Subscribe to american

american

Cliché - Issue 18, FORUM Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts. 20 March 2014

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 6:32am
full name / name of organization: 
FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts
contact email: 

FORUM JOURNAL ISSUE 18: CLICHÉ

As writers and academics we fear having our work criticised as cliché; yet, we continue to repeat and overwork certain ideas to the brink. If we are to believe Marshall McLuhan, "it is the worn out cliché that reveals the creative or archetypal processes in language as in all other processes and artifacts" (Cliché to Archetype 127). The pursuit of newness requires us to label precursors as old and eventually worn out, thereby rendering them cliché. At the same time, a phrase, symbol, or trope would not be used to the point of cliché if it did not continue to strike a chord with so many artists or thinkers. Clichés are cultural relics reread and relocated as benchmarks for new art and interpretation.

MLA 2015: No Strings Attached: The MacArthur Fellows Program and Contemporary American Literature

updated: 
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 12:21am
full name / name of organization: 
Marcy J. Dinius
contact email: 

This proposed special session at the 2015 MLA Convention in Vancouver will consider the influence of the so-called MacArthur "Genius Grants" on contemporary American literature. Since 1981, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation annually has bestowed substantial "no strings attached" grants to American writers as an "investment" in their "originality, insight, and potential." Especially welcome are papers assessing any aspect of the literary "returns" on these "investments"; how the grants interact with--or challenge--the dynamics of the traditional literary marketplace; and the grants situated within a long view of American writers' means of support (patronage, editing, teaching, other day jobs, prize collecting).

ROBERT FROST REVIEW CFP SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 6:34pm
full name / name of organization: 
Robert Frost Review

The Robert Frost Review is planning a special double issue to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of both A Boy's Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914). The Robert Frost Review welcomes all articles on any aspect of the poems, history, or reception of either or both books. Please send electronic attachments of manuscripts no longer than 5,000 words in MLA style before July 2014 to jonathan.barron@usm.edu for full consideration.

Sustainability and Population

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 3:41pm
full name / name of organization: 
MLA 2015
contact email: 

"Sustainability and Population," MLA 2015, Special Session

This panel invites papers that examine the intersections of "sustainability" and "population" in literature. Papers may consider how race, demography, biopolitics, fertility, economics, agriculture, and spatial distribution help clarify, illuminate, and evaluate "sustainability"---what literary critics have deemed a thorny and vague concept in the past few years. Papers from any time period are welcome. Please send 250-word abstracts to Abby Goode (alg9@rice.edu) by 15 March 2014.

Celebrity Encounters: Transatlantic Fame in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America, July 4-5, 2014

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 2:01pm
full name / name of organization: 
University of Portsmouth
contact email: 

Building on recent scholarship that has demonstrated that the discourses, practices and conditions associated with twentieth- and twenty-first-century celebrity culture were already in place in America and Europe by the end of the eighteenth century, this conference explores the transatlantic dimensions of nineteenth-century constructions of fame and fandom. It considers the ways transatlantic celebrity affected relationships between, and the identities of, celebrities and fans, and facilitated a questioning of geographically located notions of identity, race, gender and class.

Sustainable Work, Invisible Class, Unpaid Labor, and Forgotten Culture in American Literature (DUE 6.1.14)

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:28pm
full name / name of organization: 
SAMLA (SOUTH ATLANTIC MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION)
contact email: 

In keeping with this year's SAMLA theme of Sustainability and the Humanities, this panel will investigate the difficulties with sustainable representations of work, class, and labor in American literature. As the predominant American myth of success states that class is but a transitory state, making work, labor, and social class an important part of the literary and academic conversation remains a struggle for scholars interested in these issues. The questions we are interested in posing in this session are: How can scholars emphasize a focus on issues of class, work, and labor in American literature? How can this emphasis be sustained as part of a larger conversation with American literary scholarship?

MUSIC BEHIND BARS: ARTICULATING INCARCERATION AND POPULAR MUSIC

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 10:22am
full name / name of organization: 
Joseph P. Fisher (The George Washington University); Brian Flota (James Madison University)

Popular music's relationship with incarceration has been a long and complicated one. The musician Lead Belly spent long stretches in prison for murder and other crimes but was eventually turned into a musical legend by folklorists John and Alan Lomax. In 1957, Elvis Presley had a number one hit with the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller composition "Jailhouse Rock," further developing the threat he posed to the mainstream at the time. Country musician Merle Haggard spent two years in San Quentin Prison for an attempted robbery, later to become one of the best-selling country artists of the 20th Century. Johnny Cash performed numerous concerts in prisons, drawing attention the humanity of the prisoners in his audience.

Extremist Latinos/as (MLA Vancouver, January 8-11)

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 8:09am
full name / name of organization: 
Modern Languages Association Annual Conference
contact email: 

In liberal democracies, it is commonly assumed that because extreme, radical, and marginal politics fall outside of the confines and vocabulary of the political center they, therefore, demonstrate a deficient capacity for rational deliberation. Although this distinction becomes murkier in the spheres of minority politics, the Latina/o political center might be thought of as a demand for cultural affirmation, in response to periods of psychological degradation and institutionalized discrimination. Within Latina/o criticism, some theorists go so far as to represent "Latinidad" as an exemplary political "center" for its perpetual mediation between ethnicities, cultures, geopolitical orders, and forms of life.

MLA 2015 Performing the aging memory (3/15/14)

updated: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:36am
full name / name of organization: 
Age Studies Discussion Group, Valerie Lipscomb
contact email: 

In light of the 2015 MLA theme, Negotiating Sites of Memory, the Age Studies Discussion Group will propose a special session that considers the intersection of age, performance, and memory. How is remembering-or not remembering–performed or performative? How is the aging self defined by the ability to remember? How is the aging body performed as a site of memory? Consideration of any genre is welcome: memory plays, memoir, film, etc. Send 300-word abstract and CV by March 15 to Valerie Lipscomb, lipscomb@sar.usf.edu Panelists must be MLA members by April 1.

Kathy Acker in the Classroom (MLA 2015, January 8-11, Vancouver BC)

updated: 
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 1:44pm
full name / name of organization: 
Kevin L. Ferguson / Modern Language Association

This proposed special session will center on the problems and pleasures of teaching Kathy Acker.

Sample topics: pornography, plagiarism/appropriation, visual literature, narrative, childhood, autobiography.

500 word abstract & 150-200 word bio by 15 March 2014.

Participation requires MLA membership by April 1, 2014.

Amiri Baraka and the African American Essay (MLA panel; 3/15/14)

updated: 
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 12:40pm
full name / name of organization: 
MLA divisions on Black American Literature and Culture & Nonfiction Prose
contact email: 

Critical reassessments of Baraka as essayist. Appraisals of individual works or overall career welcome, especially in African American essay tradition. 300-word abstract and brief bio by March 15 to bjnorman@loyola.edu

Cosponsored by the MLA divisions on Black American Literature and Culture & Nonfiction Prose.

MLA 15: Narrating Madness and Autism

updated: 
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 12:13pm
full name / name of organization: 
Jonathan Gagas
contact email: 

This non-guaranteed special session invites papers addressing how narratives of psychosis, mood disorders, or autism (in any medium, genre, or period) change our understanding of the ethics and phenomenology of reading, viewing, or listening. I welcome disability studies critiques of concepts of madness or autism, histories of medical or psychological narratives, and philosophy of psychology and psychiatry analyses of cognition, affect, volition, or hermeneutics in narratives of madness or autism conceptualized as real experiences of distress, impairment, and different mental structures. Please submit 350-word abstracts and CVs to Jonathan Gagas, Temple University (jongagas@temple.edu) by March 15, 2014.

Writing Home: Battle Front and Home Front Children's Literature of the First World War

updated: 
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 10:16am
full name / name of organization: 
MLA: Nonguaranteed Session in Children's Literature

Children at home dream of war; children in war zones dream of home. War poets such as Robert Service, Wilfred Owen, and Robert Graves were haunted by childhood narratives of home and play, to the point where they were interpreting their own immediate experience through lenses tinted by memory and childish linguistic patterns; novelists such as L.M. Montgomery, Kate Seredy, and Ethel Turner became increasingly obsessed with the identity of place and how war expands (and sometimes explodes) a community's sense of self.

Pages