Reanimate Earth: Liminality and Communitas in Literature of the Americas

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South Atlantic MLA Conference, Atlanta, Georgia (Nov 7-9, 2014)
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Seeking out new growth in devastated spaces and optimism in the face of environmental despair, this panel will take on the task of enchanting readers with physical spaces in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America that have already been toxified or left for dead. The liminal, a conception traditionally most relevant to anthropology and psychoanalysis, has the capacity to reinvigorate the relationship between culture and its more anomalous literary environments.

The possibilities for this concept are substantial, particularly when we perceive the liminal self as place, because as limen the hybridized monsters and liminal zones depicted in post-WW II literature are catalysts for environmental reanimation and a source for hope. What we propose is the observance, sorting and wise use of unclassified spaces where more than reforestation and revegetation will be needed to bring back ecological viability and biodiversity; sites of interest might include areas either flooded or desertified due to global warming, zones at the edge of leaking nuclear reactors, interstate medians, tornado-ravaged areas, aesthetic greens surrounding campuses, and graveyards.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• hybrid spaces and bodies
• interstitial regions and borderlands
• transnational approaches to place
• liminality as a result of globalization
• golems, zombies, and shape-shifters
• liminal communities
• post-post-apocalyptic literature and film
• ecological dead zones
• genetically modified organisms

Send 200-500 word abstracts to Lee Rozelle at by June 15.

cfp categories: 
modernist studies