Reminder - NEMLA Ethnofuturisms: Spatiotemporal Geographies

full name / name of organization: 

"Ethnofuturisms: Spatiotemporal Geographies"

44th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 21-24, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts
Host Institution: Tufts University

In Black to the Future, Mark Dery's writes, "speculative fiction that treats African American themes and addresses African American concerns in the context of twentieth century techno culture – and more generally African American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future – might for want of a better term, be called Afrofuturism." Using the term "Ethnofuturism," this seminar extends Mark Dery's lens of critique to include Asian/Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Latino/a, Afro-Caribbean and Indigenous texts. Ethnofuturism uses non-Western cosmologies in order to critique not only the present day dilemmas of people of color, but also revise, interrogate, and reexamine the historical past. Just as Ruth Meyer describes Afrofuturistic texts as "mov[ing] seamlessly back and forth through time and space, between cultural traditions and geographic time zones," this seminar invites an exploration of diverse spatiotemporalities in order to consider the convergence and divergences between different formulations of "Ethnofuturism," both in terms of their aesthetics and political impetuses. This seminar hopes to put into dialogue papers that engage with literary, filmic, televisual, musical, and digital media works.

Please keep in mind that this is a Seminar. Five to ten participants will complete and circulate their papers (of no longer than twenty pages) prior to the convention. Instead of reading a paper, participants give a brief presentation of their work, with the session focused on structured exchange between the participants. In addition to informal comments and feedback given during the session, each participant will produce and receive one to two "formal" responses of no longer than a page by another panel participant.

Please submit 250 word abstracts to or no later than September 30, 2012. Final decisions will be made and participants notified by October 14, 2012. Finalized drafts will be due January 15, 2013 and distributed to all participants by January 30, 2013.

Tzarina T. Prater
Catherine Fung
Bentley University
English and Media Studies Department
175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)