"Home and Homelessness in the Ecologies of Daily Life" (Special session: PAMLA)

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
PAMLA 2022

"Home and Homelessness in the Ecologies of Daily Life"

PAMLA 2022, Los Angeles

Panel Chairs: Paula Cucurella (UC Riverside) and Tyler M. Williams (Midwestern State University)


Panel Abstract: 

This panel looks to theories and narratives of homelessness in the hemispheric and continental traditions to question classical divisions within liberal conceptions of hospitality: public/private, property/common, belonging/exile, inside/outside, etc. Homelessness also signals a potential to conceptualize forms of hospitality, processes of subjectification, and marks of belonging that extend beyond the nation-state, as well as to conceptualize notions of security (beyond narratives of national security), propriation and appropriation (translation, assimilation) that disarm simplistic notions of homelessness as aberrant, monstrous, or foreign. In what way is “homelessness” a product of the “institutions” that purportedly resist it?


Panel Description: 

As PAMLA gathers scholars to Los Angeles to discuss the operations of the “fantastic,” the “extraordinary,” and the “bizarre” at work within the geographies of our everyday, quotidian experience, this panel addresses how the eminently excluded figure of “the homeless” challenges conventional notions of belonging, inclusion, hospitality, and property. While it goes without saying that daily life in Los Angeles includes an ongoing encounter with homelessness, the figure of “the homeless” or of “homelessness” remains to be thought beyond the simple identification of a lack, absence, or dispossession. This panel welcomes scholars of literature, film, theory, and cultural studies to discuss how homelessness in literary and theoretical discourses might address these specific forms of sociopolitical exclusion and marginalization beyond conveniently readymade dichotomies of normal/aberrant, inside/outside, have/have not, public/private. How can the specter of homelessness, exile, transiency, or displacement question notions of “consent” implicit within the ecologies of our everyday lives? How are we to understand concepts of interiority (politically and socially, but also existentially and psychologically) in the face of seemingly groundless and uncanny senses of “home”? To what degree does the experience of the exile, refugee, emigrant, or immigrant highlight a constitutively alienated sense of homeliness? How do literary, cinematic, theoretical, or political texts account for this restlessness? The panel organizers welcome interdisciplinary and comparative papers that address – but are not necessarily limited to – any of the above questions from perspectives across the humanities. Papers attuned to literary, cinematic, or theoretical confrontations with issues of marginality, borders, capital, property, nostalgia, hospitality, assimilation, dwelling, and language – and/or papers that directly engage homelessness as an actual reality within our everyday, quotidian lives – are especially encouraged.



PAMLA 2022 is excited to announce that the deadline for paper proposal submissions is May 15 for the 119th annual PAMLA Conference at the beautiful UCLA Luskin Conference Center and Hotel in Los Angeles, California!

Visit our conference portal CFP page and select from the list the panel to which you wish to submit a paper abstract.