CALL FOR PAPERS, MLA 2018
“THEATRICAL COLLABORATION”: The American Literature Society and the American Theatre and Drama Society invite individual proposals for a co-sponsored panel on the theme of “Theatrical Collaboration” at the 2018 MLA convention in New York City (Jan 4-7, 2018). We seek submissions that reflect on the multiple ways in which artists collaborate with one another to challenge the borders of the literary and the theatrical in the American context. How have playwrights and performers, novelists, poets, and those who adapt their work, interacted to produce new works and even new genres? How does the theatre capture acts of collaboration or resist narratives of joint creation? What does the pejorative sense of collaboration as complicity teach us about creation across artistic boundaries? What is the potential for increased scholarly work across the categories of literature and theatre? The ALS and the ATDS are scholarly organizations devoted respectively to the preservation, study and recognition of American literature and culture and the study of United States theatre and drama, its varied histories, traditions, literatures, and performances within its cultural contexts. In this collaboration, the two organizations welcome expansive notions of what and who comprises America. Please submit via e-mail a 250-word abstract and a 1-page CV by 10 March 2017 to Laura Mielke, University of Kansas (firstname.lastname@example.org)<mailto:email@example.com)>.
“PARANOID READING IN THE AGE OF TRUMP”: The American Literature Society solicits contributors to a panel at MLA 2018 titled “Paranoid Reading in the Age of Trump.” The 2016 presidential election revealed a significant gulf in the way Americans interpret narrative and choose texts. With the election of Donald Trump, we find ourselves embroiled in a heated national debate about the dividing lines between fact and fiction, between legitimate sources and illegitimate ones. Now more than ever, American read to confirm their pre-existing beliefs and disdain the conventional rubrics for determining a source’s credibility. As some of our national institutions and government protocols come under attack, we also find ourselves in a national crisis of reading and interpretation. We seek papers that address “Paranoid Reading,” to use Eve Kosvosky Sedgwick’s term, in our current political moment. Papers might address, but are not limited to, the following topics: Does literary critical method change in the context of a Trump presidency? Or literary critical pedagogy? How and why? Does the current political climate produce new readings of texts? What would reparative American literary criticism look like in our current critical moment? Is it possible? Desirable? How can—or should—academic affect and performance respond to the anti-humanities turn that seems likely to only intensify? How should we approach oft-critiqued liberal ideals in the face of current attacks on those very ideals? How, for example, does the critical work on the impossibility of one stable truth fare in a moment awash in “fake news?” Please send a 300 word abstract and c.v. to Anna Mae Duane (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 15th.