CFP: [Cultural-Historical] (re) thinking revolution: radical culture in the contemporary period

full name / name of organization: 
John Maerhofer
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40th Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Feb. 26-March 1, 2009 Hyatt Regency - Boston, Massachusetts

Stemming from what can be understood as an absence of and apathy toward
revolutionary politics in postmodernity, many theorists have argued that
the committed artist is no longer able to generate politically conscious
works without being attacked for touting propaganda for a leftist agenda
or for being accused of what George Caffentzis calls
revolutionary “wishful thinking.” Indeed, contemporary Marxist critics
like Fredric Jameson have questioned the possibility of creating works
which might overcome “A fundamental structural and ideological limit on
our Utopian imagination” and could restructure the global project of
radical culture while moving beyond the conciliation of postmodernist

Considering the above characterization, this panel will focus on the
enduring necessity of historical materialism in literary and cultural
criticism and the possibility of rethinking collective responses to
the “new” imperialism, globalization, and neoliberal hegemony. More than a
simple inquiry into the particular responses to these issues by
contemporary authors, this panel invites theoretical examinations of wide-
ranging movements that have moved beyond the nihilism and localization of
postmodernism with the objective of confronting late capitalism
and “ensconced” ruling-class ideologies. Some of the fundamental questions
this panel intends to ask are: What does it mean to be a “committed
artist” in the contemporary period? How are global aesthetic and political
movements attempting to move beyond the “flexibility” of postmodernity and
the reification of collective organizing? What components of
the “classical” period of literary radicalism can be incorporated into
revolutionary aesthetics and politics for the 21st century, as found in
the proletarian literary collectives of the 1930’s and 1960’s? Send
submissions (word attachments), AV requirements, and/or inquiries to John

Deadline: September 15, 2008

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Received on Fri Jul 18 2008 - 08:27:25 EDT