CFP: American Literature Society at ALA Conference in San Diego, CA (May 21-24, 2020)

The American Literature Society invites abstracts (of no more than 250 words) for two panels at the annual conference of the American Literature Association (http://americanliteratureassociation.org/).

Please note the deadline of January 27, 2020.

Futurisms: Survival Speculation in American Literature

Inspired by the reality of environmental and climate changes, im/migration patterns, and the predictable divisiveness of our political climate, this panel theme invites papers that explore the margins, limits and fissures within and between dystopias and utopias, aliens and empires, technologies and humans to examine how authors represent human survival in fantastic spaces. How do established and new authors use texts to speculate about American (and global) futures? The Society is particularly interested in papers that use contemporary interdisciplinary theories and approaches (posthumanism, transhumanism, ecofeminist, etc.) for reading complex fantastic identities and spaces.

Some possible paper topics/themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Asian American futurisms
  • Black futurisms
  • Citizenships, Community formations, and belonging
  • Environmental change, control, manipulation
  • Future anthropomorphisms and challenges of technology
  • Indigenous futurisms
  • Latinx futurisms
  • Love, gender, and relationships
  • Religion, the sacred, folklore and/or mythologies of transcendence
  • Representations of food and sustenance
  • The fantastic in contemporary children’s literature
  • Utopic and dystopic intersections with race, gender, and class

Please send abstracts to Helane Androne ([email protected]) no later than January 27, 2020. Presenters must be members of the American Literature Society by the time of the conference. Information about the Society and how to join can be found at: http://www.als-mla.org/als/.

Teaching Difficult in Difficult Times

While we know these are “difficult times,” “difficult teaching” points to how we navigate this sociopolitical climate while still practicing abolitionist teaching in the classroom. The roundtable will focus on a number of themes including (but not limited to:) GenZ and/or generational tensions in the classroom; the politics of teaching during this particular election cycle; literature, censorship, and the “N” word; trigger warnings; how we negotiate multiple categories of identity across gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, class, and/or disability by us as educators and for our students; and ultimately, the sharing of active learning strategies.

Since we all teach seemingly “difficult” subjects at our varied institutions (e.g., histories of slavery, im/migration, rising nationalism, and queer theory, to name only a few), the overall vision of this roundtable is to bring together diverse, interdisciplinary teacher/learners who agree that our students’ interests, technologies, and/or identities are not “a problem” to be solved, but rather, an opportunity for a new vision of social justice both in and beyond the classroom.

Please send abstracts for roundtable contributions to Alisha Gaines ([email protected]) no later than January 27, 2020. Presenters must be members of the American Literature Society by the time of the conference. Information about the Society and how to join can be found at: http://www.als-mla.org/als/.