Working-Class Nostalgia (MLA 2020 // 9-12 January // Seattle)

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
MLA Proposal for Special Session
contact email: 

This panel will examine the function of nostalgia in class-conscious writing, specifically its role in the construction of working-class identities, both fictional and otherwise. To that end, presentations will gauge the efficacy of nostalgic representation in terms of literary aesthetics and/or political imperatives. Using literary texts as a lens, topics might include (but are not limited to):

* Defining Genre
* Cultural Haunting
* Interpretive Nostalgia
* Shifting Class Definitions
* Intersectional Dynamics
* Roots and Reconciliation
* Representational Aesthetics
* Stereotypes and Caricature
* Deindustrialization
* Class Fetishism
* Populist Rhetoric 
* Working-Class Visibility
* Individuality / Collectivity
* Immiseration
* Space and Environment
* Traditions and Values

This year’s presidential theme is on “Being Human” with emphasis on defining the human, human rights, citizenship and belonging, technology, shifts in labor, and the impact of writing in the public sphere.

250 to 300-word abstracts and bio by 3/15 to