Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Special Sessions Call for Papers

Proposals of presentations of original creative works (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, plays, ecolit/poetry, documentary poetry, and hybridity) with a connection with this year’s MMLA theme “consuming cultures” are welcome. These proposals should include a 500-word or shorter sample of original creative writing. This panel consists of panelists first each reading a 7-10-minute excerpt of original creative work, followed by a discussion of the work and its approaches. We actively seek out works that speak from and about issues of diversity/inclusiveness.  


Individual and panel proposals welcome.  Please submit to Dennis Etzel, Jr. at dennis.etzeljr@washburn.edu

Deadline: April 15th.

George Orwell was one of the great prose stylists and critical writers of the mid-twentieth century. He was an avowed socialist who opposed all forms of authoritarianism and political domination, writing against the British class/imperial system he had come to loath and all forms of  European fascism. He was also a writer who seemed to cherish and feel deeply connected to a particular sense of English culture. In this session, we will seek to understand and articulate the links between Orwell's art, his political commitment, and his sense of culture (as a "whole way of life").

Please send a 250 abstract and brief C.V. to Kevin Swafford at swafford@bradley.edu. The deadline is April 30, 2018.

Kathleen Antonioli


Call for Papers

Consuming Cultures in French, German, and Spanish Contexts since 1900: Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature


This panel invites contributions that explore the concept of cultural consumption by investigating literary texts, cultural objects, or films originally written or produced in Spanish, German, or French since 1900.  Comparative contributions are also encouraged.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

--consumption as a mode of engaging with literature, film, performance, or art

--consumption as a mode of engaging with a culture--consumption in the digital world

--gendered consumption

--intersectional investigations of consumption

--consumer culture

--mass culture

--cultural appropriation

--consumption and sustainability


Papers presented as a part of this panel will receive special consideration for publication in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature.


Please send proposals of 300 words to Dr. Kathleen Antonioli (kantonioli@ksu.edu) by April 15, 2018.


This panel considers ways that narratives of consumption/tuberculosis and other illnesses “awash in significance” (Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor) engage with other aspects of culture and identity. How do issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability figure in representations of illness? What role do literary and artistic representations play in changing definitions of pathology? What do images of illness reveal about concepts of modernity, technology, urban space, and consumerism? How do cultural narratives of illness relate to the construction of spaces for regulating health, or to experiences of travel and migration? What links exist between representations of illness and sociocultural roles of writers and readers? How do audiences consume images of illness? Papers may address cultural texts in any language or time period; the panel will be conducted in English.

Please send a 250-word abstract to Laura Kanost at lakanost@ksu.edu by April 15.


This special session seeks papers that focus on hoarding (excessive consumption of culture) as a powerful engine that encourages us to consider the ways race, ethnicity, postcolonial nationality, gender, sexuality, etc. productively intersect. Indeed, we can interpret hoarding in a number of meaningful ways. Hoarding, as it was originally theorized by psychologists and clinicians, is a behavioral disorder characterized by the excessive accumulation of objects to the point where they lose their original value and become anachronisms, while causing spatial disorientation in the space in which they are cluttered. Hoarding is thus a violation of the prescribed rules of normative time and space and is characteristically a queer mode of existence, existence that is almost always disavowed as wrecking temporal and spatial havoc in its insistent affront to heteronormative codes of public comportment and sexual discretion. Hoarding can also be seen as a stylistic engagement of excess and affluence that often expresses itself in racial and gendered terms, specifically when we consider modernist writers’ modes of writing and subject matters. Any paper investing in hoarding as such in 20th and 21st century literature is welcome.

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, including paper title, academic affiliation, and contact information as well as any audio-visual needs to Heejoung Shin at hshin@oakton.edu, by April 15th, 2018.

This session welcomes papers that examine literature and film through an ecocritical lens, exploring the relationship between cultural production and the physical environment. Possible topics include literary and filmic representations of the impacts of a culture of consumption on the environment; environmental justice and activism under global capitalism; and the consumption of animals and animal products.

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to Stacy Hoult-Saros at Stacy.Hoult-Saros@valpo.edu by April 15.


This session will explore the intersections between masculinity and consumption, particularly how consumptive practices inform and uphold male performance. In terms of consumption, we desire panelists to explore varying forms of masculine consumption in literature and film; submissions may address alcohol and food consumption, colonization, and marital or sexual practices. We are particularly interested in papers that examine the creation or use of terms like gentleman, rake, or libertine etc. through their approach to consuming objects, resources, property, or people. Possible topics to consider but are not limited to: reformed rakes, masculinity and performance, the fall or rise of the gentleman, advice or didactic texts, the role of the Novel in creating/sustaining/revising masculine identities, alcohol/alcoholism in literature or film, gambling in literature/film, the history of rape culture, prostitution, colonization, and clubs, fraternities, or associations for men.


Please submit abstracts of 300 words (including name and institutional affiliation as well as any audio-visual needs) to Shaunna Wilkinson at shaunna.wilkinson@iw.edu by April 15th



This Special Session invites papers on film and literature that explore experiences of Palestinian people and culture in the Occupied Territories and in the diaspora.  In their book, Palestinian Cinema: Landscape, Trauma, Memory (Indiana UP, 2005), Nurith Gertz, and George Khleifi address the predicament of Palestinians as, on the one hand, a people that "history has forgotten" and on the other as a people that have "overlooked history."  This sense of being outside history, of being in a constant search for home, for continuity, is often the subject of many films and novels about the Palestinian experience. While literary and filmic representations of Palestinian culture, trauma, and memory give voice to the "unvoiced" everyday Palestinian experience, they can be perceived also as consuming the historical narratives of Palestinian trauma and culture.  Papers can also address how film and literature depict Palestinians living though the trauma of loss in representations of national and cultural identity while continuing their everyday existence.  Papers can explore these issues in documentary and/or feature films made by not only Palestinian filmmakers but also by filmmakers from around the world including joint productions between Israelis and Palestinians on various aspects of the Palestinian conflict.

Please email abstracts by April 5th to:

Khani Begum



Famous women often aspire to anonymity and anonymous women dream of celebrity. In either case, celebrity is an omnipresent motive, either on the part of the individual, collective or by another person. What forms does this oppressive desire take? How do women authors, filmmakers or artists more generally, depict the psychological or philosophical crisis caused by a quest to be known and recognized? What will people do, or rather not do, to gain the attention of the public eye? Put another way, this panel seeks to address the difficulty of separating the private from the public, in a society that is increasingly public, where people are revealing more and more of themselves to the scrutiny of others who might be more or less forgiving than themselves. How do women authors handle the conceptions of the self as a public figure versus a desire for more privacy than before?

Please send a 300-word abstract by April 5th to Noëlle Brown at brownno@indiana.edu

In his 1986 Meurtres exquis, Histoire sociale du roman policier, Ernest Mandel explains the rising popularity of the detective genre : “L’histoire du roman policier est une histoire sociale, car elle apparait comme inextricablement liée à l’histoire de la société bourgeoise – voire de la production marchande – et surdéterminée par elle » (25). The detective novel, crime fiction, thrillers, mystery novels –with their fast-paced, suspenseful plots, appeal to the general public in ways that many other forms of literature do not, and have thus long been a popular form of the consumer reading experience. This panel seeks to explore how women writers of French expression adopt the roman polar not only to appeal to a vast readership, but also how they might use this genre to express political, social, and cultural commentary. How does the detective genre serve to communicate concerns regarding women’s rights, the environment, or social and economic injustices, for example? Can the roman polar go beyond being considered a commercial product and encourage activism? In what ways have women’s roles changed in the evolution of the genre? What types of pedagogical approaches might we be able to take with regard to this popular fiction? These are a few of the questions this panel seeks to address.

Please send a 300-word abstract by April 5th to Julia Frengs at jfrengs2@unl.edu

The complete translation of Sade’s œuvre into English in the 1960s caused an explosion of scholarly work on erotic and pornographic literature in the decades that followed. This interest has not endured in the 21st century, with several contemporary literary elites condemning such genres as subjects unsuitable for serious literary inquiry. Despite this, critical and commercial consumption of erotica and pornography is more visible than ever before, with texts such as Nelly Arcan’s Putain (2001) and Virginie Despentes’s Apocalypse bébé (2010), earning prestigious literary prizes, and the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy selling over 100 million copies. To what, then, can we owe this discrepancy between popular and critical reception, and that of the academy? What stylistics, themes, and/or tropes of erotic and pornographic texts contribute to this unease? And what does the future of erotica and pornography studies look like?


Please send a 300-word abstract by April 5th to Charles Kilian at gkilian@wisc.edu




From Amy Heckerling’s 1995 film Clueless to Seth Graham-Smith’s 2016 novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (and its many adaptations),and from Sherri Browning Erwin’s 2011 novel Grave Expectations to Thomas Vinterberg’s 2015 film Far from the Madding Crowd, the proliferation of adaptations of nineteenth century texts does not look to abate soon, and scholars have been taking notice. Adaptation offer a new way to consume both nineteenth century culture and canonical texts. We are seeking submissions of papers exploring adaptations of Nineteenth Century literature in new genres and/or mediums.

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. Send questions and submissions to Sharon Fox at slfox@uark.edu before April 15th, 2018.

What is the future of medieval manuscripts? Scholars have for decades been interested in the history of their production and the social environments, institutions, and mechanics of their production; these concerns have constituted what we all consider the “history” of the book. Yet, how do we imagine our futures of conserving and interacting with these materials? Much like monks who spent hours consuming their texts through the practice of lectio divina, we now also consume these materials in the act of studying them. Only, holy reading positioned the reader to focus on his present, where we interact with old books to discover as much as we can about their past. We have created critical editions, we have built reading rooms, and we have based our careers around this very important paradigm. Scholars since the late twentieth-century have become concerned with the future by way of caring about the past. How do consume books as good patrons, studiers, and stewards, or how do we equip others to do so?

This panel welcomes papers that cover a range of interdisciplinary topics regarding the cultures of medieval artifacts including their media histories and their media futures. How has a manuscript been represented through print, photography, and digital media? Inevitably the approaches will vary in theory and practice from responsibility in archiving, approaches to and critiques of digital archives, software versioning, interoperability, and collation visualization. Other topics are welcome including, but not limited to: paleographical / media studies, media archeology and ecology, text-encoding, histories of the book, markup languages, and art-historical / sociology of texts.

Please send questions and abstracts to Jesse McDowell at jmcdowell1@luc.edu.  Deadline: April 15, 2018