[Update]- Hospitality and the City- M/MLA 2014 (Detroit Nov. 13-16)
The American Literature II panel (permanent section of the annual M/MLA convention) seeks papers on American fiction/film/drama/poetry 1870-present addressing the theme of the city as host, or, forms of hospitality in the city, individual or collective.
My starting point, though not necessarily yours, is Jacques Derrida's argument that within the notion of hospitality there is a fundamental and irrevocable tension between the act of being hospitable (an action which serves to maintain host/hosted hierarchies) and what he calls "impossible hospitality," a welcoming of any and all that implicitly demands a kind of non-mastery, even a potential relinquishing of ownership and property.
All papers are welcome that address any aspect of this theme, broadly conceived.
Possible topics: theories of hospitality (Derridean or other), the narrator as "host," memorable fictional hosts or guests, the mapping of city borders, hotels, alarm systems, race relations, border control, immigration, occupy.
Send 250 word abstracts and brief bio to Mark Schiebe at
by July 1st.