NeMLA 2023 Seminar: Rethinking Resilience: Ways of Seeing and Being in the Pandemic

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA 2023)

The process that is central to the development of language is the critical encounter between different groups (marked by their "physical, cognitive, neurological differences," as NeMLA's note on "resilience" suggests) in possession of different kinds of valuation in the course of which "certain words, tones, rhythms, meanings are offered, felt for, tested, confirmed, asserted, qualified, changed" (Keywords 12). This process of evolution/metamorphosis, as demonstrated by Raymond Williams in his Keywords,  is often accelerated in periods of unprecedented crisis. This session then is an attempt to trace the changes that the word "resilience" has undergone in the last two years as the world has struggled to cope with the pandemic. 

We seek papers that trace the ways the changing meaning of the word “resilience” has registered itself in various audio-visual-textual modes (sound albums/installations/maps, art exhibits, murals, graffiti, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, letters) of documenting the pandemic. The purpose of this seminar is to initiate a dialogue as to how the experiences of diverse populations (diverse in their socioeconomic status, race, caste, ethnicity, language, disabilities, and gender), further aggravated in times of crisis, force one to rethink the meaning of resilience. Should resilience simply be understood as a response of the survivors to the immediate crisis at hand (e.g. social distancing, lockdown)? Or, should it be understood in light of the already existing history of resilience against social, political, and economic injustices? What new kinds of relationships or new ways of seeing existing relationships can be located in the metamorphosis of the word "resilience"? How has the evolving understanding of resilience impacted our ways of seeing and being as literary critics, thinkers, scholars, artists, and activists?

Please send abstract proposals of 250-300 words along with a short academic bio of 100-150 words by October 15, 2022: (direct link to the session). The chairs will confirm the acceptance of abstracts by October 20. Selected participants will be required to send their full papers (not more than 2000 words) by March 2, 2023 to be circulated among the other participants. Presentation time will be limited to a maximum of 10 minutes, focusing on an overview and/or highlights of the paper. Participants are expected to read all papers and be prepared to participate in a structured conversation in which a written response to other papers are encouraged.

Submission Requirements

The submission deadline is October 15, 2022. All abstracts must be submitted through the NeMLA CFP website at Search for ID #20048, "Rethinking Resilience: Ways of Seeing and Being in the Pandemic”

General guidelines for abstracts can be found at:

View the conference web site at

Contact Information

Leenu Sugathan, George Washington University

Moumita Chowdhury, University of Hyderabad

Please send queries to the following email ID: