Bullying and Self-expression (MLA 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Modern Language Association (special session)
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CFP - Bullying and Self-expression
Conference - Modern Language Association Convention 2013
Location - Boston, Massachusetts U.S.A.
Dates - January 3rd to 6th 2013
Abstracts due - March 5th 2012

Session description –
In recent years, myriad people have urged communities and politicians to confront the bullying of people in schools, neighborhoods and other locales. Understandably, there exists a common desire to prevent bullying because investigations have shown that bullying causes a range of disturbing effects, including feelings of powerlessness, low self-esteem, marginalization and in some cases suicide. As such, bullying often inhibits individuality and self-expression, yet in some cases bullying can actually drive people to create new forms of self-expression that comment on the bully's acts of intimidation, insult and violence. Self-expression can offer a empowering and positive means to respond to a bully and those who are complicit in the bully's acts. To foster a critical discussion of these phenomena, I will propose a special session about bullying for the 2013 MLA convention. This panel will examine how people have responded to the problem of bullying by way of media, performance and writing. Further, this session will consider diverse forms of bullying, including the ways that class, gender, ethnicity, race, religion and sexuality play a role in acts of bullying. Interdisciplinary and innovative approaches are welcome. All projects should make use of critical perspectives or theory. If you would like to participate, send abstracts of 250-500 words by March 5th 2012 to Ed Chamberlain (edachamb@indiana.edu). Please send abstracts as Word document attachments. In your submissions, please include your contact information and affiliations. Additionally, this panel seeks a knowledgeable scholar for the role of panel respondent. Be aware that this panel must go through the MLA review process.


Ed Chamberlain
Department of Comparative Literature
American Studies Program
Indiana University