Writing Human Rights in the Post-Cold War World Novel and Film

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2017 panel
contact email: 

As Didier Fassin writes, the deployment of humanitarian affect creates in us “a sense of belonging to a wider moral community, whose existence is manifested through compassion towards the victims.” For this session, we invite papers that engage the theme of humanitarianism and human rights, as disseminated and made legible in the post-Cold War world novel and film. We are interested in papers that critically engage the resurgence of humanitarian affect and mobilization of empathy in the post-Cold War era—the era defined by the decline in utopian thinking and by the lack of tangible alternatives to liberal capitalism. Are human rights, as Mutua assets, simply the moral argument for the neoliberal project? Is there a direct link between the rise of humanitarianism and the upsurge of militarism? How are we to assess a moral economy that turns distant suffering into a narrative and a spectacle? Does the post-9/11 world novel qualitatively different from human rights literature of the 1990s? And finally, is the era of human rights over? Presenters are invited to engage with the following topics, among others:

· Literature and human rights

· Humanitarian reason and the world novel

· Humanitarian affect and the world novel

· Empathy and its limitations

· Humanitarian narrative and its history

· Human rights and the post-9/11 writing and film

· Cinematic representations of genocide

· Humanitarian cinema


Submit your abstract via NeMLA system at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/cfp