Particularity in North American Lit/Crit (Due 01/11/13; Conference 24-27/05/14)

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Kwame Anthony Appiah has observed that "we expect people of a certain race to behave a certain way" due both to "the script for that identity" and "antecedent properties" that prompt the application of a given racial label. He points out that the application and subsequent performance of labels occurs not only for racial identifications, but also for all major categories within present-day identity politics. If this is indeed the case, why does it seem that the "antecedent properties" of identifications like race, gender, and, perhaps to a lesser extent, ethnicity, overwhelm more contingent identifications such as class politics, theoretical outlook, regional identification, or locality? How do specific literary and critical career trajectories—such as Dionne Brand's—evince the obfuscation of certain particularities in favour of others? Most unsettlingly, is it possible that such hierarchical ordering of identifications points to an insidious form of essentialism in the academy itself?
We invite proposals examining the complexities of particularity in contemporary North American literary and critical production. Send proposals of 300-500 words, containing no identifying marks, to and Please include a 100-word abstract, a 50-word bio, and the ACCUTE Proposal Submissions Information Sheet. Deadline: 1 November 2013. Conference: 24-27 May 2014.