CFP: Critical Nostalgia (9/15/07; NEMLA, 4/10/08-4/13/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Lisa Hinrichsen
contact email: 

Critical Nostalgia
39th Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 10-13, 2008
Buffalo, New York

This panel seeks to explore literature and theory engaged with =20
questions of nostalgia and to explore how (and if) nostalgia can play =20=

a role in critical thinking about time, space and place. The word =20
nostalgia, coined in 1688 by the Swiss physician Johannes Hofer =20
(1669-1752), derives from two Greek words: nostos (return home) and =20
algos (pain), which, when combined, indicate homesickness, a kind of =20
melancholia caused by prolonged absence from where one belongs. By =20
the twentieth century, nostalgia was no longer a clearly defined =20
medical or even a psychiatric term but a generalized condition of =20
modernity itself. Nostalgia has continued to exceed our attempts at =20
critical definition yet it continues to be a felt part of our modes =20
of affiliation, political allegiances, constructions of self, and =20
ways of thinking about and theorizing history. This panel seeks to =20
reflect upon nostalgia=92s complicated conceptual and etymological =20
history and to theorize about the ways in which nostalgia possesses =20
critical and theoretical value.

As such, this panel will seek to engage some of the following =20
questions: What positive value does nostalgia have? Does nostalgia =20
merely idealize =93the good old days=94 or does it reveal a more =20
complicated picture of our investments in the past? Does it represent =20=

a yearning for a way to adequately represent loss? Or does it merely =20
represent, as Frederic Jameson has argued, a crisis of history? Are =20
there various types of nostalgia? Can nostalgia be a critical tool =20
that can help us critique present problems and ways of being? In what =20=

way(s) does nostalgia reveal how memory works? Has recent criticism =20
itself been nostalgic? How does nostalgia help create meaningful =20
cultural and personal spaces? How does nostalgia conflate space and =20
time and raise questions of historicity, the nation-state, and =20
utopian projection and promise?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

*Representations of nostalgia in literature, film, television, music, =20=


*Nostalgia as it relates to romanticism, modernism, postmodernism

*Nostalgia and collective memory


*Nostalgia and history

*Ideology and nostalgia

*Nostalgia and diaspora

*Nostalgia and psychology

*Nostalgia as denial/disavowal

*Nostalgia, tourism, advertising and consumerism (=93the heritage =20

*Neoconservatism and nostalgia

*Restorative and reflective nostalgia (Boym)

*Nostalgia as it relates to memory and problems of memory (trauma, =20

*Nostalgia and criticism / nostalgic criticism

*Popular culture and nostalgia

*Nationalism and nostalgia

*Nostalgia in historiography and autobiography

Abstracts of 500 words should be emailed to Lisa Hinrichsen at =20 no later than September 15, 2007. Questions or =20
queries are welcomed before the deadline.

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation

Email address

Postal address

Telephone number

A/V requirements (if any)

For the complete Call for Papers for the 2008 Convention, please =20
visit Interested participants may submit abstracts to =20
more than one NeMLA panel; however, panelists can only present one =20
paper. Convention participants may present at a paper session panel =20
and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.=

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Thu May 17 2007 - 15:28:24 EDT