CFP: [Film] âLostâ at NEMLA: Mapping TVâs Most Elusive Island

full name / name of organization: 
Randy Laist
contact email: 

“Lost” at NEMLA: Mapping TV’s Most Elusive Island

40th Anniversary Convention â€" Northeast Modern Language Association
Feb. 26 â€" Mar 1, 2009
Hyatt Regency â€" Boston, MA

One of the most remarkable television series in recent years has been
ABC’s “Lost.” Beginning with an archetypal premise of castaways stranded
on an island, the show has evolved into a complex network of obscure
connections, esoteric mysteries, literary and pop cultural allusions, and
baroque experiments in narrative temporality. Throughout the four
seasons of the show’s run, the castaways have recapitulated the
experience of the American colonists, discovered themselves to be
participants in a vast social-psychological experiment, fallen victim to
various crises of moral complexity and identity confusion, desperately
sought salvation only to encounter the failure of salvation, wrestled
with paradoxes of freedom and determinism, and sometimes have even seemed
to be attempting to negotiate the perils and possibilities of existing as
characters on a television program. The defining feature of the show is
its atmosphere of radical suggestibility; the narrative and thematic
strands of the story continually run away into hyper-interpretability in
a way that invites not only the kind of internet speculation which has
flourished around the show, but also the application of more
theoretically informed critical examination. Although “Lost” has only
been on for four seasons and still has three seasons to run, literary
critics have already begun to unpack the show’s philosophical,
sociological, and narratological convolutions in book-length studies with
titles like Lost: A Search for Meaning, Lost and Philosophy, and Lost:
Why We’re All Stuck on the Island. The objective of this panel will be
to contextualize the television show within diverse but complementary
critical perspectives. Of particular interest are proposals which
consider “Lost” within the background of emerging 21st Century concerns
such as:
globalization and its discontents
torture and terrorism
ecological consciousness
postapocalypticism and posthumanism
magic and technoscience
postcolonial territorialities
tribalism and multiculturalism
intertextuality and self-referentiality
“the state of nature” in the postnatural world
the ontological dynamics of communications media
field-based models of signification and narrative.
Send 250-300-word abstracts to Randy Laist, University of Connecticut,
Deadline: September 15, 2008
Please include with your abstract: your name and affiliation, postal
address, and A/V requirements, if any.

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Received on Mon May 19 2008 - 12:30:10 EDT