Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Permanent Section Call for Papers

We will be posting the CFPs for each Permanent Section and Associated Organization soon. Click the drop down arrows below to access Permanent Section and Associated Organization CFPs for the 2018 Conference.

An Abundance of Food at Your Neighbors Will Not Satisfy Your Hunger:  Consuming Cultures in African Literature:  CFP African Literature Permanent Section MMLA 2018

In Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga, one of the main characters is a product of two cultures, England and Rhodesia. Nyasha finds it difficult to culturally adapt to the demands of her native Shona having spent her formative years in England where she adopts the mannerisms and etiquettes of an English person who happens to be black. She finds the rituals, dances and other mores of her native Shona repulsive and is unable to speak Shona. Symptomatic of the poison that has been ingested by, or forced into the system of, Africans who find themselves unhealthily existing in a system that is totally inimical to their general well-being, Nyasha gradually resents what she is becoming. Forced to eat with her nuclear family, she induces vomit and pukes everything out of her system.  

This subject couldn’t have come at a better time than the current situation of immigration and the challenges faced by those running from their countries of origination for one reason or the other, to another seemingly ‘better” place. Will they adapt permanently to the cultures of their new place and function normally?  Will they be caught up in multiple worlds where they are in endless conflict with their own distorted identities? Or, will they end up, disemboweled of the toxins ingested and gradually restored to wholeness by way of a total disintegration of the body politic, as is the case with Nyasha when she suffers a mental breakdown and is left in the care of a psychiatrist? 

In consonance with this year’s conference theme, “Consuming Cultures,” the African Literature Permanent Section is inviting papers that focus on the complex nature of the person involved in cultural consumption, and the various ways people consume cultures in African literature.

We seek papers that will examine and thoroughly analyze cultural consumption in African fiction, with the aim of answering questions like what happens when individuals leave their natural habitat and seek refuge or relocate elsewhere? In terms of acculturation, what are the advantages/challenges of assuming totally the culture of another place?

When Africans assume the cultures of the West, do they experience the same transition when they are imbibing cultures from within the continent? Are they satisfied, or like the Bayaka proverb suggests, do they remain eternally famished?

Send a brief abstract to Dr. Olabisi Gwamna at titilopes41@gmail.com no later than April 15, 2018. 

Consuming Soul: The Historical Purposing of Food in African American Literature

Co-Chaired by Tiffany Austin and darlene anita scott

Soul food is, and has been, historically purposed. In contemporary times, it has been used to market the “black experience,” a consumerist approach built on an exaggeration if not an outright lie. Foods we associate with and consume as soul food would not have been part of the enslaved African’s diet as their rations were largely what we call vegan today—starch like sweet potatoes or corn, molasses, and a small portion of salted meat that was supplemented with the foraging of greens and gardening of other vegetables. The tropical diet in Africa was likewise mostly starch based—cassava and yams, with fish being the main meat consumed. The indulgence in sugar or dairy would have happened in celebration when special additional rations would have been given and as social capital, paralleling the historical indulgence in foods less healthy amongst the wealthy. Ironically, this is in contrast with the present consumption of more “healthy’ food that symbolizes wealth and less “black” eating patterns. Subsequently, consuming the marketed cultural myth of soul food has fostered community in edifying and unhealthy ways.

We seek papers that explore the complex history of soul food as a cultural constitutive practice used by black communities to express creativity, social capital, and celebration in literature.

Please send an up to 300-word abstract to Tiffany Austin (tiffanyuaustin@gmail.com) and darlene anita scott (darleneanitascott@gmail.com) by April 15. Your abstract should include your name, rank, institutional affiliation, and email address.

The overall theme of the conference is “Consuming Cultures,” the inspiration for which comes partly from Kyla Wazana Tompkins’ research on racism in terms of food cultures in nineteenth century U.S. literature. As is noted in the general call for papers, “Looking at the disturbing correlations of ‘food and flesh,’ she notes, ‘the evolution of eating cultures across this period opens up new areas of inquiry into the alignment between bodies and bodies politic’” (7-8). American literature before 1870 is suggestive of multiple variations on this broad theme. For example, you might consider discussing studies in food, agriculture, animals, and plants; intersections between postcolonialism, imperialism, and capitalism; the co-opting of culture as a consumable good; ecocritical readings of consumption; transcultural identities; activism; disability studies in culture; issues of feminism and womanism; cultures of non-consumption: asceticism; or consumption vs. production. Please send abstracts to Shawna Rushford-Spence at srushford-spence@lourdes.edu. The deadline to submit a proposal for this session has been extended to APRIL 15.

Flesh For Fantasy: The Specter of Sexual Consumption in American Literature

From the lost girl of Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, to the hard-hearted Tralala of Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, sex work and sex workers have often featured as prominent characters in American fiction. Not surprisingly, the critical work on prostitution and literature has often focused on the characterization of these figures and their relationship to the culture and history of their times. Much less, however, has been said about the portrayal of the clients in such narratives and how such portrayals often reinforce or challenge prevailing ideas about sex, gender, sex work, masculinity, sexual violence, sexual attraction, and economic exploitation. Furthermore, even less has been written about the ways in which the idea of sexual procurement and consumption, that is, the idea of literally or figuratively buying or selling the body of another, has haunted American fiction. By closely examining both the portrayal of the prostitute and the sex client in American literature after 1870, this panel seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the inherent contradictions informing our cultural understanding of what it means to sell, pay for, or trade in fantasy and flesh. We welcome papers on all aspects of sex work, prostitution, and procurement in American literature after 1870.

Questions and topics for consideration include but are not limited to:

  • What is distinctive about prostitution and its procurement in the American cultural or economic context? How does it change form one period to the next?
  • How do portrayals of the John reinforce or challenge social or psychological stereotypes of the pervert or the perverse.
  • What do depictions of the clients of prostitutes say about the nature of masculine desire, sexual violence, women’s oppression, capitalism, or the class nature of society?
  • In what ways have depictions of sex work influenced our cultural understanding of the Prostitute or the John. What can we learn from the many controversies surrounding such texts and their prohibition?
  • How do depictions of sex work by male authors differ from those of female authors?
  • In what ways have narratives of prostitution challenged the prevailing morals of the time. What can these depictions teach us about the way we currently think about prostitution?
  • How have metaphors of prostitution and procurement haunted American literature?
  • How do fictionalized portrayals of prostitution differ from autobiographical accounts?

Please submit abstracts to James Hoff at jhoff@bmcc.cuny.edu by April 15, 2018.


This year's "Animals in Literature and Film" panel at the Midwest Modern Languages Association's annual meeting (November 15–18, 2018 in Kansas City, MO) invites papers engaging the conference's theme of "Consuming Cultures," specifically how the consumption or non-consumption of animals by animals (both human and non-human) has shaped our moral, symbolic, and traditional relationships with what we call "food."

Why do we eat meat? When asked why she became a vegetarian, J.M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello responds, "You ask me why I refuse to eat flesh. I, for my part, am astonished you can put in your mouth the corpse of a dead animal, astonished that you do not find it nasty to chew hacked flesh and swallow the juices of death wounds."

Costello's response comes straight from the mouth of Plutarch, a Roman moralist from the 2nd c. AD, whose essay "On the Eating of Flesh" has influenced generations of vegetarians, vegans, and animal rights activists. More recently, Peter Singer's response to Coetzee gets right to the chase: Knowing what we know now about the mental and emotional capacity of animals, the treatment—and consumption—of animals in the modern era is on par with mass slavery and genocide.

So why do we continue to eat animals? This panel will examine the choices behind the portrayal of eating animals in literature and film. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • The preparation of animals for consumption (the slaughter, butchery, and cooking of meat) and its symbolism
  • The tradition and treatment of food prohibitions, both religious (kosher, halal) and moral (veganism, environmentalism, minimalism)
  • The spectrum of meat consumption from gluttons to ascetics
  • When animals eat humans (or when humans eat humans)
  • The development and implementation of animal rights as it pertains to animal consumption
  • Feasting and its symbolic, moral, and social implications
  • Why we don’t eat our pets—and what happens when we do
  • Disgust theory and the impact of visualizing meat in art and film
  • The morality of eating and the boundaries between plant and animal
  • The future of the meat industry and animal husbandry in science fiction

We invite submissions from all fields that engage in this topic from a literary, cinematic, or art historical angle both in our own cultural moment and beyond it. While we welcome submissions that engage in all languages and literatures, please plan to deliver your paper in English.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words (excluding bibliography) should be sent to Margaret Day (day.491@osu.edu) by April 15th, 2018. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, the title of your paper, and any special audio-visual needs in the body of your email.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by April 16th. General inquiries may be made both to the address above or to mmla@luc.edu.

Acculturation: Second/Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

Participants will explore the concept of acculturation as it applies to the learning and/or teaching of a second and/or foreign language within the context of a changing social global world. Topics on first language acquisition, language acquisition in general, language planning, language policy, bilingualism, language assessment, and/or applied linguistics in general are welcome.

Please submit abstracts to Kashama Mulamba at kmulamba@olivet.edu by April 15, 2018.


We welcome papers that explore all aspects of the representation of food in literature, art, music, film, and culture. Proposal dealing specifically with the conference theme “Consuming Cultures”, however, will be given preferential consideration.
Please send a 250-word abstract to Eloïse Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu. Abstracts received by April 15th, 2018 will be ensured full consideration.
Chair: Eloïse Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu

In response to the MMLA conference theme “Consuming Cultures,” this panel seeks papers that engage the Anthropocene, a concept that radically challenges the very notion of a human culture that exists separately from nonhuman nature.  Of particular interest are papers that explore how the Anthropocene intersects with literary studies: what does it mean to consume literary culture—to read, to write criticism, to teach—in the Anthropocene? 

In a recent essay collection titled Anthropocene Reading, editors Tobias Menely and Jesse Oak Taylor argue that the Anthropocene “provides an opportunity for literary studies to test and transform its methods by examining how the symbolic domain might, or might not, index a historicity that exceeds the human social relation and encompasses planetary flows of energy and matter” (5).  Following this observation, papers for the ALSE panel at MMLA might engage with matters of methodology, or might read particular text/s or archives.  Also welcome are papers that invoke alternatives to the Anthropocene, such as the “Capitalocene” proposed by Jason W. Moore or Donna Haraway’s “Chthulucene.”

Proposals focused on any area of literature are welcome, as are proposals on activism and/or pedagogy.  Please submit a 250-300 word abstract including paper title and a brief bio statement to Dr. Lisa Ottum at ottuml@xavier.edu by April 6th, 2018.  Queries welcome.

Canadian Literature Panel

MMLA 2018

Chair: Ellen Feig   efeig@bergen.edu


The name Canada comes from an indigenous word “Kanata” which translates to village. The dictionary defines village as a “self-contained district or community within a town or city, regarded as having features characteristic of village life.” One can argue that Canada is a country made up of these small communities scattered across a vast landscape with each community maintaining its own culture and ideas of engagement within. Canada has prided itself (and legislated) on its multi-cultural focus, including the two national identities of Anglo and French Canadians. This pride has been tested as of late by immigrants crossing the border from the US in an attempt to find a safe home far from the harsh immigration policy of the current American president. What happens to culture and its consumption when the landscape of a country shifts from villages to ethnic groups? How does this shift influence the artistic works of the country?


This panel will take a broad look at the concept of culture and the ways in which both the “village” and the nation embrace both a national and ethnically focused identity. What are the issues of cultural engagement and/or cultural appropriation in a country that maintains characteristics of the village? How do Canadian authors address the themes of cultural consumption in an ever changing ethnic landscape?


Topics could include:

  • Studies in food and or agriculture
  • intersections between culture and identity
  • methods of consumption
  • disability studies in culture
  • feminist issues
  • cultures of non-consumption or minimalism
  • consumption vs. production.


Please submit 350-word abstracts to Ellen Feig at efeig@bergen.edu, along with a short bio, by April 15, 2018

Since its inception as a geographical area, the Central American isthmus has been conceptualized in terms of its potential for consumption. It has also been literally consumed, beginning with the colonial exploitation of human and natural resources for European markets, through the exploitation of raw materials for transnational economies in the twentieth-century. Some instances of  the consumption of Central American culture can be seen in the intense interest in pre-Columbian civilization by North American and European anthropologists, the active scholarship on Testimonial literature in the 1980s and 1990’s, and the recent proliferation of linguistic/cultural schools and academies in countries like Guatemala and Costa Rica. Yet for the most part, Central American literature as a “tapestry of languages, characters, conflicts, …” (Arias, 2007:3) remains “invisible”, and in the words of Guatemalan writer Arturo Arias, at the “margins of the margins” due in part to the circulation of cultural products from and in the peripheries (2007, 49).

This panel takes a broader approach to the conference’s main theme of “Consuming Cultures”, as it examines ways in which Central American literature is consumed in the context of colleges and Universities in the United States. For this panel, the idea of consumption is linked to the frequency in which Central American authors/writers appear in departmental curricula, master/doctoral reading lists, and particularly, in course syllabi. Papers should framed by, but not limited to, one or more of the following questions: What does the consumption or lack of Central American literature reveal about literature in marginality? What is the context in which Central American literature is consumed? Are the impoverished economies and political turbulence of the region the cause for such consumption? Are there any pedagogical challenges in the teaching of Central American literature that prevent its consumption? What role(s) do publishing houses and a market economy play in this consumption? What are some strategies that could foster a more balanced Latin American literature consumption?  Does digital technology offer a more promising future for the consumption of Central American Literature?

Please send a 250-word abstract that includes your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address and paper title to Nestor Quiroa (nestor.quiroa@wheaton.edu) by April 15, 2018.


Consuming Cultures in Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Cultures

Critics such as James Kincaid, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Michelle Martin, Philippe Ariès, and Suzanne Linn have written about childhood and adolescence as something we consume, criticize, and commercialize, whilst simultaneously romanticizing and desiring. In Consuming Kids (2004), Suzanne Linn suggests consumerist culture is conducting a “hostile takeover” of childhood and adolescence. While cultural consumption of childhood and adolescence has increased, these spheres are likewise being offered up as commercial commodities across medias. We seek papers that explore all aspects of Children’s and Young Adult Literature, as well as those addressing the conference theme of consuming cultures. Considerations may be given to audience, race, technologies, body image, sexualities, disabilities, socioeconomics, immigration, rural/urban spaces, posthumanism, regionalism, and any other critical issues in children’s and young adult literature from any period and genre. Panel proposals are also welcome.

The MMLA conference will take place in Kansas City, MO November 15-18, 2018. Inquiries and/or abstracts of 250-300 words should be sent to Amberyl Malkovich at amalkovich@concord.edu by April 15, 2018. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and paper title in your abstract.


Forms of Consumption: Culture and Translation

For Brazilian translator and theorist Haroldo de Campos, translation is a necessarily distortive, and thus necessarily creative, act. For de Campos, the creativity inherent in translation is not a path to new works of art, but rather a way of metaphorizing the original work. Direct, faithful translation is impossible, de Campos argues, but fidelity can be reached indirectly: two works, translation and original, exist at a distance, but may be fused within the same system, allowing the nature of the original to be accurately inferred from the nature of the copy. For the Cuban writer and essayist Guillermo Cabrera Infante, similarly, “translation” is a loose term that can include concepts such as appropriation, writing and rewriting, and even the act of reading itself. As this suggests, Cabrera Infante embraces the distortions inherent in any given translation as valid and valuable aspects of the artistic process.

These two writers’ visions reveal the degree to which, since the rise of poststructuralism, translation has come to be considered not according to the literal modes of textual transposition catalogued by Roman Jakobson, but instead, as Daniel Balderston and Marcy Schwartz note, as both “a mechanism and a metaphor for contemporary transnational cultures.” More than a decade after Balderston and Schwartz’s assertion, however, it’s worth asking, how malleable is the concept of translation, and what are its limits? If translation fuses two works within a common system, and if appropriation, writing, and reading are all forms of translation, should we consider translation (and thus perhaps culture more broadly) to be, first and foremost, an act of consumption?

George Steiner challenges us to consider culture as “the translation and rewording of previous meaning,” while Oswald de Andrade and the Brazilian “anthropophagists” understood foreign culture as something to be consumed — intimately and actively internalized rather than simply recycled or repurposed. De Andrade and his followers take a confrontational and overtly political view of this process: European cultural production, in their eyes, becomes meat for the cannibal’s cauldron, to fuel the fight against a colonial oppressor. How might we reexamine their ideas from our current historical moment, so rife with social, political, and ideological clashes? This panel seeks to explore these and other perspectives on the related concepts of translation, culture(s), and cultural consumption. What other means do we have available for understanding translation through the idea of cultural consumption? What can we gain from such an approach to translation, and where does it fail? Papers engaging with these topics, or others dealing with any aspect of culture and translation, are welcome.

Please send a 300-word abstract to arodrigueznavas@luc.edu by April 15. ​

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Consuming Ideas and Producing Culture in Creative Prose

This year’s session on creative prose considers how ideas, objects, experiences and cultures are consumed in the act of writing creatively. Specifically, how do creative writers use the ideas around them to produce their creative work? What type of research do they pursue and how do its results filter through the finished product? This session is interested in the ways in which creative writers use the material they find in order to make something new – a product that is in turn itself intended to be consumed.

The sessions will be run as roundtables: each panelist will have 20 minutes, which will include the opportunity to read a short segment of published work (10 minutes) and then talk about the writing and research process. This will allow time for group discussion.

Projects that have included travel, archival work, interviews, immersive experiences or other aspects of cultural consumption are especially welcome.

Please send a 500-word abstract on the project and a short (3-page) writing sample of published work by April 15, 2018 to Erika Behrisch Elce at erika.behrisch.elce@rmc.ca.


The Creative Writing II: Poetry section of the Midwest Modern Language Association is accepting proposals for presentations of scholarly or creative work that examine or complicate the ways in which poetry challenges our consumption of cultures, identities, and bodies. What can poetry reveal about cultural appropriation? How can poetry serve as a rejection of the commodified body? How can it resist its own commodification? How can appropriative writing and found language techniques provide insight into these conversations?

We welcome papers, poetry, and digital poetics projects, and 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, Ryan Clark (ryan.clark@waldorf.edu), by April 15th, 2018. Proposals of creative projects should include a brief sample (3-5 pages of poetry) along with the abstract. Include in your abstract your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and paper title.

Digital Humanities Permanent Section:  Reading as/or Consuming Text?

The Digital Humanities section of the Midwest Modern Language Association is accepting proposals for scholarly and literary presentations that address new ways of “consuming” texts afforded by software applications.  We invite proposals that demonstrate new tools for interpreting, analyzing, translating, creating, disseminating, and/or teaching literary and scholarly works. Papers that address the history of the book and evolving models of reading/consumption are welcome. The MMLA conference will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, November 15-18, 2018.

Please send a 200-300-word abstract and a brief bio to Melinda Weinstein (mweinstei@ltu.edu), by April 15th, 2018. Include in your abstract your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address and paper title.


Call for Papers for the Dickens Society


The Dickens Society invites proposals for a sponsored panel at the 2018 conference of the Midwest Modern Language Association in Kansas City, MO. Papers on any aspect of Dickens’s works will be considered, but we are especially interested in proposals that engage the broader MMLA conference theme, “Consuming Cultures”—a timely theme for our current moment, which is rife with tensions surrounding ideas of culture. The consumption of culture, in particular, both excites and threatens us, as the meanings associated with that consumption have become increasingly multivalent and complex. To that end, the 2018 MMLA Convention seeks to address this topic by asking such questions as: What is meant by culture, by consumption? How does one consume multiple cultures? What is it to have a culture of consumption? How do issues of class play out in who consumes and what is consumed? How can we consume sustainably? What is the future of consumption? The Convention therefore encourages papers that tackle the issue of “Consuming Cultures” in both literal and figurative senses.


Topics related to Dickens might include, but are not limited to: eating and drinking in Dickens; consumption and commodity culture; cannibalism; prostitution, mercenary marriage, and other sexual commodification; tourism and traveling abroad; immigrating, emigrating, and other forms of cultural exchange and assimilation; grief, love, jealousy, and other consuming passions; sales and circulation, publishing innovations, and other means of selling Dickens’s work; mass-cultural proliferations of Dickens, from the Victorian period to the present; Dickensian ecologies and economies, including cycles of waste, reclamation and exchange.


Please send 350-word (maximum) abstract and brief (1-page) CV to Sean Grass at scgrass@iastate.edu. Proposals are due May 15, 2018, and authors will be notified of decisions by June 1, 2018.


2018 CFP coming soon!

Building off the 2018 MMLA themes of consumption and culture, this section invites papers that explore representations of food, its production, and/or its consumption in works of English literature before 1800. Possible topics might include

  • What is the connection between eating, food, and class in 18th century novels?
  • How do pre-modern writers use aspects of culinary culture to understand other elements of human society?
  • How does language of hunger and consumption intersect with gender, sexuality, and erotic desire?
  • Does language having to do with the universal categories of food and consumption have an especially trans-historical resonance?
  • How might discourses related to consumption offer a unique understanding of pre-modern subjectivity?
  • What is the relation between consumption and humoralism? Does food offer another approach to early modern materialism?
  • What are the links between discourses of consumption, economic production, and colonialism?
  • In what ways do literary discourses related to food and consumption speak to religious concerns in early modern England?

Please email 250-word abstracts with a brief bio to Sean Levenson at fb1941@wayne.edu by April 15, 2018.






In keeping with this year’s theme, “Consuming Cultures,” I welcome papers that address issues of consumption in nineteenth-century British literature and culture. Possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to: print culture and readership; leisure activities; studies in food, medicine, plants, agriculture, and animals; consumption vs. production; consuming identities and bodies; and the intersections between postcolonialism, imperialism, and capitalism. Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief bio. by April 15th, 2018 to Bailey Shaw at bshaw@siu.edu.

This panel is open to address any issues of English literature since the turn of the century. Papers may address any topics relevant to the literature of this time period, including modernism, war literature, the avant-garde, post-modernism, and contemporary literature. However, the topic of "consuming cultures" is particularly relevant to English literature in the last century, and papers that explore the intersection of modernity/post-modernity with the destructive force of consumption are especially welcome.

Please send a 250-word abstract and brief bio to Danielle Richards at drichards@luc.edu. Abstracts due April 15, 2018.

Panel chair: Danielle Richards, Loyola University Chicago

In her book, Fashion and its Social Agenda: Class, Gender and Identity in Clothing (2012), Diane Crane posits, “Clothing, as one of the most visible forms of consumption, performs a major role in the social construction of identity. Clothing choices provide an excellent field for studying how people interpret a specific form of culture for their own purposes, one that includes strong norms about appropriate appearances at a particular point in time (otherwise known as fashion) as well as an extraordinarily rich variety of alternatives.” This session invites papers that investigate the intersection of clothing the body and creating the body that the clothing covers as an expression of individual identity. Possibilities could include, but are certainly not limited to ways that clothing/fashion are used to convey and/or subvert gender and/or class within a particular time period or cultural milieu. Abstracts (300 words) and a short bio can be sent to Jane.wood@mtmc.e by April 15, 2018.

2018 CFP coming soon!

Film and Television in the Binge Era

With the rise of peak TV two decades into the 21st century, television has disrupted the film industry, and it has produced – and been affected by – dramatic changes in the popular consumption of visual media. While movie attendance continued its steep decline in 2017 (reaching a 25-year low), network, cable, and internet-streaming platforms combined to air nearly 500 scripted television shows in 2017, a dramatic increase from around 200 shows in 2002. Meanwhile, Netflix will likely spend around $8 billion for content production in 2018.

Television has also blurred the distinction between movies and TV shows as cultural and artistic objects, and it has opened new opportunities for creative artists and directors. In recent years, directors typically associated with film have made impactful, acclaimed, and widely viewed drama TV shows, including the Wachowskis (Sense8), Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It), and David Lynch (Twin Peaks: The Return). Commenting on the creative freedom of contemporary television, Jane Campion (Top of the Lake) has observed: “The really clever people used to do film. Now, the really clever people do television.”

This panel encourages proposals for papers that examine and inquire about the past, present, and futures of film and TV in contemporary U.S and world cultures. Panelists are encouraged to examine particular contemporary television shows or any facet of television and film consumption, distribution, and production. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Internet-distributed television and film (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.)
  • Representations of film/TV consumption in visual media
  • Binge-watching and consumption of visual media
  • TV’s new “golden age” and disruption of the film industry
  • Adaptations of literature in contemporary film and television (Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, etc.)
  • Documentaries about food production/consumption (Netflix’s Rotten, Food, Inc., etc.)
  • Film and TV and politics and/or social justice movements (Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Time’s Up, etc.)
  • Representations of history in film and on serial television
  • Auteur theory, television programming, and television studies
  • Narrative studies and serial television
  • Television and cultural studies

Abstracts of 250-300 words and a brief bio may be sent to Dr. Jonathan Hayes, Southeast Missouri State University, at jhayes@semo.edu, by April 15th, 2018.

The chair of the Film II panel is currently vacant - if you are interested in taking this seat, please email us at mmla@luc.edu!

MMLA 2018 Permanent Session on Global Cinema


The permanent session on Global Cinema seeks papers that address the conference theme of "Consuming Cultures."  We have two more focused topic areas around this broader theme.  Please feel free to send abstracts for one or both topics:

(1) Cinemas of Hybrid Cultures: These would include cinemas from any country which borrow from two or more cultures to create a new hybrid cinematic mix.  A case could be made for Marvel's new Black Panther film as one such hybrid.  Another example is Bollywood productions that bring new perspectives on classic European and American films and settings.

(2) Consuming Cinemas: Any cinema that explores/exploits/ or celebrates/denigrates other cultures through its use of foreign characters, foreign settings, or plots that involve myths and stories from countries and cultures other than its own.


Please submit 300 word abstracts to chair, Khani Begum, at khani@bgsu.edu, by April 15, 2018

French I: Advent of the Ancien Régime


Consumption can manifest itself in a myriad of forms; for instance, base consumption of food and beverage, dissemination of knowledge and propaganda, cultural appropriation and artistic production, and religious and patriotic indoctrination being just a few of the many possible avenues of exploration. In keeping with this year’s MMLA convention theme of “Consuming Cultures”, this panel seeks to dialogue these and other forms of loosely-defined consumption in relation to the literature and culture of the Ancien Régime.


Please submit a 250-word abstract, short biography, and A/V requests to Eric Wistrom at wistrom@uwalumni.com by April 15, 2018.

In the context of this year’s conference theme “Consuming Cultures,” this panel explores the tensions surrounding ideas of culture in post-revolutionary French literature. It welcomes papers in French or English. 

Possible topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Studies in food, agriculture, animals, and plants
  • Intersections between postcolonialism, imperialism, and capitalism
  • The co-opting of culture as a consumable good
  • Ecocritical readings of consumption
  • Transcultural identities
  • Varying methods of consumption
  • Disability studies in culture
  • Issues of feminism and womanism
  • Self-consumption and rebirth
  • Cultures of non-consumption: asceticism
  • Consumption vs. production

Please submit a 250-word abstract with your paper title, full name, institutional affiliation, contact information, and a brief bio (around 100 words) to Sylvie Goutas at sgoutas@uchicago.edu by April 15th, 2018.


Call For Papers
Permanent Session
French III, Cultural Issues:  “Consuming Cultures”

This year’s conference theme, “Consuming Cultures,” presents an opportunity for the permanent session on French Cultural Issues to examine any aspect of French and Francophone culture, although scholarly research focusing on the interdisciplinary study (including popular culture, literature, film, art, etc.) of culture and consumer attitudes or public taste is especially welcome.

250-500 word abstracts should be emailed to the panel chair, Scott Sheridan, at sheridan@iwu.edu by April 15, 2018.

Permanent Section Call for Papers: Gender Studies

Consumption habits are markedly different from culture to culture, and within different historical periods. American society today is described as a consumer culture, and ironically critiqued for the capitalist drive that feeds this trend. If we look, for example, at the 19th century critiques of Second Empire however, it is clear that these manners are not original. The notion of empire leads us to another interpretation of this year’s conference theme and asks us to question if it is possible, and what is the process by which one culture absorbs, or consumes another. As this panel’s special focus is on Gender Studies, the topic of how bodies are representatives of culture as well as objects of consumption is central. What is the relationship between bodies and their culture? Where is the individual in a set of bodies that are culturally constructed and consumed?  Works may vary from literary, visual or digital media that all represent bodies in their various forms and functions.


Please submit a 250-300 word abstract including paper title to Dr. Marta Wilkinson at marta_wilkinson@wilmington.edu by April 15th, 2018.

CFP: 2018 MMLA Conference, “Consuming Cultures” Kansas City, MO 

MMLA German Literature and Culture Permanent Section, November 15-18 in Kansas City, MO


In the context of this year’s conference theme “Consuming Cultures,” presenters are invited to explore the tensions surrounding ideas of culture in the area of German Studies. Possible topics include, but not limited to: 

  • The Culture Industry and its Legacy
  • Pedagogical approaches to dominant and minority cultures
  • Intersections between postcolonialism, imperialism, and capitalism
  • The co-opting of culture as a consumable good
  • Minority cultures in German-speaking countries
  • Ecocritical readings of consumption
  • Transcultural identities
  • The “privilege paradox” for minority authors
  • Varying methods of consumption: digital, etc.
  • Disability studies in culture
  • Issues of feminism and womanism
  • Cultures of non-consumption: asceticism

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


Panel: German Women Writers

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 “Consuming Cultures” are especially welcome.

Please submit 250-word abstracts and a 50-word bio as email attachments to Bethany Morgan bethanymorgan@wustl.edu by April 15th, 2018. 

Possible sub-themes of the Convention theme “Consuming Cultures” include: 
  • “buying into” womanhood
  • gender and consumerism
  • consumerism and class
  • conspicuous consumption
  • consumerized empowerment
  • studies in food, agriculture, animals, and plants
  • intersections between postcolonialism, imperialism, and capitalism
  • the co-opting of culture as a consumable good
  • ecocritical readings of consumption
  • transcultural identities
  • activism
  • varying methods of consumption: digital, etc.
  • disability studies in culture
  • issues of feminism and womanism
  • cultures of non-consumption: asceticism
  • consumption vs. production

2018 CFP coming soon!

We welcome papers that explore Francophone Studies in light of the MMLA 2018 conference theme “Consuming Cultures”. 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 Eloïse Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu. Abstracts received by April 15th, 2018 will be ensured full consideration.
Chair: Eloïse Sureau, Butler University, esureau@butler.edu

The Society will be taking a Pinter Pause in 2018, but watch this space for their triumphant return in 2019!

The Carver Society will be on hiatus for 2018, but we will be back in 2019! 

This year’s MMLA conference is dedicated to issues of cultural engagement and/versus cultural appropriation broadly organized around a number of provocative questions: What is meant by culture, by consumption? How does one consume multiple cultures? What is it to have a culture of consumption? How do issues of class play out in who consumes and what is consumed? How can we consume sustainably? What is the future of consumption?

This Permanent Section devoted to Irish Studies seeks presentations that examine the interrelations between consumption and culture inclusive of their affective dimensions (e.g. desires, appetites). As the universe of jostling allusions, literary references, and everyday objects that constitute James Joyce’s representative fictions reveal, the iconoclastic Irish writer’s work is as much a part of mass or consumer culture as are his readers. Put another way, Joyce’s avant-garde art privileges modernist parataxis in all its forms even as it consumes with relish the broad reaches of high art/mass culture. In the “Proteus” episode ofUlysses, Stephen Dedalus declares, “Signatures of all things I am here to read,” but for generations of readers digesting this disaffected Dubliner’s associative mode of thinking is no easy challenge. A perhaps, sweeter more honeycombed account of everyday life comes from Bloom, who remarks in “Aeolus,” prompted by the sound of the Freeman’s Journal printing presses, “everything speaks in its own way.” With Joyce’s account of consumer culture in mind, Jennifer Wicke notes, “while no one would deny the complexity of Joyce’s literary universe, it is also true that in a sense we know how to speak its language, or at least one of its major tongues—the mass cultural language of consumer subjects—because we have been speaking it all our lives. Joyce’s textual world is not hermetic, elitist, arcane, or removed from everyday life: it draws from it and transforms it, without ever abandoning it.”

This panels welcomes proposals from emerging and established academic scholars working in the humanities or cultural media, educators, artists, and activists that consider cultural consumption and the various ways people consume cultures in Irish society. Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  •  Mass, commodity culture and Irish literature
  •  Fashion, consumption, and culture
  •  Mass media and the formation of modern Irish culture
  •  Modernism/Postmodernism and consumer subjects
  •  Globalization and consumer culture in fiction, drama, and poetry
  •  Space/places of mass culture and commodity exchange
  •  Gender, mass culture, and modernity
  •  The artist and/in society 
  •  Folk culture, working-class culture, and mass society
  •  Cultural appropriation and consumption in multi-ethnic contexts
  •  Sexuality, identity, and lifestyle choices
  •  The Irish language in/and Irish culture
  •  Performance and performativity in Irish literature and culture
  •  Staging “Irishness” in literature, drama, film, art, music, photography, television, etc.
  •  Subaltern concerns, moral subjectivities, and colonial authority
  •  Consumption and culture in relation to the traumas and discontinuities of colonization
  •  Culinary practices and gastronomy in Irish literature and culture.

Please submit a brief abstract (100-200 words) 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, 2018.  

The Chairmanship of the Italian Literature panel is currently vacant.  If you are interested in chairing this panel, please email the MMLA at mmla@luc.edu!

Literary Criticism – “Inconsumable Literature and Resistance”

In their 2009 essay “Surface Reading: An Introduction” Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus claim that technology has rendered “demystifying protocols” superfluous in an age when a text’s meaning is immediately evident. Dubious of critique’s claim to heroic mastery, Best and Marcus suggest that readers encounter texts ethically by “looking at” rather than “through” what is written on the page. This theoretical position troubles encounters with literature that resists transparent meaning-making.

This panel seeks papers exploring the role of literature and literary criticism as they intersect with depictions of the unrepresentable. Papers are especially encouraged to address the production of literary works that deliberately resist consumption and the role of literary criticism in response to those encounters. Which forms do inconsumable literatures take? How does literary criticism intervene when encountering literatures that resist consumption? How can past and present literature/criticism be utilized to enact resistance to or embrace unrepresentability? 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 by April 15, 2018 to Molli Spalter at mollispalter@wayne.edu

“If you are not a myth whose reality are you? If you are not a reality whose myth are you?” –Sun Ra, Prophetika, Book One

Since the publication of Mark Dery’s now-seminal article on Afrofuturism, “Black to the Future” (1993), several critical studies have expanded the concept of black speculative fiction and claimed it as a full-fledged genre of its own. Indeed, the mainstream releases of a graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Marvel’s Black Panther and Ava Duvernay’s A Wrinkle in Time point to the existence of what we might now might call an “Afrofuturist canon.”

However important the establishment of Afrofuturism as a genre, the fact remains that as a whole, it is strikingly Anglo-centric. Of particular significance is the omission of Afro-Latin American and Caribbean cultural productions from the genre, given that most Afro-descendants living in the Americas actually reside in countries other than the United States. In fact, despite being frequently written off as folkloric and/or magical realist, or simply ignored because they’re published in languages other than English, authors and artists in Latin America and the Caribbean have long contributed to Afrofuturist conversations. From Machado de Assis’s The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (1881) to Mário de Andrade’s Macunaíma (1928) to Manuel Zapata Olivella’s Changó: el gran Putas to Conceição Evaristo’s Ponciá Vicêncio, Latin American authors often use fantasy and science fiction in work that foregrounds the experiences of black folks.

This panel seeks to address the omission of Afro-Latin work from discussions of afrofuturism by bringing together proposals that analyze the genre in Brazil. We are interested in proposals that engage with Afrofuturism as a broadly defined project located at the intersection of blackness, technology, fantasy and/or science fiction. As such, we invite presentations that analyze—for example—Gilberto Gil’s soundtrack for Quilombo (1984), Hugo Canuto’s reimagination of the Orishas through comic books, or the use of digital technology to limit the violence of the state against black bodies (as analyzed by Christen Anne Smith, 2016). While this panel is grounded in the significance of afrofuturism for (Afro)-Luso-Brazilian studies, we also welcome submissions that address texts or performances from other areas of Latin America and the Caribbean that engage with afrofuturism. Submissions may be written in Portuguese, English or Spanish.

Abstracts of 200-300 words should be sent to jasuare2@illinois.edu and melissa.schindler@ung.edu by April 15, 2018.


The Legacy of 1968: Cultural Politics and the Left


The Marxist Literary Group will be hosting a special session on the relationship between cultural and class struggles in the past fifty years at this year’s MMLA convention in Kansas City, MO. Since the late sixties the liberatory struggles of workers, women, colonized or formerly colonized peoples, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ communities have been at the front line of Left (and Right) politics. They remain so today, even as the relation between these particular social formations and the reproduction of capital urgently requires continued re-theorization. Where does class fit into contemporary or historical cultural movements? How does literature, film, and art conceptualize the relationship between culture and class and reflect larger discourses about these topics? Given capitalism’s adaptability and history of creating markets for cultural struggles, how are cultural politics and cultural representation (literature, film, art, etc.) positioned differently in the wake of the stalled revolutions of 1968?  


Topics may include:

  • Symptomatic or historical readings of 1968.
  • 1968 as a global event, (considering, for example, Mexico City, Tokyo, Rio, Shanghai, alongside the more well-trodden US and French contexts).
  • Representations of class and/or race, gender, sexuality, or disability in popular culture
  • Moving beyond the dead-lock of New Left vs. Old Left politics pitting race/gender/sexuality against class.

Please submit a proposal of no more than 250 words and a short biographical statement of no more than 100 words to Melissa Macero (mmacer2@uic.edu) and Davis Smith-Brecheisen (brecheisend@gmail.com) by April 15, 2018.  



In keeping with the MMLA conference theme, “Consuming Cultures,” the Midwest Victorian Studies Association panel welcomes proposals that explore methods of cultural consumption in 19th century Britain.

The myriad possible topics include methods of cultural consumption, production of materials to be consumed, and cultural and social expectations that govern, control, or recommend consumption, including the following:

  • Reading and literary or print culture
  • Eating, manners, and food culture
  • Writing and print culture
  • Traveling and regional and/or global culture
  • Colonization and the culture of the Empire
  • Family and domestic culture
  • Entertainment, diversions, and popular culture
  • Time and serialized or periodical culture
  • Art and aesthetic culture
  • Activist culture
  • Cultural shift in areas like industry, law, science, and religion

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 March 30, 2018.

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

MMLA 2018 Conference

Modern Literature Permanent Section Call For Papers


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 “Consuming Cultures.” Creative interpretations of the theme are welcome, but possible topics include:

  • Explorations of moments of cultural consumption within regional or transnational modernist traditions.
  • Works that engage issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity in or outside of their cultural contexts.
  • Modernist works that address the relationship between the two themes of consumption and culture through their content, formal features, or both.

Please send 250-word abstracts to the section chair by April 15, 2018.


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

Section Secretary: Xiamara Hohman, Loyola University Chicago, xhohman@luc.edu

“Multicultural Writers as Chroniclers of Culture: Strategies for Teaching Texts that Centralize the Marginalized”

In an era rife with cultural anxieties, the role of the multicultural writer is more vital than ever, particularly when the cultural norms of those existing outside of mainstream culture are increasingly challenged, censured, or overshadowed by the biases of the majority. Whether by documenting the disorienting experiences of immigrants seeking to establish new lives in places far from their countries of origin or the decades-long struggles of minorities to gain a firmer foothold in the societies around them, multicultural writers often serve as chroniclers of the cultures from which their characters—and they themselves—come, providing their readers with a deeper appreciation for the rich histories and traditions that shape those cultures and ideally helping to instill in those readers compassion and tolerance for those whose cultural norms might differ from their own.  In keeping with this year’s conference theme of “Consuming Cultures,” this panel seeks proposals that focus on the themes of consumption and culture as they surface in the works of multicultural writers past and present.  Proposals that address the conference theme 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 15, 2018.


In addressing the conference theme of “Consuming Cultures,” the Permanent Section on Native American Literature seeks proposals exploring consumption in or of Native American story. Possible topics may include analyses of the consumption of stories or of stories about cultural consumption. Discussion of narrative appropriation, commodification, or the literary marketplace, past or present, are encouraged. Please send proposals of 200-300 words by April 15, 2018 to the panel chair, Dr. Kate Beutel, at kbeutel@lourdes.edu.

This panel welcomes all proposals that address the conference theme of consumption in texts in Old and Middle English. Of particular interest are proposals that address consumerism in all forms, material or immaterial. Examples of material consumerism might include but are not limited to the presence, use, or thoughts of food, goods, bodies, or land, while examples of immaterial consumption might consider ideas, beliefs, values, labels, or practices. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to Dr. Kathleen Burt at kathleen.burt@mga.edu by no later than April 15, 2018. 

Since the emergence of Capitalism in Western society, humanity’s role as consumers of culture has become internalized as an inalienable component of modernity. From Marx’s metaphor of vampire labor in Capital to George Romero’s metaphorical representation of zombies as consumers in Dawn of the Dead to the ravenous hunger of online fandoms eagerly seeking for new content, the relationship between popular culture and its human consumers draws upon a rich, expansive history that recontextualizes interpolated human relationships by emphasizing (and sometimes questioning) the cultural narratives that dominate modern societies. This year’s pop culture panel seeks to bring these cultural narratives to the forefront as part of a discourse that illuminates the ways by which consumerism(s) shapes human identity and/or the ways that pop culture reflects the influence(s) of consumer ideology. Consumerism for this panel is not restricted to the domains of Marxist and class-related economic analysis, but its definition may also be expanded metaphorically to include obsession, sublimity, and the relegation of identity. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, metaphors of consumption as they are relayed in music, video games, and other texts, the impact creators’ desire for commercial success has on altering source material from pre-existing franchises for new audiences, memetics, the intersection of history and/or space as elements that consume authors/readers/and/or characters in a text, and interrogations of the marginal spaces that evade/challenge/and/or resist mass consumerism. Papers that discuss any form of popular media are welcomed, including, but not limited to:  film, television, popular literature, graphic novels/manga, visual art, video games, and music.

Please submit a 250-word abstract with your paper title, full name, institutional affiliation, contact details (email), and a brief bio (around 100 words) to Session Chair, Matt Sautman, at mbsautman@gmail.com by April 15th, 2018.

Peace, Literature, and Pedagogy Panel

The Midwest Modern Language association invites proposals for the 2018 conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Papers on any topic will be considered, yet participants are welcome to explore this year's conference theme: “Consuming Cultures.” 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/teacher/student in society
  • satire as a tool of resistance/change/revolution
  • 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 and criticism
  • gender and LGBTQ studies
  • trans-identity and cultural power
  • ethnic identity and cultural power
  • feminism and womanism
  • shifting literacies and modes of production
  • disability studies
  • pop culture in the college classroom
  • free speech and states of exception
  • the public intellectual
  • online rhetoric and cultural participation
  • truth, fiction, and poetic 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, 2018.

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

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

From Socrates to St. Paul, from Cervantes to Oscar Wilde, from Bonhoeffer to Malcolm X, imprisonment has marked the lives of great literary and cultural figures throughout history. Furthermore, the United States currently incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any nation in history and the most authoritative witnesses to this humanitarian crisis are prisoners themselves. Thus, this session seeks papers that examine the production, teaching, study, and performance of literature within both historical and contemporary carceral institutions.  Please send abstracts to William Andrews at wandrews@ctschicago.edu by April 15th, 2018.

2018 CFP coming soon!

Religion and Literature


In keeping with the MMLA conference theme, “Consuming Cultures,” the Religion and Literature permanent section welcomes proposals that address works and writers who explore the ways in which religion and consumerism and consumption intersect. This topic could be considered in a multitude of ways. Religious practice often involves food—both in preparation and consumption—as the center of observance and practice. On the other hand, consumerism, specifically the purchase and/or display of products, is also present in many expressions of 20th and 21st Century religiosity. This is perhaps best depicted in the “megachurch,” but also in the ever-broadening “religious” sub-genres of fiction and film. This panel seeks papers that broadly examine how literature seeks to illuminate and explore the junction of consumption and religion, and proposals may consider the concept of “consumption” in either—or both—of the above described ways. Proposals might consider (but not limited to): How and why do writers depict the ceremonial or observational meal? How does the tradition of the ceremonial, observational or festive meal extend beyond the religious to the secular? How does late-capitalist consumerism reverberate in religious expression? In what ways does (either food or product) consumption drive religious devotion? How does consumption affect or dictate religious or secular identity? Papers may look at the ways in which writers have examined these issues of consumption as religious practice, or look at the products of a consumer-driven religious culture.


Please send 250-word abstracts with paper title to Seth Johnson at sjohns36@kent.edu, by April 6th, 2018.  


"Fleshing Out Zombies: Consumers, or Cultured?" 

The theme of 'Consuming Cultures' likely conjures a ready image for fantasy and science-fiction readers: the zombie. Zombie themes have been prevalent in speculative fiction for some time now, developing in sometimes unexpected ways. This panel will explore the continuing evolution of the zombie in fantasy and sci-fi literature, addressing themes such as:

  • The capacity of the zombie for "cultural consumption."
  • The post-human status of the zombie; zombification as its own form of agency or subjectivity. 
  • Themes of death and resurrection from bio-political or eco-critical perspectives.  
  • Zombies in the age of fake-news: knowledge and its consumption

Please submit 200-300 word abstracts to mmlazombies@gmail.com by April 15th, 2018.

“Shakespeare and the Consumption of Culture”
Shakespeare’s plays and the critical conversations around them are deeply concerned with questions of culture.  Many of the plays are set in cultures different than Shakespeare’s own early modern England, from Denmark to Italy to Ancient Rome, often using those cultures to examine his own.  Productions of his plays have been set in a dizzying array of cultures, in order make comments on yet other cultures.  The culture of Imperial Britain made use of Shakespeare in order to dominate (and often consume) the cultures which they colonized. 
Following the theme of this year’s conference, “Consuming Cultures,” this permanent session invites papers which consider questions of cultural difference, contact, or conflict within Shakespeare’s plays, productions of the plays, or within Shakespearean criticism. 
Please submit an abstract of 250 words to rgilbert1@luc.edu by April 15, 2018​

Title of Session: “Midwestern Writers: Cultural Engagement or Appropriation?

Description: Anthony Doerr, born in 1973, a contemporary (Christian) writer from Cleveland, Ohio writes a lyrical and haunting Pulitzer Prize winning novel about World War II. What other Midwest writers write what they don’t know? Is this engagement or appropriation? Please send your titles and abstracts… and bring your boxing gloves….

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

Deadline for Submission: April 15, 2018 

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

Unstories, Antistories, and Counterstories: Resisting New Traditions of Culture and Consumption in Short Fiction

Contemporary short story writers compose and publish in a landscape characterized, in recent years, by Internet communications like social media, the profusion of creative writing MFA and Ph.D. programs, and the consolidation of major publishing houses. This panel examines how short stories might work against the grain of such cultural contexts. What do unusual, weird, experimental, genre-bending, boundary-breaking short stories look like today? How do the cultural contexts with which the short story has been associated of late alter how we read short stories of the past? Papers could discuss single authors, anthologies, literary journals and magazines, or other media, from podcasts to pamphlets, of any historical period. Papers that challenge traditional models of the conference paper, through interdisciplinary work, creative work, and audience interaction, are encouraged. Please send a 250-word abstract and CV by April 15, 2018 to Lucy Biederman at ldb62@case.edu.


Permanent Session – Spanish Cultural Studies 

Session Title: Spaces of Consumption/Consumption of Space

In recent years the production and consumption of culture has been a central driver of the transformation of cities in Spain and in many other countries. As cities and neighborhoods attempt to brand themselves in terms of their musical, artistic, or culinary offerings, this production of “symbolic capital” as Sharon Zukin has called it, has led to the inflation of real estate prices and/or, the “AirBnb”-ification of the rental market in which residential housing is placed in the short-term rental market directed at tourists. In this sense, the consumption of culture has also generated a subsequent “consumption” of city space that has changed the fabric of many communities.

This panel seeks papers written in English or Spanish that engage with the ways that space has become a consumer product and/or how capital has “consumed” space in Spain—whether in the contemporary frame or in other historical periods. Presenters dealing with these issues of space and culture through the study of literary or artistic representations should not feel limited to the urban context. Also encouraged are papers that examine how current cultural practices in Spain have attempted to work outside of this process of urbanization through alternative modes of cultural production (autogestión, municipalismo, etc.).

Abstracts of 150-200 words due by April 15, 2018 and should be sent to Matt Feinberg feinberg@bw.edu

CFP: 2018 MMLA Conference, “Consuming Cultures” Kansas City, MO

MMLA Spanish I: Peninsular Literature Before 1700 Permanent Section, November 15-18 in Kansas City, MO


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, “Consuming Cultures”. Possible topics include, but not limited to:


The culture industry and its legacy

Intersections between colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism

The co-opting of culture as a consumable good

Cultures of non-consumption, asceticism

Erotic desire and other consuming passions

Prostitution and sexual commodification

The symbolic, moral, and social implications of food

Cultural contact and conflict

Ecocritical readings of consumption

Disability studies in culture


Please email abstracts of no more than 250 words to Nuria Sanjuán Pastor at sanjuann@beloit.edu by April 15, 2018.

Women and Consumption in Peninsular Literature and Culture after 1700

This panel explores the intersection between the depiction of women and the notion of consumption in literary and cultural products of the Spanish Peninsula after 1700. There are two compelling associations between consumption and women, and both are located in the realm of the domestic. On one hand, women are considered the first consumers of domesticity. In fact, household products are marketed mostly to female customers. Not only are they the target of main stream advertisement but also, in order to feed the family, they make most of the everyday spending decisions. On the other hand, we see women being consumed by the horrors of the domestic roles. Writers of the Gothic and the Fantastic, show how domestic spaces can become either a woman’s exterior threat – the house space that confines and devours a young wife – or, in a more Freudian sense, how the uncanny contained in domesticity connects a woman with the interior anxiety about herself – a woman imprisoned by madness and hysteria.


With the inextricable links between women and the MMLA Convention’s theme “Consuming Cultures” in mind, this panel welcomes papers (in English or Spanish) that explore the intersection between women and consumption in the form of cultural studies reading, literary analysis, or historical readings of literary works/cultural products in Spain from the Eighteenth century onward.


Email 250-words abstracts, paper title, full name, institutional affiliation, and preferred email to Andrea Pérez Mukdsi at andrea.perezmukdsi@ung.edu by April 15th, 2018.

We welcome proposals that explore Latin American Literature and Culture and create space for dialogue across disciplines and genres in the context of this year’s conference theme “Consuming Cultures”. Proposals exploring issues related to cultural engagement and cultural appropriation in Latin America from any time period will be given preferential consideration. Papers on any aspect of this topic are welcome, including but not limited to the following themes:

  • Latin American art, music and painting
  • Latin American feminisms and transfeminisms
  • Latin American Literature and the environment
  • Pop culture and visual arts in the Latin American context
  • Queer identities in Latin America
  • Latin American cultural and literary studies
  • Environmental and cultural sustainability
  • Indigenous cultures in Latin America
  • Latin American issues on disability
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Race, gender and subalternity
  • Religious discourses and consumption
  • Latin American nationalisms and consumption
  • Transatlantic Studies: Latin America/ Europe/Africa
  • Travel writing
  • Women in Latin American literature
  • Minority cultures in Latin America
  • Ecocritical approaches to consumption
  • Transcultural identities in Latin America
  • Food studies in the Latin American context

Please send proposals of 250 words by 15 April, 2018 to Michelle Medeiros, michelle.medeiros@marquette.edu. Participants are welcome to propose papers either in Spanish, Portuguese, or in English. 


The Permanent Section on Teaching Graphic Narratives invites submissions on any aspect of teaching the theme of “consuming cultures” in and through graphic narratives. Panelists might address, among other ideas, some of the following questions:

  • What is the significance of the conference theme to our teaching of graphic narratives?                              
  • How does it inform our teaching practices and pedagogy?                                                                                    
  • How do the graphic narratives we teach encourage cultural engagement?                                                          
  • How do they appropriate and represent diverse cultures?                                                                                       
  • How do we teach economic and/or environmental sustainability through graphic narratives?

Please send 250-word abstracts, a short biographical sketch, and an indication of your audiovisual needs to Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw hoeness@usi.edu by 15 April 2018.

Teaching writing has always existed in the intersection of culture and identity. 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 cultural diversity, which includes ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, educational history, physical appearance, learning style and ethnic background. Submissions which discuss and emphasize the challenges of integrating a culturally diverse and culturally responsive curriculum into writing intensive courses, including freshman writing courses, are welcome.

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 focusing on the role of consuming culture and cultural tensions in student writing;
  • Projects examining culture in American society and its relationship to identity; consumption, economic power, and non-consumption in student writing;
  • Pedagogies emphasizing choices and behaviors from a social and cultural point of view;  
  • Examinations of language difference;
  • Creative approaches to writing assessment.

Please send 150-300-word abstracts to:

Lisa Diehl - lisa.diehl@ung.edu and/or Matt McEver - James.mcever@ung.edu 

by April 15, 2018.

This year’s conference theme, “Consuming Cultures,” provides especially rich opportunity for the consideration (and critique) of “consumption” in its relation to travel and travel writing.  Papers on any aspect of this topic from any time period are welcome, including but not limited to the following ideas:

  • tourism as cultural consumption
  • sustainable tourism
  • travel writing as cultural consumption and/or production
  • the politics of map-making and place-naming
  • Indigenous or local resistance to tourism
  • travel as personal journey and/or national policy
  • food tourism
  • the travel digest (sorry, I couldn’t resist)

Of especial interest are papers that create space for dialogue across disciplines or genres.
Please send proposals of 500 words by 15 April, 2018 to Erika Behrisch Elce: erika.behrisch.elce@rmc.ca.

The Society only comes to the MMLA every other year, and this is on off-year for us.  Look for a new CFP when we return in 2019!

Literature from the Pacific island regions of French Polynesia and New Caledonia, the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion, and the Caribbean islands such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Haiti has recently been burgeoning. This panel seeks to address how authors from these regions engage in current literary trends. How do “insular” writers engage in dialogue with “consumer” reading practices or “popular” literary genres in the French-speaking world? How do authors from these areas encourage a wide readership? Are they concerned with consumer practices of reading? In what kinds of dialogues or conversations might women writers from island cultures seek to engage? These are a few of the questions this panel seeks to address. 

Please send a 300-word abstract by April 15th to Julia Frengs at jfrengs2@unl.edu





Independence vs. Collectivism: Consuming Cultures, Bodies, and Identities 

Women in Literature MMLA 2018

In “On Feminism in the Age of Consumption,” Nicki Cole and Alison Crossley urge us to be concerned with the increasing conflation between a woman’s independence and her proclivity for capitalist consumption. They ask, “In an age in which women’s independence and achievement are often framed by and articulated through consumer discourses and practices, what does this mean for the future of feminism and feminist identities?” (par. 4). They go on to remind us that

The epistemological foundation of feminism and feminist identity historically has been the eradication of inequalities. Thus, feminism is diametrically opposed to consumer practices which support the dominance of global capitalism: a system which thrives on the exploitation of labor, theft of resources, and facilitates vast accumulation of wealth among a tiny percentage of global elite, while simultaneously impoverishing the majority of the world’s population. Further, since consuming is a singular act of identity formation and expression, we question whether women’s empowerment through consumption at the individual level undermines the possibility of gendered social change at the collective level (par. 4).

In thinking about this year’s theme of “Consuming Cultures,” we are interested in the many ways that consumption can be understood, interpreted, sampled, remixed, and (re)defined from a feminist perspective. We are also drawn to this in the context of the individual vs. the collective: that is, when we consume cultures, do we do so alone or in groups? With whom to we participate? And who is affected? Where is the line between appreciation and appropriation? What collective material effects do our consumption and cultural practices cause? How does gender affect these answers? What is ethical consumption? What is a feminist consumption in light of our epistemological and ontological foundations?

We invite papers that interrogate the many ways in which women’s texts consume or have been consumed. We seek to diversify and multiply the myriad ways these ideas can be taken up, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Women as consumers
  • Women as consumed
  • Feminist/ethical methods for consuming new texts/cultures
  • Feminist ethics of care and/or social justice
  • Women and activism: fighting again cultural consumption
  • Women and the dangers of complicity
  • Women and digital/new/social media
  • Intersection, community-specific perspectives on consumption and cultures
  • Consuming bodies: Voyeurism, pornography, sex workers
  • Consuming bodies: queer bodies and nonnormative conceptions of materiality
  • Consuming place and space: ecofeminist perspectives on resource consumption
  • Postcolonial cultural consumption
  • Cross-cultural consumption, exoticization, globalization
  • Consuming food: cookbooks as cultural signifiers, cultural eating/cooking habits
  • Politics of translation: consuming non-English texts into Western markets
  • Commodity fetishism, consumerism, capitalism
  • To appreciate or appropriate? Power dynamics in consuming cultures
  • Consuming girlhood: childhood and aetonormativity
  • Children’s literature and the commodification of childhood
  • Games, toys, play, and pleasure
  • Marketing, publishing, industry cultures and consumptions
  • Nichification and The American Dream: how to maintain a feminist collective amid individualist ideology

Please send abstracts of no more than 350 words to Jennifer Coletta and Sayanti Mondal at MMLAwomenlit@gmail.com by April 15, 2018.

Writing Across the Curriculum

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
  • Collaborations between in-class instruction and Writing Centers
  • Continuing improvement / “Closing the loop”

Please send 150-300 word proposals to Alissa Burger at aburger@culver.edu by April 15th, 2018.

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