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CfP: Approaches to Teaching and Learning with Urban Spaces – NeMLA 2018

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    Lee B. Abraham

    Call for Papers
    Approaches to Teaching and Learning with Urban Spaces

    49th Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention
    Global Spaces, Local Landscapes and Imagined Worlds
    April 12-15, 2018, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    NeMLA Web Site: http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention.html

    The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have been characterized by changes that lead to increasing literary and cultural productions (e.g. narratives, short stories, poetry, films) about urban spaces and experiences (Fraser, 2015). First, the spatial turn in the humanities in the 1990s, defined as, the “recognition of how concepts of space bind history, culture, and memory” (Bodenhamer, 2007, p. 99) resulted in studies involving literary mapping and other geospatial approaches to texts in what had previously been a preoccupation with time/temporality in literary and cultural studies (Connor, 1989). Second, a focus on space and place occurred within a context of rapid globalization and movement and flows (Appadurai, 1996; 2013) of people, money, technology, media, and ideologies into cities (Sassen, 2001), with more than half of the world’s population now living in cities (United Nations, 2014).

    The primary goal of this roundtable is to discuss and debate pedagogical approaches that meaningfully engage and connect students with urban spaces (local, global, imagined) in literature and cultural studies courses and foreign language classes. In so doing, the roundtable seeks to address a gap between the ever-expanding literary and cultural productions about cities and the need for faculty to be able to teach with and about urban spaces given the two profound changes described previously.

    Presenters in this roundtable could address the following questions:

    1) What pedagogical approaches (for example: what types of assignments, the use of digital tools/technologies for assignments about/in cities, online collaborations with students) have been used such that students meaningfully engage, interact, and examine urban spaces in language, literary, and cultural studies courses?

    2) What were some of the major challenges of teaching and learning about and with urban spaces? How were these challenges addressed and overcome?

    Please submit a 300-word abstract to Lee B. Abraham through the NeMLA website by September 30, 2017. https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/login

    A regional affiliate of the Modern Language Association (MLA), NeMLA provides a forum for the dissemination of scholarship and the advancement of teaching in modern languages and literatures. Every year, the NeMLA Convention affords NeMLA’s principal opportunity to carry on a tradition of lively research and pedagogical exchange. This four-day long event showcases different areas of inquiry and includes regular panels, roundtables, seminars, interactive workshops, special events, caucus meetings, literary readings, film screenings, and guest speakers.  Building on a rich tradition of excellence, the University at Buffalo supports the mission of NeMLA by serving as its institutional and administrative host. In addition, each NeMLA Annual Convention is sponsored by a local host institution.  The 49th NeMLA Annual Convention will take place April 12-15, 2018, in Pittsburgh, PA; it will be hosted by the University of Pittsburgh.

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