CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Liminal Long Beach, ACLA 2008

full name / name of organization: 
Susanne E. Hall
contact email: 

Liminal Long Beach
ACLA, April 24-27, 2008, Long Beach, CA

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Long Beach has long been an active site in the U.S. imaginary; it was
nicknamed “Iowa by the Sea” in the early 20th century, a moniker that
represented its popular image as a sunny, ocean-side city that became home
to thousands of transplanted mid-Westerners. At mid-century Long Beach
figured in notable fictional works â€" like Robert Penn Warren’s All the
King’s Men and John Fante’s Ask the Dust â€" as an ahistorical site where
characters went to escape the tragedy of their lives. Those who have lived
there know Long Beach differently: not as an ahistorical crystallization of
the command to Go West, but rather as a liminal site between Los Angeles
and Orange County, between the post-industrial city and the lingering
promise of the beach. Long Beach has long been home to many active
subcultures, including those associated with gangsta rap, motorcycle
culture, diverse immigrant populations, and queer culture. Alongside this
rich history, Long Beach serves as one repository of the accreted failures
and illusory heroic histories that characterize so many beach towns and
gentrifying post-industrial cities.

We call for the disruption of the seamless arrival and departure of ACLA
conference-goers, and therefore propose an investigation of Long Beach’s
arrivals and departures. This panel seeks essays that investigate Long
Beach as a liminal space â€" as a geographical or imaginary site of
resistance, avoidance, or transience. Ideal papers will engage Long Beach
as a historical and cultural site and/or relate the case of Long Beach to
broader cultural, literary, visual, and geographic concerns.

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Received on Sun Nov 04 2007 - 13:30:34 EST