CFP: Teaching U.S. Multi-Ethnic Literatures, panel proposal for CEA, April 2013 (deadline 10/15)

full name / name of organization: 
Hellen Lee-Keller, Calif St Univ, Sacramento
contact email:

CFP: Teaching U.S. Multi-Ethnic Literatures
(Panel Proposal, College English Association, April 2013)

We are seeking paper proposals for a panel to be held at this year’s College English Association meeting in Savannah, Georgia (April 4-6, 2013); the specific conference theme is “Nature,” and this panel will address the conference organizers’ suggested subtopic of “The Nature of Classroom.”

This panel focuses on the challenges faced when teaching multi-ethnic literatures at the public university in an age of attacks on ethnic studies programs, declining support for the humanities in general, the viewing of English Departments as primarily important for teaching composition, the decreasing ability of many universities’ faculty and student body to reflect the socioeconomic and racial diversity of their communities, and an intensifying political and cultural struggle to define the significance of race and ethnicity in U.S. society. What problems do we face, and how do we address them, at a time in which the acceptance of multi-ethnic literatures in U.S. English courses is still a continuing struggle?

We invite a broad variety of investigations, which could include (but are not limited to):
● The challenges of teaching working-class and/or first-generation students, many of whom view studying literature as a means to acquire cultural capital (and therefore expect “the classics”)
● The challenges of teaching amid a larger cultural climate favoring liberal and neoliberal views of race and poverty
● Institutional factors in public universities that affect critical approaches to culture and politics
● The interaction between “literature” and popular cultural “common sense” about race, ethnicity, and culture
● Critical pedagogy as applied to the multi-ethnic literature classroom
● Teaching multi-ethnic literatures in concert with other frameworks for understanding (such as class, gender, sexuality, history, etc.)

Submission Guidelines
Send the following by October 15 as Word attachment to both and :

● 300-word abstract with title of presentation and indicate any AV needs
● 2-page CV, including name, email address, mailing address, telephone number(s), institutional affiliation, number of years teaching, relevant courses taught
● If the panel is accepted, papers must be presented personally (no proxies), so please indicate if you have secure travel/conference funding.

Please note: This CFP is for a proposed panel, and is therefore not yet a guaranteed session. The panel must first meet approval by the CEA; this selection process occurs after the CEA receives panel proposals on Nov. 1, 2012. In accordance with the CEA policy as listed on its website, “All presenters must join CEA by 1 January 2013 to appear on the program,” and “no person may make more than one presentation at the conference.”

Jake Mattox, Indiana University, South Bend
Hellen Lee-Keller, California State University, Sacramento

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