This panel invites papers that address how terrorism, whether historically or contemporarily, engages with and within the city. Sociologist Saskia Sassen argued in “When the City Itself Becomes a Technology of War” that asymmetrical military strategy has turned the space of the city itself into a technology of warfare. She writes that asymmetric warfare, the military strategy that defines U.S. engagement with terrorist cells across the world, are “partial, intermittent and lack clear endings…They are one indication of how the center no longer holds – whatever the center’s format: the imperial power of a period of the national state of our modernity” (36).
Networks, broadly defined, share tasks and information between nodes through a unique spatial constellation which allows them to distribute power evenly and, in the process, eliminates the need for a concentrated source of directives. For this reason, they have been looked at within various disciplinary communities as harbingers of negative and positive possibilities in the 21st Century. What are networks capable of, and how does literature address the significance of networks, both locally and globally? Are authors working to alter, exploit, or combat modes of power through their portrayal of various networks? This standing session invites papers from all fields, but has a particular interest in papers that address the local and global.
NeMLA 2021 Conference, Philadelphia, PA
For centuries Italy and East Asia have been at the center of numerous economic, political, and cultural exchanges. Studies have mostly focused on the relationship between Italy and China. As Zhang (2018) points out, in the last decade this topic has piqued the interest of a number of scholars on Italy-China issues. In addition to the special issues of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies (2010) and in the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies (2014), books have been published on Italian-Chinese relations such as Marinelli and Andornino (2013) and Chinese migration to Italy (Pedone 2013).
Louis Althusser’s thought is receiving renewed attention in the humanities and social sciences. This session seeks to bring together scholars of various disciplines and specializations to explore the potential of a return to Althusser in the particular context of Renaissance/early modern studies. Contributions may reflect on Althusser’s writings on early modern figures, make use of Althusserian concepts to produce new readings of early modern texts, or engage relevant theoretical questions.
Although Utopia literally means no-place, in some utopias the location definitely has some cultural significance. If utopia is in the sun or under the earth, it is probably not the case. Thomas More put his Utopia in the South Atlantic, but the imaginary geography of the island does not seem to have any importance for social construction. More’s Utopia does not seem to have anything South American. However, the geographical and temporal orientation of Chinese and European utopias seem to be different in many aspects, which carry a politico-cultural significance. The special issue of World Literature Studies will explore two questions about the location of utopias:
“The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!”
Thomas Nashe, ‘A Litany in Time of Plague’ (1592)
“I had a little bird
Its name was Enza
I opened the window,
1918 jump-rope rhyme
“It's going to disappear. One day — it's like a miracle — it will disappear.”
Donald Trump, remarks at African-American History Month reception in the Cabinet Room of the White House (February 27, 2020)