[UPDATE] Ethnicity and Affect in American Literatures

full name / name of organization: 
Northeastern Modern Language Association
contact email: 
rodrigues.laurie@gmail.com

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3 – 6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University


The humanities “affective turn” continues to resonate in the fields of literary and narratological studies. Like the linguistic, cultural, and ethical turns, the affective bears new modes of inquiry and brands of scholarship: studies of emotion, sensation, bodies, and so on. Yet, while this affective turn seems to contract thought, from communities to singular bodies, the extension of affect to literary study, conceived as a world of encounters, suggests a much wider field. Affect—circulating, ambient sensations—has been activated to understand senses of otherness, such as José Esteban Muñoz’s concept of “feeling brown,” as well as embodied responses to neoliberalism and capitalism, as may be perceived in Lauren Berlant or Steven Shaviro’s adaptations of “affective labor.”


Gregory J. Seigworth, editor of The Affect Theory Reader (Duke UP, 2010) and a widely-published, prominent scholar in the field of affect studies, will be joining this panel in the role of respondent.

I invite papers that examine how 20th and 21st-century literary and cultural narratives in America engage with structures of feeling and theories of affect. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):


- National bodies/ communities as “structures of feeling” (see, Raymond Williams’ Marxism and Literature);

- Consequences that attend feelings of belonging or disconnection within a community or nation; - The politics of affect in national or social formations;

- Ubanity, tolerance, or cosmopolitanism as affects, rather than subjectivities;

- The function or role of affect and emotion in border-crossing;

- The relatedness of affect to neoliberalism’s disciplinary and regulatory apparati;

- Ethnic/ immigrant/ black American literatures and the use of narrative forms or genres as critical affect/ structures of feeling.


Please send any inquiries and your 250 – 500 word abstract, as a PDF or Word attachment, to Laurie Rodrigues: rodrigues.laurie@gmail.com.


Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
popular_culture
postcolonial
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond