MLA 2021 CFP: Analog Persistence

deadline for submissions: 
March 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Mike Phillips, Southern Illinois University

Call for papers for a proposed session at the 2021 MLA Annual Convention, Jan. 7-10 in Toronto. 

In keeping with the presidential theme of “Persistence,” this panel asks how analog media persist amidst the digital. How do contemporary narrative media engage with the analog (broadly conceived), and to what end? The burgeoning field of media archaeology has shown—glossing Raymond Williams—that obsolete media are never completely displaced by emergent forms but rather remain as residual traces within the dominant discourse. As digitality transitions from emergent to dominant across every sphere of human existence, can we forge alternative futurities through the analog residual? In a digital cultural economy that favors the instantaneous and insubstantial, is there generative oppositional potential in the implementation of obsolete, analog practices? 

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief bio to Mike Phillips ( by Mon. 3/30. (This deadline has been extended in accordance with MLA's one-week extension for panel submissions.) Preliminary inquiries are also welcome.