CFP: Writing Hunger (9/15/06; NEMLA, 3/1/07-3/4/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Kirsten Bartholomew
contact email:

Call for Papers

Panel Title: Writing Hunger

38th Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 1-4, 2007
Baltimore, MD

This panel seeks to explore the multivalent representations of food and
hunger in American literature and culture. Please send abstracts of 250-500
words to Kirsten Bartholomew Ortega at

Deadline: September 15, 2006
Abstract: Food is basic sustenance for life; but it is also social,
political, part of religious ritual, a cultural factor in national and
ethnic identity, and recently, it is popular culture (evident in the
popularity of the Food Network on television). Just as food has become
multivalent in American culture, so has the issue of hunger. In Adrienne
Rich's poem for Audre Lorde, titled "Hunger," she writes: "I choke on the
taste of bread in North America / but the taste of hugner in North America /
is poisoning me." For Rich, "bread" is much more than food, "hunger" is more
than the need for food. These lines suggest the paradox of food in American
culture (as commodity item and basic necessity, as comfort and cause of
disorder) and the ways that literary representations of hunger engage in
complex questions of identity and culture. This panel intends to interrogate
such literary representations and draw connections between authors'
different responses to issues of hunger.

This panel welcomes papers addressing images of hunger (physical and
metaphorical) and/or of food--as commodity item, popular culture, ethnic or
national symbol, religious ritual, symbol of disorder (compulsive
consumption or denial), etc.--in American literature.

Kirsten Bartholomew Ortega
email submissions preferred:
British & American Literature
New College of Florida
5700 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34243-2197
New College Humanities Dept: (941) 359-4360

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Received on Sun Jul 09 2006 - 10:19:01 EDT

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