American Work: American Literature Symposium for Postgraduates and Early Career Academics

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University of Oxford

American Work

American Literature Symposium for Postgraduates and Early Career Academics

18 May 2013
Rothermere American Institute
University of Oxford

Plenary speakers: Dr. Kasia Boddy (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Peter Riley (University of Oxford)

In our current period of enduring, global economic crisis, the shape, meaning, and value of work has never been more contested. As protestors continue to Occupy! and an entire generation of young people struggle to find work, new opportunities for productive and radical critical reflection present themselves. Seeking to capitalise on the momentum of scholarship by Bryony Randall, Margaret Ronda, and Bruce Robbins โ€“ as well as the recent special edition of PMLA on work โ€“ we invite you to submit papers for a one-day symposium on 'American Work', to be held at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford on May 18th.

Conceptions of labour are becoming increasingly integral to our understanding of literary texts, and especially to our delineations of temporality, gender, authorship, nationhood, and identity within American culture. This symposium will investigate how work shapes literary texts, and how literary texts, in turn, might shape our understandings of work โ€“ particularly the work that we do: as researchers, as teachers, and as students of American culture. We welcome contributions from graduates and early career academics working in a variety of disciplines. Papers may explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:

* Work ideologies, Work vs. Labour, Workers in Literature
* Slavery, Indentured Labour, Globalisation
* Work and the Everyday, Work and Temporality, Work Place/Space
* Resistance, Revolution, The Occupy Movement
* Work and Gender, Work and Identity, Vocation
* The Work of Writing, Writing Practices, Intellectual vs. Manual labour
* (Im)migrant Labour, Itinerant Labour, Oceanic Labour
* Academic Work, The Work of Reading/Reading Practices, the Work of Translation
* Retirement, Unemployment, Disability
* Government vs. Private Sponsorship, Funding, Self-Funding, Patronage
* Sex Work, Illegal work, Unpaid Work
* Literature and the Economy, Political Economy, New Economic Criticism
* Post-Marxist, Postmodern, and Digital Work
* Labour and Nationhood
* Idleness, Decadence, Apocalypse

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to before MONDAY APRIL 1ST. Places are limited and free registration is now open: please email to register.