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CFP: Edited collection: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre (15 January 2014)
full name / name of organization:
Benjamin J. Robertson, University of Colorado, Boulder
I seek proposals for essays that explore the relationship between late capitalist culture/economics and texts which, in one manner or another, are “merely” generic. According to Fredric Jameson and others, late capitalism is characterized by new forms of business and financial organization, developments in media and the relationships amongst media, and planned obsolescence. By “merely generic,” I refer to those texts in any medium that seem less interested in pushing generic boundaries than in maintaining or perhaps hyperbolizing them (such as books by Robert Jordan and David Eddings) and/or belong to an obvious genre, but turn away from that broader genre in order to develop their own environments and/or conventions on massive scales (such as the expanded Stars Wars Universe). These texts may be: swiftly produced, developed in explicit and careful relation to others in their series or world, targeted at an existing audience already familiar with the genre, and crafted for easy consumption and quick obsolescence.
How do such merely generic texts define the cultural landscape of the postmodern/contemporary world? How does this cultural landscape condition them?
Possible topics include:
Obviously, numerous other avenues of inquiry exist and many of those mentioned here dovetail with one another. Please inquire at the email address below with suggestions or ideas.
Although I will consider a range of approaches, I am especially interested in essays that situate groups of texts or series in an historical moment or cultural frame. I am less interested in thematic and formal readings of individual texts.
Please send proposals of approximately 500 words as attachments (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, or .odt) to email@example.com by 15 January 2014. Again, also feel free to contact me with questions or other concerns.