CFP for the 2020 MLA Convention

Papers are sought for two special sessions at the 2020 MLA Convention.

CFP 1: This panel will examine the function of nostalgia in class-conscious writing, specifically its role in the construction of working-class identities, both fictional and otherwise. To that end, presentations will gauge the efficacy of nostalgic representation in terms of literary aesthetics and/or political imperatives. Using literary texts as a lens, topics might include (but are not limited to):

* Defining Genre
* Cultural Haunting
* Interpretive Nostalgia
* Shifting Class Definitions
* Intersectional Dynamics
* Roots and Reconciliation
* Representational Aesthetics
* Stereotypes and Caricature
* Deindustrialization
* Class Fetishism
* Populist Rhetoric
* Working-Class Visibility
* Individuality / Collectivity
* Immiseration
* Space and Environment
* Traditions and Values

This year’s presidential theme is on “Being Human” with emphasis on defining the human, human rights, citizenship and belonging, technology, shifts in labor, and the impact of writing in the public sphere.

250 to 300-word abstracts and bio by 3/15 to

CFP 2: The panel will consider the ways in which working-class writing intervenes in debates about the definition of work, its changing forms, and its political implications. Papers might consider writing that explores subjects such as:

* the impact of increasing automation on the understanding and experience of work

* precarity and the “gig economy”

* marginalized and/or criminalized work

* unemployment

* the rise of surveillance capitalism and new forms of workplace discipline

* the increasing exploitation of emotional labour

* domestic work and caring

* the ways in which changes in both the means and relations of production alter existing divisions between public and private spaces

* “post capitalism”

Other subjects and approaches are welcome. Please send a 300 word abstract and a brief biographical statement or resume to by March 15.

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