"Dark Migrations: Territorializing the Savage Body" MMLA November 12-15 2009, abstract due April 20.

full name / name of organization: 
Jeff Aziz, University of Pittsburgh
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This panel invites papers that engage with narratives that problematize the dominant American narrative of migration into the "savage" West. For instance, In Jim Jarmusch's 1995 film Dead Man, the Native American Xebeche is captured and shipped east by railroad caged as an animal in a sort of counter-migration, even as European settlers travel west into the territories from which his relatives are being displaced. Of particular interest are papers that explore the relationship between suffering, objectified, or commodified bodies and American landscape. We welcome papers that engage with the migrations of subaltern groups in America, including the post-Civil-War migrations of African Americans, the migrations of ethnic minorities including Native Americans, Jews, the Chinese, and the movement of peoples across the U.S. - Mexico border.

This panel welcomes papers in fiction, film, and documentary. The spectrum of potential critical objects could include anything from the novels of Cormack McCarthy to Chip Richie's 2006 documentary The Trail of Tears: The Cherokee Legacy to Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, and indeed any number of things beyond this germane to our organizing principle.