Recently, the Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration in Paris staged an exhibition "Albums-Bande dessinée et immigration: 1913-2013" (October 16, 2013 – April 27, 2014) which brought together comics sketches and magazines from 1913 to the present that depict the immigrant experience and how immigrants on the fringes of society are attracted to the comics medium. According to the exhibit's Curator Hélène Bouillon, "every comic about immigration is a story about an individual, and every comic about this theme wants to show… a story about humanity…a universal story." In fact, from Richard F.
Historical debate about the "British world" has recently been galvanized by James Belich's ambitious Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld, 1783-1939 (2009). For Belich, the "Angloworld" is the decentralized but interconnected unit formed by Great Britain; its settler colonies in Canada, South Africa, and Australasia; and the United States. He argues that US and British expansion in the long nineteenth century share a common history as parts of a general "Anglo divergence," a massive surge in Anglophone settlement that far surpassed that of other Europeans.
The Confluence and Division website poses the question "How can modernist practices, aesthetics, and formations be situated within or in relation to modernity's energies, imagined as layers, structures, and figures of confluence and division?" We suggest that modernist representations of contingency afford unique ways of situating these energies in a variety of aesthetic, political, and philosophical contexts. Our panel proposes to examine texts, artifacts, and modernist contexts in which communities are constructed in relation to, and make productive use of, a phenomenon that has been identified as one of the key characteristics of modernity: that of contingency.
American Literature after 1900
We welcome paper proposals on a wide variety of topics spanning the 20th and 21st centuries, including but certainly not limited to:
American Realism, Naturalism
Violence and Trauma Studies
Short Fiction Studies
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.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for full consideration.
"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 (email@example.com) by 15 March 2014.
This panel seeks papers about the significance of weather and/or climate in modern literature. Open to a wide range of topics (including American, British, and world literatures) and approaches. Submissions might address (but certainly are not limited to):
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.
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?
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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org Panelists must be MLA members by April 1.
The spring 2015 special issue of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review invites fresh examinations of the topic of women and work in Hawthorne's fiction, journals, letters, and life.