NEMLA 2014 CFP: Narrative, Capital, and the Biosocial (Abstracts due 9/30/2013)

full name / name of organization: 
45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) April 3-6, 2014 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

From Arendt to Agamben, theorists of biopolitics have argued that shifts in the ways bodies are understood and regulated emerge from the hegemonic form of sovereignty. This panel asks how writers and artists across capitalism's longer history have imagined biopower within and against this standard narrative. What does literature have to say about nature, bodies (human and otherwise), and sovereignty? Moreover, this panel seeks to understand if newer forms of narrative (the Tweet, the comic, the webisode, and so on), unfolding within what has been described as a new form of sovereignty (Empire), express new understandings of the body under contemporary capitalism, or how these recent formulations of power interact with narratives from earlier centuries. If the terrain of sovereign power is the body, then how does narrative express the body's response to this power?

As these questions indicate, we hope to discuss a wide variety of narratives to limn their interaction with theories of biopower and biosociality. We welcome papers especially on recent American narratives, but papers touching on these issues in earlier American literature or beginning/situated in other places and times are welcome. Please send 250-500 word abstracts to Jeff Gonzalez at

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) April 3-6, 2014 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University
Deadline: September 30, 2013
Session ID: 14369

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country, antique shops and Hershey Park. NeMLA has arranged low hotel rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as: "the best book you'll read this year." NeMLA's Keynote Speaker will be David Staller, Producer and Director of Project Shaw. Mr. Staller presents monthly script-in-hand performances of Bernard Shaw's plays at the Players Club in New York City.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.