Where Are We Now? Self & Other in Contemp Am Lit (ALA Symp: Frontiers & Borders in American Lit, San Antonio; due Sept 15)

full name / name of organization: 
Society for Contemporary Literature

The Society for Contemporary Literature, a group dedicated to the study of literature of the last 25 years, invites 300-word abstracts for presentations at the Frontiers & Borders in American Literature Symposium of the American Literature Assoc. We encourage scholars to think broadly about culture and its relationship to contemporary literature. In her recent book Beyond the Borders: American Literature and Post-Colonial Theory, Deborah L. Madsen posits, "We are naturalizing inherited concepts of American cultural identity as being equivalent with the US. Not only the canon of 'American Literature' but perhaps especially the authors, texts, and traditions excluded from that dominant cultural category carry the burden of America's colonial history. The rationale for exclusion reinforces arbitrary national divisions...that serve the interests of the US."

Starting points for discussion include (but are not limited to) the following:

• Borders and "Otherness"
• Globalization
• "Out There" vs. "At Home"
• Travel Writing
• Fluidity of Identity/Identity in Motion
• Post-colonialism/De-Colonization
• Breaking Generic Borders/Experimentation
• Dialectical Variation/Linguistic Borders
• Pop Culture on the Border and the Frontier (Food, Music, Film, etc)
• Literature as Border/Frontier
• Representations/Perspectives of Race, Ethnicity, Gender
• The Cultural Fringe
• Violence on the Borders/Borders of Violence
• Sexuality/Gender Identity
• Literary Geography

Please send 300-word abstracts and one-paragraph bio statements to Ándrea Laurencell Sheridan (andrea.laurencell@sunyorange.edu) by Sept 15, 2015; submissions should be sent via email with the subject line "SCL Borders symposium abstract." Note that scholars are limited to one 20-minute presentation (approx. 9 pages double-spaced) at this conference and that no audio-visual equipment will be available. Notifications will be sent by mid-October in order to allow submission to the general CFP by its deadline.

Find out more about the conference at