Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Permanent Section Call for Papers

Click the drop down arrows below to access Permanent Section and Associated Organization CFPs from the 2017 Conference. The 2018 CFPs will be up soon.

The Orthographical Conundrum in Pidgin English Literature
Chair & Co-chair: Dr. Peter Wuteh Vakunta, University of Indianapolis and Dr. Olabisi Gwamna, Independent Scholar

Contemporary African literature written in Pidgin English exists at the crossroads between canonical and peripheral text typologies. This permanent section problematizes recourse to Pidgin English as a medium of literary expression. The crux of the discourse revolves around the contention that using Pidgin English as a medium of literary expression is, in and of itself, an enriching experience. However, given the fact that Pidgin is not a homogenous linguistic phenomenon with a conventionalized orthographical system, literature written in this less commonly taught African language could constitute a formidable barrier for literary critics, many of whom are unfamiliar with the socio-cultural peculiarities that engendered Pidgin English. Please, submit a 250-word abstract and paper title along with your full names, institutional affiliation, and contact details (email and phone) to Dr. Peter Wuteh Vakunta (vakuntap@uindy.edu) and Dr. Gwamna (titilopes41@gmail.com) by April 5, 2017.


Revisiting the Elegy: Mourning and Resistance

“And there is pause, a breathspace in the strife;/A spirit brave has passed beyond the mists/And vapors that obscure the sun of life./And
Ethiopia, with bosom torn,/Laments the passing of her noblest born.”

The elegy originated as a poet’s response to the dead—one of lament, praise, and consolation. Black writers historically have been working in the form, from Phillis Wheatley to Paul Laurence Dunbar, and in the case of Dunbar, as expressed above, adding a political dimension by mourning Frederick Douglass as a son of Ethiopia—the positing of a past and future black nation. For this panel, we seek papers that investigate contemporary elegy within the black diaspora. We want to explore how mourning feeds our political awareness in this seemingly “dystopian” time, as black writers attempt to see, hear, and say something to the bodies of the dead as well as readers. Perhaps one could look at the contemporary elegy as a challenge to the elegy in its past form and more so as a commemoration of diasporic challenges (including recently police brutality) and belongings (through “literary activism”). One could look to Lucille Clifton, Nikky Finney, Claudia Rankine, Jericho Brown, Danez Smith and Aracelis Girmay’s in The Black Maria, which specifically challenges the consoling aspect of elegy and contextualizes the recent police shootings of black people. Moreover, the many black poets presently writing poetry about police brutality, killings, and policies targeted at black communities offers a site for inquiry. We look for papers that discuss contemporary black writers’ responses to personal and public deaths, challenging some of the foundational components of the elegy, while still drawing on the form.

Please send 250-300 word abstracts to Tiffany Austin at tiffanyuaustin@gmail.com and Emily Rutter at errutter@bsu.edu by April 15, 2017. Your abstract should include your name, rank, institutional affiliation, and email.

With the conference theme of “Artists and Activists” in mind, the Permanent Section on American Literature before 1870 invites proposals exploring the role of literature in public life, emphasizing the ways in which literature both reflected and shaped the reality of early Americans. Possible topics may explore writers as artists or writers as activists, whose texts informed and influenced public sentiment and encouraged and elicited social action and change. Papers addressing the broad literary context of significant cultural “events” such as the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, Boston Tea Party, American Revolutionary War, Indian Removal Act, Fugitive Slave Act, or the Civil War are encouraged. Possible areas of focus could include underrepresented voices, untold stories, or artistic activism. Please send proposals of 200-300 words by April 5 to the panel chair, Dr. Shawna Rushford-Spence, at srushford-spence@lourdes.edu.

“Which Side are you on?”: Literature and Activism in America After 1870

MMLA “Art and Activism"

In recognition of this year’s theme: “Artists and Activists,” the American Literature II permanent section (1870-present) welcomes papers that address the connections, contradictions, and tensions between literary production and political activism in America from 1865 to the present.

Possible topics for discussion include:

  • The writer/poet as activist
  • Literature as agitprop and agitprop as literature
  • Radical politics and radical aesthetics
  • Modernism and political commitment
  • The literature of resistance in the Postbellum South
  • Jim Crow and the literature of resistance
  • Narrating Resistance (John Dos Passos, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Ammiel Alcalay)
  • Autobiography/Memoir and Resistance (Emma Goldman, Victor Serge)
  • Activist speeches as literature (Emma Goldman, MLK, Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton)
  • Pedagogy and politics in the literature classroom
  • Leon Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution in America

Please submit a 250 word abstract and brief academic bio by April 5th, 2017 to panel chair James Hoff at: jhoff@bmcc.cuny.edu


“Social Activism in American Religious Literature”
Chair: Andrew Ball

From the colonial era to the present day, American religious literature has exhibited an abiding concern with social activism. For example, John Winthrop’s historic sermon aboard the Arbella evinced the Puritans’ emphasis on matters of social organization and the imperative of economic benevolence. As William G. McLoughlin has observed, the early republic’s Great Awakenings and periods of intense revivalism were invariably attended by campaigns for social reform. Similarly, David Paul Nord has shown that the period’s religious press, led by the American Tract Society, constituted the nation’s original mass media and was committed to reshaping the public’s social mores. Anne C. Rose has argued that Transcendentalism was primarily an anti-capitalist social movement led by ministers who also sought to reform America’s gender norms, educational system, and ecological ethics. Gregory S. Jackson has revealed that the immensely popular post-Civil War genre of homiletic fiction encouraged activism, “social engagement,” and the creation of “communities of action.” And in his landmark work, The Social Christian Novel, Robert Glenn Wright analyzed the numerous Social Gospel novels of the Progressive Era that made authentic piety contingent upon social activism. However, clerical authors have not been alone in wedding religion to social activism, as the laity has consistently made use of religious tropes to advance and legitimate their social causes. For example, Jama Lazerow and Teresa Anne Murphy have proven that religious motifs were central to the antebellum labor movement. Similarly, in his The Soul of the Wobblies, Donald E. Winters has shown that the early twentieth century literature of the I.W.W. provides us with “a valuable lesson about how religious sensibility and imagery helped mobilize the radical element of the labor movement.”

In keeping with this year’s conference theme, we seek proposals for presentations on American religious literature that promotes or engages in social activism, as well as presentations on the writing of reformers who appeal to a religious idiom to advocate for the transformation of society.

Potential topics may include but are certainly not limited to:

- Puritan social theory
- Religious Awakenings and social reform
- Transcendentalism and social activism
- Religious motifs in abolitionist literature, print culture
- Homiletic fiction and social reform
- Utopian literature, print culture
- Literature of the Social Gospel
- Christian Socialist literature, print culture
- Religious motifs in labor literature, print culture
- Religious motifs in suffragist literature, print culture
- Religious motifs in the literature of the settlement movement
- Religious motifs in African-American literature

Please submit abstracts to Andrew Ball (aball@lindenwood.edu) by April 5. Be sure to include your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and any AV requests in your abstract. The subject of the email should be “MMLA 2017.”

This year’s MMLA Animals in Literature and Film panel invites papers engaging in tensions of “human” and “animal” found within a variety of ancient textualities related to the broad field of animal studies. In ancient Greek and Roman society, animals serve important roles, often as a medium in religion, as symbolic function in Greco-Roman mythology, and as poetic symbol in ancient oral tradition and later written literature. Often, animals are given titular roles, and they carry strong symbolic function in the narrative, whether the narrative is oral, written, or artistic. This panel will examine especially the role of animals in their various relationships with human beings and the gods in oral and written mythology and other Greco-Roman narratives, including oral storytelling/song, written literature, and artistic representations. This panel seeks papers that engage a wide range of perspectives on animals in diverse ancient Greco-Roman “texts”; to that end, we seek papers analyzing all types of texts, broadly understood, from mythological sources and artistic representations to drama and other classical literature, as well as film adaptations of classical works. Papers might consider ancient representations of animals in Greco-Roman myth or mythic transformations; changing attitudes to animals in Greek or Roman foundation tales; representations of humans juxtaposed with animals in Greco-Roman mythology, folktales, or other; cinematic representations of animality in Greco-Roman film adaptations; reception of animals in Greco-Roman literature; “classical animals,” or animal representations in ancient sculpture or other art forms; social and/or cultural issues in animal and human representation in Greco-Roman society; or any other conceptual studies that trouble the hierarchy of animality in ancient culture.

Submit 200-300 word abstracts and a brief bio to mmodarelli@walsh.edu by April 15, 2017.

Chair & Co-chair: Dr. Peter Vakunta, University of Indianapolis and Dr. Kashama Mulamba, Olivet Nazarene University

Cities and languages are in constant flux in contemporary global spaces, as new speakers with new repertoires come into contact as a result of globalization and the increased mobility of people from rural to urban spaces. This has long-ranging ramifications for the study of metrolinguistics. Engaging with current debates about multilingualism, and developing a new way of thinking about language, this permanent section explores the emergence of new languages within a number of urban spaces, including cafés, restaurants, shops, streets, hair salons, construction sites, taxi ranks, markets and other places of conviviality and commensality in cities around the world. Please, submit a 250-word abstract and paper title along with your full names, institutional affiliation, and contact details (email and phone) to Dr. Peter Vakunta (vakuntap@uindy.edu) and Dr. Kashama Mulamba (kmulamba@olivet.edu) by April 5, 2017.


Topic: Open

We welcome papers that explore all aspects of the representation of food in literature, art, music, film, and culture.

Please send a 250-word abstract to Eloise Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu. Abstracts received by April 15th, 2017 will be ensured full consideration.

Chair: Eloise Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu


This year’s Midwest Modern Language Association Convention will be held in Cincinnati, OH November 9th-12th. Please see the conference website for details: http://www.luc.edu/mmla/convention/.

In response to the MMLA conference theme “Artists and Activists,” this panel seeks papers that explore green art and activism in this challenging—and critical—moment. What kind of environmental activism does the present demand? What forms of resistance are both effective and sustainable? While papers that engage directly with ecocriticism / ecotheory are preferred, papers on all periods, genres/forms are welcome, as are papers on pedagogy, culture, or other topics. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract including paper title to Dr. Lisa Ottum at ottuml@xavier.edu by April 5th. Queries welcome.

World’s Longest Undefended Border: Canadian Literature in the Shadow of America

Established in 1783 by the Treaty of Paris, the border between Canada and the United States is considered the longest international border in the world. What makes this border unique (unlike the border between the United States and Mexico) is the fact that it can be considered the “longest undefended border” due to the rather low level of security that maintains this boundary. Like this undefended border, the border between Canadian and American literature has been historically misunderstood. It is through review and use of the theory of liminality, as defined by Van Gennep in 1909 and Turner in the 1960s, that one must begin to discuss and define the geographical boundaries between Canada and American literature.

This panel will focus on the concept of liminality, identity negotiation, borders and boundaries, the frontier (both literal and physical) and the concept of collective identity in literature of Canada.

Please send 250-300 word abstracts to Ellen Feig at efeig@bergen.edu by April  15, 2017. Your abstract should include your name, rank, institutional affiliation, and email.

Art and Activism in Central America


Central American literature has been characterized by its political denunciation and defiant nature. In no other place has the role and work of the artist in society been so clearly defined. For instance, Miguel Angel Asturias defined the role of the writer to be “the moral consciousness of his people”, an idea further developed by Guatemalan author Arturo Arias who defined the role of Central American writers in the 1970’s as “harbingers of change”, and as political revolutionaries with revolutionary literary forms. More recently, Costa Rican poet Shirley Campbell Barr has best defined the artist’s role in Central American societies as “… the face and soul of the people”, and as the individual “… who bestows of a soul and breath some of the most important movements of liberation.”


This panel invites scholars to reflect on the central topic of the conference “Artist and Activist” in relation to Central America. Papers are welcome that focus on specific artists who employ any form of art, including narrative poetry, film, muralism, poster etc. as a device for social or political change. Such papers could also be framed, but are not restricted to, addressing the following questions: How does the artist attain or not, a balance between activism and art? How have artistic expressions responded to the socio-political and economic challenges of Central America? How has the asymmetrical relationship between Central America and the United States determined artistic and political involvement throughout history?

Please send 250-300 word abstracts to Nestor Quiroa at nestor.quiroa@gmail.com by April 15, 2017. Your abstract should include your name, rank, institutional affiliation, and email.

In recognition of this year’s conference theme, “Artists and Activists,” we welcome papers that explore issues in children’s literature broadly, but especially invite those that explore the ways that writers of children’s literature have addressed issues of politics, advocacy, and social justice. In our conversations, we hope to think about the place of literature and activism in the lives of young people.

Topics could include, but are by no means limited to:
•The role of the child in society;
•satire as social commentary;
•the place of education in society;
•environmental literature;
•gender identities, trans- identities, and activism;
•ethnic identities and activism;
•digital literacies and digital citizenship.

Please send 250-word abstracts to Megan Musgrave at memusgra@iupui.edu by April 5, 2017. Your abstract should include your name, rank, institutional affiliation, and email. *If you are interested in proposing a complete panel, please contact me about including it in our Children’s Literature cohort this year.


Artists and Activists

The Comparative Literature Section seeks papers that explore the theme of this year’s conference, “Artists and Activists.” Papers could explore questions such as: How does art becomes activism? How does a work of literature function as a site of active resistance or a call to arms, rather than remain a passive protest or exploration of injustice? Is art always political, and how can art be used to sustain or subvert political orthodoxies? How do works of literature, cinema, and art understand, interrogate, represent, and question their own ability to shape the realities beyond them? Can literature or art help to achieve social justice? Papers exploring these and other similar questions, particularly through interdisciplinary or transnational approaches, are welcome. Please send abstracts of less than 500 words to arodrigueznavas@luc.edu by April 15, 2017.

The Creative Writing: Prose panel will discuss emerging brief prose forms, which may include prose poems, micro or flash fiction, flash creative nonfiction, excerpts from flash sequences, and hybrid or blended short prose pieces.  Panelists will offer a brief statement defining the type of brief fiction s/he is writing, then read examples from their work by way of illustration.  The intention is for this panel to be informative to those attendees new to brief prose, while concurrently being interesting and enjoyable for readers familiar to brief prose.  Questions and a lively discussion to follow.  

Please submit a 100-200 word abstract that outlines/defines the type of short prose you are writing, accompanied by one prose sample of your own work that illustrates your definition.  A brief CV (1-2 pages) should also be submitted, indicating your name, contact information, institutional affiliation and rank (or independent scholar/writer status), and relevant publications (book or journals) and selected representative presentations (title of panel/paper and conferences).  

The deadline for submitting abstract, prose samples, and CV is April 1, 2017.  Send to Robert Miltner, Kent State University Stark/NEOMFA, rmiltner@kent.edu.  Your abstract, prose sample, and CV should be contained in one doc or docx file.  Contact Robert Miltner if you have any questions.  

The Creative Writing II: Poetry section of the Midwest Modern Language Association is accepting proposals for scholarly and literary presentations that examine, complicate, or challenge concepts of poetry as an act of resistance.

We welcome papers, poetry, and digital poetics projects. We are especially interested in critical-creative works that are socially conscious and politically engaged.

Please send a 200-300-word abstract and a brief bio to the section chair, Francesco Levato (falevat@ilstu.edu), by April 15th, 2017. Include in your abstract your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address and paper title.

The Digital Humanities section of the Midwest Modern Language Association is accepting proposals for scholarly and literary presentations that examine connections between creativity and activism across multiple modes of digital production. The MMLA conference will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio November 9-12, 2017.

We invite proposals that broadly interpret the conference theme, “Artists and Activists,” through multiple disciplinary lenses, such as computational text analysis, critical/creative media, game studies, data mining/archiving, and digital pedagogy. We are especially interested in presentations that explore the impact of digital media on literary production.

Please send a 200-300-word abstract and a brief bio to the section co-chairs, Melinda Weinstein (mweinstei@ltu.edu.) and Francesco Levato (falevat@ilstu.edu), by April 15th, 2017. Include in your abstract your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address and paper title.

The Dickens Society's panel topic is "Itinerant Dickens: travel and travelers in Charles Dickens's life and works."
Proposals (250 words) should be sent to jmeckier@outlook.com by April 5, 2017.

Play and Passivism.

In contradistinction to the MMLA General Theme, “Arts and Activism,” the Drama Caucus seeks papers on play and passivism in modern and contemporary drama. Papers might address such topics as pointlessness, lethargy, apathy, ennui, and incompetence. We especially welcome proposals that promise innovative or unconventional presentational modes. 350-word abstracts are due 1 April 2017 to Matthew Bowman, bowma9@lcc.edu.

In line with the MMLA 2017 conference theme of Art and Activism, the English I permanent section seeks papers that explore how literature or culture before 1800 represent political action or serve to produce (or at least gesture towards) political action. We define political in the most broad terms possible and welcome submissions that explore ideology, the economy, political strategies for individual advancement, social change, religion, political commentary, and the politics of the reception of literature.  Please send 300-word abstracts and a brief vita to fb1941@wayne.edu by April 5, 2017.

In keeping with this year’s theme, “Artists and Activists,” I welcome papers that address social/political activism in nineteenth-century British literature and culture. Possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to: writers as social critics; the Victorian social problem novel; radical lyric and narrative representations; Aesthetes, Decadents, and the idea of “Art for Art’s sake”; and humanists, humanitarians, and social activists in life and fiction.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief bio. by April 5th, 2017 to Bailey Shaw at bshaw@siu.edu

In keeping with the conference’s theme “Artists and Activists,” this permanent section panel seeks to explore how authors have responded to the turbulences of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Whether authors were writing in response to modernization, globalization, or even more recent digitization, I welcome papers in this panel that address how English literature has provided a means for social commentary and critique in a rapidly changing world.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to: modernization; responses and critiques of WWI, WWII, and other major conflicts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; decolonization; civil rights movements; globalization; and the digital age. Particular attention will be paid to papers discussing environmental concerns and activism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief bio to Leanna Lostoski at ljl1006@wildcats.unh.edu by April 5th.

The arts—literary and otherwise—have long served to push the boundaries of the human. Whether overtly or in subtle ways, authors and other artists have challenged our notions of the human, blurring the lines between humans and other animals, between man and machine, between the real and the possible. This panel invites papers that examine the activist function of the arts in a post-human world: how do literature, visual media, and other arts seek to change our present and our future? Who do they ask us to be, or to become? How do they pressure selves or societies to adapt, under pressure from environmental and technological developments that make the purely human obsolete?

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract to Dr. Bonnie Erwin, bonnie_erwin@wilmington.edu, by April 5th, 2017.

Topic: Art as Activism

Proposals of original creative works, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, painting, collage, photography, theory, pedagogy, hybrid work, etc. (or any combination of these and beyond) of 500 words or less should explain why the work you wish to present is activism and what it challenges. Samples may be included in the 500-word limit. Or the submission may include only a 500-word or less excerpt of the work to be presented. Works may challenge your own perceptions, be forms of resistance against the status quo, be lightly or deeply political, etc. While it is not required, works that are imaginative and/or blend/distort/reconfigure ideas of what a traditional paper or presentation might include and/or presentations that move outside the ordinary are encouraged.

Panel proposals that fit the above criteria or bring together a variety of genres are also welcome.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY: proposals of original creative works of resistance and activism (however defined) to be presented as “a reading eXperiment” are also welcome. These proposals should include a 500-word or shorter sample of original creative writing. This panel will be an eXperiment in crossing borders as panelists read original creative works as juxtaposed against expectations, perceptions, other creative works, and audience members. Each panelist will be the front person, play backup to, and read in conjunction with others in eXperiments that challenge the way readers and audience members think about the performance, reception, and vitality of creative readings. Neither readers nor audience members will know exactly what to expect ahead of time. Audience members should feel free to bring work, as audience participation is encouraged in some eXperiments.

Send proposals to festivalwriter@gmail.com with MMLA 2017 in the subject line by midnight on April 15th, 2017.

Organizer: Jane L. Carman, Festival of Language / Lit Fest Press / a reading experiment

2017 CFP Coming Soon!

Screening Politics

Following the “Artists and Activists” theme of this year’s MMLA conference, the Film II permanent section seeks proposals that consider the political dimensions of cinema and/or television. Papers are invited for a wide range of topics that explore how these mediums engage with politics.

 Paper topics could include (but are not limited to): 

 -          how genre films and series reflect politics, history, and/or social change (particularly horror and science fiction)

-          dystopian/utopian films and television series (alternate realities as political commentary)

-          representations of political milieus, such as the conspiratorial American films of the 1970s

-          propaganda films

-          the contemporary relevance of Third Cinema and other political film movements

-          fictionalized presidential administrations (from The West Wing to Veep or Designated Survivor)

-          documenting politics (such as Primary, The War Room, or the contemporary news media)

-          reading the political into film form and aesthetics

-          analyses of individual films and television series from any genre, period, or nation that address any of the concerns listed above

Please submit 250-300 word paper proposals (with at least three potential sources listed) along with your affiliation and brief biographical information to Dr. Adam Ochonicky [aochonicky@gmail.com] by April 15th, 2017. 

Title of Panel: Deconstructing Islamophobia in Film
Papers on how recent feature and documentary films from around the world offer new perspectives on Muslim cultures by engaging with issues that explore effective strategies and behavior for addressing public and private Islamophobic practices and behaviors towards people of Islamic background and cultures.  Papers can also deal with pedagogy that uses film to deconstruct Islamophobic thinking.  Or, they can explore films in connection with specific historical and political events that have impacted Muslims, such as the recent Muslim Travel Ban, the War on Terror, an impending Muslim Registry and/or explore how these films mirror/parallel earlier films of the persecution of other minorities around the world.  Please send a 350 to 450 word abstract by April 15, 2017.

In keeping with this year’s MMLA convention theme of “Artists and Activists”, presentations investigating the complex relationship between poetics, rhetoric, and politics will be of particular interest. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Changing ethical and philosophical norms between the arts and the sciences
  • Reinterpretations of esthetic and literary norms
  • Philosophers’ polemics, political activism, and emancipatory ideology
  • Reactions to government sponsorship and/or censorship
  • Tensions between the secular and the religious


This panel solicits papers exploring various topics related to French literature of the Ancien Régime, but papers extending back through to the Middle Ages are also welcome.


Please submit a 250-word abstract, short biography, and A/V requests to Eric Wistrom at wistrom@wisc.edu by April 5, 2017.

This panel welcomes papers that explore this year’s convention topic, “Art and Activism”. It will focus on those inextricable aspects, such as they appear in post-revolutionary French Literature: 

Possible sub-themes include:

Aesthetics and Politics

Justice and Literature

Environmental Literature
The Role of the Writer in Society

Colonial and neocolonial violence
Trans-Identities and Activism
Public and Private Spheres
Minority Literatures
Migration and Immigration
Press and Literature
Pedagogical Practices

Please email abstracts of 250 words in French or English, along with your first and last names, institutional affiliation, preferred email, and paper title to Sylvie Goutas at sgoutas@uchicago.edu. The deadline to submit proposals is April 15th, 2017.

Artists and Activists

We are seeking papers that examine any aspect of French and Francophone culture, although scholarly research focusing on the interdisciplinary study (including popular culture, literature, film, art, etc.) of the conference theme of “Artists and Activists” is especially welcome.

250-500 word abstracts should be emailed to the panel chair, Scott Sheridan, at sheridan@iwu.edu by April 1, 2017.

Art imitates life – and quite often life imitates the models and ideals championed by artists. This panel will explore the activism of creative forms that question, express, define and redefine our notions of gender. We invite papers exploring the wide range of creative forms through which gender experience is expressed, and the freedom and multiplicity of forms that artistic media offer. Examinations of images, films, 2- and 3-dimensional media are welcomed to join the voices of authors who champion new understandings of bodies, their roles and the conflict imposed by both heteronormative and gendered contexts. The author and/or artist him or herself can also come under focus as her or she plays an intentional role in the movement of gender and its role in the marginalization of the individual , or the creative pieces can stand alone and individual voices in and of themselves. The panel provides an opportunity for a reading of art in not only its literary definition but for visual, auditory and other creative media as well.

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract including paper title to Dr. Marta Wilkinson at marta_wilkinson@wilmington.edu by April 15th, 2017.

November 9-12 in Cincinnati, Ohio

In the context of this year’s conference theme “Artists and Activists,” presenters are invited to explore the intersection of aesthetics and politics in the area of German Studies. Possible topics include, but not limited to:

The Role of the Writer in Society
Legacies of 1968
Environmental Literature
Trans-Identities and Activism
Public Sphere
Minority Literatures
Satire and Freedom of Speech
Activism and the Internet
Disability Studies
Pedagogical Practices

Please email abstracts of no more than 250 words to Edward Muston at mustone@beloit.edu by April 15.


Topic: Open

We are seeking papers which deal with the literary texts and lives of German-speaking women writers from any period and in any genre. Papers that address the Convention theme of “Artists and Activists” are especially welcome.

Please submit 250-word abstracts and a 50-word bio as email attachments to both Bethany Morgan bethanymorgan@wustl.edu and David Kraus david.kraus@wayne.edu by April 15th, 2017. 

Possible sub-themes of the Convention theme “Artists and Activists” include: 
  • Activism as exhibition
  • Ideological deviations
  • The aesthetic and the political
  • Art as campaign for social change
  • The role of the writer in society
  • Satire as social statement
  • The place of (liberal) arts education in contemporary society
  • The co-opting of art and social advocacy by dominant cultural institutions
  • The literature of witness
  • Environmental literature
  • Trans- identities and activism
  • Alterity
  • Ethnic identities and activism
  • Feminism and womanism
  • Digital literacies and shifting modes of production
  • Liberated space
  • Disability studies
  • Free speech and states of exception
  • Artist in exile
  • Artist as criminal
  • The public intellectual
  • The internet and activism
  • Facts and artistic license

#MMLA17 Illustrated Texts: Illustrated Activism
Permanent Session CFP, Christopher Martiniano, Chair

For this year’s conference theme, “Arts & Activism,” the Illustrated Texts panel welcomes papers as well as innovative, illustrative presentations that interrogate text/image activism. Specifically, this panel understands text in its broadest possible context. How, for example, is activism “illustrated?” What artistic, image elements illustrate and activate a protest? In addition to proposals that explore traditionally illustrated texts, this panel also invites proposals that question the illustrative nature of much of our own, scholarly work.
For this panel, “Illustrated” can refer to any activist image, figure, diagram, visualization, graph, infographic, table, and/or map in traditional media, digital, or experiential forms. Types of “Illustrated Texts” to consider are Illuminated Bibles, alchemical tracts, emblem books, books of hours, scientific texts, illustrated poetry and novels, critical/theoretical/philosophical works that ‘diagram’ their arguments, or protest art. Proposals that interrogate the illustrated nature of periodicals, journals, newspapers, cartoons, graphic novels, websites, video games, as well as advertising are also very welcome. Additionally, we invite proposals that examine the illustrative nature of digital humanities and computer-aided visualization of data, archives, and patterns in current research.
We invite participation and lively dialogue among scholars from a variety of disciplines who work with illustrated texts, illustrate texts, or who think about illustration critically and the visual in relation to or opposition of the textual. We look forward to exploring the pictorial elements that interpret, critique, subvert, amplify, or otherwise activate the text they illustrate. Please send abstracts of 250 words by April 5, 2017 to Christopher Martiniano at martinic@umail.iu.edu. We look forward to reading your proposals.

Possible topics to consider are:
The history of illustrated “protest” or activist texts
Illustrations that fail to illustrate
The graphic novel and/or the comic book and its relations to activism
Intertextuality, hypertextuality, digital media
Ut Pictura Poesis
Data Visualization/Digital Media/The Digital Divide
Video Games
Literary use of the physical or figural image
The use of verbal signs in the visual arts
Verbal and visual ontology
Illuminated manuscripts
Artists’ notebooks / scrapbooks
Iconography and iconology
Newspapers and broadsides
Street art and graffiti

Topic: Artists and Activists

We welcome papers that explore Francophone Studies in light of the MMLA 2017 conference theme Artists and Activists. Proposals dealing specifically with the conference theme will be given preferential consideration.

Participants are welcome to propose papers either in French or in English.

Please send a 250-word abstract to Eloise Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu. Abstracts received by April 15th, 2017 will be ensured full consideration.

Chair: Eloise Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu

Pinter panel and Pinter Modalities.  

Paper might address such topics as presence and absence, sound, visuals, space, the body as sign, etc. abstracts are due 1 April.  Send 250-500 abstracts to ann.hall@louisville.edu.

Panel: Artists and Activists in Raymond Carver’s Writing.

In keeping with the 2017 conference theme of Artists and Activists, the International Raymond Carver Society is issuing a call for papers that explore figures of artists and activists in Raymond Carver’s poetry and prose.  Artists include writers, painters, actors, aerialist, and fire-eaters; activists include Native Americans and mailmen, though it could be argued that Carver himself was a literary and aesthetic activist as he pursued his vision of the short story.  Papers on any aspect of Carver’s work, regardless of the conference theme, will be considered.  Keep papers to 10-12 minutes so that there can engaging dialogue with panel attendees.

Please submit a 100-200 word abstract that outlines the content of your paper. A brief CV (1-2 pages) should also be submitted, indicating your name, contact information, institutional affiliation and rank (or independent scholar/writer status), and relevant publications (book or journals) and selected representative presentations (title of panel/paper and conferences). 

The deadline for submitting abstracts and CV is April 1, 2017.  Send to Robert Miltner, Kent State University Stark and Editor, The Raymond Carver Review, rmiltner@kent.edu.  Your abstract and CV should be contained in one doc or docx file.  Contact Robert Miltner if you have any questions.  

The Statutes of Kilkenny (1366), which attempted to prevent English colonists living in Ireland from adopting Gaelic speech, dress culture and mandated that the Irish conform to English laws and customs is just one reminder that the age-old role of the artist in Irish society has always been inextricably linked to questions about the relationship between writing, nation, and power. Much later, as a new nationalist and cultural revival emerged in the nineteenth century, writers and artists of the Irish Literary Renaissance turned to the myths and legends of the Gaelic past to ballast the rising nationalist movement as much as resist attempts to legislate English cultural intervention in Ireland, all the while proving that the artistic, cultural, and economic histories of Ireland are deeply intertwined with its rich and complex tradition of writing in Irish and English. From the First World War and the Easter Rising of 1916 through the Troubles and beyond canonical and non-canonical artists alike fashioned key social, political, and aesthetic contexts which have shaped modern Irish society and culture. More recently, whereas the “Celtic Tiger” brought about economic and cultural rejuvenation tied to increasingly globalized flows of capital and culture, the post-2008 financial crash jolted the nation into recession, producing in turn new artistic voices and agendas.


In response to the MMLA 2017 conference theme, “Artists and Activists,” this Permanent Section devoted to Irish Studies seeks presentations that examine the theme of “artists and activists” in Irish society—whether voicing support or opposition to social change and/or advocating against the notion of artistic involvement in social movements. This panel welcomes proposals on all aspects Irish Studies, from the arts, cinema, theatre, culture, history, language, literature, and politics of Ireland and its diaspora. Emerging and/or established academic scholars working in the humanities or cultural media as well as educators, artists, and activists are encouraged to apply.


Please submit a 250-word abstract and presentation title along with your full name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), and contact details to session chair Dr. Desmond Harding (hardi1d@cmich.edu) by April 15, 2017.   

2017 CFP Coming Soon!

Literary Criticism – “Artists and Activists” - What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry and Politics

The title of this section borrows the name from a section of Juliana Spahr and David Buuck’s 2013 work Army of Lovers. In this story, Spahr and Buuck take up Raymond Carver’s canonical – and seemingly apolitical – 1981 short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” In Carver’s work, the dialogue between the characters is centered around various ideas of love and its ephemerality. Spahr and Buuck rework this conversation into one around the aesthetic and the political. Can literature, even that which isn’t directly about politics, be meaningful in the way it “means something to people” or “moves them”? Or does literature, even when it does take up the theme of activism, not “really do much and that is what makes it so fucking nothing”?

This panel seeks to explore the role of literature and literary criticism as it intersects with politics. Papers are especially encouraged to address the role of the literary in the current political climate. What kind of literature/criticism should we be particularly attentive to in present moment and why? How can past and present literary works/criticism be utilized under the rubric of “activism”? Can the writing of literature/criticism be considered a form of activism in itself? Or should we feel pressured to move beyond the aesthetic, especially in the tense, and to many, dangerous political atmosphere following the 2016 election? Papers should feel free to take up these questions – or interpretations of them – through literature/criticism in any period (early modern, modern, postmodern, etc.), through the lens of any critical framework (Marxist theory, affect theory, phenomenology, etc.), or from any perspective around identity (race, gender, sexuality, etc.).

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and brief academic bio to Diana Rosenberger at diana.rosenberger@wayne.edu by April 5th, 2017.

2017 CFP Coming Soon!

In keeping with the MMLA conference theme, “Arts and Activism,” the Midwest Victorian Studies Association panel welcomes proposals that explore the intersections between literature, visual art, and activism in 19th century Britain.

 Possible topics include: 

  • Explorations of or debates around the artist’s role in social change.
  • Authors or artists who express support for or opposition to contemporary social movements through their work.
  • Artistic works that address the relationship between art and activism through their content, formal features, or both. 

We welcome papers about diverse genres and media and would particularly encourage proposals with significant interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary engagement, highlighting varied aspects of nineteenth-century British history, literature, and culture.

The deadline for proposals is April 5, 2017.

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a 1-page vita (as Microsoft Word documents) for consideration to Gretchen M. Frank at mvsaatmmla@gmail.com.

The Modern Literature panel seeks papers on works and authors from the 20th and 21st centuries, with priority given to papers that engage with modernism as a discrete cultural moment or set of literary practices. Papers should explore the conference theme “Artists and Activists.” Creative interpretations of the theme are welcome, but possible topics include:

  • Explorations of social movements and/or the artist’s role therein within regional or transnational modernist traditions.
  • Works that express, either explicitly or implicitly, support for or opposition to social change in areas including (but not limited to) race, class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. 
  • Modernist works that address the relationship between art and activism through their content, formal features, or both

Please send 250-word abstracts to the section chair by April 15, 2016.


Section Chair: Shelby Sleevi, Loyola University Chicago, ssleevi1@luc.edu

Section Secretary: Aleks Galus, Loyola University Chicago, agalus1@luc.edu

“The Multicultural Writer as Artist and Activist: Strategies for Teaching the Literature of Protest”

The roles of the artist and activist in society have traditionally been contentious ones. Though the contributions of artists to the societies of which they are a part are often welcomed as vital reflections of the richness and diversity of those societies, artists who challenge or attempt to overturn cultural norms have just as frequently been challenged or banned by those determined to maintain power within a culture or to return to a simpler, often romanticized vision of a more harmonious past. In an era marked by an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiment both within and beyond the United States, the roles of the artist and activist have never been more important, as they provide windows into the experiences and viewpoints of groups that are themselves often marginalized as well as challenge those who are exposed to their perspectives to examine their own. With this dynamic in mind, this panel seeks papers that explore literary texts that illuminate the role of the multicultural artist in society as well as multicultural texts as enduring and powerful forms of protest themselves. Proposals that address the conference theme of “Artists and Activists” are especially encouraged, but those that explore multicultural texts that are seldom taught, recently published, or frequently banned are also welcome.

Please submit 250-word abstracts (including paper titles) and abbreviated CVs to Dr. Christina Triezenberg, at triezenbergc@morningside.edu , by April 15th, 2017.

For additional CFPs and information about the Midwest MLA conference itself, please visit http://www.luc.edu/mmla/convention/callforpapers/ .


In addressing the conference theme of “Artists and Activists,” the Permanent Section on Native American Literature seeks proposals exploring a broad literary context for recent protests and legal action against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Possible topics may explore literary activism in the tradition of Standing Rock Sioux scholar Vine Deloria. Papers addressing activism with ecological perspectives are encouraged. Possible focus could include historical voices such as Sarah Winnemucca, William Apess, Zitkála Šá, or Jane Johnston Schoolcraft or more recent authors such as Gerald Vizenor, Louis Owens, Leslie Marmon Silko, Simon Ortiz, Thomas King, Louise Erdrich, or Sherman Alexie. Please send proposals of 200-300 words by April 15 to the panel chair, Dr. Kate Beutel, at kbeutel@lourdes.edu.

Anglo Saxon and medieval writers spilled considerable ink considering the concept and nature of truth, how to find it and/or represent it, and how to interpret it or use it. Often this search involved conducting an exploration of two different, often opposing, perspectives, such as Christian-secular, right-wrong, art-logic, auctor-compilator, etc.

In keeping with the conference theme of “Artists and Activists”, this panel invites papers that address any and all approaches taken in the name of the search for truth or the exploration of binaries in service to the truth in any Old English or Middle English text or author.

Also of interest are papers that seek to define the nature of ‘truth’ in any form, and those which consider the nature of those who seek ‘truth’ in a range of capacities, not limited to, but including, as human beings, artists, scholars, and teachers.

Please submit a 300-word abstract and presentation title along with your full name, current title and institutional affiliation (as available), and contact information to Dr. Kathleen Burt at kathleen.burt@mga.edu by April 15, 2017.

Jazz pianist, singer, and songwriter Nina Simone once famously said, “It’s an artist’s job to reflect the times.” In modernity, artists are not only crafting reflections of the world at large, but manipulating its evolution through the creation of their work and their active involvement in social spheres where many of them literally put their lives on the line to stand up for their beliefs. These artists see the world through a lens of cultural-historical consideration while striving to maintain the delicate balance between activism and art that portrays history, documents present events, and influences future representations. The pop culture panel this year seeks to survey these liminal spaces, the ones where art and activism intersect to form a place of affect on the communities and cultures of all people, and to present a dialogue that explores the potentiality of the artist in social movements. Possible topics include the commodification of language in popular music, ethnic or trans-identities and activism in graphic narratives, riot journals and modern explorations of post-racial identities, examinations of the shifting role of the media and the development of digital literacy, and adaptations of feminist and womanist theories. We welcome papers that discuss all forms of popular media including, but not limited to: film, television, popular literature, graphic novels/manga, visual art, video games, and music.

Please submit a 250-word abstract and paper title along with your full name, institutional affiliation, contact details (email) and brief bio to Session Chair, Denise R. Ervin, at mmlapopculture2017@gmail.com by April 5, 2017.

Topic: “Artists and Activists”

The Midwest Modern Language association invites proposals for the 2017 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Papers on any topic will be considered, yet participants are welcome to explore this year's conference theme: “Artists and Activists.” A general description of this theme can be found here.

Our permanent panel has the privilege to explore this theme in the context of peace studies, literature, and pedagogy. The list of potential topics provided by MMLA is a good starting point for us as well, for the intersection between peace studies, literature, and pedagogy opens many lines of inquiry:

  • the role of the writer in society
  • satire as social statement
  • the place of (liberal) arts education in contemporary society
  • the co-opting of art and social advocacy by dominant cultural institutions
  • the literature of witness
  • environmental literature
  • trans-identities and activism
  • ethnic identities and activism
  • feminism and womanism
  • digital literacies and shifting modes of production
  • disability studies
  • free speech and states of exception
  • the public intellectual
  • the internet and activism
  • facts and artistic license

We encourage submission on any of these topics or others that promote discussion of (a) peaceful conflict resolution, (b) literature about peace or its absence, and (c) pedagogical concerns related to peace studies. We are especially interested in proposals that explore the intersection of all three. Please submit a Word document, electronically via email attachment, containing a 250-word abstract, your name, institution, email information, and paper title to Dr. Matthew Horton (matthew.horton@ung.edu) by April 15, 2017.

Chair: Dr. Matthew Horton (matthew.horton@ung.edu), University of North Georgia.

Secretary: Dr. Laura Ng (laura.ng@ung.edu), University of North Georgia.

The United States incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any other nation in history and the most authoritative witnesses to this humanitarian crisis are prisoners themselves. This section invites papers that examine the production, teaching, study, and performance of literature within carceral institutions—past or present—in the US and abroad. In keeping with the convention theme for 2017, we encourage papers that explore the role of prison literature in activism by individuals and groups working for prison reform or abolition.

Please send abstracts to William Andrews at wandrews@ctschicago.edu by April 5th, 2017.

2017 CFP Coming Soon!

In keeping with the MMLA conference theme, “Arts and Activism,” the Religion and Literature permanent section welcomes proposals that address works and writers who explore the ways in which religion and activism intersect. Papers may ask questions such as (but not limited to): How do writers address the social and/or political forces that encourage either religious conversion or loss of faith? How do writers examine radical disbelief? What are the influences of religious conservatism on social movements? How do religious movements shape secular culture and vice versa? How do religious movements influence secular social and civil rights movements and vice versa? How do race, ethnicity, gender and/or sexuality influence religious activist movements? Papers can take the shape of critiques of religion, embracing the religious underpinnings of socio-political movements, re-examinations or re-imaginings of sacred texts, explorations of religion in the postmodern, atheism/disbelief, 20th or 21st century interfaith social movements. Please send 250-word abstracts with paper title to Seth Johnson at sjohns36@kent.edu, by April 5th, 2017.   

“Artists, Activists, and Manuscript Evidence”

The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, in keeping with the M-MLA conference’s theme of “Artists and Activists,” is sponsoring panels on manuscripts and printed books and the illuminators, scribes, editors, and other artists who created them and the scholars and readers who used them. The session invites all approaches, including textual, art historical, codicological, and paleographical.


Possible foci include but are by no means limited to:

Scriveners, the Book Trade, and Early Modern Printed Editions
Textual Transmission and Reception: Inscribing Alterity and Change
On the Margins: Glosses, Illustrations, and Illuminations


Interested panelists should send brief abstracts of no more than 300 words to jhastings@luc.edu by April 15th.

2017 CFP Coming Soon!

Shakespeare and Activism

Following this year’s conference theme “Art and Activism,” this permanent session on Shakespeare invites papers that consider the relationship between Shakespeare’s works and activism, either for his contemporary audience or for the numerous generations of audiences that followed him and re-interpreted his works.

Shakespeare is rather infamously many things to many people, or even, perhaps, anything to anyone. His interests and themes include: gender, law, meta-theatrics, sailing, Rome, disguise, identity, science, medicine, etc. And from out of those interests, people interpret him to be a proponent of widely disparate ideologies, from conservative to progressive, Catholic to atheistic, Republican and Monarchical. What it means to consider Shakespeare an activist depends on our own political ideologies and alignments. While this session does not ask how Shakespeare felt about a particular issue or cause, it does encourage submissions that reflect on what we as interpreters bring to the table and how we shape scholarship of the past through our own ideological beliefs.  

The title of this session has deliberately been left open-ended to cover both political themes and concerns in Shakespeare’s own plays, and the political implications (in the widest sense) of the study, staging, reception, and authorship controversy of Shakespeare. Creativity in interpreting what “Shakespeare and Activism” means is welcome and encouraged!

Please submit an abstract of 250-words to jenny.l.frey@gmail.com  by April 5th, 2017.

Title of Session: “Creative Defiance and Midwestern Literature”

Submission Requirements; 250-word abstracts and 2-page CV

Deadline for Submission: April 15, 2017

Description: Protest literature takes many forms. How does it manifest itself in Midwestern literature?

Contact Person Information: Marilyn Judith Atlas (atlas@ohio.edu).

Artists and Activists in Short Stories


In 1963, Frank O’Connor’s The Lonely Voice offered readers a study of the short story, claiming that this form has been more “successful” in places like America, Ireland, and India in particular because they include “submerged population groups” (20). Put another way, he claims that the “strangeness of behavior which is the very lifeblood of the short story is often an atavistic breaking out from some peculiar way of life, faraway and long ago” (41). While some of the national generalities are dated, O’Connor’s perspective echoes the idea that the short story form is attractive to and works best within marginalized groups.

For this year’s convention we would like to invite proposals for a panel on short stories. The short story provides a template to capture the intersection between activism and art, including scenes, settings and characters that emerge specifically in reaction to current events or cultural moments. How do short stories speak to the experiences of social movements? How do such texts address the concerns of marginalized populations? How does this affect the readership of the genre? Feel free to explore specific short stories or authors that speak to topics such as dominant cultural institutions, ethnic or racial identities and activism, feminism and womanism, or free speech, among others. Further questions/directions are welcome, and in an effort to extend the focus of this panel, abstracts on any short story writer or theorizing of the genre are encouraged.


Please send a 250-word abstract to Leslie Singel at lsingel@uwm.edu by April 5, 2017.

The Spanish Cultural Studies Panel welcomes papers in English or in Spanish on the topic of “artists and activism.” Please email abstracts of approximately 250 words to Dr. Susan Divine at divinesm@cofc.edu by April 5th, 2017.

This panel invites proposals that explore peninsular literature and cultural production before 1700. Of particular interest are papers that engage with the convention’s theme, “Artist and Activism.” Please send abstracts of 250 words (including name, institutional affiliation, preferred email, and paper title) to Nuria Sanjuán at sanjuann@beloit.edu by April 15th, 2017.

This panel welcomes papers (either in English or Spanish) that explore any aspect of Peninsular Literature after 1700, including those dealing with the convention’s theme: “Artist and Activism.”  Please email abstracts of 250 words (along with your first and last names, institutional affiliation, preferred email, and paper title) to Isaac García-Guerrero at isaac.garciaguerrero@wisc.edu.  The deadline to submit proposals is April 15th, 2017.

Latin American and Latinx Artistic Responses to Violence

Latin American and Latinx writers, painters, film makers, and performers have long considered the power of the aesthetic at mobilizing the political. The section calls for papers that consider and/or resist the multiple forms of subjective, symbolic, and systemic violence that have manifested themselves in Latin America during the colonial era through today. For instance, we might take José Carlos Mariátegui’s merging of art, politics, and culture in Amauta (1926-1930) or Diego Rivera’s twentieth-century mural projects as two examples of art that respond, in part, to the violence of capitalism. Or, we might consider Mapuche and Guaraní documentary film production as well as feminist and queer performance art as projects that make sensible the entrenched biases of the nation state toward certain biopolitical subjects.

In sum, with the inextricable links between art and activism in mind, we are interested in papers that consider the ways in which Latin American and Latinx cultural production have served as a platform for mobilizing epistemological, political, and creative resistance to the multiple forms of violence that shatter subjectivity, language, and community. Papers that address colonial and neocolonial violence; gender and sexual violence; racial and class injustices; border violence; immigration; and systemic forms of violence as resisted through the arts are all welcome.  Please send 250 to 300 word abstracts by April 15, 2017 to the email address listed below.

Section Organizer: Tara Daly
Email: tara.daly@marquette.edu


"Art and Activism" in the Teaching of Graphic Narratives

This year’s conference theme provides the perfect starting point for explorations of both the "Art and Activism “of teaching graphic narratives and the teaching of graphic narratives that include elements of "Art and Activism". Please send 250-word abstracts (including name and institutional affiliation as well as any audio-visual needs) to Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw at hoeness@usi.edu by April 15th, 2017.

Teaching writing has always existed in the intersection of artistry and activism. Writing instructors encourage their students to attend to style, voice, and other aesthetic elements of their text. Writing instructors also encourage their students to think of their work as socially situated and able to effect change in the “real world” outside of the classroom.
The Teaching Writing in College section welcomes all submissions but is particularly interested in those that consider writing instruction in relation to artistry and activism. Possible topics include but are not limited:

  •  Presentations that draw on student texts or amplify student voices
  • Pedagogies using a civic engagement/service learning approach
  • Pedagogies foregrounding the role of social justice in writing
  • Projects examining the creativity and/or “artistry” of student writing
  • Examinations of language difference
  • Activist/alternative approaches to writing assessment

The section places encourages presentations that draw on student work as a primary text as well as interactive presentations that engage audience members.

Please send 150 - 300 word abstracts to Andy Buchenot at buchenot@iupui.edu by April 5th.

This year’s conference theme – “Artists & Activists” – provides rich opportunity to explore the shared concerns (and complications) of travel, art, and activism. Papers on any aspect of this topic from any time period are welcome, including but not limited to the following ideas:
·         the politics of travel and travel writing
·         the politicized subjectivity of the traveller / writer
·         travel as activism
·         the ways in which travel writing affirms or denies its own politics
·         travel writing as manifesto
Of especial interest are papers that create space for dialogue across disciplines or genres.
Please send proposals of 500 words by 5 April, 2017 to Erika Behrisch Elce: erika.behrisch.elce@rmcc-cmrc.ca.

Seeking the best work on any aspect of T. S. Eliot’s poetry and/or criticism, especially reflecting the new editions of his poetry, prose, and letters.

Papers may focus on Eliot’s social and political activism but we will consider proposals on all Eliot-related topics based on the quality of the research and writing. Please send abstract (350 words) and brief bio to tseliotsociety@gmail.com by April 5, with the subject line “MMLA proposal.”

The Politics of (Writing) Sexuality in French and Francophone Literature

In the 1990s, French and Francophone women writers invested the sphere of explicit sexuality, providing raw and oftentimes fiction that was deemed scandalous. A decade later, either these same writers or younger feminists released manifestos and fictions articulating a sex-positive stance. This panel seeks to investigate the politics of (writing) sexuality in the twenty-first century. What is a French or Francophone sex-positive literature? Does it really break taboos as it claims to do or does it repeat clichés about (women’s) sexuality? Is it inclusive of minorities or still largely a white and Euro-centric approach to sexuality? Does it break heteronormativity or reinforce it? These are a few questions that this panel will seek to answer.
Please send a 250-word abstract to elnossery@wisc.edu by April 15, 2017.






“Literatures from the Lockdown”

Thinking about this year’s MMLA theme, “Art and Activism,” led us to consider the ways in
which women’s art and women’s activism have been “locked down.” Sometimes women’s art
and women’s activism locks itself down; after all, Audre Lorde once proclaimed at an MLA
conference, “What does it mean when the tools of a racist patriarchy are used to examine the
fruits of that same patriarchy? It means that only the most narrow perimeters of change are
possible and allowable.” How, then, do we escape the lockdown? How do we empower even as
we resist?

We seek papers interrogating the ways in which women’s art or women’s activism have been
controlled, repressed, defeated, policed, confined, rendered, recast, oppressed, reinvigorated,
secured, or disturbed.

Relevant topics include (but are not restricted to):
- Art as protest, protest as art
- Protest fatigue
- Intersectional, community-specific perspectives of violence
- Pedagogical approaches to activism/ art
- Visible and invisible activism
- Protest/ art and the risk of speaking for others
- Homophobic violence and queer citizenship
- Translations and transnational activism(s)/ art
- Female activists and different media, including social media
- Historical perspectives on activism & social change
- Emancipation and the postcolonial
- Success and failure “escape” narratives
- Queer bodies and/ or women in political arenas
- Ecocriticism and posthumanism as art/ activism
- Activism/ art in children’s literature (particularly the political)
- Art/ activism in relation to “the war on terror” or trauma
- “Policing” as activism/ art
- Women’s reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood, and the “vagina” question
- Resistance and empowerment: The Black Lives Matter Movement
- Protest songs or poetry; particularly those from around the globe
- Protest and empowerment in religion and religious spaces
- Activism and the art of storytelling
- Mass mobilization and the collapse/ construction of authority
- The body as a site of protest and/or resistance
- Temporality and resistance
- Social justice and the ethics of care
Please send paper proposals of 300 to 350 words to Tharini Viswanath and Krista E. Roberts at
womeninliteratureatmmla@gmail.com by April 5th, 2017.

At its most basic, Writing Across the Curriculum is founded on the core belief summarized by Chris Anson in The WAC Casebook that “writing belongs in all courses in every discipline” (ix). While guided by this central value, WAC programs must also be inherently flexible, individually designed to best meet the needs of their specific students, faculty, programs, and institutions. This diversity of possible approaches gives us the opportunity to share ideas, techniques, and experiences to explore the flexibility and adaptability of the larger WAC pedagogy.

The Writing Across the Curriculum section welcomes all submissions. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• Designing / starting a WAC program
• Institutional engagement across disciplines
• Faculty training and / or resources
• Assessment tools (i.e. rubrics, quantifiable measures)
• Disciplinary writing
• Writing-intensive courses
• Continuing improvement / “Closing the loop”

Please send 150-300 word proposals to Alissa Burger at aburger@culver.edu by April 5th.

In recognition of this year’s conference theme, “Artists and Activists,” we welcome papers that explore issues in young adult literature broadly, but especially invite those that explore the ways that writers of young adult literature have addressed issues of politics, advocacy, and social justice. In our conversations, we hope to think about the place of literature and activism in the lives of young people.

Topics could include, but are by no means limited to:
• The role of the young adult in society;
• satire as social commentary;
• the place of education in society;
• environmental literature;
• gender identities, trans- identities, and activism;
• ethnic identities and activism;
• digital literacies and digital citizenship.

Please send 250-word abstracts to Megan Musgrave at memusgra@iupui.edu by April 5, 2017. Your abstract should include your name, rank, institutional affiliation, and email. *If you are interested in proposing a complete panel, please contact me about including it in our Young Adult Literature cohort this year.

 For more on this year's convention theme and general information, please visit the Convention page