Northeast Modern Language Association 49th Convention
“Global Spaces, Local Landscapes and Imagined Worlds”
When: April 12th-15th, 2018
Where: Pittsburgh, PA
Deadline for Abstracts: Saturday, September 30th, 2017
How to Apply: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/CFP
Keynote Speaker: Rob Nixon, the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in the Humanities and the Environment at Princeton University. He is the author of four books, most recently Dreambirds: the Natural History of a Fantasy and Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, which won numerous awards, including the 2012 Sprout prize from the International Studies Association for the best book in environmental studies.
Topics with areas concerning ChildLit/YA Literature and Popular Culture:
Editor's Note: We have selected only a few areas of interest, to see the entire list of topics, please visit their website.
Superwoman: Comic Myth or Idealized Icon? (Panel)
Chair: Nicol Epple (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
We know the four tenets of True Womanhood and understand the Feminine Mystique. But, today, what gender role prescriptions still proliferate concerning domesticity and work, family affairs and public relationships? This panel seeks to create discussion which explores feminist theories and material applications in current American cultural landscapes. What changes have transpired from past feminist viewpoints and what speculations can made of feminist scholarship and cultural production for the future?
Reboots and Revivals: The Return of Television (Roundtable)
Chair: Lisa Perdigao (Florida Institute of Technology)
While film has an extensive history of remaking classics and blockbusters for new audiences, television’s recent reboots and revivals suggest new ideas about the limitations and possibilities of continuing narratives in a medium defined by seriality. Recent reboots and revivals include Arrested Development (2013- ), Heroes Reborn (2015-2016), Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016- ), Girl Meets World (2014-2017), Fuller House (2016- ), 24: Legacy (2016- ), Prison Break: Resurrection (2017- ), and Twin Peaks (2017- ) while series such as Will & Grace, Dynasty, Roseanne, Charmed, and American Idol are slated for returns in the near future.
Teaching and Learning Spaces: Real, Fantastic, and Imagined (Panel)
Chair: Carine Mardorossian (SUNY University at Buffalo)
This session is devoted to the exploration of teaching and learning as real, fantastic, and imagined spaces. It welcomes contributions that address pedagogical representations and practices, theories, issues, experiments, and debates in education.
Political Implications of the Portal Fantasy (Panel)
Chair: Emily Lauer (SUNY Suffolk County Community College)
Portal Fantasies offer a unique way to comment on the current political situation, in their capacity as invented worlds with a permeable link to our own. The portal can act as a funhouse mirror, reflecting our own world back to us in grotesque and illuminating ways, or it can offer stark contrasts to our own world which often take the form of escapist, superior alternatives. This session invites papers that explore how authors have used the portal fantasy to comment on the politics of our world in various ways.
'The World is Changed': Fantasy Literature in the Anthropocene (Seminar)
Chair: Stephanie Weaver (St. John’s University), Lisa Robinson (St. John’s University)
The Anthropocene, or "The Age of Man," focuses on the exploitation of resources and the possibilities of resiliency and sustainability in the wake of anthropocentric-induced crisis. This seminar seeks to unpack the various understandings and responses to the human-dominated geological age, specifically through the lens of the fantasy genre. Papers are sought that discuss the role of environmental crisis in various areas of fantasy literature and the multifaceted responses and solutions to preventing the destruction of worlds because of the Anthropocene.
Free Range: An Open Inquiry into the Nonhuman in Latinx Studies (Panel)
Chair: Lacie Rae Buckwalter (Cornell University)
In this panel, we propose to explore the roles of human-nonhuman encounters in the field of Latinx Studies and Literature at large. How do animal, human, botanical, and epistemological bodies alter the way we approach ontological interpretations in Latinx texts, visual art, and/or performances? In addition to these concerns, this call for papers seeks work that traverses a varied range of bodies and utilizes interdisciplinary frameworks in innovative ways. Topics might include, but are not limited to: race and animal studies, transgender bodies and queering the nonhuman, corporeal ecologies, critical approaches to landscapes, bodies of land, and water.
Arthurian Legend in the 20th and 21st Centuries (Panel)
Chair: Susan Austin (Landmark College)
The past hundred years have brought the legend of King Arthur to Broadway, television, comedy, and Disney; countless authors have appropriated or reimagined the legend and elements from it. How have films, television shows, games, comics, and books for all audiences and ages employed Arthurian characters, themes, motifs, and plots? How have these changes reflected shifting cultural attitudes and values? What do recent retellings and appropriations of Arthurian legend tell us about ourselves and the generations immediately preceding us? What do we want and need from King Arthur and his court?
Space and Psyche in Contemporary Latinx/Latin American Culture (Panel)
Chair: Thomas Conners (University of Pennsylvania)
Psychoanalysis ponders the ways in which subjects form while navigating the dynamic environments they inhabit. With movement across the Americas in constant flux, contemporary Latin American and Latinx literatures offer insights into this border-crossing psyche. Examining the implications of crossing, moving around, and standing in the spaces, we ask: how is a subject formed when straddling borders, languages, racial identities, and national affiliations? What are the formal, affective, and aesthetic manifestations of this in literature?
Human, Animal, Post-Human: Ecocriticism and Materialism in a Global Context (Panel)
Chair: Mark Epstein (Princeton University), Daniele Fioretti (Miami University)
This panel welcomes contributions that focus on the areas of tension regarding ecocriticism and the “post-human”: natural – 'human' sciences, materialism – postmodernism, global – national/regional, historical – contemporary. It also welcomes reflections on the possibilities for communication between species, and what “autonomy” and “(self)-emancipation” might possibly mean for non-human species, given the very limited forms of inter-species communication we have established so far.
Sequence and/or Simultaneity: Time and Narrative in Comics and Graphic Narratives (Panel)
Chair: Heike Polster (The University of Memphis)
This panel seeks new scholarly work on the representation of temporality in comics and graphic narratives, with a particular attention to the formal qualities of comics. Papers may address sequentiality, simultaneity, seriality, human vs. cosmic time, eruptions of the past into the present, or other experimental permutations of time in comics. Graphic narratives from other countries and traditions outside of the Anglophone world are welcome.
The Urgency of Now (and Then): Contemporary Representations of African American History (Panel)
Chair: Maria Rice Bellamy (City University of New York)
This panel seeks papers analyzing the contemporary significance of recent representations of African American history in literature, television and film as well as in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Papers are invited on such works as Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, WGN America’s Underground, Ava DuVernay’s 13th, and the NMAAHC. Papers should discuss the relationship between the presented history and the contemporary moment and may address such questions as: What does the current prominence of such works say about this moment in United States history and society? How do the struggles of the past resonate with the protests of the present?
New Approaches in Zombie Studies (Panel)
Chair: Derek McGrath (SUNY University at Buffalo)
This session looks at zombies, including as they were defined by Night of the Living Dead, filmed in NeMLA’s host city Pittsburgh by local director George Romero. How have zombies changed in recent years, in their composition, narrative format, and metaphorical status? What new insights can be garnered looking to earlier conceptions of the zombie, and conceptions from Haiti and around the world? How have zombies served as commentary on medicine, social media, anti-intellectualism, economics, and society?
Spaces of Hope and Desperation in Science Fiction (Panel)
Chair: Elif Sendur (SUNY Binghamton)
This panel aims to consider speculative/science fiction’s spatial imagination vis-à-vis hope and despair. Topics may include the kinds of dystopian spaces SF proposes, space and its spatial representation, gendered spaces within the SF genre, environment and its future imagined by SF, and the representation of the instability or hope. All forms of SF literature, including short stories, novels, films, anime, manga, and TV shows are welcome.
Monsters and Monstrosity: A Tribute to Mary Shelley (Creative)
Chair: Richard Johnston (United States Air Force Academy)
1818 marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. To honor Shelley’s enduring novel, and to compliment the critical panel on the literature and culture of 1818, this roundtable welcomes creative work, in any genre, on monsters or the idea of monstrosity. In the interest of including as many voices and as possible, participants will be asked to limit presentations of original creative work to 10 minutes.
Postcolonial Queers: Representations, Remediations, Revolutions (Panel)
Chair: Christian Ylagan (Western University)
While Western theories such as Judith Butler’s performative thesis have been productive in opening up the discursive grounds on gender and sexuality, these frameworks often limn bodies in abstract ways that downplay their materialities and contexts. This panel thus hopes to build on the notion of a queer intersectionality whereby gender and sexual identity are inextricable from race, geography, linguistic modes, embattled histories, and cultural contexts.
Seelenlandschaften (Soul Landscapes) in German Children and Youth Novels (Panel)
Chair: Mona Eikel-Pohen (Syracuse University)
The panel invites proposals on German children and youth novels from the late 20th / early 21st century with a focus on innovative interpretation approaches (e.g. re-telling, drawing, or building in Minecraft), on respective movie adaptations, and on the impact of symbolic and real spaced for the mental and intellectual development of younger readers and its relevance for identity formation e.g. as reading text in middle and high school or higher education.