MLA 2025 Special Session: Visualizing Risk in the 20th & 21st Century

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Elaine Cannell/UW-Madison
contact email: 

This MLA 2025 Special Session Panel invites papers that interrogate “risk” as a political, visual, and/or affective concept in contemporary literature, media, and visual culture. Some questions to consider might include:

  1. How might we newly theorize the embodied and affective risk-taking of activists, freedom fighters, and other radical figures on the street, the screen, or the page in our contemporary moment?
  2. How does contemporary media in the United States and abroad visualize “at risk” populations? How are those visualizations countered, subverted, or complicated in other cultural forms?
  3. How have contemporary artists, activists, and authors mobilized risk as a vehicle for political imagination or transformation?

Please submit abstracts of approximately 250 words & a brief bio to Elaine Cannell, cannell@wisc.eduby March 15th.