[NEMLA] The Descent of Darwin: Evolutions in Literary Representation (April 30 - May 3 2015)

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Northeast Modern Language Association
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Charles Darwin's work transformed scientific knowledge in the nineteenth-century by offering new modes of understanding and classifying humans that had serious consequences for the studies of race, animals, and affect. This panel intends to explore how late nineteenth and early twentieth century British and American literature engages, affirms or resists Darwin's theories. Many genres, such as Gothic fiction and naturalism, problematically craft characters that conform to Darwin's hierarchical categorizations of humanity. We seek papers that productively participate in the discussion of literature and science with an eye to analyses of science not just as content or theme, but also as aesthetic and generic influence. Literature offers a means not just to respond to science but to work through scientific issues and resulting social anxieties.

This panel hopes to investigate the theoretical possibilities Darwin opened up or foreclosed through science. His work on evolution in The Descent of Man profoundly affected the terrain of scientific racism and affirmed the complicity of scientific discovery with colonialism, but also paved the way for the fields of animal studies and post-humanism. The system of classification he offers in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals has troubling implications regarding the relationship between race and animality, but also anticipates work in affect theory. Our panel will investigate Darwin's influence on the literature of his day and consider how his work may have served as the foundation for theoretical fields central to contemporary academic discourse.

Please go to the www.nemla.org and make an account in order to submit your abstract directly to this session


57145NeMLA session: "MEMSAHIB RE-DEFINED" [Deadline: Sept 30, 2014]Dr. Susmita Roye, Delaware State University, USAsroye@desu.edu1402246012cultural_studies_and_historical_approachesethnicity_and_national_identityfilm_and_televisiongender_studies_and_sexualitygeneral_announcementsinterdisciplinaryinternational_conferencespopular_culturepostcolonialtwentieth_century_and_beyondvictorianfull name / name of organization: Dr. Susmita Roye, Delaware State University, USAcontact email: sroye@desu.edu


Memsahib – the term literally means "Sahib's wife" or the "lady mistress" – is usually associated with white women in British India. For this reason, despite the fact that the term continues to be used today in independent India, its use cannot be divorced from its colonial conception because, more often than not, especially in the academic scholarship, the term's association with British colonialism in India is analyzed. Examining the image of memsahibs and the nexus between gender and imperialism in India has garnered considerable scholarly attention (e.g. Claire Midgley, Indrani Sen and Margaret Strobel, among others).

However, in postcolonial India, the term lives on, usually referring to women from an affluent background. The term is no longer exclusively associated with white-skinned women. This transformation complicates the dialectical relationship among race, gender, colonial heritage and postcolonial identity-formation. Therefore, we may safely infer that the power play and politics of nuances associated with the term is far more complex than the mere literal meaning of "Sahib's wife" or "mistress".

Hence, we propose this session to be able to delve deeper into understanding and re-defining this term.

Scholarly papers are invited for this session. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

* Origins and etymological meaning of the term
* Evolution of the meaning of the term (the different meanings that it has taken on over the ages, both in colonial and postcolonial times)
* Race, class, skin-color politics (for instance, in colonial India, even the lower-class white women are called 'mem' by virtue of their skin color)
* Colonial and postcolonial connotation
* Exploring the postcolonial undertones and implications of the term
* Depiction of the memsahib figure in literature, social media, films, folklore, etc.
* Contempt towards the 'brown memsahib' in Raj days
* Memsahib vs. ideal Indian womanhood
* Negative associations with the term in today's India
* The diminished regard for the mem-figure in modern-day India (for instance, the rape cases of foreign women in India these days, as well as the role of representation of such issues in journalism and media)
* Depiction in Bollywood films
* Echoes of the term in daily life and laymen usage in modern-day India (for instance, a female snob is often dubbed a mem)
* The 'mem-effect' in preference for fair-skinned appearance of actresses in movies or in the general obsession for fairness in India

The chairs of this proposed session are Drs. Susmita Roye and Suha Kudsieh. Please send 500-word abstract of your planned presentation by September 30, 2014.

In order to submit your abstract, please visit:

The session is being proposed for the 46th Annual Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention at Toronto, Ontario (Canada). The dates are April 30-May 3, 2015, and the convention will be hosted by Ryerson University. For more information, visit www.nemla.org or email support@nemla.org. For information about Toronto, visit http://www.seetorontonow.com/ or www.toronto.ca/visitors

cfp categories: cultural_studies_and_historical_approachesethnicity_and_national_identityfilm_and_televisiongender_studies_and_sexualitygeneral_announcementsinterdisciplinaryinternational_conferencespopular_culturepostcolonialtwentieth_century_and_beyondvictorian 57146CFP: Terry Eagleton [10/31/2014] Special Journal Issue _In-between: Essays and Studies in Literary Criticism_<inbetween@reidffmail.com>; <grtaneja47@hotmail.com>1402252662interdisciplinaryjournals_and_collections_of_essaystheorytwentieth_century_and_beyondfull name / name of organization:  _In-between: Essays and Studies in Literary Criticism_contact email: <inbetween@reidffmail.com>; <grtaneja47@hotmail.com>

Contributions are invited for a special issue of _In-between_ which focuses on Terry Eagleton.
The last date for submissions is October 31, 2014.
Contribution will be accepted on an ongoing basis.
Articles may not be longer than four thousand words. Please use any software, double space, single quotes, double quotes for quotes within quotes, outside punctuation, en dash flanked by single space in place of two hyphens, British spelling except for quoted matter, single space between sentences, no space between paragraphs, and auto-footnotes.
Submissions. Please (i) air-mail one hard copy along with (ii) a copy of your cv if you have one handy, and (iii) email the text of the submission along with (iv) a hundred word note for the contributors' column.
G R Taneja

cfp categories: interdisciplinaryjournals_and_collections_of_essaystheorytwentieth_century_and_beyond 57147Disability Studies and the Environmental Humanities: A CollectionCo-edited by Sarah Jaquette Ray and J. C. Sibara / Under contract with University of Nebraska Pressdisability.environment@gmail.com1402254443americancultural_studies_and_historical_approachesecocriticism_and_environmental_studiesethnicity_and_national_identitygender_studies_and_sexualityinterdisciplinarypostcolonialfull name / name of organization: Co-edited by Sarah Jaquette Ray and J. C. Sibara / Under contract with University of Nebraska Presscontact email: disability.environment@gmail.com

We are editing a scholarly volume that brings disability studies in dialogue with the interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities. While scholars in the environmental humanities have been troubling the dichotomy between "wild" and "built" environments, and writing about the "material turn," trans-corporealities, and "slow violence" for several years now, few focus on the robust and related work being done in the field of disability studies, which takes as a starting point the contingency between environments and bodies. Like environmental justice and new materialist scholar Stacy Alaimo's theory of "trans-corporeality," which insists that the body is constituted by its material, historical, and discursive contexts, disability studies challenges dominant perceptions of the body as separate from the contexts in which bodies live, work, and play.

Similarly, key concerns in the environmental humanities--from food justice and migrant farmworkers to climate debt, military legacies, and green imperialism--engage in issues that also occupy disability studies scholars, such as the validity of a mind/body dualism, corporeal and mental health as a new form of privilege in what Ulrick Beck has deemed a "risk society" in Western culture, the impact of nation-building on marginalized populations and places, the myth of American rugged individualism, and parallels between the exploitation of land and abuses of labor. Putting these fields in dialogue means identifying what we learn by recasting these concerns of the environmental humanities in terms that disability studies scholars enlist, such as ableism, access, and the "medical model."

For example, when we recognize that bodies are "becoming," or "temporarily abled," we begin to see how the prevailing use of pesticides disables farmworkers in order to provide fruit and vegetables to (make healthy) those who have access to them. Likewise, the "slow violence" of military legacies, to use postcolonial ecocritic Rob Nixon's term, manifest most often as physical and mental disabilities, both domestically and abroad. Further, the myth of the rugged individual contributes to the social construction of "disability," and simultaneously, as many environmental thinkers argue, fosters the exploitation of natural resources. Work in environmental justice, both in the humanities and social sciences, has made some motion in the direction of disability studies by emphasizing toxicity and "body burdens," but it rarely draws on the insights of disability studies scholars, who assert that disability not be understood as a "burden," and who increasingly acknowledge that the able-ment of the privileged often relies on the disablement of others.

The lack of exchange between these fields goes both ways. Though disability studies scholars show that built environments privilege some bodies and minds over others, few have focused on the specific ways toxic environments engender chronic illness and disability, especially for marginalized populations, or the ways in which environmental illnesses—often chronic and/or invisible—disrupt dominant paradigms for recognizing and representing "disability." Indeed, focus on built environments dominates, and connections between the environment and disability, when addressed, are done so in the natural and social sciences, often without the critical lenses of humanistic fields. If, as geographers and anthropologists focusing on disability recognize, environments can be disabling, and if, as new materialist environmental justice scholars argue, our bodies are our first environments—the "geography closest in," as Adrienne Rich put it—it seems that environmental humanities and disability studies indeed have much to offer each other.

We welcome single-authored and multi-authored papers by contributors including graduate students and independent scholars working in the humanities or closely related fields. Papers that cover non-contemporary periods are also welcome, as are proposals addressing non-US regions or transnational relationships. We welcome broad understandings of "disability," and strongly encourage submissions that take into consideration intersections not only among "disability" and "environment" but also among other categories of difference that are co-implicated in those first two terms, including race, gender, class, sexuality, immigration/nation, etc.

With these parameters in mind, we invite 500-word abstracts for scholarly essays that grapple with the intersections of these fields, and/or address the following topics:

- ableism and the environment

- toxicity and disablement

- slow violence as disablement / military legacies of environmental degradation and disablement

- US imperialism as dispossession and disablement

- environments as disabling in literature and media

- eco-sickness

- the eco-ability movement

- critical medical/epidemiological anthropology

- the body in environmental philosophy

- corporeality and environmental justice

- cross-species identifications and / or the status of non-human animals in disability studies

- shared / common concerns of disability and environmental movements

- politics of "prevention" versus "access" as goals of environmental justice versus disability activism

Deadline for submission: July 15, 2014. Please e-mail abstracts as PDF or Word attachments, including your name, affiliation, and contact information, to:


We will send invitations for full essay submissions by the end of summer. Full essays of no more than 8,000 words (inclusive of notes and bibliography) will be due January 2, 2015, for editors' review and subsequent peer review facilitated by University of Nebraska Press. We reserve the right to exclude any final manuscripts

cfp categories: americancultural_studies_and_historical_approachesecocriticism_and_environmental_studiesethnicity_and_national_identitygender_studies_and_sexualityinterdisciplinarypostcolonial