Interesting CFPs for the 2018 MLA Convention

Here are six (6) interesting calls for papers for the 2018 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in New York City from 4 to 7 January, 2018. The presidential theme for the convention is #States of Insecurity.

Korean Forum sessions

Community in the Wake of the Social: Literary Insecurities in Modern and Contemporary Korea

“The gravest and most painful testimony of the modern world,” wrote Jean-Luc Nancy, “is the testimony of the dissolution, the dislocation, or the conflagration of community.” At the same time, Nancy warns against a nostalgia for lost community that masks the fact of its “belated invention.” Community, according to Nancy, lies not at the origins of the social, but is rather what happens “in the wake of society.”

The ontological significance of a literature that relies on the category of “nation” is challenged in an era of globalization and migration; literature as a particular and well-defined aesthetic practice or form is disrupted as boundaries with other cultural products, particularly in the digital era, are perforated or redrawn. New technology and media and concomitant forms of sociality have resulted in a “generic” insecurity that calls into question the status of literature as a repository of communal memory while at the same time expanding its potential as an expression or performance of community.

This session seeks papers that critically address literary representations of community and/or the idea, practice, and status of the literary community itself in the Korean context. We are particularly interested in papers that deal with both the literary representation of community and the performance of literary community in various forms of media. Please send a 250-word abstract and 1-p CV by March 15, 2017 to Heekyoung Cho or Chris Hanscom.

Auditory Text in Premodern and Modern Korean Literature

Not only is literary text inscribed and read but is also voiced for the readerly ears. Does this renewed attention to sound and listening alter the way we read and understand literature in any significant manner? How might we seek a new understanding of the text’s voicing as integral to our literary reading? Does Korean literature offer any interesting instances where the meaningful readerly listening takes place with little or no visual access to the object of comprehension? Is there any meaningful boundary between what is oral and what is written in Korean literary contexts? How might we methodologically embed sound into Korean literary and cultural studies?

Marking a sharp turn from vision-centered literary and media analysis, this panel re-centers voice, hearing, and listening as ways to explore the cultural and political complexities of soundscape in premodern and modern Korean literature and culture. As part of the Korean Language, Literature, and Culture Forum session for the 2018 MLA Convention (New York), the panel seeks papers that examine the ways in which polyphonics, multiculturalism, technology, gender, and politics, among others, in the Korean context form, generate, and qualify the experiences of sound in the text. We especially welcome papers that discuss voice, hearing, and listening as embodied or disembodied textual experiences and also those work that explores auditory textual experimentation in various genres of premodern and modern Korean literature including new ways of understanding poetry, in which sound image traditionally has been treated as important. Deadline for submission of 250-word abstract and 1-p CV is 15 March 2017 to Jina Kim.

Thinking Korean Literature through Censorship and “Blacklisting” in the Age of Global Literature

Censorship and “blacklisting” are two of the most widely practiced methods of publication control by the state. From its inception, Modern Korean literature has undergone systematic censorship by agents of the Japanese colonial government. Although such prepublication censorship laws and operations have formally ceased in post-liberation Korea, publication control persists. Explicit or implicit self-censorship by authors, editors, and publishing houses also besets modern Korean literature. Most recently, the revelation that South Korean Park Geun Hye’s regime sponsored “blacklisting” operations and secretly controlled the disbursal of financial subsidies for publication stunned Korean civil society, whose formal democratization presumably ended the era of publication control.

The unending story of Korean literary publications and figures being subjected to state control impels us to rethink fundamental and theoretical notions of literature, authorship, and art. What modes of reading should literary critics and historians bear on censored literature and “blacklisted” writers? How do censorship and “blacklisting” complicate paradigms like Roland Barthes’s “death of the author” and Michel Foucault’s “author function”? How has publication control by the state weakened or strengthened the so-called literariness of literature? The panel invites papers that address questions of literary history and interpretive methods about the instability of literature as an institution under state control. We especially seek approaches that substantially or implicitly intervene in the idea of world literature through concrete cases of censored works and “blacklisting” or other forms of state intervention into the writing and publication of literature. 250-word abstract and 1-p CV by March 15, 2016; Kyeong-Hee Choi.

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LLC) East Asian Forum’s guaranteed sessions

Disability and Human (In)Dignity in East Asian Literature and Film

This call seeks papers that provide comparative analysis of depictions of disability and human dignity, or the lack thereof, in East Asian literature and film. Those that compare two or more East Asian texts and contexts are especially welcome. The period is open. The following are some examples of the kinds of questions a paper might address. What are the central conflicts, questions, and political or cultural issues at stake when works of art represent disability and the disabled in East Asian context? How do such representations comment on the nature of the individual’s relationship to society? What are the ways in which such works from the past illustrate certain cultural issues of the contemporary East Asian life? Please send 250-word abstract and short CV to Kelly Jeong.

Cannibal Modernity in East Asian Literature and Film 

Papers investigating the trope of cannibalism as a response to modernity and/or contemporary global issues in East Asian literature and film. 250-word abstract and short CV by March 15 to Geraldine Fiss.

Transcultural Flows in East Asian Literature and Film

Papers addressing East-West and intra-Asian transcultural connections in literature and film, including literary/cinematic influence, translation, adaptation and other. 250-word abstract and short CV by March 15 to Geraldine Fiss.