2006 Call for Papers

For the 48th Annual Convention of the Midwest Modern Language Association
November 9-12, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois

If you are interested in submitting a paper for one of these sessions, you should contact the session organizer directly. The suggested deadline is April 15, 2006 although see descriptions below for exceptions. You may participate in no more than two sessions unless special permission is granted. Please write to the M/MLA office for details.

Individual paper proposals on the general theme of the conference ("High & Low / Culture") may be submitted directly to the M/MLA office by March 1, 2006. Those accepted will be organized into sessions.

If you are interested in proposing a Special Session for the 2006 Convention, fill out this form by March 1 and submit it to the M/MLA office. The proposed special sessions will be listed below as we receive them.

We will be adding new session topics as they arrive.

Section Reports for the 2006 Permanent Sections and Associated Organizations must be submitted to the M/MLA office by the Section Chair or Secretary. These reports should include proposed session titles and descriptions for the 2005 conference. Once submitted, the proposed sessions will be listed below. Click here for the Section Report Form and the Associated Organization Report Form.

 

PERMANENT SECTIONS

African American Literature: "The African American Literary Canon: Rationale and Function, Pros and Cons." In ways not unlike that of the mainstream literary canon, the African American literary canon has become a force to be reckoned with in African American literary production and reception. While this canon is noteworthy for the individuals and works it includes, it is equally problematic for the individuals and works left out of it. As critics, we should remain attuned to how this canon operates in order to understand how the privileging of voices occurs as well as our response(s) to that privileging. This panel seeks to address canonicity as it relates to the production and reception of literature by African Americans. Chris Bell, Nottingham Trent University, Dept. of English, c/o 7400 Wellington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63130, tooferbell@yahoo.com

American Literature I: Literature to 1870: "Lieteracy and Lieterary Practice." Over the past decades, critics have increasingly turned their attention to the ways in which the growth of the printing and publishing industries transformed authorship in America. This panel turns its attention to a related question: how have technological and social transformations affected literacy and reading practices? Does the meaning of literacy itself change as the audience widens in the nineteenth century, and if so, how? Papers that take a broad view of literacy are encouraged – these might include considerations of lectures, newspapers, pamphlets, performances, and other “non-literary” forms – although more traditional author studies are also welcome. Bonnie Carr, Dept. of English, Wake Forest University, P.O. Box 7387, Reynolda Station, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7688, carrb@wfu.edu

American Literature II: Literature After 1870: "Embodiment and Location." The physical self often serves as a locus for identity formations (and for concepts of "post-identity"), a site for the exercise of power, a place for the interaction of myriad discourses. That embodied self also exists within and between numerous locations: geographic and social place, transnational movement and migration, political and institutional spaces, popular and avant-garde discourses, etc. This panel invites papers dealing with the problem or the promise of embodiment and location in post-1870 American literatures and cultures ("literatures" defined broadly). Issues of ability/disability, representation, technology, race, gender, sex, class, are especially encouraged. Please send abstract of 200-250 words by April 21 to Bill Albertini, English Department, Bowling Green State University, woalber@bgnet.bgsu.edu.


Applied Linguistics: "Globalization and Language Teaching/Learning." Participants will explore current issues in language teaching and/or language learning with respect to the concept of globalization. Kashama Mulambma, English Department, Olivet Nazarene University, One University Avenue, Bourbonnais, IL 60914, kmulamba@olivet.edu

"Art What Thou Eat": Food in Literature, Art, and Culture: "Open Topic." Participants in the Section will prepare discussions on the roles that food has played and continues to play in literature, art, music, film and other aspects of culture. This forum/seminar/, now a Permanent Section, has been held very successfully from 1996 to 2004. The presentations and responses were informative, varied, lively, and brought attention to unusual topics. I would expect to have a diverse response from interested members in a range of areas. I would particularly hope to have presenters discuss the visual arts and film. Food has been a subject of interest and concern to human beings over an extraordinary span of time and food continues to be studied, written about, filmed and enjoyed in a multitude of ways. This topic calls for a diversity of approaches; the topic addresses a range of interests among our membership. David Schoonover,
Curator of Rare Books, University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections, Iowa City, IA 52242-1420, david-schoonover@uiowa.edu

Bibliography and Textual Studies: "Early Modern Authorship." This session will explore the role of the author in early modern England. Recent scholarship on the history of authorship suggests that this period was one of transition from older, collaborative forms of composition to a more modern notion of individual “authorship.” Throughout the period, many writers directly asserted their literary authority in their texts, and several actively participated in the London book trade by seeking out publishers and readers for their compositions. Papers that address the evolving notions of early modern authorship in relation to the systems of patronage, literary production, and reception in the sixteenths and seventeenth centuries are welcome. Stacy Erickson, 308 EPB, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, stacy-erickson@uiowa.edu

Canadian Literature: "Post-Colonialism or Diaspora? Whither Cultural Influence?" Bobbi Sykes quipped, ‘What? Postcolonialism? Have they left?’ She captures a terminological problem: the term’s centre cannot hold because the process has not ended. Postcolonial analysis has tended to focus on imposed sociopolitical hierarchies as cultural influence. As a critical response, diasporic discourse emerged to highlight networks of cultural distribution and multivalent influence. Both approaches interrogate oppression, victimhood, and mass migration: are these discourses compatible? A recent issue of Postcolonial Text (2.1; http://pkp.ubc.ca/pocol/) considers the instability of postcolonial–diasporic critique with deference to ‘globalization.’ If Canada is a ‘multicultural’ society, and taking postcolonialism versus diasporic discourse not as dichotomy but as a continuum, this panel will explore issues of systemic cultural influence with examples from Canadian literature. How do issues raised by these academic discourses play out in Canadian literature? Duncan Lucas, McMaster University, Dept. of English and Cultural Studies, CNH 321, 1280 Main St. W., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L9, lucasd@mcmaster.ca

Children's Literature: "Reappraising Childhood Treasures." Mr. Toad, Wolf Larsen, Heidi, Phileas Fogg, Ichabod, Sherlock, Anne, Alice, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Jacob Marley, Dr. Moreau, Long John Silver: in what ways do such literary characters and their distant cousins endure? How were these classics in dialogue with other canonical works? Were authors like Wilde and Eliot—in texts like The Selfish Giant or Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats—at liberty to engage the imagination in alternative ways in material purportedly “for children”? Have mediated versions of such characters replaced the mythical divinities in the “public imagination?” How can we engage critical, historical, linguistic, or dialectical analyses in exploring the enduring hermeneutical or pedagogical value of characters that have traditionally appealed to children? Abstracts on all related topics are most welcome. Please contact Gretchen Gurujal, g-gurujal@northwestern.edu.

Comparative Literature "The Future/Ends of Narrative/Theory." Faced with practice, theory often turns its gaze toward the future, casting predictions from a symptomatic present. Out of the present, theory often prophesies the end of a movement or its continued progress. This panel examines how both theory and narrative form predictions and prophecy out of moments of the present, particularly how the modes of theory and narrative interact in predictions of historical progress or closure. Questions and topics to consider:

- in prediction, what is the economy of history, theory and narrative?
- how does predictive theory make use of narrative?
- how does prediction depend on figuration and tropes?
- how do predictive theories travel (e.g. Thomas Friedman’s use of Malcolm Gladwell’s notion of the tipping point in diagnosing the prospects for democracy in the Middle East)?
- how do predictive theories based on cyclical views of history differ from ones based on linear historical models?
- how do predictions perform or participate in their theoretical objects?
- what sort of attitudes toward the present are entailed by predictive theories?

All genres and periods are welcome. Deadline May 1. Mark Pettus, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, mapettus@wisc.edu

Creative Writing I: Poetry. Stephanie Powell-Watts, spw3@lehigh.edu

Creative Writing II: Prose. Stephanie Powell-Watts, spw3@lehigh.edu

Drama: "Dismemberment in Drama / Dismemberment of Drama." From Euripides’ Bacchae to Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus to Sarah Kane’s Blasted bodily dismemberment has proven to be a popular dramatic trope which transcends period or cultural distinctions. The Drama Section welcomes submissions which critically address the stakes of dismemberment in drama. This might take the form of an analysis of a particular play or a contemporary look at dramatic theories of dismemberment from Nietzsche’s conception of Dionysian drama to Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty. Broader approaches from theories of mimesis to performance based approaches which work toward the dismemberment of drama as a genre will also be considered. Lance Norman, Michigan State University, Dept. of English, normanl1@msu.edu

English I: English Literature Before 1800: "Loved Ones and Loved Once: Lovers in Early English Literature." English literature before 1800 is filled with lovers and haters. This panel seeks papers that explore the nature of romantic pairings/groupings and/or the person(s) who challenge them. Papers may choose to focus on authorial creation of/judgment on the lover(s) and/or challenger(s), on the public’s reception of the characters/works, or on the ways modern readers’ attitudes have shifted in their assessment of the lover(s). Are we to admire or despise these early lovers and interlopers? Please send 150-200 word abstracts by April 15 to John Peruggia, Saint Louis Univ., peruggia@slu.edu

English II: English Literature 1800-1900: "British Border Crossing: Romantic and Victorian (Inter)Textuality and the Destabilization of Boundaries." We invite paper and panel proposals that examine the destabilization of boundaries and borders arising within the intertextual space of British literature between 1800 and 1900. Proposals may address any type of boundary or border destabilized within the literary texts of this period including various genres, disciplines, races, genders, geographies, cultures, religions, laws, sciences, and governments. Cynthia M. VanSickle, McHenry County College, Dept. of English, 8900 US Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012, cvansick@mchenry.edu.

English III: English Literature After 1900: "After the 'Angries': Rage, Resistance, and Recuperation in Post-WWII English Fiction." Despite its much-maligned, imprecise label, the “Angry Young Men” of the 1950s inspired their more celebrated descendents in subsequent generations. This year’s panel will explore the ways that both male and female novelists have “updated”—through assimilation, acceptance, and/or rejection—the lessons of the Angries. The primary focus will be retrospective, as it has become increasingly clear that English fiction experienced a renaissance during 1980-1995. Themes of nuclear/apocalyptic anxiety, class and gender conflict, millennial fear, alienation, and estrangement became especially prevalent as scores of English writers reworked traditional literary modes and voices. Proposals (250 words) are invited on any aspect of high/low emotion, culture, and value in the work of contemporary English novelists, whether male or female. Deadline: April 15, to Gavin Keulks at keulksg@wou.edu.

Film I. "Genre and Criticism." This panel will consider film's capacity to revisit and revise genre in a critical fashion. How do genre forms and conventions inhibit or enhance a film's critical potential? What does a film gain by combining and redefining genres or subgenres? Abstracts for this panel should explore the interconnections between film genre and criticism through analyses that perform critical definitions themselves: Please send 150-200 word abstracts to Greg Wright, English Dept., 201 Morrill Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48826, wrightg2@msu.edu

Film II: "Mental Illness, Feature Film, and the Public Imagination." Mental illness and its social consequences have been treated often in U.S. and world cinema since the earliest years of the medium. This panel will identify landmark films that have treated this subject and consider how public understandings of mental illness and the institutional treatment of mental illness are illustrated in filmic representation. How have such films alterted the public to misunderstandings of mental illness and inappropriate treatment in medical institutions? How has mental illness influenced individual human personalities with transcendent, enigmatic, or frightening effects? Have some films contributed to a climate of repression and misunderstandings of mental illness? How has mental illness in film been associated with race, gender, nationality, or alterity? Individual papers are encouraged read a single film in relation to its depiction of mental illness or argue for how a given understanding of mental illness emerges from several films. David M. Jones, jonesm@uwec.edu.

French I: "La France face à la francophonie aujourd'hui." En s'intéressant surtout aux Antilles, au Maghreb et à l'Afrique sub-saharienne, on se demandera comment les littératures contemporaines francophones peuvent permettre à la France de faire face à son passé, de mieux comprendre ses échecs, passés ou récents, et ses défis à venir. Depuis les textes d'auteurs comme Memmi, Djebar, Oyono et Adiaffi, comment la littérature francophone traite-t-elle les rapports entre la France et ses anciennes (ou présentes)"colonies" (aux divers sens du mot)? Que signifie aujourd'hui être ou ne pas être français, par rapport au domaine francophone? Quelles sont les stratégies d'écriture développées ces dernières années et à quel dessein? Hélène Brown, Principia College, hdb@prin.edu and Jeanne-Sarah de Larquier, Central Michigan Univ., delar1j@cmich.edu

French II: "Voice, Voices, Voicings in Literature of French Expression." Brouillage/parasitage; hybrid voices; echoes; "spectral" sound; "absent" voices; voix "off", voix "in": cinematically-inflected voices. Kristine Butler, Univ. of Wisconsin-River Falls, kristine.butler@uwrf.edu. Deadline extended to April 25.

French III. This session proposes to examine how culture through its diverse manifestations (whether high culture or low) participates in maintaining, resisting, or challenging existing models of identity in France, and whether/how they ultimately re-negotiate concepts of the nation. (Papers in
French or in English.) We will follow the traditional M/MLA format (discussion format with respondant.) Pascale Perraudin, Saint Louis University, Dept. of Modern and Classical Languages, perraup@slu.edu

Gender Studies: Male. "Hunks, Hotties, and Pretty Boys: Representations of 'Male' Beauty." Critical treatments of male beauty in literature, film, television, photography, magazines, advertising, etc. In addition, we welcome papers that extend beyond thinking of masculinities in terms of the white, middle-class, heterosexual paradigm and look to feminist and/or multicultural critiques of the category--for example, women performing masculinity, transvestitism/androgyny and/or multicultural representations of male beauty. Steve L. Davis, Indiana University, Bloomington, Dept. of English, stevdavi@indiana.edu

History of Critical Reception: "The Uses of Reading in Everyday Life." Jumping off from Elizabeth Long's recent work on women's book clubs, this panel invites contributions about how readers outside the Academy employ literature in their everyday lives. How does the general reader choose books and for what purposes? Where do we see readers actively engaged outside of literature classes—on CSpan, Charlie Rose, Oprah and other TV book clubs, in local coffee shops and bookstores, online and in one another's homes as book club members? We invite papers on reading and consumerism, reading in popular culture, lowbrow and middlebrow reader studies and other related topics. Send proposals to Cecilia Konchar Farr, College of St. Catherine, ckfarr@stkate.edu.

Illustrated Texts.
“Between High and Low: Exploring the Boundaries of the Illustrated Text”
From medieval illuminated manuscripts to today’s graphic novels, the position of the illustrated text has alternated between elite and popular culture, high and low art. This panel invites papers that explore this flux, addressing questions of medium, genre, aesthetics and the evolution of illustrated texts, including their role and influence on both high and low art. Please send abstracts of 250 words by March 31 to Keri A. Berg, Indiana State University, Dept. of Langugages, Literatures, and Linguistics, kberg@isugw.indstate.edu

International Francophone Studies: "Post/Colonial Francophone Studies."
This panel seeks proposals dealing with any aspect of Francophone Studies; furthermore, both theoretical and analytical proposals are welcome. Theoretical submissions which explore the issues of Colonial and/or Postcolonial Studies within Francophone Studies or which examine early francophone texts are especially encouraged. Keith Alan Sprouse, Hampden-Sydney College, ksprouse@hsc.edu

Irish Studies: "Alcohol and Irish Identity." This session explores representations of Irish identity and a variety of discourses—nationalist, post-nationalist, religious, cultural, scientific—concerning alcohol. Especially welcomed are papers that seek to complicate a now standard critical reading which views the figure of the drunken “Pat” as simply a British imperial construct, a cultural stereotype designed to reinforce the belief that the Irish are inherently unfit for self-government. To what other cultural and political “uses” has this image been employed? How has this image changed and/or taken on new resonances in contemporary representations of Ireland? In what ways does this figure mark a site of tension that casts in greater relief questions about masculinity, femininity, tradition, modernity, nationhood, cosmopolitanism, and/or globalization? Please send abstracts to Rob Doggett, Assistant Professor of English, SUNY College at Geneseo, Doggett@geneseo.edu.

Italian: "Italian Cultural Studies." This session is open to any topics relating to modern and contemporary Italian cultural studies. Grazia Menechella, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, gmeneche@wisc.edu

Linguistics: "Current Issues in Phonetics: An Homage to Peter Ladefoged." Participants will present their work in any area of phonetics in honor of the life and great career of Peter Ladefoged. Please send a 1 page abstract (a second page with references and tables is permissible) in .pdf format to Benjamin Schmeiser, University of California-Davis, benschmeiser@ucdavis.edu. Extended deadline: May 1.

Literary Criticism I: "The Politics of Literary Criticism." Please send abstracts by March 31 (in body of message, and not as an attachment, please) to Kimberly A. Nance, Illinois State Univ., kanance@ilstu.edu.

Literary Criticism II: "After Theory: Literary Criticism and High/Low Culture." In his recent book, After Theory, Terry Eagleton complains that literary theory has been so readily applied to popular culture that today’s scholars produce “uncritical, reverential essays on Friends.” Did “low” culture kill high theory, or at least contribute to its decline? What does cultural studies (in all its forms) have to gain from theory? How does theory benefit from such extensions into the popular realm? This section invites papers that explore the application of literary theory to texts that are not “literary.” Topics might include intellectualism and anti-intellectualism, high theory and the literary tradition, canonization and the culture wars, theory and methods of research in popular culture, or the debate over theory’s end in itself. Mickey Hess, Indiana Univ. Southeast, mhess01@ius.edu

Luso-Brazilian: "Lusophone Modernism(s)." This panel welcomes papers that link modernism(s) with the Lusophone world. Papers that include the theme of High/Low Culture are especially encouraged. Please submit your paper proposals (200-250 words) to Rebecca Jones-Kellogg, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, rljones2@wisc.edu.

Media Studies: "Old Books, New Media: Using Technology to Teach Pre-1900 Texts." With the advent of computer classrooms, web-based archives, digital storytelling, and a host of other technological marvels, technology in the literature classroom has moved beyond the occasional Zeffirelli or Merchant Ivory film to encompass a wide range of problems and possibilities for teachers and students alike.
How can we use digital media to connect students to "old books"? To what extent is technology a help or a hindrance in a pre-1900 literature classroom? How do we confront the increasing problems of plagiarism, source reliability, and complex documentation strategies? If we are teaching in a computer classroom, to what extent do we monitor/ censor how our students use the Internet in class? How has digital media changed our expectations for student writing and research? How has our own research process changed, as we balance teaching and scholarship in the digital world? These and many other questions arise when we begin to consider both the real and the philosophical impact of technology in the literature classroom. We invite papers that confront these or related questions, and we are interested in both actual classroom practice as well as pedagogical theory. Please send a brief biography (no more than 150 words) and paper abstract (no more than 500 words) to Elizabeth Coker, University of Texas at Dallas, ecokerutd@yahoo.com by April 15, 2006.

Modern Literature: "Staging the City in Modern Literature." The 2006 Modern Literature section aims to investigate the multiple and complex intersections of the city and literature through the lens of "staging." As a physical place and a performance act, staging points to dramatic or theatrical engagements with the city. It also, however, suggests images of stages, theaters, actors, and directors in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Additionally, the ways the city works as a stage for the performance of urban life might play a central role in the panel. To compliment the site of the 2006 M/MLA Convention, special consideration will be given to papers that focus on the city of Chicago. Aaron Krall, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, arkrall@uwm.edu

Multicultural Literature in the Classroom: Politics and Pedagogy: "The Language(s) of Multiculturalism."
This panel seeks to explore the complex relationship between multiculturalism and language. Although all papers dealing with language-related issues are welcome, submissions addressing the following topics are strongly encouraged: translation and multiculturalism; mono-, bi-, or multi-lingualism and multiculturalism; multiculturalism within foreign language literatures (i.e., Afro-Hispanic literature within Spanish, North African immigrant or Beur literature within French) or within departments of foreign languages in the academy; the English-only movement in the U.S. and multiculturalism. Keith Alan Sprouse, Hampden-Sydney College, ksprouse@hsc.edu

Native American Literature: "Traditional Stories / Literary Stories." What happens when Native Americans shift from traditional oral story-telling to writing narratives in various literary styles? How do works influenced by non-Native stylistics portray or depict Native American cultures, values, attitudes, visions, and philosophy? Is, for example, Native American autobiography a contradiction in terms? What are the effects of blending cultures in Native American writings? What are the gains of literacy (the written word)? What are the losses? This panel will look for a range of emphases from oral to folk to popular to more literary writings. Janet LaBrie, University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, jlabrie@uwc.edu

Old and Middle English Literature and Language: "The Treatment of Enemies and 'Others' in Old and Middle English Literature and Language." Sara Schwamb, Saint Louis University, English Department, schwambs@slu.edu

Peace Literature and Pedagogy: "Literature, Torture, and Human Rights." Mindful of human rights violations and torture in CIA secret prisons in Europe, Guantanamo, and Abu Graib, as well as in Susan, Guatemala, and North Korea, we invite papers that re-examine literary works negotiating the moral and ethical issues surrounding human rights and torture. Both theoretical and pedagogical explorations of human rights/torture as re-presented in literature are welcome. We are particularly interested in papers that complicate, with the help of literature, our understanding of human rights as an international language of ethics. We will also consider papers that examine the relationship between human rights reports and their narrativity. Proposal Deadline: April 15. Contact Chae-Pyong Song, Marygrove College, csong@marygrove.edu

Popular Culture: "Activism and Pop Culture." This session seeks papers exploring the thinking and enacting (or the enacting without thinking) of social and political activism as overlapping with and portrayed by popular culture. Papers can be either analytic or observational, dissecting and exploring the way activism is performed or examining activism to note and describe its changing form. Think broadly for what "activism" is. From sit ins to electronic civil disobedience, Gandhi's satyagraha campaigns to the Critical Art Ensemble's projects, look at specific forms and theories of activism and their relation to popular culture. Exekiel Jarvis, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dept. of English, ecjarvis@uwm.edu

Religion and Literature: "The Half-Life of Religious Thinking." Literary engagements with religious ideas consistently reveal a conflict between the literary imagination and the religious orthodoxy. This conflict often occurs when texts try to accommodate theological absolutes to human experience. Moments when psychosocial pressures make such accommodations necessary usually mark stages in the half-life of religious thinking - points at which religious ideas must undergo shifts and readjustments to remain relevant. This panel seeks readings of texts that revise, reshape, update, or adapt religious orthodoxy or other religious texts in an effort to make some aspect of religion (more) responsive to human needs. Papers are especially welcome that examine textual reimaginations (literary or cultural) of the sacred in secular forms (e.g. film or the novel) or in a non-sacred idiom (e.g. Transcendentalism or science fiction).Please send 200-word abstract, either as an attachment in Word or within the body of an email to Douglas Harrison, Washington Univ., dougmail@earthlink.net
.

Science and Fiction: "Science and Empire." This year’s panel will explore the depiction in fiction of the use of science by colonizing entities--both legitimate scientific theories and devices as well as the use of pseudo-science--to further their imperialistic exploits. The panel is looking for papers that examine how technology and scientific discourse become implicated in nationalistic and imperialistic enterprises. Julie Hipp, Aurora Univ., jhipp@aurora.edu

Science and Literature. William Ruffin Bailey, Univ. of South Carolina, baileywr@mailbox.sc.edu. We have not yet received a description for this section.

Shakespeare and Shakespearean Criticism: "Trans-Atlantic Shakespeare." A new dimension to Renaissance and Early Modern Studies includes “trans-atlanticism,” explorations in how Europe’s cultural, political, and religious milieu was influenced by the “discovery” of other worlds across the Atlantic in the 16th and 17th centuries by early explorers. Commissioned explorations to the Americas returned crews boasting of rich lands, goods, peoples—over which power could be established. Certainly, scholars have seen these explorations as both “cultural exchange” and “cultural colonization.” How does our understanding(s) of “trans-atlanticism” help us to understand Shakespeare’s plays and the audience reception of their performance? To what extent does Shakespeare differentiate Englishness from new cultures in his works, characters, plots, etc.? How do new literacies and epistemological models—encountered in trans-atlantic explorations--influence Shakespeare’s works? Deborah Scaggs, Saint Louis Univ., scaggsdm@slu.edu.

Short Story: "Narrative Innovation in the Short Story." Papers on second-person narration, reverse chronology, dead narrators, animals as narrators--or any other innovation in narrator or narrative form. Please send abstracts by March 31 (in body of message, and not as an attachment, please) to Kimberly A. Nance, Illinois State Univ., kanance@ilstu.edu.

Spanish I: Peninsular Literature Before 1700: Open Topic. Yonsoo Kim, Purdue Univ., kim153@purdue.edu.

Spanish II: Peninsular Literature After 1700: "Basque Critical Studies." A place so deeply entrenched in ongoing political conflict, where virtually all symbolic practice can potentially be subject to politicization, the Basque Country poses provocative challenges to literary studies. Therefore, this year’s session, while ostensibly still on literature, leaves the notion of the literary open to interpretation within the broader scope of critical studies. Papers may address texts explicitly marketed or otherwise tagged as literature, but they may also attempt, for instance, to address a larger “poetics of culture” (Greenblatt) by drawing upon the insights of literary studies in combination with methodologies and objects of inquiry associated with other disciplines (e.g. anthropology, history, politics). Please send one-page abstracts via e-mail attachment to Justin Crumbaugh at jcrumbau@mtholyoke.edu by May 1, 2006.

Spanish III: Latin American Literature: Open Topic. Graciela N. V. Corvalán, Webster Univ., corvalgv@webster.edu

Spanish IV: Literary Theory and Hispanic Criticism: "Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Transatlantic World." Please send—by May 1st—a brief abstract of any paper within this topic to Rudyard Alcocer, Georgia State Univ., ralcocer@gsu.edu, inquiries welcome.

Spanish Cultural Studies: "Hybridity in Spanish Culture." Hybridity constitutes the state of simultaneously belonging to categories that had previously been considered exclusive. Hybridity can also be deemed a fusion and recasting that result in something entirely new. We invite papers that address this phenomenon as it relates to Spanish Cultural Studies. Contemporary genres in Spain cast doubt onto any possibility of absolute categorization. In the last three decades, human rights, immigration, and fluid European borders, as well as flexibility and overlapping between genres and esthetics have shattered uniformity and simple taxonomy. Hybridity, establishes a dialog between the two concepts that it fuses. Topics might include transvestism and alternatives to heterosexualism, national identity markers as pertaining to the autonomies, exiles’, immigrants’ and refugees’ questioning of “home,” and intergeneric intertextuality and metafiction. Maureen Tobin Stanley, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures, 1201 Ordean Ct., 457 Humanities Bldg., Duluth, MN 55812, mtobinst@d.umn.edu

Teaching Writing in College: "Using Literature in the Composition Classroom." This session will focus on the ways literature (prose, poetry, drama, etc.) can be used in a composition classroom. Possible topics to discuss can include, but are not limited to ways to use literature, the benefits of using literature, the drawbacks of using literature, using literature in a themed-composition class, etc. We are also willing to consider proposals on why literature should not be used in the composition classroom in order to encourage discussion. Deadline: May 1, 2006. Karley K. Adney, Northern Illinois University, Dept. of English, muggleprof@hotmail.com

Travel Writing/Writing Travel: "Open Topic." “Travel Writing/Writing Travel” invites the broadest possible inquiry into the culture, discipline, and conventions of travel, from the earliest times to the present. Of particular interest is how writers “write” travel, and how convention (however unconsciously) shapes the experience for the travel writer and the armchair traveler following in his or her wake. Fresh perspectives on canonical travel works are just as welcome as explorations into the little known realms of travel literature. Also welcome are papers that discuss the study of travel in the classroom, and how to convey the motley texts, theories, and disciplines that reconstruct the cultural experience of travel. Joshua Grasso, Miami Univ., grassoj@muohio.edu

Women in Literature. This section is not accepting abstracts this year.

Women's Studies: "Reinterpreting Familial Bliss: Portraits of the Subversive Family in Women’s Literature." We welcome papers from all fields depicting the “subversive family,” lesbian experience, gendered space, etc. in women’s literature, film, and/or popular culture. Possible topics may include but are not limited to: representations of anti-authoriarianism, political activism, poverty, incest, domestic violence, rape, etc. Please send one-page abstracts by April 1. Rebecca Pittenger, University of Kentucky, Patterson Office Tower, 120 Patterson Dr., Lexington, KY 40506, r.pittenger@uky.edu

Writing Across the Curriculum: "Service Learning: Writing for/about the Community." This panel will explore the various ways that the pedagogy of service learning and civic engagement are incorporated into English composition courses and writing courses across disciplines. Through analysis and discussion, we will examine the relationships between theories and institutional practices and explore service learning as a framework for discovery, engagement, and professional development. Joseph A. Barda, Robert Morris College, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, 401 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60605, jbarda@robertmorris.edu

Young Adult Literature: "Underage Sex: Sexuality in Young Adult Literature."
Among the most important parts of adolescence is the ongoing development of one’s gender and sexual identities. As preteens and teenagers begin to acknowledge their sexuality and to mature into sexual beings, they also struggle with issues of identity—masculinity, femininity, heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality—and issues of power—parental control, peer pressure, self-esteem. In this session we will examine issues of identity, power, gender, and sexuality in literature written for and/or marketed toward young adults. Papers might explore: representations of sex acts in YAL; representations of homosexuality or bisexuality in YAL; coming of age and coming out in YAL; sexual freedom versus sexual repression in YAL; YAL as “cautionary” or “preparatory” tales regarding sex and sexuality; literary versus didactic representations of sex and sexuality in YAL; gender/transgender and sexuality in YAL; YAL and its treatment of sex as high or low culture. Please address questions or abstracts to Laurie Barth Walczak at laurieb3@uwm.edu or at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Department of English, Curtin Hall 439, PO Box 413, Milwaukee WI 53201. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words and must be submitted by May 1, 2006.


ASSOCIATED ORGANIZATIONS


American Dialect Society: "Language Variation and Change in the United States." We welcome papers dealing with varieties of English and other languages spoken in the United States will be considered. Presentations may be based in traditional dialectology or in other areas of language variation and change, including sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, anthropological linguistics, folk linguistics, language and gender/sexuality, language attitudes, linguistics in the schools, critical discourse analysis, or narratology. Please submit 300-word abstracts by April 15, 2006, email only please. Kathryn Remlinger, Dept. of English, Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401, remlingk@gvsu.edu

Asociación Internacional de Galdosistas.
We have not yet received a description from this association.

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment: "Reconciliation in Environmental Writing." Any topic relating to the idea of human reconciliation with nature as a theme, purpose, subject, or method in writing about the environment. Thomas Dean, Univ. of Iowa, thomas-k-dean@uiowa.edu

Conseil International d'Etudes Francophones.
We have not yet received a description from this association.

The Harold Pinter Society: "Pinter and Others/Pinter and Politics/Teaching Pinter/Mediated Pinter." 350-to-500 word abstracts on these topics, broadly and creatively construed, may be sent to Craig N. Owens by 1 April 2006 at craig.owens@drake.edu. Participants whose papers are accepted must renew their memberships to the Harold Pinter Society before the conference.

Henry James Society: "The James Family." The aim of this session is to consider some of the complex intersections between William, Henry, and Alice James and their father. The first paper will re-examine aspects of the literary and philosophical relations between William and Henry James partly from the vantage-point of Henry James Senior’s commitment to Swedenborg. In particular, it will argue that a version of Nietzsche’s perspectivism, refracted through denied aspects of their father’s thinking, is the common ground occupied by both brothers. The second paper focuses on the education of the James children, its reflection of their father’s temperament, and the children’s various reactions to it. Some contact will be made with other infamously unconventional educations (Henry Adams, and John Stuart Mill, for example) and Rousseau’s Emile. The preoccupation of the third paper will be with William James, illness, and exceptional mental states. It will also deal to some extent with Alice James. Peter Rawlings, Univ. of the West of England, Bristol, rawlings2000@aol.com

Medieval Association of the Midwest: "Crusading Ideologies, 1095-2006." The crusades are perhaps the most crucial and the dominant analogy in today's media; regardless of the relevance of this analogy to contemporary foreign policy debates and cultural constructions, its prevalence makes it a force with which we all must reckon. We invite scholars to contribute to a trajectory of crusading ideologies from Pope Urban II and Saladin to George Bush and Osama bin Laden, as these ideologies figure and forget history across a millennium of expression in words and pictures. Cynthia Z. Valk, valac@sbcglobal.net

Society for Critical Exchange: "The Interactivity of Literature." Facing fierce competition from new media and new technologies, literature finds itself under pressure of conforming to equally new norms of measuring value and meaning. It is almost taken for granted that the value of a product, and thus the value of a work of art, is multiplied if that product can be described as interactive. These linked sessions will investigate and define what interactivity is in terms of literature. How is it measured? How is it accomplished by authors, or perceived by critics and readers? What does it add to or take from a literary text? From pop-up books to hypertext, including works relying exclusively on literary devices, how is communication through literature achieved in a technologically-oriented society? 250-word abstracts and 1-page vitas to Natalija Grgorinic and Ognjen Raden, Cast Western Reserve Univ., nxg42@case.edu

Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature I: "Chicago's Role in the Evolution of Midwestern Literature." Marilyn Atlas, Ohio Univ., atlas@ohio.edu, 230 N. Roosevelt Ave., Bexley, OH 43209

Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature II: "Chicago Literature/ Chicago in Literature." Marilyn Atlas, Ohio Univ., atlas@ohio.edu, 230 N. Roosevelt Ave., Bexley, OH 43209

Women in French I: "Love, Death, and Women's Lives in French and Francophone Texts." In whatever century we choose to study, women's lives have long been associated with the themes of love or death in literature in general and in French and Francophone texts in particular. This panel looks for manifestations of these themes across time and space. When and where have women been portrayed as victims of love or harbingers of death? Often cast as "virgin" or "whore," women characters spell healing grace for some (mostly men) and deadly creatures who bring death and destruction for others (also mostly men). Let's review these roles in various French and Francophone contexts and question whether or not they have begun to change as we embark on this the 21st century. Abstracts due April 4, 2006 to Judith Holland Sarnecki, Lawrence University, judith.h.sarnecki@lawrence.edu, and Eilene Hoft-March, Lawrence University, eilene.hoft-march@lawrence.edu

Women in French II: "Facing the Numbers: French Programs Respond to Shrinking Numbers." Shrinking enrollments and budgets challenge many if not most French programs. This WIF roundtable shares successful strategies to counteract these trends. How can we work together to keep French enrollments high and our jobs secure? this panel gathers several professors who have faced these challenges with creativity and verve. To participate, send a short abstract to both Professor E. Nicole Meyer, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, meyern@uwgb.edu and Professor Katherine Kolb, Southeastern Louisiana University, kkolb@selu.edu, by April 4, 2006.

Women's Caucus for the Modern Languages/Midwest I: "Enacting our Feminist Pedagogies: Interdisciplinarity." The roots of academic feminism are in its interdisciplinary understanding and practice, founded, in part, in grassroots experience. With time, there has been an exciting but sometimes overwhelming explosion in the depth and range of research within individual disciplines, which, in turn, has become the foundation for both the scholarly and pedagogical preparation of those entering our field. In the face of these shifts, how do we maintain interdisciplinarity in our practice of academic feminism, especially within the classroom? Papers, for example, might address course construction, service learning, or classroom practices. Linda Coleman, Eastern Illinois University, Dept. of English and Women's Studies, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920, cflsc@eiu.edu

Women's Caucus for the Modern Languages/Midwest II: "Women in Rock: Gettin' High, Lookin' Low." The world of women in rock may be the busiest intersection of high and low culture. Do some female rockers participate in both high and low culture all along? How do women rockers appropriate and work elements of high and low culture into something they can call their own? Do the same race-and-class-based definitions of “high” and “low” operate in the female rock universe, or have other ways emerged? And how do we understand the high-and-low cultural borders and the ways—and reasons--rock women cross them? These panels will examine the relationship between the work women do in rock and pop music and the worlds of “higher” and “lower” culture, musical and otherwise. Patricia S. Rudden, New York City College of Technology, CUNY, Dept. of English, prudden@citytech.cuny.edu

 

 

PROPOSED SPECIAL SESSION TOPICS
(acceptance not yet determined)


Special Sessions will be posted below as we receive them through March 1, 2006.

"The Art of Social Protest and Commemoration." This interdisciplinary panel welcomes papers from all fields addressing the use of art and public space to create, shape and/or preserve collective memory and identity. Possible topics include but are not limited to: art, architecture, monuments, memorials, museums, (street) performance, public protest, literature, film, music, etc. Please contact Janis Breckenridge (breckenridjb@hiram.edu) by April 1 for additional information or to submit a one-page abstract.

"Contemporary Irish Fiction." Recent decades have witnessed a remarkable flourish (one hesitates to say “bloom”) of popular and critically acclaimed Irish novels. Perennial strength in such competitions as the Man Booker Prize is simply one confirmation of this achievement; Irish novelists routinely distinguish international best-seller lists as well. Throughout history –- and at least as much as other national literatures -- Irish writers have wrestled with issues of high and low culture in their works, ranging in subject from religion, spirituality, folklore and mythology to contemporary political, cultural, artistic, and sexual mores. Some novelists have sought to express these tensions through experimental structures and prose; others have reinvigorated more traditional forms. Standard constants, of course, include themes of place and identity, however dynamic and fluid in construction. Proposals (of 200-250 words) are invited on any living Irish novelist and should be sent by March 31 to Gavin Keulks at keulksg@wou.edu.

"Graphic Novels." Although I am especially interested in explorations of graphic novels as history, I welcome papers on any aspect of comic books and their place in American culture. Richard Iadonisi, Grand Valley State University, 215 Lake Ontario Hall, Allendale, MI 49401, iadonisr@gvsu.edu

"Literature of the Cinema: Fiction/Non-Fiction into Film." According to Frederic Jameson, the cinema is considered the most prodigious form of the art of intertextualization in the post modern era because films are readily accessible to all members of society and can be interpreted with an array of meanings. How do film adaptations fit into the scheme of intertextualization that Jameson describes? How do screen adaptations offer fresh approaches to cinematic art, literary theory, and cultural politics? This year’s panel will explore cinematic adaptations from fiction or non-fiction that speak to any of the following ideas/issues: addressing the current cultural climate, negotiating and/or undermining the boundaries between high and low culture, reading the contemporary into the past, reading the past into the contemporary, and portraying the subjective “I.” Send abstracts by April 15 to: Micki Nyman, St. Louis University, English Department, Humanities Bldg., 3800 Lindell, St. Louis, MO 63108, or nyman@slu.edu

"On the Lower Frequencies: Invisible Man and the Power of Popular Culture." In his personal tastes Ralph Ellison was a man who "loved distinction." His cosmopolitanism wasn't always well received, however. As a self-proclaimed "custodian of American culture," Ellison earned the scorn of critics like Cornel West who once branded him a "highbrow aesthete." But as West and many others also knew, Ellison had a profound understanding of and appreciation for the expressive and transformative power of American popular cultural forms, an abundance of which find their expression in Ellison's novel Invisible Man (1952). In keeping with the conference theme, this session explores the merging of high and low culture in Invisible Man and examines how the novel's social and political work emerges from this convergence. Please send 250-word abstracts by April 15 to Michael Germana, University of Iowa, michael-germana@uiowa.edu.

"Manipulations of Low Culture: Masterpieces of High Culture." The essays in this session intend to show how authors ranging from John Donne to Zora Neale Hurston manipulated aspects of low culture in order to publish their works and/or ensure the public consumption of their texts. Often, the audiences of literature are not members of a highly intellectual culture and authors know this. These authors thus used (manipulated) elements of what may have been considered low culture, such as the personal voice or sexual metaphors, to gain access into high culture. We believe that this panel can afford a unique viewpoint on this year's informal conference theme: high and low culture, which cannot be provided by an existing permanent section. This panel is interested in exploring not only the divide between high and low culture, but how literature attempts to and can bridge that divide. Caresse John, Northern Illinois University, Dept. of English, Reese55@quixnet.net

"Experimental Poetics in Contemporary Chicago: Poetry and Theory." Chicago is in the midst of a renaissance in experimental poetry. Interesting reading series have been established; presses, both online and print, have been started; and experimental poets in Chicago are attracting national and international attention with a flurry of new works. To highlight these regional events, this panel will present a mix of poetic and theoretical presentations. The presentations will include discussions of individual poet’s works, explorations of the experimental practices being employed by regional writers, and presentations of new poetry by the poets. William Allegrezza, Indiana University Northwest, Dept. of English, wallegre@iun.edu

"Renaissance Literature and Culture: Re-Thinking the Renaissance Lyric." As Helen Vendler has written, the function of a lyric poem is to offer ‘aesthetically convincing representations of feelings felt and thoughts thought.’ In ways unavailable to other genres the Renaissance lyric provides insights into the epistemological shifts and changing patterns of thought in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. This session will explore the way the Renaissance Lyric both reflected and inflected contemporary ways of thinking about issues of politics, nationalism, religion, sovereignty, and subjectivity. Kimball Smith, Kansas State University, Dept. of English, dksmith@ksu.edu

"Theory and Practice in the Composition Classroom." All too often, the theory of rhetoric and composition and the practice that takes place in the typical undergraduate composition classroom, especially a first year composition classroom, are worlds apart. The factors that contribute to this are, unfortunately, inherently built into the structure of most writing programs. Many schools have no more than a few rhetoric and composition specialists and those specialists find themselves working as writing program or writing center administrators and as writing across/in the disciplines coordinators, leaving the actual teaching of most undergraduate courses to faculty (both tenure-track and adjunct) and graduate students trained as literature specialists. Even in many schools with strong rhetoric and composition graduate programs, a large part of the teaching of first year composition falls unto those who are not rhetoric and composition specialists. The end result is that those who regularly teach multiple sections of first year composition courses are either not interested in or are too busy to theorize about their teaching and those who are interested are all too often not regularly teaching multiple first year composition courses. The danger of all this is that theory often becomes divorced from practice. And even when theory does arise from actual classroom experience, it always runs the risk of being rooted in local conditions that are either difficult or impossible to replicate elsewhere. In short, even for conscientious, pedagogically concerned instructors, the theory of rhetoric and composition and the practice in composition classrooms do not always coincide. The purpose of this session is to explore the intersection, or lack thereof, between rhetoric and composition theory and classroom practice. Gina M. Merys, Creighton University, mahaffey@slu.edu, and John Paul Walter, Saint Louis University, walterj@slu.edu

"A Popular Reconstruction: Imagining Reunion in Post-Civil War American Literature." This panel will analyze the ways that American writers re-conceptualized the Union in literary works and reconfigured notions of race, family, citizenship, nationalism, and perhaps even literature itself, following the upheaval of the Civil War. Papers might consider questions such as the following: How did texts shape or reflect the ways in which citizens imagined themselves and the nation? How did public policy intersect with reading and writing practices? How did the rise in national magazine publications following the war affect perceptions of authorship and audience? How did literary works recast the Civil War? This panel may include works that explore any aspect of literature of American Reconstruction, broadly conceived, with special attention given to popular works and genres and elements of “high and low culture.” Martin T. Buinicki, Valparaiso University, English Dept., martin.buinicki@valpo.edu

"After Highbrow/Lowbrow: Shakespearean Cultural Capital." In a conference centered on the theme of highbrow/lowbrow, it seems eminently appropriate to revisit the theme of Lawrence Levine’s seminal work of criticism, Highbrow/Lowbrow, which contextualized the shift in Shakespearean production from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries in America. As Levine’s work partly argues and continuing ‘lowbrow’ or popular adaptations of Shakespeare continue to show, ‘Shakespeare’ is a malleable value capable of bestowing cultural capital without being adulterated. This panel seeks to bring together considerations of the various editions, productions, adaptations, or corporations built on or building up Shakespeare’s status. What do these works tell us about the ways in which their audiences conceptualize and consume culture? Papers from all periods and genres are welcomed, including those focusing on the non-Anglophone world. Heidi Kathleen Kim, Northwestern University, Dept. of English, heidikim@northwestern.edu

"Historical Genre Fiction." In keeping with the 2006 Convention Theme, paper proposals are welcome on intersections of history & genre fiction. Papers that address the narrative and meta-narrative presentation of serious (high?) culture in popular (low?) cultural forms such as mystery books, romance novels, and film adaptations, are particularly welcome. Rosemary Erickson Johnsen, Michigan State University, Dept. of English, johnsenr@msu.edu

"AIDS in Literature." In "AIDS, Keywords and Cultural Work," Jan Zita Grover remarks that people infected with HIV/AIDS find the boundaries of normativity challenged and reconfigured, stating that people carrying the virus no longer view themselves as integrated, "but instead as a container for the virus." Michel Foucault underscores Grover's claim, linking the fear of death resulting from AIDS to using such fractive or dis-integrative strategies to cope with the fear of impending death. How does the contemporary literature of HIV/AIDS limn the issues of personal dis-integration, challenging carriers of the virus to re-integrate themselves even as they struggle to distance themselves from the effects of the virus and disease? Donald P. Gagnon, Western Connecticut State University, GagnonD@wcsu.edu

"Ragged London: The Spectacle of Crime and Degeneracy in the Victorian Capital." From the sensational “Newgate Novels” of the early Victorian period to the spectacle of the “Ripper Murders” during the so-called “Autumn of Terror” (1888), the Victorian middle-class was deeply fascinated by the seeming degeneracy and pervasive criminality of London’s lower class. Narrative, journalistic, and investigative accounts of London’s “low life” and rookeries were, in fact, part of the mainstay of middle-class popular culture. But what other function, beside lurid entertainment, did slum narratives provide? What were the discursive intersections of Victorian culture and class that seemingly necessitated the production and consumption of slum narratives and tales of urban degeneracy, crime, and decay? Kevin R. Swafford, Bradley University, Dept. of English, swafford@bradley.edu

"Brecht High and Low: 50 Years Later." Bertolt Brecht excelled at bridging the distinctions between high and low art. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of his death, this panel seeks papers that address the ways Brecht conjoined elements of high and low aesthetics (eg. opera about beggars, opera and musical) or created alternatives to this dichotomy (eg. epic theater as a synthesis of low and high). Papers on all genres and periods of production are welcome. 1 pg. abstracts, preferably by email, to Scott Baker, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literature, bakerks@umkc.edu

"Technology and the Literature and Writing Classrooms." The proposed session will focus on the use of and teaching about digital technology--whether digital media texts themselves or writings about the new media--in both literature and writing classrooms. Potential topics include the replacement of traditional print with electronic texts; the study of contemporary digital culture; the adoption of or writing about digital media such as mailing lists, blogs, Blackboard, and MOOs; the theory and teaching of the intersection between the new technology and issues of race, class, gender, and nation among others; and the use of alternative or virtual assignments related to literary, rhetorical, visual, or electronic texts. Jon S. Mann, DePaul University, jmann10@depaul.edu, and Harveen S. Mann, Loyola University Chicago, hmann@luc.edu

"Talk of the Town: Gossip, News, and Secrets." This panel invites writers to consider how gossip and its related forms negotiate the distance between high and low culture and public and private spheres. Does gossip function as a conservative or subversive force? What happens when scandalous talk circulates in print? How do “high” literary genres (such as biography) mimic the content or strategies of “low” forms (such as scandal sheets)? Does gossip function as a trope or a threat for authorship? How can scandal be commodified—as news, talk shows, published diaries, scandal sheets, even blackmail? When a secret becomes public knowledge, whose story is it? We hope these questions serve as a springboard to generate papers from many theoretical positions and historical periods. Paula J. Reiter, Mount Mary College, reiterp@mtmary.edu

"Highbrow and Low-down: The Novels of Ishmael Reed." The highly satirical works of contemporary American novelist Ishmael Reed include everything and the kitchen sink. From Egyptian mythology to comic book heroes, classical music to gut-bucket blues, Reed’s narratives are a jumble of diverse cultural references. This session explores not only Reed’s apparent disregard for categories of “high” and “low,” but also the way in which he fashions incisive cultural critique from the detritus of popular culture. Steve Almquist, University of Iowa, steven-almquist@uiowa.edu, and Justin St. Clair, University of Iowa, justin-stclair@uiowa.edu

"Dominant Culture and the Education of Women." Many female writers from Europe and the Americas, particularly those writing before the twentieth century, demonstrated a keen interest in the education of women. They showed this not only through their fiction but also through the preparation of educational materials for women, biographies of women throughout history, and/or defenses of their own educations. Examples of such writers include Christine de Pizan (France), Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Mexico), Lydia Maria Child (US), Catharine Beecher (US), and Clorinda Matto de Turner (Peru). This panel aims to investigate the ways in which female authors negotiate the limitations placed on women by the dominant discourse of their day in order to promote female education, which was often deemed a threatening enterprise. Comparative approaches are especially welcome. Please send proposals (200-250 words) to Julia C. Paulk, Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures, julia.paulk@marquette.edu

"Truth in Genre: Great Expectations in Contemporary Memoir." Truth within memoir has again received media attention thanks to James Frey's admission that he lied to tell a better story. Responses to Frey's book remind us that the reading public, reporters, critics, and writers of creative nonfiction might hold the genre of memoir to a different set of standards than some editors, publishers, and scholars. Is the public outrage justified? How might competing definitions of memoir be used to further a discussion of genre, literary quality, and reader's expectations? Theoretical, popular, journalistic and/or historical approaches are welcome. Analysis of individual texts is discouraged except as an example to further an argument about genre or truth in memoir. Julia Galbus, University of Southern Indiana, jgalbus@usi.edu

"Monsters High and Low." Submissions can address any aspect of monsters or monstrosity, including metaphorical monsters such as mutants, aliens, or serial killers. I'm especially interested in the monster story's or medium's (fiction, film, television) intersection between high and low culture. 250-500 word abstracts in the email's text to Jesse Kavadlo, Maryville University, jkavadlo@maryville.edu

"One Ring: Wagner in the 21st Century." In summer 2007, the Lincoln Center Festival and The Metropolitan Opera in New York City will present Der Ring des Nibelungen, performed by the Kirov Opera under Valery Gergiev of the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. In anticipation of this grand event, papers written in English are sought that address the critical reception, performance, interpretation, structure, or continuing relevance, in an age of Terror and Empire, of Wagner, his opera cycle, the Nibelungenlied, or other retellings of the source material. Please submit via email a 250-word abstract, along with your name, email address, mailing address, professional affiliation, and title of paper, by April 1, 2006 to Jeremy Glazier, Ohio Dominican University, glazierj@ohiodominican.edu

"Henry James and Women Writers." Henry James wrote within and against a literary tradition shaped by women writers, from the European Romantics who preceded him to his own contemporaries, including “serious” novelists like George Eliot, “popular” writers like Louisa May Alcott, and intimates like Alice James and Constance Fenimore Woolson. Furthermore, James continues to influence women writers who follow him, such as Cynthia Ozick. This panel thus explores questions of literary influence or antagonism, competition or complementarity. It invites papers that analyze issues of gender and sexuality in relation to specific texts and/or the cultural, social, and economic contexts of a canonical (though in many ways marginalized) male novelist and women writers. Geraldine Murphy, The City College, CUNY, gmurphy@ccny.cuny.edu

"Media Exhibition." This panel seeks to examine all aspects of language use in media exhibition. Papers that deal with media exhibition in bilingual communities, language in media history and high-low culture are particularly welcome; however, submissions on all topics pertaining to the exhibition of cinema, video and multimedia in the public and private spheres are welcome. Please send abstracts by April 15 to Sheila Skaff, University of Texas at El Paso, sskaff@utep.edu

"Popular Persuasions: The Rhetorics of Identity in Pop Culture." Individuals are confronted with an array of persuasive discourses that shape popular notions of identity. From the ethical appeal of celebrity culture to the affective arguments of ad campaigns, popular texts use rhetorical strategies to construct categories of identity and define standards of conformity that help to sustain prevailing norms of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender. Therefore, understanding the rhetoric of these cultural discourses not only offers insight into the communicative relationship between text and reader, but also reveals how popular texts propagate certain ideological arguments about who/what that reader should be. This session invites papers that adopt a rhetorical approach to analyzing the various discourses of pop culture to consider how identities are rhetorically constructed and/or how individuals negotiate their responses to these popular forms of persuasion. Please email 200-word abstracts by April 15th to Kristen Seas, Purdue University, kseas@purdue.edu

"Poetry in the Digital Age: Evolution and Genre." Poets, professors, and lovers of poetry in general repeatedly assert that the book as an aesthetic object has lasting value. But are we kidding ourselves? With a readership increasingly reliant on the computer, and a new generation of students who have never known a time when the Internet was more than a click away, is it only a matter of time before poetry is primarily an element of cyberspace? Is this good or bad? With more than a hundred fonts, point sizes, untold programs and graphic elements, how will the function of the computer affect the actual forms of poetry? Possible topics: future of the written poem; internet poetry sites; effect of graphic programs on reading; the typewriter and the computer compared; cyber poetics. Russell W. Brickey, Purdue University, brickeyr@purdue.edu

"Music Makes the People Come Together: Popular Music and Literature." This panel invites scholars to explore the shifting relations between the ‘high’ and the ‘low’ by focusing on the popularization of music and its interaction with various literary and cultural forms. To what extent does popularization implicate both ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural and literary forms? How do specific musical genres (classical, rap, jazz) intersect with literary innovations or movements? How do specific tropes of self-fashioning create (or complicate) the cult of the pop star and the audience(s) to which those stars appeal? Which reading practices do the multiple “texts” of popular musicians (album covers, music videos, performances, lyrics) demand, particularly in light of an increasingly global audience? Please email abstracts by April 15th (250 words, at most) to: Drago Momcilovic, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, dmomcilo@wisc.edu

"Collecting and Collectors in American Literature." Papers in this session will address representations of collectors and collecting in American literature, directing attention to the ways in which collecting intersects with and articulates attitudes toward social class, high/low culture, and consumerism and/or is shaped by region, race-ethnicity, gender and other significant cultural contexts. Mary Titus, St. Olaf College, Dept. of English, titus@stolaf.edu

"'Betwixt and Between': Intersections of Modernism and the Middlebrow." In a pugilistic letter written, but never sent, to the New Statesman in the early 1930s, Virginia Woolf explained that middlebrow fiction “is not well written; nor is it badly written. It is not proper, nor is it improper?in short it is betwixt and between” (200). Stepping back from polarized pronouncements, this panel aims to interrogate the notion of “betwixt and between” in relation to the cultural and literary intersections of Anglo-American modernism and the middlebrow. Questions to consider may include, but are not limited to, the following: What do such formations tells us about canonicity, brow hierarchies, readerships, and the literary marketplace, especially in terms of gender and class? How do negotiated cultural exchanges call into question the idea of authenticity and legitimacy? What analytical skills can we develop to recognize and interpret the common ground of texts and authors usually separated by the so-called “Great Divide”? Send abstracts (250 words max.) by April 15 to Jayne Waterman, Independent Scholar, jaynewaterman@hotmail.com

"Sub- and Countercultural Capital: Containing the Margin." Much contemporary American literature can be described as being haunted by what scholars have come to refer to as “the romance of the margin,” increasingly producing narratives that regard this narrative of potential political subjectivity with suspicion. This panel intends to examine cultural representations of contemporary political subjectivity in its relation to the increasing troubling of narratives of the margin by the influence of new socioeconomic or sociopolitical trends. Papers should address the ideological forces and mechanisms of containment that increasingly are shown to absorb the ideal of transgression itself (be this in the realm of political, or religious extremism, sexual “deviancy,” as well as in any other form of sub-, or countercultural attempt to subvert the mainstream, or produce alternative narratives of political subjectivity). Mathias Nilges, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Dept. of English, mnilge1@uic.edu

"From Bildung to Reformpädagogik: Cultivating Self and Nation." This session welcomes papers that explore narrative and visual representations of teachers, pupils and educational spaces in German-speaking contexts. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) literary and filmic depictions of scenes of awakening, becoming and self-realization, Enlightenment, Classical and Modernist concepts of Bildung and Erziehung, the role of education in nation building in Prussia, Weimar and the Third Reich, Volksbildung, women's education, teacher training, German educational philosophies (Leibniz, Kant, Goethe, Humboldt, Schlegel, Fichte, Pestalozzi, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, Marx, Steiner, Habermas), physical education, taming, modernist and post-modernist constructions of childhood and adolescence in school, educational institutions, religious education and university life. Please send 1-page abstracts to Jennifer Ham, Dept. of Modern Languages, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, hamj@uwgb.edu

"Vagrancy and Criminality in Literature." The criminal and the vagrant have often been conflated in literary texts. This panel seeks to investigate how representations of vagrancy and criminality are constructed and circulated. Within the framework of structural binaries such as high/low one might think of this literary type of the vagrant-criminal as a projection of undifferentiated otherness. But how might we historicize this conflation, this erasure of difference? In other words, how does the vagrant become the criminal in literature? How is the boundary between a strictly socio-economic category of vagrant, bound to particular social conditions and structures, and a more properly ethical notion of criminality traversed? The panel welcomes papers that interpret and address the issue broadly, both in terms of methodological questions and particular literary manifestations of the vagrant-criminal. Anupam Basu, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of English, basu@wisc.edu

"Reception Studies." This session is offered in conjunction with the Reception Study Society. It focuses on the relationship between texts and readers, real or implied. Particularly appropriate are papers on designations, assumptions or practices regarding the elevated or lowly nature of texts and readers, as well as crossing, blurring or complicating those binary categories. However, papers on any aspect of reader-response criticism and pedagogy, reception study, history of reading and the book, audience and communication studies, institutional studies and histories, and feminist, black, ethnic, gay, and postcolonial versions of these fields are welcome. Send abstracts to Genevieve West, Ferris State University, westg@ferris.edu

"The Animal Other in Texts of Discovery and Encounter." Recent discoveries of new and "lost" animal species in Western New Guinea have generated excitement within the scientific community as well as the general public, just as encounters with previously unknown animals have during earlier periods characterized by the exploration of unknown territories. This session welcomes papers on representations of animals in texts of discovery, exploration, encounter and/or conquest. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the cataloguing of species (including the use of familiar, though inadequate, terminology and frames of reference in the description of newly "discovered" animals); the role of myth, legend and fantasy in the depiction of unfamiliar creatures; and the portrayal of animals in illustrated texts. Papers on both early and more recent (fiction or nonfiction) accounts are welcomed. Stacy Hoult, Valparaiso University, Stacy.Hoult@valpo.edu

"American Cultural Studies." This panel positions cultural studies in an American context, though what is meant by “American” is debatable. Should we include Canada and Mexico and the South Americas? Certainly, American Cultural Studies has been influenced by the exceptionalism of American Studies, but it is also informed by sociology, anthropology, literary studies and theory, postmodernism, and popular culture. In keeping with the theme of the conference, papers should discuss the topic of “High & Low / Culture” in terms of such topics as American exceptionalism, interdisciplinary approaches, material culture, media, cultural sites, citizenship, cities, to name a few. This panel is new to the MMLA special sessions group. Send 250 word proposals to Elizabeth Klaver, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, etklaver@siu.edu

"We are (Still) the Victorians: What is Progress, Anyway?" Americans share intimately in the English literary tradition. The Victorian Age was especially important in the development of contemporary thought. Americans were deeply affected by Darwin’s stunning work, in which he contended that humans were as much a part of the natural world as the ant and the ape. Novelists like Scott showed us how to reconnect with history. Women began to regain some measure of equality with men. Dickens worked tirelessly to champion the desperate. More than 100 years later, we must ask ourselves: What happened? Why is Evolution censored? Why are American women’s reproductive rights under attack? Why has the gap between rich and poor grown larger? How can we invoke the vigorous Victorian spirit to heal ourselves and our nation? Rebecca A. Carron, Saint Louis Univ., carronra@slu.edu

"Graphic Novels in the Literature Classroom." Since Art Spiegelman’s Maus won the Pulitzer Prize and garnered wide-spread acclaim in academia, graphic novels have increasingly been taught at the university level. This session will explore the role of graphic novels in the literature classroom; in particular, papers that examine both the possibilities and limitations/drawbacks of teaching specific graphic novels are sought. Possible topics: papers that analyze the pedagogical possibilities of specific graphic novels, offer sample assignments or prompts, pairings of graphic novels and other texts, including novels, films, theoretical readings, etc. Laura L. Beadling, Purdue Univ., beadling@purdue.edu

"German I: German Literature, Art, and Film: "Pop Goes the Canon!" We invite papers that examine the treatment of German canonical texts by popular media, for example films and music. Please send 250-word abstracts by April 15 to Jenifer Cushman, College of Wooster, jcushman@wooster.edu, and Isolde Mueller, St. Cloud State University, immueller@stcloudstate.edu

"Geo-Graphing Modernism." The modernist epoch involved a global shift across a range of cultural, social, political, and economic contexts each marked in their own way by struggle and contradiction, ambiguity and anguish, renewal and faith. Recent theoretical debate has served to enrich our understanding of the differential cultural fronts of modernism, and yet the tendency of accepting a selective international modernism as the function of a Paris-Berlin-London-New York axis remains, for the most part, a critical commonplace. This session investigates the ways in which issues of region, of nation, and of location articulate anew the various interrelations, affiliations, and antitheses of modernity, modernism, and the modern. Desmond Harding, Central Michigan University, hardi1d@cmich.edu

"A Paradoxical Appeal: the Novel as “Common” Aesthetics." While “novels” were written before 1741, Pamela’s arrival in the literary marketplace arguably establishes the novel as suitable for “respectable” readers. Yet Pamela provided the novel with an ambiguous entrance into literary culture; its association with spectacle and the marketplace foregrounds the relationship of the novel to popular culture. After Pamela, the literary status of the novel becomes increasingly contested, as it is connected with commercialism and circulation among an ever-growing reading public. Building on this history, this panel explores how permutations of the novel from Pamela to the present narrow, expand, reify, or blur the definition of “literature.” We invite papers that explore appeals made by various genres of the novel as they attempt to claim “legitimate” membership in the canon. Carrie Wadman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, clwadman@uwm.edu, and Elizabeth Neiman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, eaneiman@uwm.edu

"Bridging the Gap: Transitions Between Academic and Nonacademic Careers." Every year since 1984, the MLA has held a job clinic at the annual convention particularly intended for academics considering nonacademic professional careers in business, government, and the not-for-profit sector. Moreover, The Chronicle of Higher Education Careers Section routinely contains articles about the transition from academia to nonacademic careers. The proposed workshop will focus not only on the experiences of literature and writing faculty and graduates who have made or are considering making the transition from academia to the nonacademic sector but also on the experiences of those choosing to re-enter academia after employment in the government or private sector. Potential workshop topics include practical advice to individuals contemplating such transitions; evaluation of the opportunities available to literature and writing specialists in both the academic and nonacademic settings; review of technological changes and the new job search and marketplace; marketing of academic credentials to nonacademics as well as transfer of nonacademic skills, knowledge, and experience to academic careers; distinctions between serving four-year and community colleges and between working for business, government, and not-for-profits; and overcoming the psychological and social challenges of a major career change. Jon S. Mann, DePaul University, jmann10@depaul.edu, and Harveen S. Mann, Loyola University Chicago, hmann@luc.edu

"Ludic Literature: Serious Play in the 20th and 21st Centuries." What is at stake when writers play literary games? This session proposes to investigate why certain literary works of the last century can be characterized as playful. Does this designation point to the context of their production, their innovative explorations of form, their spectacular manipulations of language, or their appeal to the reader’s involvement? Is it a matter of style, theme, or genre? If a text is characterized as frivolous or trivial, what, if any, are the ethical implications of this judgment? Although play risks marginalization, what allows us to distinguish between the serious and its supposed opposites? Is work involved in creative play? We will also consider how the boundaries between the serious and the unserious shift during the century. Please send 250-word abstracts by April 15 to Alison James, University of Chicago, asj@uchicago.edu

"Sonic Spectacles: From Event to Text." On the cusp of the twentieth century, Edison built two machines which transformed temporally and spatially contingent events into reproducible texts, the phonograph and the kinetoscope, and immediately began attempting to integrate the two. The success of this merger of sound and image—despite Edison’s own failure—has made it nearly incomprehensible to consider the image without sound. This panel seeks to investigate the intersection of indexical recording technologies and the texts they produce and disseminate. Analogous ideas of performance, spectacle, “live-ness,” and the real participate in many strands of contemporary cultural thought, including globalization, postmodern juxtaposition, and practices of subversion and resistance. We seek proposals (200-250 words) which will engage the matrix of questions surrounding the mobilization of these technologies in the contemporary world. Ben Stork, University of Minnesota, stork014@umn.edu, and Justin Schell, University of Minnesota, schel115@umn.edu

"The Bloomsbury Group: Materials and Materialsim." In light of the MMLA Conference theme of “High and Low / Culture,” this session seeks papers exploring the ways in which the Bloomsbury Group affected and was affected by the cultural materialism of early twentieth century Britain. Papers might address either the immediate material concerns of writers and artists (as in Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” for example) or the changing materialist landscape of the period in terms of technology, transportation, imperialism, etc. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to, the intersections of these material/materialist concerns with issues of femininity and masculinity; sexuality; cosmopolitanism and provincialism; wealth, poverty, and class structure; or responses to Victorianism. Send 250-word abstracts (via e-mail attachment) by April 7, 2006, to Jessica Stender and Colleen Booker, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, jstender@uwm.edu

"From the Newberry: Representing Indians: Indigenous Peoples and U.S. Popular Culture." This session invites examination of the dynamic between co-optation and strategic adaptation evident in American Indians' representation and/or participation in U.S. popular culture of any era, or the place of such scholarship in Native American Studies. The analyses may address a variety of cultural texts that include, for example, stage, film, radio, television; popular literature such as dime novels or magazines; museums, music, tourism, circuit lectures, political advocacy, or sports teams and consider how they create alternate public spheres that support the possibility for Indigenous cultural continuance and national sovereignty as suggested, for example, by the scholarship of Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Phillip Deloria and Simon Ortiz. The use of Newberry Library materials is required. Jen McGovern, University of Iowa, jennifer-mcgovern@uiowa.edu, and Lori Muntz, University of Iowa, lori-muntz@uiowa.edu

"Theorizing Beyond High/Low." The Cultural Turn in literary studied was to a large degree predicated on various critiques of high or elite culture (Frankfurt, Birmingham, poststructural) that led to subsequent critical attention to mass or popular culture. Ever since, both the concepts as well as the phenomena of “high” and “low” or “mass” culture continue to be in play. This panel seeks papers which address the ways in which high/low culture has been theorized and the critical possibilities those critiques have occasioned, as well as the problems that have ensued from critical constructions of “high/low” and its obliteration. What critical possibilities have been made available by various critiques of high culture? What alternative versions of “culture” have become institutionalized? Has the analysis of low or popular culture devolved back into a high culture pursuit? What critical paradigms come after the obliteration of the high/low culture distinction? The panel is eager for submission from a range of scholars, including especially members new to the profession. Mark M. Freed, Central Michigan University, mark.m.freed@cmich.edu

"The Secret Place: Creating Alternative Spaces in the Arts." This panel seeks to examine the ways in which African American women have used space to occupy, challenge, and change their lives. What challenges and opportunities arise from occupying various spaces? To what degree does space determine the dynamics of power? How are these factors employed to create change? Individual papers are encouraged to explore the ways in which African American women have used space to imagine and propose different models of existence and exchange in the arts. Nicole Gainyard, University of Iowa, nicole-gainyard@uiowa.edu

"The Simpsons and Popular Culture as Postmodern Author." This session welcomes papers that explore the presence of the hit TV show, The Simpsons, in the U.S. mass media and studies of postmodernism. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) examinations of civic, cultural, gender, and political identities found in both The Simpsons and traditional Humanities studies. Papers should address the relationship between high/low art and media studies, the instability of postmodern representations, and issues relating to authorial self-referentiality and/or satire. Send email abstracts by April 15, to Deborah Foote, Columbia College Chicago, Liberal Education Dept, dfoote@colum.edu

"In Memory of Octavia E. Butler: Teaching Butler's Fiction." In light of Octavia Butler’s sudden death in early March, this panel seeks papers that explore the use of Butler’s fiction in the academy. While there is an increasing amount of important critical work on Butler, this panel is interested in papers that explore how her fiction has been employed in academic departments and courses. In particular, this panel seeks papers that examine how Butler’s work is deployed in different theoretical and academic paradigms, including eco-criticism, science fiction theory, trauma theory, memory studies, African American studies and the African American canon, American literature, Women’s Studies, etc. Presentations addressing specific assignments or papers that deal with Butler’s work, her placement in specific course syllabi, her use of history, student responses to Butler’s work are all applicable. Laura L. Beadling, Purdue University, beadling@purdue.edu

"Assessing Recitation of Poetry and Other Literature: Canons and Other Authorities." Poetry slams stress the importance of reciting poetry aloud. The audience registers impressions immediately as poets share their dramatic and linguistic abilities. For sure, students of poetry are questioning again the authority of certain voices. They still enter into discussions regarding the canon and who has the authority to speak. This session will consider questions such as: a) evaluating and assessing literature: b) attaching value (whose value?) to literary works; c) sitting in a post colonial classroom; d) performing literature aloud. Edward Anthony Pasko, Purdue University Calumet, pasko@clumnet.purdue.edu

"Medieval/Renaissance Italy." The session is open to any issues concerning the Medieval or Renaissance periods in Italian Literature. Veena Carlson, Dominican University, veencarl@dom.edu, and Tonia Triggiano, Dominican University, trigtoni@dom.edu

"Shakespeare's Sisters: Women Writers and Stationers in Early Modern England." Since Virginia Woolf wrote A Room of One’s Own, scholars have discovered (and continue to discover) that Shakespeare did, indeed, have “sisters.” These women broke barriers in literature, drama, and in the printing houses of London. This panel seeks papers that address women writers from Isabella Whitney to Aphra Behn, and the conventions within which they wrote including closet drama, poetry, and pamphlets. We are also interested in papers that examine women Stationers such as Joan Brome--and the innovative ways they discovered to compete successfully in a male-dominated business. Terri Bourus, Indiana Univ. at Kokomo, tbourus@iuk.edu

"Realisms in Italian Literature, Art and Cinema from 1800 on." Reality has been investigated, interpreted and represented in different ways throughout the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries by writers, artists and movie directors alike. This session is open to papers addressing one or multiple forms of manipulation of the real. Interdisciplinary and comparative papers including Italian subjects are welcome. Lodovica Guidarelli, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, lguidarelli@wisc.edu

"Popular Culture and New Technologies in Contemporary Italian Literature." This session proposes to explore the influence of mass media and new technologies in contemporary Italian literature. How have realms of communication often associated with popular or low culture been both embraced and rejected in the literature of today’s Italy? Possible areas of focus may include television, the internet, blogs, pop music, text messaging, graphic novels and alternative publications such as fan-zines, etc. Monica Seger, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, mjseger@wisc.edu

"Religious Narratives and American Identity." This panel will analyze religious narratives and counter-narratives within American literature spanning from the nineteenth century through the modern period. By examining both elite and popular literature, it will consider how these narratives enabled Americans to understand and create their national identity. Papers should examine how literary texts connect religious ideas and practices to larger cultural, social, and historical phenomenon. They might consider, but are not limited to, the following questions: How did American writers grapple with the question of slavery and the Civil War through the lens of religion? How did they respond to the spiritual crisis of the Gilded Age? What is the relationship between religious narratives and American nationalism? How have American modernist writers addressed religion? Please send proposals (200-250 words) to both Haein.Park@valpo.edu and David.Owens@valpo.edu. English Department, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN 46383

"Folklore in American Literature." This panel explores the uses of folklore in American Literature. Folklore is generated at all levels of culture, but often it is considered a "low" or less valued form of expression. On the other hand, fiction and poetry (in particular) are often considered more elevated forms. This session explores what happens when the low and the high meet. What happens when writers incorporate folkloric elements in fiction or poetry? How are the lore and literary genre transformed? What are the cultural and literary implications of such mergers? Is it possible to retain the folkloric in literary forms? Papers on the uses of folklore in literature by any American author welcome. Send abstracts to Genevieve West, Ferris State Univ., westg@ferris.edu.

"Remapping the género negro." This session on recent Hispanic crime fiction will serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas related to recent permutations of the género negro in both Spain and Latin America. Many hispanists are aware that while detective fiction has enjoyed a long period of production and popularity in Latin America and Spain (beginning in the late 1960’s), “conventional” Hispanic detective fiction has waned significantly since the late 1980’s and other genres of crime fiction have rapidly succeeded it. This remapping of generic conventions of crime fiction is particularly evident in Spain and Latin America where the género negro is gradually encompassing more subgenres and more writers. Renée Craig-Odders, Univ. of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, rcraigod@uwsp.edu

"Literatures in English: Panel and Discussion." What is the effect of re-conceptualizing an English Major as a Major in Literatures in English? What are the consequences upon courses drawn from, and curricula based upon, traditionally discrete national literatures, such as British and American literature? What new kinds of courses are made possible by such a reconfiguration? What happens to students and their understanding of English in this model? To what extent does the global rise of literatures in English compel us to rethink the notion, direction, and integrity of the received literary canon? These and related questions will be the focus of a panel presentation and discussion moderated by members of the Department of English, Saint Olaf College. For the past ten years the Saint Olaf English Major has been a Major in Literatures in English. To support this major, we have developed a variety of new courses: an Introduction to the Major emphasizing the diversity of literatures in English on the contemporary scene; a sequence of Core History Courses dealing with literatures in English that place English, American, and their colonial literatures in constant dialogue; a course in Global Literatures in English that explores a topic in this widening field in depth and detail. We have a body of data, together with anecdotal evidence, deriving from faculty and student experience with this Major. A number of departments have already adopted, and others are likely thinking of adopting, a comparable foundation for their majors and their curricula. This session will be a chance to report on and compare results, share problems and discoveries, and speculate on future directions. The organizers welcome others to take part on the panel to give short presentations and participate in discussion. Please contact Jonathan E. Hill and Richard DuRocher, Saint Olaf College, durocher@stolaf.edu.

"Disability in African Fiction." While all approaches, topics and methodologies are welcome, efforts should be made to critically examine the concept of high or low culture in African fiction, especially as it relates to disabled characters. The question "Is There a High or Low Culture in an Oral Society?" will hopefully be answered by examining, through selected fictional portraits, how certain illnesses/handicaps reflect the perceptions of individuals that are situated in high or low culture. Please send a 350-word proposal by April 20, 2006 to Olabisi Gwamna, ogwamna@iwc.edu, Division of Languages and Literature, Iowa Wesleyan College, Mt Pleasant, IA 52641. Any request for audiovisual equipment should accompany the proposal.

"Memory, Forgetting, and Commodification: Revisiting the Relations of Culture and Politics." If it is true that “all objectification is a forgetting,” as Adorno claims, what are its implications in terms of culture, politics, and history in a commodity-driven culture such as ours? By posing the question thus, perhaps we can begin to unravel the dense networks implied in the commodity in order to ask what kinds of memories it consolidates and what is forgotten as a result. This panel seeks papers that reflect upon the complex relations among the commodity, memory, history, and forgetting. Papers that consider the consequences (perilous or redemptory) of these relations for politics are particularly encouraged. Literary expositions would be enthusiastically welcome. Paige Sweet, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, paige.sweet@gmail.com

German II: "German Poetry." Open Topic. 20-minute papers sought on any period and aspect of German-language poetry. Deadline May 1. Jefford Vahlbusch, Univ. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, vahlbujb@uwec.edu.

"Free Speech and Chicago." This panel will explore the political, economic, and cultural influences which are particular to the city of Chicago, as well as the influence of forums and the art of soapboxing. Around 1913, Chicago was a hotbed for the emergence of trade unions and labor movements mostly notably the Industrial Workers of the World, better known as IWW and the Wobblies. These groups brought to the forefront a public awareness of social injustices as well as oppressive political ideals. Their goals were social reform and a return to a democratic society that encourages its citizens to speak out for change. Some of the possible topics to be examined would be: Bughouse Square, the Dil Pickle Club, the role of Agitators and anarchists between 1900 and 1930, Hobohemia, Haymarket. the role of feminists, changes in Chicago in the early 1900 and today with regard to free speech and encouraging public awareness of social injustices in today’s society. Send your 250-word proposals to: Karen Holleran at KEHProf@aol.com. New Deadline: May 5, 2006.

"Expanding German Studies through Interdisciplinary Offerings and/or English speaking Study Abroad Courses in Germany." This session welcomes contributions that demonstrate how interdisciplinary approaches and programs enhance German Studies and increase German language course enrollments as a consequence. Papers are sought that investigate study abroad programs offered in English as well as course offerings in English and/or German. We are specifically interested in practical applications such as outlining course curricula, specific designed study abroad programs as well as team taught approaches among faculty of different disciplines. Please send your 1-2 pages abstract by May 1 to Monika Hohbein-Deegen, Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, deegen@uwosh.edu.