collective organizing? What
components of the “classical” period of literary radicalism can be
incorporated into revolutionary aesthetics and politics for the 21st
century, as found in the proletarian literary collectives of the 1930’s
and 1960’s? Send submissions (word attachments) and/or inquiries to John
Maerhofer, jjmaer_at_aol.com.

Deadline: September 15, 2008

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
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Received on Fri Sep 05 2008 - 08:53:28 EDT